AAOpt 2022: Helping astigmatic and presbyopic patients find comfort in their contact lenses

,

Erin Rueff, OD, PhD, FAAO, shares highlights from her 2022 American Academy of Optometry presentations in the contact lens space.

Erin Rueff, OD, PhD, FAAO, assistant professor and chief of cornea and contact lens at Marshall B. Ketchum University, speaks with Optometry Times®' Sheryl Stevenson on highlights from her 2022 American Academy of Optometry (AAOpt) presentations in San Diego.

Editor's note: This transcript has been edited for clarity.

Stevenson:

We're joined today with Dr. Erin Rueff, who is presenting at this year's American Academy of Optometry—a couple different talks related to contact lens.

Rueff:

Sheryl, thanks for having me. I'm going to be talking this year at Academy about astigmatic options for contact lens wearers and multifocal and presbyopic options for contact lens wear.

So, on Saturday, I have a talk where I'm talking about how to optimize vision in our astigmatic contact lens wearers. Unfortunately, we kind of under prescribed toric lenses for our patients who have astigmatism. And that's probably just because we have misconceptions, or maybe some habits leftover from when toric lenses weren't that great.

We'll talk about how to make sure we are prescribing full toric correction for all of our astigmats, and what to do when you have those higher astigmats with parameters that maybe aren't super accessible and how we can best address those patients, as well.

Stevenson:

And then you're presenting regarding the presbyopic patient, is that correct?

Rueff:

Yeah. So also earlier on Saturday, I'll be talking about kind of similarly how to optimize vision and comfort in our presbyopic contact lens wearers. So another group of patients that are probably underserved by us overall as optometrists and contact lens fitters.

There's so much opportunity to really satisfy our patients who have presbyopia. But unfortunately, we're not prescribing things like multifocals as often as we should.

So I'm going to talk about ways you can optimize your multifocal fitting strategies, ways to have success with multifocals so that you can keep those presbyopic patients in contact lenses and keep them satisfied with vision and comfort throughout presbyopia.

Stevenson:

How will these tips—or pearls—benefit the patients?

Rueff:

Yeah, well, obviously you benefit the patients by improving their vision, improving their comfort, basically allowing our patients to be in contact lenses longer. We know our patients are dropping out of lens wear for, you know, arguably equally amounts for vision and comfort.

And especially when it comes to vision, a lot of that is on us if we're not addressing that patient's visual needs. Our patients aren't optical wizards like we are, right? They don't know what they need. And so we need to be the ones that are bringing the best visual options to the table for them so that they can stay satisfied in their contact lenses longer, especially when we talk about presbyopes.

You know, the percentage of patients that are wearing contact lenses now—and that are interested in contact lenses—the majority of them are in their 40s, and that's also a really popular age for people to stop wearing contact lenses because they start having pressbyoptic demands. So, as contact lenses fitters, we need to find ways to keep those patients in their lenses as they progress throughout presbyopia.