By Aamena M. Kazmi, Therapeutic Optometrist, Diplomate, ABO
June 15, 2022
Myopia management offers significant benefits to patients, controlling the progression of a condition that increases a patient’s risk for retinal detachment, myopic macular degeneration, glaucoma and the early development of cataracts. It also offers a practice a springboard for patient growth and additional profitability.
To be successful, however, it’s not enough to add these services to your practice. You must let your current patients and community know what myopia management is and that you offer it. Here are several examples of how I market our practice’s myopia management services.
Tab on Website to Click on Just for Myopia Management
We dedicated a separate tab on our practice website to myopia management, which includes a short questionnaire parents can complete to determine if their child is a candidate for myopia management, and a contact request form.
We use exam time to educate patients on myopia management. This includes educating parents on their child’s refractive error and management options as well as educating myopic adults, who may have a myopic child at home, about myopia management.
I also rely on my own history as an adolescent, progressive myope. I began wearing glasses in the fourth grade with a prescription of -1.25 DS in each eye, and ended at -5.75 DS by college. I tell parents that I wish I had these management options available to me when I was progressing. I find that sharing anecdotes throughout the discussion resonates well with parents, especially those who are myopic.
When parents are not myopic and cannot understand what their child is experiencing and what progression over time can look like, I often use plus-powered trials lenses to demonstrate to the parent their child’s current refractive status in comparison to 1-2 years of progression or in comparison to their previous refractive error based on their current glasses prescription.
When I joined our practice, Bellaire Family Eye Care (BFEC), in 2018, I came motivated to grow the existing myopia management niche to greater heights.
We created information packets and referral forms, which we personally delivered to local school nurse and pediatric offices. Similarly, we also designed referral packets that we regularly send to referring optometry and ophthalmology practices throughout the greater Houston area.
These packets include journal review articles, general and lens manufacturer-specific brochures on myopia, management options and FAQs we complied throughout the years.
In addition, CooperVision provided us with a patient education booklet with visuals and easy-to-understand language, which has also been helpful in driving the message home.
Other Articles to Explore
We generally target our e-blast marketing to our entire patient base. However, when we have more significant roll-outs, such as new FDA-approved lens options, we target our marketing to a specific list of candidates who were recently seen in our office, but did not enroll in a management program at the time of their visit. Our technicians help us maintain this list on a regular basis.
Click HERE to see an example of an e-newsletter we e-mailed to our patients focused on specialty contact lenses. The second item in the newsletter is on myopia management.
Blog & Vlog Series
We promote myopia management regularly in our practice blog and with a vlog (video) series, often referred to as “Myopia Mondays.” This weekly series covers the definition of myopia, how and why it is increasing in prevalence, the co-morbidities that increase with increasing magnitudes of myopia and the treatment categories available to manage and slow progression.
Click HERE to view our vlogs on myopia management.
Click HERE to read our myopia management blog posts.
Most people spend significant time on social media sites. For that reason, we meet them where they are with social media posts on myopia management.
Here are two examples of Instagram posts focused on myopia management:
Bottom Line: Multiple Communication Channels Are Best
Educating patients in the exam room about myopia management is where the process of building these services starts, but to stoke growth, reach out to current and prospective patients through multiple channels that include your practice website, blogs, vlogs and social media. When parents understand that their child’s future eye health is at stake, they may be more likely to agree that myopia management is an essential treatment.
Aamena M. Kazmi, Therapeutic Optometrist, Diplomate, ABO, practices at Bellaire Family Eye Care (BFE), including its Contact Lens Institute of Houston (CLIH), in Houston, Texas. To contact her: Kazmi@bfeye.com