Seattle—Optometry Times Editorial Advisory Board member Milton Hom, OD, FAAO, shared his top 10 multifocal contact lens tips during a session at the American Optometric Association’s Optometry’s Meeting.
“When it comes to fitting a presbyope with contact lenses, we’ve really come a long way,” he says. “I think that nowadays that with the number and the quality of multifocals that we have on the market, I’ve completely shifted away from monovision—we really don’t use it anymore."
1. Communicate, communicate, and communicate.
Dr. Hom says it’s impossible to overemphasize how important communicating with a patient is when it comes to fitting a multifocal contact lens. You’ll have to spend a lot of time with these patients to find out what their needs are.
“Not all presbyopes are alike. Each one of them are different,” he says. “More so than any other type of lens we use, it is a customized fit because you really have to know the patients’ lifestyle, what their needs are, the lighting conditions are, so you really have to spend a lot of time finding out their needs and finding the right fit.”
Patient history also plays a strong role in multifocal success. You have to find out more on their past history with contact lenses and what their vision needs entail.
Dr. Hom says that ODs tend to use negative language when discussing multifocals, with phrases such as compromise, trade off, not perfect, etc. Instead, you should focus on putting a positive spin on the patient’s expectations.
“What can you do now that you weren’t able to do before in your glasses or your single-vision contact lenses? Let’s summarize these things,” he says.
“Instead of saying ‘compromise,’ talk about function vision. Instead of ‘trade off,’ talk about a balance between distance and near. I always say, ‘It’s not going to be perfect,’ but you can teach them how to prioritize their vision,” Dr. Hom says.
Dr. Hom says that failure with multifocal contact lenses has more to do with a lack of doctor-patient communication than it has to do with lens technology.