Welcome to question of the day #402

Eyetool question of the day #402

I work in community eye care. One of my recent patients did need a prescription change for her single-vision reading glasses. She had one pair only. I suggested that she could consider another pair for reading in bed. I added that some people like to have a pair of glasses for reading in the living room and another pair for the bedroom. She thought this was a great idea (she’d never considered it before) and purchased a pair of reading glasses. Do you have any other tips for advising patients on second pairs of glasses?

I’ve mentioned before that community eye care practice is a balance between providing a fair service to our patients and making sure that the finances of the practice are good enough to allow the practice to prosper and for the service to continue.

One way to achieve this is to point out to patients how we can help improve their quality of life using additional pairs of glasses. We should not expect our patients to be aware of the alternatives.

The patient you mentioned in your question will now have a pair of prescription reading glasses ready for bedtime reading. A lot of people like to read at bedtime as it helps them get to sleep. In the past, she may have had to go to the living room to retrieve her only pair of reading glasses. She may not have bothered and not done any reading. A small negative to her quality of life. A second pair is also useful just in case anything happens to one pair. She will have the other pair to use until the damaged pair is replaced or repaired.

Here are some other second-pair options to consider with your patients:

A pair of computer varifocals for people who use a computer a lot and currently have standard bifocals or varifocals. The upper part of the lens is set for the screen and the lower part for the keyboard and/or desk surface.

Single vision readers for people with varifocals or bifocals. Again bedtime reading can be difficult with varifocals or bifocals when the body is horizontal or almost horizontal.

Prescription sunglasses for example when reading in a very bright environment such as the beach or pool when on holiday.

As well as a clear pair of varifocals or bifocals consider a pair with photochromic lenses. This allows the person to move from sunny to less sunny environments such as moving from outside into a shop or restaurant.

For those that may benefit from daytime glare protection when driving suggest photochromic extra, the ones that go dark when in a car or indoors.

Point out the visual and quality of life benefits to your patients and let them decide. If they don’t know about these options they can’t decide whether to opt for one.

 There may be others you can think of. Let me know.