Alcon has launched its latest contact lens – Dailies Total 1 Multifocals – to optometrists at a national roadshow. The new lens is the “world’s first and only water gradient lens” for patients with presbyopia and follows hot on the heels of several new products that have been launched by Alcon since the arrival of the original Dailies Total 1 contact lens two years ago.
Tim Grant, Alcon’s Regional Head of Professional Marketing, Asia Pacific and optometrist Margaret Lam introduced the new lens to delegates in Sydney, providing insights to educate patients and expedite fitting procedures.
Mr. Grant told guests that improvements in lens technology over the past decade had led to increased demand for multifocal contact lenses, to the point where demand for monovision has been steadily overtaken by multifocal contact lenses.
Ms. Lam also noted the increasingly strong patient preference for multifocal contact lenses, citing several studies which demonstrate that innovations in technology had driven the change.
Anticipate their concerns and deliver beyond their expectations and you’ll have a happy patient
“Clinically, that means when I’m trying to fit presbyopes and I prescribe multifocal contact lenses as my first lens of choice, 70 per cent of my patients will be happy with what I prescribe, and it is only in the minority, 30 per cent of patients, that I will need to incorporate some degree of monovision style prescribing,” said Ms. Lam.
Ms. Lam said following the fitting guide when fitting patients with multifocals increased her chance of fitting success first time, and highlighted that changes had been made to the standard fitting guide for the new lenses.
Among Ms. Lam’s clinical pearls of wisdom for fitting the new Alcon multifocals, was the advice to “feed as much plus as possible… (and) to let the lens settle for 10 minutes after initial fitting”. She said it was important to check in with the patient post fitting to ask how they had adapted to the lens and to monitor for changing vision needs over time.
Ms. Lam said she found the 10 minutes required for the lens to settle after fitting was an excellent opportunity to discuss with the patient, in layman’s terms, why she had selected the particular lens design and how it worked to meet their needs for near, intermediate and distance viewing. Additionally, based on the simultaneous vision design and precision profile lens design, she used the time to discuss ways to enhance vision, for example, advising patients of the need to increase lighting for close up work, and to wear sunglasses for improved distance vision when in sunlight. By providing this advice, Ms. Lam said, patients were able to “take ownership of their environment to enhance their vision”.
Over the Top Specs
According to the International Contact Lens Prescribing Survey C; An international survey of contact lens prescribing for presbyopia, “there appears to be significant under-prescribing of presbyopia-correcting contact lenses for those 45 years of age and older. In only 37 per cent of cases do we prescribe either multifocal or monovision for our presbyopic patients in Australia.”1
Yet, Ms. Lam made the point, often optometrists prescribe monovision spectacles for patients to wear over the top of their contact lenses. “Patients may then wonder why they bother with contact lenses in the first place if they need to be prescribed glasses over the top for close up. Are we really serving them justice by prescribing glasses over the top of their contact lenses? I think this leads to patient drop out,” she said.
Ms. Lam said it was important to manage expectations for success for all presbyopic patients. In the context of prescribing multifocal contact lenses, advice such as 90 per cent of the time patients will be able to see clearly up close without help from their glasses, and that prescription spectacles would only be required for reading something very small up close. “Anticipate their concerns and deliver beyond their expectations and you’ll have a happy patient,” advised Ms. Lam.