“No change” is normally received as good news. Practitioner can breathe a sigh of relief delivering good news. The patient can walk away happy know their eyes are health and prescription stable.
But is this satisfactory?
What more can we do to better serve our patients?
Well, here are some suggestions.
Do you have a spare pair? Consider what would happen if you broke your glasses.
In an ideal world, we would never lose or break a pair of spectacles. Thanks to the reality, perfection is not a human condition. Lockdown was a collective lesson for both patient and practitioner. Patient: getting a replacement pair wasn’t so easy during this time. Practitioner: to recommend a spare pair!
The older pair can be used as a backup, while the new pair can take its place.
Knowing the prescription is stable gives the patient confidence that their new glasses will last a while before needing another upgrade too.
When time comes, the patient will thank you. And if they forego your warning, it will be a case of I-told-you-so.
When the current pair provides adequate vision but they are on their last legs, it would be a good idea to offer a replacement pair. They may be fine for a bit, but might end up breaking in a short while.
Observe the glasses for any scratches or worn coatings. Pointing out any signs of wear or tear may be useful for the patient. They may consider getting another pair. Scratches can reduce visual quality and worn out coatings just look plain bad. The aim is to provide patients with good vision and also make them look good.
Do you have prescription sunglasses?
This is important as we know ultraviolet light is a significant contributor to cancer of the skin around the eyes. It can also result in increase chance of cataract.
Sunglasses, especially those with prescription, are useful. You know for a fact that your patients are getting guaranteed UV protection as well as clear and crisp vision.
Have you thought about contact lenses?
Contact lenses are a great option for those who want freedom from glasses.
Traditionally, the thought is contact lenses and glasses wear are mutually exclusive: you are either only one or the other.
But, miraculously, you can wear contact lenses and also glasses as well. Dailies for part-time contact lens wear are a great option to complement glasses.
For full-time contact lens wearers, stressing the importance of up-to-date glasses is important. The eyes need a break from contact lenses. Getting an eye infection, though rare, can be tricky if you cannot wear your contacts and have glasses that are not up-to-date or none at all!
Ensure contact lens wearers purchase a 6-month or 1-year rather than the bare minimum . You can be assured that patients will not over-wear the contacts since they have a plentiful supply.
If a patient gets a one year supply, this coincides with their one year follow up as well. They will see you more often, giving more opportunities to asses their eye health and update any small changes in prescription.
Generally, the public perception to see an optometrist is only for glasses or if their vision is blurry.
Stress the importance of routine eye examinations. Talk about their eye health.
Eye diseases like glaucoma have little to no symptoms and require regular eye examinations to catch early.
If people return routinely, there is an opportunity to build a strong relationship and pick up any small changes in their prescription. This ensures the patient walks out with the best vision possible most of the time.
Our role is the advise patients with their vision and eye health in mind. Saying that there is no change and letting them walk away is almost a disservice.
It is important to advocate a spare pair. You never know when you need to get a backup.
Scratches can results in a poor visual experience. Worn out frames can break any time. So always recommend a fresh new pair.
UV protection is important for certain eye diseases and prescription sunglasses can offer protection against this as well as clear sight.
Contact lenses aren’t only for full time wearers. They can be used in conjunction with glasses wear. Some examples include sport or going out.
Last but least is eye health. Bringing up the eye health will ensure your patients attend their eye exams more routinely.
What do you say to your patients when there is ‘no change’? Please comment below. Once again, I hope you find this useful. Thank you for reading this. Please share this with anyone who you would think find this useful.
Finally as a disclaimer. I am an Optometrist but I am not your Optometrist, so please seek an eyecare professional if you have any problems with your eyesight. Also, please make sure you have your eyes fully examined at a routine period provided by your eyecare professional.