Presbyopia: five top tips for empathising with your patients

Optometrist Sarah Morgan discusses empathising with presbyopic patients

Woman looking at phone

1. Be sensitive to their advancing age

Don’t mention it too much, and never as a negative.

2. Empower patients to recognise their symptoms early

Educate patients before presbyopia develops, explaining that early changes can seem minor, but that symptoms are the beginning of a gradual change in their vision.

3. Debunk whatever myths your patients believe

Presbyopia isn’t the result of overuse of smartphones and computers, contact lenses, reading glasses or of their eyes in general, for example.

4. Remember: it is food, not text, appearing blurry on their dinner plate

Rather than focus on reading as the main area of difficulty, talk about how important near vision is for everyday life.

5. Allow presbyopes to experience multifocal contact lenses

Provide the opportunity for patients to experience how multifocal contact lenses can be a solution for their presbyopia. Avoid using the word ‘compromise’ to describe multifocal contact lenses; presbyopia is itself a compromise.

With empathy and understanding, more can be learned about the patients’ experiences, attitudes and expectations about presbyopia. When patients and their lives are better understood, recommendations can be more accurately matched to their needs – ensuring they see, look and feel their best.

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