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VEW 2023: How to put contact lenses to work for you

News
Video

Lyndon Jones, PhD, DSc, FCOptom, FAAO, showcases topics discussed in the Global Contact Lens Forum at Vision Expo West 2023.

At Vision Expo West (VEW) 2023 in Las Vegas, Nevada, Lyndon Jones, PhD, DSc, FCOptom, FAAO, divulges how to use contact lens fittings to grow your business, how to fit lenses properly, and new contact lens tech that's coming down the pike. Jones is presenting at VEW 2023 alongside Jason Compton, OD, FAAO; Janelle Davison, OD; and Sheila Morrison, OD.

Video transcript

Emily Kaiser Maharjan:
Hi, everyone, I'm Emily Kaiser Maharjan with Optometry Times, and I'm sitting down with Dr. Lyndon Jones, who is presenting the Global Contact Lens Forum at Vision Expo West 2023 in Las Vegas. Welcome, Dr. Jones. Happy you could join us.

Lyndon Jones, PhD, DSc, FCOptom, FAAO:
Thanks for the opportunity.

Kaiser Maharjan:
Of course. So first, can you tell us a little bit about the Global Contact Lens Forum?

Jones:
Yeah, well, it's going to be at Vision Expo West. And so it covers really a variety of topics. And I'm actually going to be giving 3 lectures within that forum.

The first of those is something that's very practical, and certainly really impacts everyone who's in the business of fitting contact lenses, and it's actually called, "Level up your contact lens practice: The business of contact lenses." I'm going to be doing that with Jason Compton, Janelle Davison and Sheila Morrison. And we're going to basically review how to create a successful contact lens practice in this kind of rapidly changing culture where basically, you can kind of purchase everything at your fingertips.

We're going to review how it is that you can create a purchasing experience for your patients and staff to grow your contact lens practice, both now and in the future. And we're going to look at how you can market products that are in the market now to both new and existing patients. And we're going to be looking particularly at some valuable information, I think, at ways of effectively marketing your contact lens practice to grow your business. So, you know, very often when we do contact lens lectures, we're looking at the nuances of the contact lens itself, as opposed to the business of using that to make your patients happy and grow your business.

What I'm going to be doing specifically within that is actually starting off by looking at the state of contact lenses today. What are the practitioners fitting these days? So we're going to be looking at things like toric lenses, the growth in toric lenses, the growth in daily disposables, and the growth in silicone hydrogels.

And then the second section that I'm going to be looking at, is basically looking at how tech impacts our contact lens practice. So the kind of future of the contact lens practice in terms of what your contact lens consulting room is going to look like, and what tech is out there to do that. Now we can use that to grow your practice. That's, that's the first one.

The second one within the forum I'm going to be looking at is, again, a very, very topical area. And that's myopia control. It's called, "Myopia control: The good, the bad, and [sadly] the ugly." I'm going to be talking on that, again, with Jason Compton, Janelle Davison and Sheila Morrison. So all guys who are actually in the field fitting this to their patients, so some great takeaway tips. Actually, what we're going to be looking at in terms of the bad and the ugly, is looking at the safety profile. You know, it's very important when we're fitting this this group of young kids as to thinking about the options that we're fitting them with and how safe are they are. So the risks of creating issues with these kids are pretty small, but they're not not there at all. So we're going to be looking specifically at the options available and how we can best maximize their safety.
What I'm specifically going to be addressing are basically looking at things like off-label treatments, the ethical considerations for myopia control, and particularly addressing any safety concerns. So when you're having that discussion with both the patient and their parents, or guardians, how we can have those safe and responsible conversations about it. This is important. We've got great data about the fact that current products slow the progression of myopia, but with it comes some potential concerns as well. So that's the that's the second talk.

Third one up has got, I think, a great title. And that's primarily because I put it together. And that's called, "What's new and sexy in contacts." It's gonna be 3 of us on this, it's gonna be myself with Sheila Morrison and Jason Compton again, and what we're going to be looking at is, you know, what's the what's the greatest and latest new innovation in contact lenses. In order for us to, as contact lens practitioners, stay ahead of the curve, we kind of got to know what's new, what's new, what's out there, and what's going to be the best for our patients. So we're gonna look at an overview of the latest developments in contact lens innovations, materials, care systems, and designs. And the area that I'm actually going to cover is more futuristic. It's going to be looking at, okay, so we've got some great things out today, but hey, what are researchers and companies working on for tomorrow? So I'm going to be looking at, futuristic looks at, contact lenses.

We're going to be looking at, you know, can a contact lens to actually be used to diagnose systemic disease? Sounds crazy, right? But actually, people are working on this, what sort of systemic disease biomarkers are there on the ocular surface that help us do that? We're going to be looking at other ocular disease detection. Can you use a contact lens to diagnose glaucoma or dry eye or ocular surface inflammation? And then look at some head up displays and sort of more kind of more futuristic things where maybe we'll be able to use contact lenses for things like magnifying, accommodating, and even things like you know, you look at someone's face and you have this facial recognition that flashes up in front of your eyes exactly who you are. Can you imagine how cool that would be? Because I know I'm going to be at the conference, lots of people are going to be talking to me. And it's like, "Oh, I know who you are. But I can't remember your name, and your badge is flipped around the wrong way," because it always is.

Kaiser Maharjan:
Absolutely. And you have such a star-studded roster. Like what a good crew.

Jones:
Really great crew.

Kaiser Maharjan:
Incredible.

Jones:
It is. Melissa Barnett's put this group together. And honestly, I'm really looking forward to actually learning from my co-lecturers as well.

Kaiser Maharjan:
Oh, yeah, absolutely. Out of the 4 talks, what are some key takeaway points that you want the audience to really get at?

Jones:
Some of the things that we're trying to get across are, first of all, you can actually use contact lenses to grow your business. I think we're really bad at realizing the potential for contact lenses to grow your business because we think well hang on a sec, if I see an eye examination patient they're in, they're out, they bought a new pair of specs, they're done. What we forget is, although it takes longer to fit contact lens patients, they're typically—and very good data on this now—they're better at bringing revenue back into your practice. They refer more people to you. They stay with you for longer, so they're much more loyal to you. They bring in lots of friends, and they're really good at being used to build your practice. So that's one thing.

Second thing that we're going to be looking at is trying to get rid of some of these myths, you know, things like, for example, contact lens multifocals don't work. That's nonsense. But it is true if you don't fit them properly. So we'll be addressing that. Things like, don't mask astigmatism. You know, people have this concept that, well, if you've got 0.75 or 1.00 diopter of corneal CYL, if I put a thick, stiff silicone hydrogel, that'll mask astigmatism. It doesn't. And we've got really good data about the fact that if you're looking at ways of getting patients to drop out from lenses, then having poor vision, which they will have if you don't correct a 1.00 diopter CYL, then they are going to drop out. So we're going to be addressing those things.

And then the final thing that we're going to be looking at is the other reason why patients drop out from contact lenses, and that is because of dryness and discomfort. So how can we solve that? How can we deal with those issues? So we'll be looking at the business of contact lenses, how to get more patients into lenses, and how to keep more patients in lenses once you decide to fit them. Those are kind of the major issues that we're going to cover.

Kaiser Maharjan:
Absolutely. So is there anything else that you want to add that we haven't touched on?

Jones:
Yeah. Come along and see us! I mean, why wouldn't you want to, when you're at Vision Expo West, actually come and see the contact lens lecture. So please come along and see us. We'd love to see you in the audience. If you got any questions, bring them with you. I guarantee that when you leave, you will be better informed. And when you go back to practice, you'll be better able to put in place the things that we teach you, which will hopefully be able to be useful in your practice, make your patients happier, and you also happier too.

Kaiser Maharjan:
Fantastic. That sounds like an absolutely incredible, incredible time. And thank you so much for taking the time to chat today, Dr. Jones, and I can't wait to hear more.

Jones:
Well, thanks again for the opportunity. Cheers. Thanks. Bye and hopefully see you there!

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