In this era of personalization, we have the ability to fine-tune eyeglass lenses based on a patient’s lifestyle. It’s paramount we start using this personalization to create the optimal solution for patients.
Personalizing lenses to match use in a patient’s day-to-day life can increase patient satisfaction and foster loyalty. Both of these are vital to growing your reputation as the ECP with expertise and grow your practice.
First, get to know your patient
Personalization begins with getting to know the patient sitting in front of you and taking a few minutes to ask questions about their work, digital device use, time spent outdoors, driving, and hobbies. Understanding the patient is the key to making the best choices for their eyewear, which will lead to better eye health outcomes long-term.
Opticians have numerous lens styles to choose from. Some emphasize outdoor use, others indoor use, along with countless “balanced designs” for the patient lifestyle that is an even mix of both. There are several other metrics that an Optician can specify in the build of the lenses.
Offer specialized lenses and multiple pairs
This principle applies to offering each patient the right specialized tool for their lifestyle. Many patients still think they only need one pair of lenses as their primary pair. Fine-tuning and personalizing lenses for patients means finding the right lens features for them and creating a plan for specialized second and third pairs.
The personalization issue that most often recurs is which corridor to select in premium progressive lenses (PAL lenses). In our example, we’ll be using iD Lifestyle 3 lenses and how to fine-tune progressive corridors for a patient’s lifestyle.
Get the corridor correct
Many types of progressive lens designs have moved beyond short and long corridor options. Modern designs have four to six corridor options; some in 2 mm steps and others fine-tuned in 1 mm steps.
Many lenses do have a reliable “easy-fit” option where the corridor is automatically selected based on measurements the optician provides. We know, however, there will be times when you want to make the choice based on a patient’s lifestyle.
Consider these two types of progressive lenses
Two design options may be considered.
The first option is a design placing more emphasis on distance vision, such as Hoya iD Lifestyle 3 (iDLS3) Outdoor to optimize distance for the active patient and shorten the corridor to 11 or 12 mm to find the near vision quickly. A second option is the iDLS3 Urban, to accommodate their continual use of distance and near and closely match the previous corridor of 14 mm.
The Patient Wants a Single Solution
One of our doctors was recently faced with a situation where personalizing design and corridor came up, and that can serve as a typical case you may encounter:
Patient: wearing a Hoya iDLS2 Harmony, a balanced design, in a 14 mm corridor.
OD +1.00 - 0.50 x 180 / OS +1.25 / ADD +2.25 OU
Once we got to know the patient, we found out a whole array of preferences and details about her lifestyle we were able to use to personalize her new glasses.
Details about the patient:
- New Rx with no changes
- Wants a new pair of glasses
- Active throughout the day and walks during lunch
- Wants a wide field of view when looking at digital devices
- Drives 30 minutes to the office
- Works in IT with one large monitor
- Attends at least five client meetings a week
- Uses digital media constantly with her primary devices including an Apple Watch, phone, and monitor
- One pair, for now, may consider a multiple pair solution in the future
We chose to put the patient in the second option: iDLS3 Urban design and chose a 13 mm corridor. The iDLS3 Urban is a balanced design and offers more distance emphasis than the previously worn design.
The patient is very active and uses the lenses for distance-based activities like driving and working out, yet the constant digital device usage means continuous intermediate-to-near gaze.
Why did we decide to shorten the corridor by 1mm?
We wanted the patient to quickly find the intermediate and near distance while not having the effect of narrowing the intermediate. We chose to fine-tune the corridor length for lifestyle and not make a drastic change that may slow adaptation.
The patient was accustomed to the 14mm corridor and changing it significantly is asking the brain to change its well-worn pattern to now find the new placement of intermediate and near vision zones.
Making a subtle change of 1 mm more closely meets the lifestyle demand while balancing patient comfort with new lenses. The iDLS3 design has the added benefit of Binocular Harmonization Technology to accommodate the prescription difference between right and left eyes that may cause subtle adaptation issues.
The lenses were dispensed to the patient with success. The patient felt they had extremely sharp distance vision and immediately found an improvement in looking at their phone and watch. A two-week follow-up with the patient found they were enjoying the new eyeglasses and were already considering other options like polarized sunwear for driving.
Check out our free sun protection white papers that we created to help ECPs start the conversation around sunwear with their patients.
Helping our patients see better for longer is our mission and it all starts with the patient. Get to know who is sitting in front of you. Talk to your patients and learn what is most important in their world.
A patient has many options to purchase eyewear and they chose you. Use all the tools you have available to personalize their eyewear and create a successful experience. We used progressive lenses as the case study here, but there are many ways you can personalize. It may mean a specialized second pair, a change to what a patient considers their primary pair, or maybe just solving some digital eye strain symptoms.
We are in the business of eyewear and that means providing what a patient wants and needs to keep their visual system happy and healthy.