According to research conducted at the London Business School, those patients who wear spectacles and contact lenses are up to 80% more profitable than spectacles-only wearers.1 And patients appreciate professional advice about how contact lenses can be helpful in particular situations where glasses are less than ideal.
Seeing Things Clearly: The Profitability of Contact Lenses to Eye Care Practitioners, the business school research report, also revealed the following:
- Contact-lens-plus-spectacles patients are more loyal to their eye care professional
- At least 60% of contact lens patients also buy spectacles from their eye care professional
Today, many active multitasking people opt to give themselves vision correction options by keeping contact lenses on hand along with their spectacles.
But patients who are longtime habitual spectacle wearers and have never tried contact lenses—or who have tried them in the past and found them unsatisfactory—may not be aware the technological advances that have made today’s contact lenses so effective, comfortable, and easy to fit.
Starting the conversation about contacts
Since you have a personal relationship with each of your patients, you may already be aware of lifestyle factors that may make them good candidates for owning both contact lenses and spectacles.
To stimulate your thinking—and your patients’—here are some questions you can ask patients to help initiate discussion about some infrequently considered benefits of having contact lenses in addition to spectacles:
- “Do you spend a lot of time driving?”
Contact lenses conform to the shape of your eye, giving you a wider field of view. This unobstructed field of vision may help you drive more safely.2
- “Are you an avid home cook?”
Many people say that they feel less of the familiar stinging discomfort while chopping onions when they are wearing their contact lenses.2
- “Do you want to change your look for certain occasions?”
Patients can modify the way people perceive them by switching between spectacles and contact lenses. Some wearers prefer glasses at work and contacts during leisure hours. Others choose contacts for a boost of confidence at events such as speaking engagements and reunions.
- “Do you enjoy photography as a pastime?”
The view through a camera is much better with contact lenses than with spectacles; there’s also no danger of scratching your glasses against the viewfinder.
- “Do you regularly enjoy running or another type of athletic activity?”
During vigorous physical activity, perspiration can lead to glasses sliding and coming loose. Contact lenses stay in place, whether the wearer is running, doing yoga or other workout activities.
- “Do you ever wear eyewear other than your standard spectacles?”
Contact lenses can help patients avoid the need for expensive prescription safety goggles. You can also wear them under 3-D glasses at the movies and non-prescription sunglass frames.
After a lengthy—even lifelong—habit of wearing only spectacles, a patient may never think about the potential benefits of contact lenses. But you may be surprised at how open they are to giving themselves a choice for each of the activities they engage in.
Start the conversation: Options for your patients mean opportunity for you.
1 Ritson M. Which patients are more profitable? Contact Lens Spectrum. March 2006;38-42.
2 Vision Care Research. 50 reasons for wearing contact lenses. Vision Care Research website. visioncareresearch.com/resources/50-reasons-to-wear-contact-lenses.asp. Accessed August 8, 2016.