OD often writes two prescriptions so patients can make their best decision
Diane Song, OD, prefers that patients at Valencia Optometry, in Valencia, California, wear one-day contact lenses. “In my experience, patients who wear one-day contact lenses have fewer problems than those who wear two-week replacement lenses,” she says. They also appreciate the comfort of wearing a fresh contact lens every day they choose to wear lenses. “Patients find the option very comfortable and convenient,” she says.
At first, Dr. Song anticipated that some patients would opt for one-day lenses more naturally: those who travel regularly or work in a dusty or dry environment. She anticipated that within the general population, there might be a little more hesitance to possibly having to pay a premium price for the convenience.
However, she found that more patients like the idea of trying one-day lenses. Not only are they a great choice for first-time wearers, older patients and those who spend hours at a computer often tell her that their eyes don’t feel as dry once they’ve switched to one-day lenses.
“CooperVision offers such a great rebate on clariti® 1 day contact lenses. The lenses are easy to handle, so even first-time patients can be confident inserting and removing these contact lenses,” she says. These silicone-hydrogel, high-Dk contact lenses are a great and affordable option for many patients, she says.
She presents patients with the three replacement schedules: monthly, two-week and one-day. “I say that one of the benefits of the one-day lenses is that there’s really no cleaning required. In fact, I encourage patients to get a box of one-day contact lenses along with their other contact lenses so that they will have them on hand if they go on vacation or travel,” she says.
A number of times, these patients return the following year, saying that they want to make the switch to wearing one-day lenses all the time. In fact, Dr. Song now gives most patients that option. “I write two prescriptions. I’ll write one for the habitual lens if they want to stay with two-week or one month replacement contacts, and I’ll add one for the one-day lenses. It makes it easy for them to come back for more one-day lenses if they find that they like those lenses more,” she says.
clariti 1 day lenses are available in sphere, multifocal and toric designs. “Many patients with low degrees of astigmatism don’t know how much better their vision could be if we corrected for astigmatism. It can make a dramatic difference, especially in winter when they’re driving home after dark and have to read road signs, for example,” she says. “I want patients to experience the clearest vision they can have, and they won’t know how much more clearly they can see if they don’t have a chance to try the lenses.”
Because the clariti 1 day toric lenses settle quickly, fitting them while the patient is in the exam room makes sense. She’ll recommend that any patients with 0.75D of astigmatism at least try the toric design. “The lens settles quickly, so I can fit most patients on the day of their exam,” she says. “If it’s a current toric contact lens wearer, I can release the prescription that day. For new wearers, I’ll have them come back for a follow-up, but it’s a fast process.”
Dr. Song has astigmatism herself, so she can tell patients that she has experience with wearing contact lenses designed to correct astigmatism. “Less than one degree of astigmatism doesn’t sound like much, but so many patients say that it makes a difference, and no other practitioner has told them about it.”
She says that eye care professionals might hold back on the recommendation, concerned that the higher price might discourage patients. “It’s important to let the patients decide based on their own experience. Let them try the lenses and then make the decision. Very often, patients see the value,” she says.