A recent global survey1 of 3,800 vision-corrected patients assessed the importance of 40 different eye care attributes. The top three chosen were those that would ‘provide the best possible all around vision’, ‘renew lost vision’, and ‘provide vision that is as natural as possible’. The ‘vision’ category led in importance to patients. ‘Comfort’ came in sixth out of eight possible categories.
The survey confirms that while comfort is important to patients, vision is what they need, want, and worry about.
That places vision correction in a very important basket, and according to Dr. Joe Barr, Vice President Global Clinical & Medical Affairs and Professional Services Vision Care at Bausch and Lomb, if we fail to provide the options that will give our patients the best possible vision, we may be doing them a disservice.
“An accurate refraction is one of the most important things we do.
Refraction is an art form and the key to any correction we prescribe. It is important to capture the nuances of patients’ vision, from the higher order aberrations to getting that cylinder and axis just right. What we prescribe will have an effect on their ability to see clearly, the quality of their vision, and even their quality of life,” said Dr. Barr.
Dr. Barr claims that patients are not reaping the full benefits of the technological advances made in contact lenses. He says that toric lenses are still underutilised for astigmatism and ‘masking of astigmatism’ is still far too common.
“I heard that some eye care professionals are even prescribing spherical lens spectacles for their astigmatic patients. And while more than half of non contact lens-wearing presbyopes would like to try multi-focal contact lenses, only five per cent are offered the option2.”
“Eye health will always be our highest priority, but we should remember that patients value vision. The impact of an accurate refraction is compromised when we don’t take advantage of the technological advances available, such as for astigmatism or presbyopia.
“We must not forget that we have a responsibility to provide patients with all- day clear vision and that by providing it we can have a positive impact on their quality of life,” said Dr. Barr.
1 Market Probe Europe. Symptom Incidence and Needs Survey. December 2009.
2 The Wagner Group. Presbyopia Consumer Study. 2007.