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Media Release

Presbyopia Awareness Month Offers Eye Care Professionals an Opportunity to Help Patients Lose Their Readers with Partnership from Alcon

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How many Eye Care Professionals (ECPs) have heard a patient say, “Presby-what?” Presbyopia is a complicated name for a very common eye condition that affects nearly 111 million Americans1. April’s Presbyopia Awareness Month offers a unique opportunity for ECPs to help their presbyopic patients lose their readers, or even protect them from the inconvenience of wearing reading glasses in the first place. To help, Alcon, the global leader in eye care and a division of Novartis, is increasing multifocal resources and training opportunities to support contact lens fitting efficiency and presbyopic patient satisfaction.

“By 2020, there will be roughly 1,800 presbyopes for each optometrist, yet only 13 percent of Eye Care Professionals are currently fitting multifocal contact lenses as a solution2-4,” said Dr. Rick Weisbarth, Vice President of Professional Affairs, Alcon US Vision Care. “In a recent survey, we found that the ECPs who are fitting our DAILIES TOTAL1® Multifocal contact lenses find them easy and efficient to fit5. We knew increasing our investment in training would not only meet a key patient need, but provide opportunity for practice growth.”

As the number of patients with presbyopia grows, there is also an opportunity to consider what they are experiencing emotionally as part of the normal aging process. An Alcon study reported perceptions and attitudes of aging among the Generation X population (people in their 40s and early 50s). One in four surveyed adults think reading glasses make someone look 10 years older. Nearly 50 percent of those surveyed would avoid wearing readers if they knew it made them look older6.

To support ECPs in meeting the needs of their presbyopic patients, Alcon has already more than doubled its hands-on multifocal contact lens trainings in its in-house, state-of-the-art Alcon Experience Center. The company is also increasing offerings of its proprietary Multifocal Fit Training Road Shows, taking the trainings directly to the practitioner’s office. Both are focused on building additional expertise to increase efficiency and meet the needs of the presbyopic patient. 

Alcon also recently launched a new multifocal contact lens fitting process that leads to an 18 percent improvement in first lens success compared to the previous fitting guide7. The new fitting guide calls for the addition of +0.25D binocularly to the manifest refraction before “ADD selection8.” The unique design of Alcon multifocal contact lenses allows ECPs to personalize the fit for patients using Alcon’s simple two-step fitting process, which leads to high rates (96%) of fit success with two lenses or less7,9.

To help patients understand the signs of presbyopia and how multifocal contact lenses can help them see clearly at all distances, visit www.LoseYourReaders.com

References

  1. Market Scope, Global Presbyopia-Correcting Surgery Market Report, April 2012.
  2. American Optometric Association. The state of the optometric profession: 2013. Available at: https://www.aoa.org/Documents/news/state_of_optometry.pdf. Accessed April 5, 2018.
  3. US Census Bureau, Population Division. Table 9: Projections by sex and age for the United States: 2015 to 2060. NP2014-T9. December 2014.
  4. Morgan P et al. International contact lens prescribing in 2015. Contact Lens Spectrum. January 2016;24-29.
  5. Merchea M, Akerman DH, Mathew J, Mack C. Patient and ECP satisfaction in the United States with a novel water gradient daily disposable multifocal contact lens. Poster presented at the annual meeting of the American Optometric Association, June 21-26, 2017, Washington, D.C.
  6. Alcon data on file, 2015.
  7. Alcon data on file, 2018.
  8. Alcon data on file, 2017.
  9. Bauman E, Lemp J, Kern J. Material effect on multifocal contact lens fitting of lenses of the same optical design with the same fitting guide. Presented at the British Contact Lens Association Clinical Conference & Exhibition, June 9-11, 2017. Liverpool, UK.