16 Dec The Best Insights On How To Become An Ortho-k Expert
I wanted to know plain and simple what methods are getting parents to say yes to orthokeratology for their child.
There is nothing that can quite compare to the special feeling that you get when a child removes their orthokeratology lens for the first time and says “Wow, I can see!”
Sadly, according to the CDC, less than 8% of all contact lens wearers are under the age of 18.
However, there are doctors that are fitting 10, 20 and even 50 patients a month in orthokeratology lenses.
I decided to gather 19 of them and ask one question.
If you could share your top tips to convince parents to say yes to Orthokeratology, what would they be?
Let me tell you the insights I received from these 19 experts was nothing short of amazing. I listed all of them below.
Read on to discover each expert’s favorite tips! You can either skip to your favorite expert using these quick links or grab a coffee, get comfortable and commence scrolling!
Please hit the share button to your favorite social platform and let the world know the technology and brain power can start making a difference overnight.
Dr. Julio Arroyo OD, Eye Health Consultants
After having treated over 2,000 ortho-k cases, there is a fairly solid routine of words that flow in every conversation with every one of my patients. I have always found it very interesting to see how it seems to be an easier task to get a grown-up to sign up for ortho-k than it is for the grown-up to enroll their child in an ortho-k program. This reality has always puzzled me.
I have always relied on a 3D video animation that I run on every ortho-k consult; I feel that patients can see clearly what is exactly myopia, how important it is the axial length and how the ongoing ‘stretching’ of the eye causes these young-age myopes to become ‘blinder’ every year. We explain to them how regular glasses and contacts do nothing to prevent myopia progression. I find images and 3D video extremely helpful in explaining these concepts and I feel more confident that they are following on clearly.
Another piece I usually refer to involves how dentists do such a great job at telling parents how their kid’s ‘crooked teeth will require them to wear braces. Yet, when they visit their eye doctor and as the eyes have become more myopic, they are just managed with stronger lenses. I explain further how I feel that my eyes are more important than my teeth if I am to choose; then I look at them for validation on this reflection. Parents tend to agree with this thinking. I like to reinforce the fact that Ortho-k, not only may improve their child’s visual performance, sports, even self-esteem but it is important to protect their visual future. Future is all these young patients have, so I think this message lands home for these parents.
There is one particular question that we are asked most times by our patients and their parents: Do you have to wear these ortho-k lenses for the rest of your life or there is a time when you may stop and vision be corrected? My usual response goes something like this:
‘The truth is that nothing is for life. Many patients undergo Lasik and they have to go back to glasses a few months/years later. Corneal Molding is non-surgical and this technology is evolving all the time. I think we will not be doing Corneal Molding as we do it now in -say- 10 years from now but since it is non-invasive and reversible, you will have the option to ‘hop on’ the next best thing in the future with your virgin, original corneas intact. Meantime, Corneal Molding is the best solution to help young individuals see with their naked eyes, improve self-esteem, visual performance in sports, quality of life, self-confidence, etc, all without surgery. Also, Corneal Molding is the gold standard system to protect the future of our children’s vision from getting worse.’
Dwight Barnes, Od. Cary Family Eye Care
Top 5 most important tips for getting parents to say “yes” to ortho-k
1) Be passionate about it. This is probably numbers 1, 2, and 3. The biggest reason parents say “yes” is that I’m passionate about myopia control and I’m naturally an enthusiastic person. There is no “selling” of this service because the parents can tell that I’m enthusiastic about it, and I have their child’s best interests in mind. I am obsessive about getting good outcomes for my patients and my interactions with parents let them know that I’ll work hard for their child.
2) Make it about myopia control. In my practice, we do tons of ortho-k, but the conversation is always about myopia control. Ortho-k is just a tool that we use for myopia control (and vision correction). Ortho-k is by far the common myopia control method I use in my clinic but the conversation is always centered around myopia control. There is a problem (progressive myopia), so we discuss the problem and solve the problem (ortho-k).
3) Make it obvious to the patients/parents. I decided a while back that I wanted to make it almost impossible for someone to come into our office for any type of vision and not be aware of 3 things: first, progressive myopia is a problem; second, we have treatments available to help with myopia progression; and third, this is our specialty…they have come to the right place. We do this by creating custom posters in the exam rooms and by creating customized brochures with information for parents on myopia control. By the time I start to discuss myopia control, the parents have already been “introduced” to myopia control.
4) Have a myopia control coordinator. Like many other clinics we are often very busy. Sometimes it can be difficult to explain everything in detail when you’ve got a patient waiting. In these cases I cover the basics and focus on the “big picture” and I turn it over to my myopia control coordinator. She has a more extensive conversation with the parents and explains how the myopia control program works, and she gives them her business card and a brochure. She schedules them for their consultation if they are interested in moving forward. If they are not ready to move forward she follows up with them in a week or so to see if they have additional questions. She is the one that does all the pre-treatment topography because she knows exactly how I want them done. She is their primary contact person and I’ve invested a lot of time in training her related to myopia control and ortho-k. She is able to answer about 90% of questions from patients. The parents know exactly who to ask for at my office if they have questions.
5) Be confident about it. If you’ve fit hundreds of patients it’s ok to show that confidence. Over the years, we’ve dealt with just about any question or problem that our patients may have. We let our patients know that we are very experienced in myopia control and that we are experts in that field. Patients feel more comfortable knowing that they are being treated by an expert in the field.
Dr. Justin Bazan, Optometrist at Park Slope Eye
Show parents and kids what axial elongation looks like using the 3d model of their eye on the optomap. I pull up the model, slide the Rx from 0 to -10 and say something like the following:
“Here is why we won’t let your myopia get out of control. The higher your Rx gets, the more stretched out your eye becomes. The more stretched out the eye, the more fragile it becomes.
The more fragile, the more at risk it is for lots of bad things to happen to it; like losing your vision to retinal detachments and glaucoma. Luckily nowadays we have ways to stop it from getting so stretched out. We can use medication, special lenses and there are even “braces for the eye’ called Orthokeratology.
Michael J. Lipson, OD FAAO FSLS, OrthoK Consulting LLC
In summarizing my findings for a myopic child (whether first dx or a change in rx for an existing myope)
I usually describe the issue of myopia in terms of how the child functions (school, sports, etc.) and that to compete in today’s world, the child needs to visually perform at their best. Then I describe that correction is possible with glasses, contact lenses worn during the day or special contact lenses that are worn only while sleeping. That gets their attention so I can discuss Ortho-K.
Explain why I prescribe OrthoK
1) Short-term and long-term advantages of Ortho-K Short Term
Lenses worn ONLY while sleeping Improved vision-related quality of life
– no correction needed or worn during waking hours
– improved self -image, less activity restrictions, self-confidence, less fear of rx damage/loss
– better peripheral vision and less symptoms of itching and dryness vs scl
For myopic parents, say “Wouldn’t you have enjoyed having this option when you were young?” LongTerm slowing of myopia progression, reduction of risk of myopic complications
2) Glasses/Soft Lenses vs. OrthoK – 5 yr cost comparison Because OrthoK has a higher initial cost, breakdown likely costs of OrthoK vs. Soft CL’s over 5-yr period If you include all associated costs (visits, lenses, solutions, glasses), the differences at the end of 5 years is small
Dr. Eileen Lo, East Bay Vision Center Optometry
My best tips on getting parents to say yes to Orthok would be:
1. you have to gain their trust that you can present the procedure with knowledge and confidence.
2. you have to listen to their concerns and questions and be able to address them
3. you have to explain the logistics of the fit program so it is easily understood
4. you have to plant a seed even for pre myopes, or siblings of current orthok patients so they would be ready to say yes when the condition of myopia needs treatment.
5. you have to train great staff that can advocate outside the exam room.
Somi Oh OD, Eye Boutique Optometry
I was requested to share few tips of MC control program sign up , specifically towards parents of the pediatric patients. I gladly accepted to share and gave some thoughts of what I want to share.
Since the journey of Myopia Control in Orthokeratology was my entire professional life, about 37 years as of now, I definitely have some to say in terms of what to do and what not to do, going thru many ups and downs and trials and errors while delivering the services to my patients.
Remembering the early pioneer time of pediatric OrthoK practice in 80s to early 90s, I was an apprentice doc following, and pursuing passionately NERF IOS ( National Eye Research Foundation, International Orthokeratology Section) serving as a member and eventually as a board member, gathering information, skills, and application of what I have learned. During those days, I was requested to do many lectures and presentations regarding pediatric OrthoK and how to do that successfully.
I presented many times of 3M3P method to apply on pediatric OrthoK.
M stands for manage, and P stands for patients ,parents, and program.
In other words, the key phrases to remember in pediatric OrthoK is to manage patients, manage parents, and manage the program/therapy we will deliver. It is funny that now 30 plus years later, we are debating on what to call the program as myopia control or myopia management! I feel that both are correct and do so in your practice as where you are comfortable.
Albert Pang O.D. Trinity Eye Care
If you could offer your best tips on getting parents to say yes to OrthoK, what would they be?
1) Parents usually do not have an understanding of what myopia is and how it impacts their children’s life. I think it is important to let them know that you are here to help their children in controlling and slow down their children’s rapid eyesight so that they have all the future opportunities open up to their children.
It is not about whether they can see, but what if they want to be a pilot, or join the military. What if they have the talent to be a world-class athlete.
2) Usually let them know if we go with regular glasses, by the time they are 17 what will be their child’s vision going to be. Usually using Brian Holden’s myopia projection curve will able to let the parents know what their children’s vision is going to be like. This will give them a better understanding of the severity of their children’s eye condition.
3) I will also let them know about the current research on hyperopic defocusing as a proposed cause of myopia. Using a flip chart provided by Paragon, I pointed to them why using spectacle is part of the culprit of rapid increase in their children’s vision.
4) We have to present to them all the possible ways of myopia management, I will let them know about low dose atropin, soft MF contact lens, bifocal/progressive glasses, as well as orthoK lens and their success rate in controlling myopia. They will always ask for your recommendation, depending on your model of practice, you will let them know of your recommendation and the reasons.
5) Make a personal commitment that you will not prescript any single vision glasses to children suffering from myopia, regardless of their entering prescription.
6) If the parents do not heed your advice, at least write a bifocal or progressive Rx, depending on their binocular status. Rx bifocal for exophoric/accommodative lag patients, regular progressive for patients without any binocular problem. Make an effort to see them 6 months later, not a year later. They need frequent examination. Even though they are not alarmed by their children’s myopia now, they may take it seriously next time you see them.
7) Ask your young successful patients’ parents as your source to talk to skeptical parents. Offer a list of parents they can talk to about their children’s positive changes after using your myopia management program.
Dr. Arlene Schwartz Hartsdale Family Eyecare
I think the best way I have found to get parents and kids to say yes to ortho k is to do a demonstration. It is also easier in a child whose myopia is progressing and of course if the parents are myopic as well
I have them come back at the end of the day and use a trial ortho k lens. I show them their starting VA. I have them sit back with the lens on 1 eye for just about 20 minutes and almost always they see a line or two better. The child sees how easy it is and that it isn’t scary or uncomfortable (I may use a drop of Anesthetic).
I think when the child and parent see improvement so quickly they are immediately impressed. Even children that were skeptical often say yes immediately.
It’s important to start the myopia management conversation with every child and of course if they show any signs of beginning myopia. I may start them on atropine first if they really don’t want contacts or I get the sense they are not ready for contacts.
Jonathan Skoner, Ortho Eyes
When discussing Ortho-K with parents it’s crucial to develop an understanding and appreciation for their point of view. Establish common ground, begin discussions in regards to their child’s eye health. Doing this will let the parents know you are all on the same team, team “insert child name”. It is important to establish with the parents that there is no “normal” amount of myopia, and the primary concern moving forward is the possible future eye health consequences associated with progressive myopia.
Many parents think that progressive myopia is not a problem because at some point their child can “fix” everything with LASIK, they, unfortunately, don’t understand that although LASIK may fix visual deficiencies in the future it will do nothing to improve their child’s eye health outlook as they age. Help parents see beyond the debilitating vision their child may experience as they age and draw attention to eye health. Doing the above mentioned will create importance in the situation and allow the elevation of discussions into solutions for the newly realized problem. This is the perfect time to bring up Ortho-K as a myopia control option. Once parents realize that the future health of their child’s eyes is at risk, discussing treatment programs is a no-brainer.
David Sweeney, Vision Source Insight Eyecare
I don’t think it’s is any one thing but several educational points during the myopia disease conversation and ortho-k treatment with child and their parent(s) I discuss the following
1. This quote “In addition to the optical impact of myopia on vision, myopia is a major risk factor for ocular disease.(7) Myopia increases the risk of eye diseases, including glaucoma, cataract, and retinal detachment.
(8,9) The risks associated with myopia are significant even in low myopes (<_3 diopters [D]) and comparable to the risks of smoking and hypertension to cardiovascular health.(9) There is also a clear dose-response relationship with increased risks at higher levels of myopia. Myopia is the primary risk factor for myopic maculopathy,(10) which is now the second most common cause of low vision in Beijing.(11) Outside Asia, myopic maculopathy is 1 of the top 5 causes of blindness among working-age people in the United Kingdom,(12) Ireland,(12) and Israel.(13) Standard clinical care currently treats only the optical and medical consequences of myopia rather than limiting its progression.”
Ophthalmology 2016;123:697-708 2016 by the American Academy of Ophthalmology. (references can be provided)
2. I show a powerpoint presentation discussing the increased risk of several eye disease with greater levels of myopia, why every 1D matters – the importance to do it now and how ortho-k effectively slows myopia progression
3. We measure axial length with IOL Master 500 on all kids. I show where the child is on the Growth Chart depicting axial length. The longer the eye, the faster rate of progression and longer rate of progression. The younger the child the faster the rate of progression.
4. I calculate using the Myappia app (from Tom Aller, OD) what their Rx will be in 10 yrs with and without treatment
5. Show patient cases and topography images similar to their child of how we change the cornea with Ortho-K.
6. I discuss the process of evaluating the eye for Ortho-K. After 1 week we deliver lenses and discuss handling and care. It takes 3-5 days to see 20/20 without glasses or daytime contacts. I tell them about the temporary nature of corneal molding and need to commit to wear nightly to maintain treatment. Timing of progress visits are also discussed.
7. I tell them it’s like an eye retainer like a dental retainer made especially for their child. We use Pentacam HD to collect 250,000 data points to create CAD CAM lenses that are comfortable since they fit like a glove and they deliver predictable and great vision and pattern on the cornea that greatly slows myopia progression.
8. I present the fees and ask if they have any questions before we capture topography images to design their custom ortho-k lenses.
JAMES TRUONG, Eye Care Optometry FV
If you want to give your kids the best gift for their future, do it now by using Ortho-K. High Myopia can change your kids from good to bad on studying, thinking, and living. Don’t let them suffer from the complications of Myopia. Change their life back from bad to good by Myopia Control that brings back their good vision. One of Myopia Control tools that we call Ortho-K is very simple, effective, and easy. Just sleep with it at night and wake up with the control of your vision.
Eyes are the windows to the soul, also the mind and life. The very big gift for your kids is in your hand now; please don’t wait to give it to them. We are always here to explain and help you with everything about Ortho-K.
Dr. Arthur Tung, Global OK-Vision
Once I have done my refraction and establish that there is myopic progression then I discuss the options with the parents. I go thru the risk profile and explain the risks of the kid developing myopia and the risks associated with high myopia. I explain the soft lens options and the associated costs.
Then I explain Orthokeratology and the benefits of been free of a visual device during the day. I will draw pictures of Myopic defocus and Hyperopic defocus and explain the theory behind it. I also draw a regular lens on the eye and explain why they get peripheral myopic defocus and then a picture of Ortho-k on the eye and how it causes hyperopic defocus.
Lastly, I will use my XMJ set to fit one eye with a lens stronger than what is needed. I leave that for 15 – 20 minutes and remove so that I can demonstrate the effect of the lens on eye and how much the visual acuity can improve in such a short time.
Dr. Gina Wesley, Complete Eye Care of Medina
To get parents to commit to ortho-K, the best advice I can give is prepping a simple explanation that highlights the benefits for both the child (no glasses, great for sports and day-to-day) and parents (worry about Rx progression). If they need deeper details, they will ask. But a simple, well thought out education will go a long way. Then, be prepared to educate again and again if needed.
Follow up with a FAQ they can reference. Some parents get it right away. Sometimes it takes time for the idea to take hold. Have patience, be persistent. That’s how find our most loyal and successful patients and their families.
Dr. Matthew J. Martin, Auburn Optical
I think the key to getting people to say “Yes” to ortho-k is to be open and honest with them. This process starts with open body language that is representative of your honesties and trustworthiness. display an erect and open posture, lean forward and engage when speaking with the potential interested party. Use of hands gestures to accent important points in the dialogue also helps in establishing earnestness. I find the best way to handle questions people may have is by being proactive.
I will often use phrases like “You might be wondering about the safety of ortho-k”…I then explain the risks and benefits of this procedure. I believe it is important to be as forthcoming as possible as people will google safety and addressing this ahead of time is in everyone’s best interest.
Laurence Wong, Vision One Eyecare
Most of our Ortho-K patients are under 16 years old. Therefore, it is important for their parents to understand the “WHY” and “HOW” are Orthokeratology/Ortho-K helping their progressive myopia children.
We inform parents myopia is not just a condition that requires eyeglasses or regular contact lenses for a vision fix.
Myopia is indeed a progressive condition in which the eye sights tend to become worsen even after frequent replacement of eyeglasses or regular contact lenses. The impact of myopia not only affects their children’s current daily activities but also their ocular health in the future. Research has proven that high myopia led to the development of Glaucoma, Myopic Maculopathy, Retinal detachment, and Cataract. The risk of these ocular diseases increases exponentially as the magnitude of myopia increases.
We further explain to parents that various of myopia control management options including Ortho-K. Ortho-K may help reduce progression of myopia by at least 50%. Recent research data also suggested thatby reducing 1D of myopia progression, we can help lowering the risks of myopic maculopathy by 40%,glaucoma by 20%, and vision impairment by 20%.
The biggest advantage of Ortho-K is that it allows children to be free of vision correction such as glasses and contact lenses during waking hours. Parents do not need to worry about their children not able to see clearly in event of losing their spectacle or contact lenses during school hours. In addition, this is particularly beneficial for children or teenage patient who is active in sports. For example, one of our young teenage Taekwondo Master patients once defected because he was not allowed to use his glasses during a tournament. Ortho-K has helped him to see clearly without glasses and stopped his myopia progression. Lastly, since there is no need of carrying the Ortho-K lenses around as the Ortho-K users only need to wear the lenses before bedtime, parents, and children are always working with the Ortho-K lenses at the comfort of the home.
Dr. Moshe Mendelson, Myopicare
With the increasing prevalence of myopia there is a shift in parental attitudes toward its development and control. However, research tells us that the majority of parents do not view myopia as a threat to their child’s well-being. A recent study among parents revealed: “Just 46 percent considered that myopia presented a health risk to their children, while an identical number regarded it as an optical inconvenience.
Myopia was also, but less frequently, considered an expense (31 percent), a cosmetic inconvenience (14 percent) and, by some, as a sign of intelligence (4 percent) … Only 14 percent of parents expressed concern should their child be diagnosed with myopia.”1
These nonchalant parental attitudes toward myopia and its associated risks present a challenging task of getting parents to say “yes” to a myopia treatment recommendation.
During this year’s shelter-in-place orders, we started to offer myopia management telemedicine consultations and continue to do so now. This approach enables us to virtually meet with the patients and earn their trust and confidence. In this way, we can maintain social distance while carrying on a natural conversation with both the parents and the child. When performed seamlessly and conveniently, this informative, stress-free parent journey becomes the perfect opportunity to promote myopia management treatment and get parents to say “yes.”
We believe that the first conversation is more productive when performed in the comfort of the patient’s home via a telemedicine visit. During the initial visit we gather basic information such as the child’s name, age, ocular and refractive history, as well as lifestyle habits. We also collect parents’ and sibling’s’ pertinent ocular and refractive history. We then listen to the parent explain the motivation behind seeking treatment, both for them and the patient, as well as their level to which myopia is understood. We also leverage the stress-free and convenient telemedicine consultation to acknowledge and discuss parents’ concerns and objectives related to their child’s myopia.
In-Office Follow-Up Visit
While we don’t want to alarm the parents to potential progressive myopia consequences, we do share our additional perspective as to why we believe it is important to slow down the progression of myopia. This includes how we accomplish our objective, what the actual methods are, explaining the hyperopic defocus concept, providing the Brian Holden myopia calculator, and briefly going over the optical and pharmaceutical intervention options. At the conclusion of the consultation, we invite the parent and the child for an in-person visit.
In the office, we conduct a routine battery of tests including refraction, topography, a slit lamp exam, axial length measurement and a binocular vision assessment on the patient. We then discuss our recommendation, reiterate why we should intervene, how we can affect myopia progression, and what specific treatment modality we suggest. It is important to encourage parent participation in this conversation to let them relate to what we are saying and ask questions.
The Handoff Is Next
The next essential step for a successful consultation and acceptance of a treatment recommendation is a proper collaborative handoff to our contact lens technicians. These contact lens technicians previously interacted with the parents while setting up the initial at-home consultation.
During the handoff, which is always performed in front of the parents, the doctor and technician review clinical exam findings, highlighting the concern about the evident myopia progression. Additionally, the contact lens technicians also discuss the recommended treatment modality, why a specific method was selected, and the benefits for the patient. This reiterates the importance of proceeding with the recommended treatment plan.
Our staff witnesses firsthand treatment success and parent and patient gratitude as they assist in caring for myopia management patients during routine follow-up visits. Their personal experiences and observations result in an authentic and contagious enthusiasm. Their belief in treatment outcomes comes through and is sensed by parents as they go over every detail of the treatment, ranging from the benefits to how long it will last and the associated costs. Staff are also skilled in responding to parent questions such as, “Why doesn’t insurance pay for this? Why is the treatment so costly? Won’t glasses fix the problem? Is my child too young for the treatment?” It is vital that parents experience a dialogue, not a sales pitch with an alarming message.
Finally, we found that when I personally follow up with a prompt email to parents who are hesitant, thanking them for visiting with us and expressing my confidence in a favorable treatment outcome, as well as pledging my commitment to provide the utmost care for their child, the majority of parents are thankful and decide to say “yes” to myopia management.
Patrick J Caroline Contact Lens Museum
Let me begin by saying that we have confidence that (with appropriate patients) we can deliver the myopia controlling optics equally well with orthokeratology or CUSTOM soft (non-commercial) multifocal lenses. Therefore, the decision as to which modality is most appropriate, is often best made by the parents and the modality that best fits the parents and patient’s lifestyle.
Clinical experience has taught us that parents of Asian descent most often present to our clinic with a preconceived understanding that orthokeratology is the best modality for their child’s myopia control. Multifocal soft contact lenses, spectacle lenses and atropine are often viewed as less desirable options. Therefore, for our patients of Asian descent there is often little need for discussions related to the benefits of orthokeratology.
With Caucasian parents, the primary advantage of orthokeratology is the at home control over the delivery of the myopia control optics at night and in the morning prior to the child departing for school. However, often, one or both of the parents may be past or current soft contact lens wearers therefore the use of that modality is often very comfortable for the parents.
With this in mind, it is clear that no one modality will satisfy the diverse social and optical needs of our patients. This necessitates that eye care practitioners, interested in providing myopia control in their practice, be skilled with the delivery of all myopia control modalities.
Jeffrey G. Jeruss Eye to Eye Vision Center
All parents like being appreciated for being good parents. So, whether they come in already having heard about ortho-k from friends and curious to learn more and to find out if their child is a good candidate, or if they are hearing about it from us for the 1st or 2nd or 3rd time, I’ll spend a minute or so to acknowledge them for their desire to make a huge difference in their child’s life.
In addition, my Informed Consent/Fee form is quite comprehensive, as I have spent 36 years constantly re-doing it to address new questions. Parents appreciate knowing as many details as possible UP FRONT before they go ahead and risk a substantial amount of money on what is still perceived as a “new” treatment.
Included in our Informed Consent form (among many other things) are:
1- What the fee includes and what it doesn’t include.
2- The importance of and fees for yearly myopia progress checks and yearly lens replacements.
3- What our specific definition of a “successful result” is, and what happens if it doesn’t work.
Dr. Dennis Leung Golden Vision
It’s easy to get parents with a myopic child to understand the advantages of Ortho-k in terms of how it can slow down myopia progression and how it provides added convenience for the child. Unfortunately, once the parent leaves your office, much of what was discussed is quickly forgotten as parents go about their busy lives.
Accordingly, it’s necessary to implement an effective strategy to instill the sense of urgency necessary to start Ortho-k right away, instead of waiting for another year of more. Therefore, work hard to persuade parents to make a decision after counseling at your office. Schedule the first initial visit to start treatment.
A good strategy to improve your Ortho-k conversion rate is to make a list of talking points and phrases that include studies, statistics, and analogies. You will choose from this list of phrases that address the concerns of that particular parent according to their experiences and understanding about myopia.
There are no “perfect lines” for all the parents as each of them will have different life experiences. Parents all react differently to the information that you present. Some are more receptive to the alarming prevalence of myopia in Asia, especially if the patient is Asian. Others see the increase in phone, computer, and gaming screen time, and realize the importance of starting Ortho-k sooner than later. A parent with a very high myopia prescription understands themselves the urgency much better when you show a slide of a retinal tear.
In my practice, where a large percentage of my patients are Asian, I often cite a Shanghai University study that shows over 95% of college students in Asia are myopic with an average Rx of -4.D. Another helpful statistic that I often use is to quote an average increase in myopia among Asian early teens at 0.75 and let the parent to do the math.
In sum, it is important to provide personalized information to parents of myopic children. Along with this, take the opportunity while a parent is in the office to note the urgency and advantages of starting Ortho-k right away. Have in place a good strategy for your counseling and practice talking points to improve your presentation and treatment rate.
“Wow what an amazing collection of useful advice!
Now I want to turn it over to you: What are your favorite methods to get parents to say yes to orthokeratology?
Let me know by leaving a comment below right now.”