Caring for Your Contacts: Why Not All Solutions are Created Equal

Investing in contact lenses is a worthwhile and necessary decision for many people trying to improve their vision without being encumbered by glasses. Contact lenses can make all the difference for many people with vision problems—if they’re properly cared for.

Contacts are more fragile than glasses and require much more maintenance. No doubt you’ve explained the pros and cons of contact lenses over and over to your patients. No longer are contacts a new alternative to glasses. In many cases, they’re becoming the norm.

But you may find resistance in your patients to contact lenses because when they’ve tried them in the past, they’ve had issues, sometimes serious issues. While it’s hard to quantify just how many people avoid getting contacts or decide to get rid of them because of improper care, teaching your patients how to clean and stay on schedule with their contacts can help dispel misinformation and fill in the gaps of knowledge your patients appear to have concerning contacts.

Which Solution to Use

Contact lens solutions come in many types with many ingredients available. How do you choose which one to use on your lenses? Understand that this decision can be incredibly frustrating for patients, especially those who just invested in new contacts. Having recently spent money on the lenses themselves, as well as getting in to your optometrist’s office, etc., patients don’t want to think so hard about a new expense. They want the ‘best’ solution for them quickly.

There are many solutions to choose from out there, however, and many patients will be tempted to go to Walgreen’s and buy the first contact lens solution bottle they find. But you should caution them against that. No doubt you have a few solutions in mind to recommend to patients who ask for advice, but instead of waiting to be asked or even going right to a few brand names (AVT’s recommended solutions for its contacts here), sometimes explaining why certain solutions are recommended and which aren’t can help patients even more.

Cautions for OTC Solutions

AVT’s contacts are under warranty, and using certain over-the-counter solutions to clean them can void that warranty. Some OTC solutions can also cause problems with the material of the lens, causing them to wear out over time and cause eye irritation. All of AVT’s recommended solutions were selected because they don’t damage the contact material, yet they still clean contacts effectively for all patients.

Explain how the wrong solution can warp the contact lens and leave residue behind that could irritate the eye or worse. There’s a financial angle here, too. By investing in quality contact lens solution, your patients will head off potential problems—much costlier problems—in the future.

Proper Lens Care

Above all, stress how proper contact lens care is the best way your patients will get the most out of their investment. Proper contact care includes not only cleaning, but storage and proper use as well. You probably already have the ‘proper use’ speech down pat for your patients, but consider how patients clean their lenses as well.

Where Will the Contact Lens Market be in 2025?

A new report by TMR revealed predictions for how the contact lens market will shift in six years. By 2025, according to the report, the contact lens market will afford huge opportunities for growth and the rise of current and new products entering the industry. Two main factors already driving this market expansion are increased awareness of vision disease and issues for many individuals, and an increasing number of people realizing they can improve their vision issues with products like bifocal contact lenses and scleral contact lenses, as well as popular products like color contact lenses and daily disposable contact lenses.

What’s Driving the Market Now and Will it Continue?

The Contact Lenses Market report identified two primary drivers of the contact lens industry right now: a wide array of options for contact lenses, and dropping prices. Patients have more affordable options, making contacts more attractive than they once may have been. It should be noted as well that lower prices for some contact lenses will create opportunities for premium and specialized lenses, which will still be sold close to current price points.

Contact lens products are becoming more specialized to treat a rising number of ophthalmic diseases that are becoming more widespread. While certainly American eye and vision patients are needing more care than before, this is a global trend as well. Whether it’s because too many people are staring at computer or television screens for too many hours a day is not up to you, but you can provide high-quality contact lenses for those who need help.

Rising awareness of vision problems and the demand for quality contacts is unlikely to stop anytime soon in the United States, where the population is aging and finding more eye problems as they age.

Possibly Disruptive Technology

If you have a wide range of contact lens products to offer your patients, you might be concerned with the rising trend of better technology being married to contact lenses. Speculation over possible “smart contact lens” that could measure key health indicators and stats such as glucose levels in real time, is intensifying. TMR’s report suggests that medical Internet of Things (IoT) products like smart contacts could be available to consumers in the next couple of years.

How potentially disruptive products like the smart contact lens could affect your business is nearly impossible to predict, but if you know you’re suggesting contact lenses to younger patients (who usually won’t need products like bifocal lenses right away), you could find they want to invest in things like smart contacts if available.

LASIK surgery is an omnipresent danger to providers of contact lenses, of course, but the popularity of the surgery isn’t expected to take a large portion of the contact lens market in the coming years.

Preparing for Market Shifts

The best way to head off issues before they affect your bottom line is provide lens options to patients in their places of business. This will increase patient engagement and develop trust that you are a complete provider. Lean into new technologies and products, and you’ll stay ahead of trends that could depress your sales.

New technologies are constantly threatening to make all kinds of products and services obsolete. Stay on top of shifts in new products and potentially industry-changing technology to make adjustments before your sales decline. If you keep offering patients the finest Advanced Vision Technologies’ products, you’ll stay successful.