Optometry Podcast: Millennials, Meet Presbyopia

Partnership with Johnson and Johnson Vision

In the conversations around building a practice, doctors often focus on niche and specialty care. But there is plenty of untapped potential to grow a thriving and busy practice around serving the needs of patients that are in your chair. Studies show that in the average optometry practice, 40% of patients are over age 40. And those numbers are poised to grow even larger; the oldest millennials turn 40 in 2021, and at 73 million people, they are the largest living generation in the USA, accounting for 25% of the total population. 

We’re joined by Dr. Keylee Brown on this livestream podcast as she shares her tips for engaging patients with the best technology available to serve their presbyopic needs. “I always try to have the conversation early, and try not to make it about age,” Dr. Brown shares. Dr. Glover agrees that he starts educating patients in their 30s about what is going to be able to take place over the next decade with their eye’s focusing system. Setting the stage for success and discussion around future technology available as their visual system becomes more strained makes acceptance easier when the time comes. “Make sure you have the right wording and get an understanding of their lifestyle,” Dr. Glover says. Even before a patient is having issues, explain to them: this is what is happening now, and this is what will happen next. Avoid conversations about muscles or weakening eyes as this can cause confusion about glasses wear and concerns that “not using their eyes will continue to weaken them.” Presbyopia is caused by the thickening of the lens with time, and studies have shown muscle weakness is in no way associated. 

Dr. Keylee Brown, Optometrist

Contact lenses are a very underserved area where doctors can truly differentiate themselves by providing multifocal lens options. A 2019 study by CL Spectrum shows that multifocal contact lens fits only account for somewhere between 9-17% of the market depending on the vendor data pulled. Dr. Brown is a believer in presenting multifocal contact lenses as a front-line solution for presbyopia and never waits for her patients to ask about contact lens options. Dr. Lyerly shares that in her office she takes the same approach as Dr. Brown by being proactive about prescribing multifocal lens technology “What we’re finding today is that your eyes are needing hlp a range of vision,” Dr. Lyerly shares as she walks through her typical patient presentation. “You need a clear distance vision, and you need clear up close and there’s a contact lens that can do that!” Removing any negative descriptions or terminology (using “range of vision” for example instead of “compromise” to describe the lens vision) helps encourage patients to try the technology. What all of the doctors on this podcast have found is that the technology in multifocal lenses is so advanced, the overwhelming majority of their patients become happy wearers!

In her own practice, Dr. Brown has seen great success with the Acuvue Multifocal platform, including Acuvue 1 Day Moist Multifocal and the new Acuvue Oasys Multifocal. The lens has a pupil specific design that is intrinsically optimized for myopic eyes versus hyperopic eyes.  “I’ve found if you give a good refraction, follow the fitting guide, and set the patients expectations correctly, your chair time is really no more than fitting any other contact lens,” Dr. Brown states. She typically sees patients back for one additional visit where she might need to adjust either distance or near, and then that’s it! Dr. Brown is embarking on a new patient care journey as she opens her own private practice cold in the next few months, and focusing on presbyopic care is a core strategy to how she will build this new practice. These patients are in our chairs and need our help to know about available solutions, so let’s take the call to focus on serving their needs!

Go to https://www.jnjvisionpro.com/products/acuvue-multifocal to learn more. 

Drs. Glover & Lyerlyhttps://www.defocusmedia.com
Defocus Media is run by two successful Millennial optometrists and social media entrepreneurs, Dr. Jennifer Lyerly and Dr. Darryl Glover. They have proven track records of successfully engaging online readers and followers. They reside and practice in North Carolina.

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