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When Contacts Aren’t So Convenient

Posted by Ilena Di Toro | Posted on May 31, 2016

Contact lenses are great. They allow users to have better field of vision. They give users a chance to try out different eye colors. Contact lenses are also great money maker for a practice. In some practices, contact lens revenue comprises up to one third of profit. What aren’t so great about contacts, however, are the problems associated with them, such as end-of-day discomfort or reactions to the cleaning solution. There are also problems that come about when contact lens wearers don’t follow crucial protocols, such as replacing lenses as scheduled, washing hand before cleaning lenses, and not using the cleaning products correctly.

There are ways you can help your contact lens patients get the best and healthiest use out of their contacts. Here are a few:

Improve compliance
Rates of noncompliance can run as high as 91 percent. Noncompliance can lead to complications including corneal ulcers and potentially sight robbing infections. Ask patients to bring in their contact lens care products. Once all the products are in front of you, take the time to educate patients about proper use and if necessary make changes such as prescribing daily wear lenses or even changing cleaning solutions. Sometimes it only takes a little change to significantly improve compliance.

Managing the visit
Sometimes you need to do more than just change the lenses, especially when the eye surface is compromised. That’s when the visit becomes medical in nature. If your office is approved as a clinical lab, perform tests such as the TearLab or InflammaDry to help you to find out what is wrong and prescribe the necessary clinical solution.

Look for a solution (cleaning and otherwise)
What if your patient has problems after a month or two of feeling fine? Does it mean that he or she developed an infection? Actually no, it is most likely a case of delayed hypersensitivity. This is especially true if the solution has preservatives, such as chlorhexidine and benzalkonium chloride. Multi-purpose solutions can be problematic since they contain disinfectants and preservatives that can irritate the eye. Also, soft lenses are made of silicone hydrogel materials. While this kind of material allows for high oxygen permeability, it doesn’t always play well with solutions. So, the best thing to do is to have the patient stop wearing contacts for a while, prescribe a clinical solution to clear the infection (if necessary). Once the infection is cleared, change the contact lens solution to one with different ingredients. Another thing you can do is change the contact lens regimen, such as having the patient use daily wear contacts.

What works for one person doesn’t always work for someone else. So when it comes to contact lenses, it might be necessary to tweak things in order to meet the needs of the individual.


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