Present Multifocals to All Presbyopic Age Groups
Assumptions, which can develop into habits, often rule behavior, and they die hard. But Kimberly Hoyle, OD, abruptly dismissed one assumption—that interest in contact lens wear falls off dramatically with age—when she learned results from MSI’s 2015 Gallup Study of the U.S. Multi-Focal Contact Lens Market. And she is initiating a culture change within her practice as a result.
Specifically, results from adults ages 40+ requiring multifocal vision correction showed that, in terms of interest in trying multifocal contact lenses, there is high interest from adults aged 40-64. Even for those adults aged 65+, there is interest in trying multifocal contact lenses.
“The interest level in trying multifocal contact lenses is awesome,” says Dr. Hoyle. “It changed my thinking, and it’s changing our communication strategy. We now present multifocal contact lenses to all presbyopic age groups because all groups are interested.”
In changing the practice mindset, a first order of business was to spread the word throughout the office that common assumptions about age and interest in the benefits of contact lenses are out—and patients are not to be judged by how “young” they look. The interest level spans both Generation-Xers and Baby Boomers.
“We present multifocal contact lenses to all presbyopic age groups because all groups are interested.”
“I shared the contact lens interest data with staff to overcome assumptions that as we get older we are less interested in the benefits that contact lenses offer,” she explains. “When I saw the data, I was really surprised at how consistent interest was for ages 40 to 64. We’re always looking for new ways to enhance our patients’ lives with good vision, and we now see that multifocal contact lenses are an important option that can provide that.”
Dr. Hoyle recognizes that Gen Xers and Boomers extensively use digital devices that require constantly shifting gaze between different distances. In fact, 32 percent of Gen Xers and 26 percent of Boomers report spending at least nine hours on digital devices each day. With greater digital device use, recommendations need to include innovative multifocal lens designs that provide easy transitions between distances in materials that retain moisture. By understanding individual needs, ECPs can tailor messages and recommendations to enhance their lives.
Dr. Hoyle’s office conducts special multifocal contact lens fitting events, devoting an afternoon to featuring innovation in multifocal lenses. Typically, they are attended by 15-20 patients who responded to an e-mail or mailer invitation. To be patient-friendly, the practice sets a nominal fee for being trial fitted. The special event allows the office team to obtain information about the patients’ real-world vision demands. For a multifocal contact lens fitting, participants with a current valid prescription are provided with a trial lens with the closest match to their current powers. Patients are encouraged to evaluate the lenses in their living and working environments for a week before their prescription is finalized.
“Patients expect innovative technology from our practice,” says Dr. Hoyle, “and this shows that we strive to understand their individual needs and make the effort to provide solutions for them.”
Excerpted from “Capturing the Presbyopic Opportunity.” UFP.0141.USA.16
To download the entire report, click here.