Home Visioneering Technologies Inc.: Redefining Vision Addressing Accommodative Issues Early Is Great for Patients and Business

Addressing Accommodative Issues Early Is Great for Patients and Business

Optometrist Ashley Tucker stands in the office. She talks about accommodative issues in patients.
Dr. Tucker

As part of her effort to differentiate her practice, Ashley Tucker, OD, FAAO, FSLS, appreciates being able to recommend quality products to her patients that are not widely available from other sources. With NaturalVue® Multifocal from Visioneering Technologies, Inc. (VTI), she can provide her patients with a multifocal lens that provides an extended depth of focus for outstanding vision, plus “it has the allure that VTI does not sell this other than through independent practices,” she says.

Dr. Tucker is the director of The Contact Lens Institute of Houston – a branch of Bellaire Family Eye Care that focuses on finding the perfect contact lens option for all patients. About 40 percent of Dr. Tucker’s patients are young patients and she is an advocate for myopia management with young patients. Dr. Tucker also noted “this is a great lens for presbyopic patients, too.”

Dr. Tucker says that the fitting process is different for this lens. After performing her usual refraction, she then conducts the Red-Green DuoChrome test to be sure the patient is not over-plussed. “That’s something I hadn’t done since optometry school, but I find it useful here. Then, entering that refractive data into the NaturalVue Quickstart calculator provides me with optimal starting lens powers that help make that first fitting a success.”

It’s often her go-to lens for patients who have accommodative issues. “There is a wide range of powers from high minus to high plus, so the prescription isn’t a limiting factor,” she says. With the extended depth-of-focus design, effectively creating an ADD power of more than +3.00D, patients get great comfort and clarity in this one-day lens.

ADDRESSING ACCOMMODATION ISSUES EARLY

Dr. Tucker says that addressing presbyopia and accommodative issues with patients early is also helpful. “I love starting patients with this lens early. If they’re just starting to need reading glasses, this extended depth of focus design is excellent. I find the golden age is with patients in their late 30s, and I tell them, ‘I’m right in this with you.’” She explains the visual and accommodative changes that they’ll begin to experience, and she may suggest moving the patient to the NaturalVue® Sphere 1 Day Contact Lenses with the TripleTear lubrication system to provide patients with comfortable vision now and an easy transition into the multifocal lens design.

By alerting patients that their vision will be changing and that she’s moving them into a spherical lens material now in advance of fitting them with the multifocal design, they’re more prepared for the accommodative shift that will occur. 

PROTECT STUDY

But presbyopes aren’t the only ones who have an interest in this lens. Dr. Tucker is excited about VTI’s PROTECT (PROgressive Myopia Treatment Evaluation for NaturalVue Multifocal Contact Lens Trial) study. The study objective is to demonstrate and quantify the effectiveness of VTI’s NaturalVue Multifocal Contact Lenses for myopia management in children. PROTECT is a multi-center, randomized, double-masked clinical trial with participating investigators in centers in Canada, the United States, Hong Kong and Singapore.

Her location is a study site, and she has more than 50 children enrolled in the three-year trial. It’s a unique experience for her. “I was presenting on a panel on myopia when I was asked if I wanted to participate. I wasn’t sure if I had what it would take to be a part of a study like this, but I decided I had to go big or go home,” she says, laughing. She found out that going big was exactly the right strategy.

“When I put out a call for patients, we had a waiting list almost immediately. The interest was through the roof, as myopia management is such an important aspect of primary care optometry,” she says. VTI expects to release one-year follow-up data from PROTECT in the fourth quarter of 2023, with longer-term data expected in late 2024 and final results in late 2025.

PRACTICE DIFFERENTIATION

Because the NaturalVue spherical and multifocal lenses are not readily available through discount sellers, prescribing this lens is a good way to reinforce that her office offers products that others do not.

“That becomes important to the business. The average consumer is pretty savvy, so many will search to see if our lens prices are competitive. When I say they’re not going to be able to find them anywhere else for less with our cost and any rebates, and they see that’s true, it’s helpful to keep patients connected to our practice,” she says. Most patients appreciate the convenience of having an annual supply shipped directly to them.

Providing patients with comfortable clear vision, now and into the future, as their vision changes benefits the patients, of course, but Dr. Tucker appreciates that it also benefits her practice growth.

Ashley Tucker, OD, FAAO, FSLS, Diplomate, ABO is director of The Contact Lens Institute of Houston, a branch of Bellaire Family Eyecare. Dr. Tucker is a paid consultant for Visioneering Technologies, Inc. 

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Read other WO success stories with Visioneering Technologies, Inc. lenses here.

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