Patient and eye doctor

Whether embracing better UV protection for your 2-week patients*, upgrading to a healthier lens material or recommending the advantages of 1-days for your planned replacement wearers, it can be daunting to suggest a change to an otherwise satisfied contact lens wearer. But patients often operate under the assumption that you are always making your very best recommendations, even if it means changing them out of the lens in which they seem to be doing fine. One such patient voiced this viewpoint in a recent focus group conducted by CooperVision®.

Amanda’s insight wasn’t new. In fact, it reinforced what, as a profession, we already knew: patients value your opinion.

In 2015, Hanover Research conducted a survey on behalf of CooperVision, Inc. The survey was designed to investigate contact lens wearers’ purchasing behavior and their willingness to pay more for lenses that perform optimally in certain areas. Of particular importance are survey questions regarding what factors lens wearers consider the most important when choosing a brand or type of contact lens and what amount they would pay for different lenses that perform better than their current lenses in certain respects.

The analysis includes 1,193 complete responses. Respondents were all between the ages of 16 and 64 and all wear contact lenses.

Survey Summary

The survey found that contact lens wearers highly value certain qualities and features of contact lenses, and a substantial portion of wearers would be willing to a pay a premium for improvements in these areas. Overall vision quality and comfort at the end of the day are particularly important criteria in lens selection, and more than half of surveyed wearers would pay a premium for lenses that perform better in these respects. On average, wearers who would be willing to pay a premium for new or improved features report that they would pay $20 to $25 extra per month.

The survey also indicates that eye care practitioners can be very influential in their patients’ lens choices. When patients are first fitted for contact lenses, the majority of the time they select the lenses recommended by their eye doctors. Although about half of patients eventually buy lenses from a source other than their eye doctor, in the vast majority of cases they purchase the same brand listed on their prescription.

The survey found that:

  • 94% is your influence: 94% of brand selections are influenced by your suggestions1
    • What this means for you: Your patients trust you, so choose what’s best for your them.1
  • Patients care about health: Patients consider health one of the most important factors when choosing between two lens brands2 (only vision quality was higher; the lowest price was fifth)
    • What this means for you: Prescribe the healthiest material. Silicone hydrogel contact lenses minimize or eliminate hypoxia-related signs and symptoms during lens wear.
  • 95% are willing to pay more: 95% of wearers who say health is important are willing to pay more for contact lenses that ensure eye health3
    • What this means for you: Tell your patients what you recommend: they will pay more if they know they are getting a healthier lens-wearing experience.
94% your influence. Health - patients want it. 95% willing to pay more.

*Warning: UV-absorbing contact lenses are not substitutes for protective UV-absorbing eyewear, such as UV- absorbing goggles or sunglasses, because they do not completely cover the eye and surrounding area. Patients should continue to use UV-absorbing eyewear as directed.
1n=1193, December 2015 contact lens wearer survey. Data on file.
2n=1175, December 2015 contact lens wearer survey. Data on file.
3n=564, December 2015 contact lens wearer survey. Data on file.