Growing Your Contact Lens Practice with New Wearers

Competition for customers is increasing in nearly every industry and optometry is no exception.

As competition for contact lens wearers increases, attracting new patients into contact lenses is critical to keeping your business growing.

Your next question might be:

From where will I get these contact lens patients?

Some ECPs have suggested that ECPs could target younger wearers and suggesting contact lenses to potential occasional wearers for sports and other recreational pursuits.[1] Discussions about attracting new contact lens wearers often focus on younger patients. While this demographic is certainly a target for growth, the CDC has reported that 75% of the 45 million estimated contact lens wearers in the U.S. are 25 and older.[2] This means that potential new contact lens wearers might be hiding in plain sight – the presbyopes and astigmats that are already spectacle wearers in your practice.  A recent review of optometric business article by Thomas Steiner showed that a contact lens wearing patient could contributed up to a 50% greater profit compared to a spectacles-only patient. Could you imagine growing your practice profit 50%?

A study by Prof. Graeme Young suggested that 47% of spectacle wearers have clinically significant astigmatism in at least one eye.[3]  Nonetheless, data suggests that CL wearers are significantly under-indexed in toric lenses with only 15% of daily disposable fits and 28% of reusable lens fits in toric lenses.[4]   While specialty fits are increasing both in 1 day and reusable lenses, there is a significant opportunity to grow your business in this under-indexed category. 

daily vs frp cls

Figure 1.  Torics as Percentage of Contact Lens Fits in 1 day and Frequent Replacement (FRP) Lenses.4

Additionally, presbyopes are one of the largest cohorts in the U.S. currently requiring visual correction. There are currently more than 113 million presybopes in the U.S.[5], and more than 18 million Americans will turn 40 in the next 5 years.[6] That’s a lot of potential new contact lens wearers, and fitting multifocal contact lenses is another under-indexed opportunity to grow your business. In fact, industry data showed that only 46% of presbyopes are even aware of multifocal contact lenses, but 80% of those aged 45-64 are interested in trying multifocal contact lenses when they are told about them.[7]

presbyopia stats

Figure 2.   Multifocals -  a Tremendous Way to Grow Your Practice.5-7

So why are specialty lenses like multifocals and torics under-indexed?

This is likely due to a misperception that these patients are hard to fit or aren’t as likely to be successful in contact lenses as spherical patients. However, recent publications have shown that this is not the case. A study by Nichols et. al. presented at the British Contact Lens Association meeting in 2018 showed that the time needed to fit toric contact lenses on astigmats was no longer than that needed to fit spherical patients, and the level of satisfaction with their contact lenses among these two cohorts was similar.[8] Furthermore, a recent research article has shown that the attitudes of presbyopes toward contact lenses and their level of satisfaction is no different than non-presbyopes. The researchers conclude that ECPs should not shy away from recommending multifocal contact lenses to presbyopic patients.[9]

At CooperVision we have you covered with an extensive portfolio of monthly and 1 day choices for astigmats and presbyopes.

In 1 day lenses we offer clariti® 1 day, the first and still only full family of 1 day silicone hydrogel lenses. For those patients interested in a monthly option we have our Biofinity family of lenses. Biofinity toric is the most prescribed toric lens on the market[10] and offers more than 23,750 unique prescription options to meet the unique needs of your astigmatic patients.[11] Biofinity® multifocal lenses feature Balanced Progressive Technology® and the availability of both a center near and center distance design allows for an individualized fitting for each wearer and eye.

But we offer more than products, we also have tools, like our Opti-Expert fitting app and web-based program that help you succeed in your initial lens choice.[12]

Recent clinical data has shown that ECPs can save valuable chair time by leveraging the OptiExpert app.12 In fact, a recent clinical study showed that 100% of wearers could be fit in clariti® 1 day multifocal using two pairs of lenses or less.[13] Furthermore, 98% of monthly contact lens wearers could be successfully fitted with Biofinity multifocal using 2 pairs of lenses or less with the OptiExpert trial lens recommendation.[14] This tool also contains a toric calculator which suggests a recommended diagnostic toric contact lens for Biofinty® toric, clariti® 1 day toric, or MyDay® toric contact lenses.  

CooperVision would like to help you grow your practice by taking advantage of the huge opportunity to fit more astigmatic and presbyopic patients with contact lenses for the first time.

For more information on CooperVision’s contact lens portfolio talk to your CooperVision sales representative or research our contact lenses at

For more information on our OptiExpert, available for Apple® and Android devices, or as a web-based version, talk to your CooperVision sales representative or go to[15]

[3] Young G, Sulley A, Hunt C. Prevalence of astigmatism in relation to soft contact lens fitting. Eye Contact Lens. 2011;37(1):20-25.

[4] CooperVision Data on file.

[5] Fricke, T. et. al.   Global Prevalence of Presbyopia and Vision Impairment from Uncorrected Presbyopia.  Ophthalmology, 125, 2018.

[6] U.S. Census Bureau, Annual Estimates of the Resident Population by Single Year of Age and Sex for the United States.  April 1 2010 to July 1 2017.

[7] Multi-Sponsor Survey’s 2018 Study of the U.S. Consumer Contact Lens Market.


[9]Cont Lens Anterior Eye. 2017 Oct;40(5):323-328. doi: 10.1016/j.clae.2017.03.010. Epub 2017 Mar 23.

[10] US industry data on file.

[11] CooperVision Data on File 2019. Based on Rx option combinations (sph, cyl, axis & ADD) manufactured, across all soft lenses in sphere, toric & multifocal (including made to order), in SiHy and hydrogel from 4 main manufacturers. Includes 1-Day, 2 weekly, and monthly disposable contact lenses. Cosmetic & Photochromatic contact lenses not included. Multiple base curve variants not included.

[12] Based on retrospective analysis of 26 patients (52 eyes) with subjective refractions ranging between +5.00D to -6.00D and ≤ -1.00D cylinder]

[13] Using OptiExpert app. Woods J et al. Validation of a multifocal contact lens online fitting app. BCLA poster presentation 2019. Retrospective analysis refraction data with OptiExpert (n=96 eyes) with Rx range +5.00 to -6.00DS, ≤ -1.00DC; ADDs +1.50 to +2.50D .

[14] CVI data on file 2019.   Retrospective analysis:  N=55 subjects (110 eyes);  DV Rx +1.25 D to -3.25D, ADD powers +1.25 to +2.50DS.

[15] Apple is a registered trademark of Apple Inc.   Android is a trademark of Google LLC.

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