The consultants at Visionary Optics are experts in their field and always ready to help eye care practitioners and patients find the perfect fit for scleral lenses. Every month, we will feature a different Visionary Optics consultant and the valuable work they are doing.
Visionary Optics consultant Suzanne Kemp values the relationships she has built with the doctors she speaks to every day. She knows how important it is to foster trust, respect, and confidence with doctors — and she considers many friends, calling them occasionally just to check in. Suzanne joined Visionary Optics with seven years’ experience as an optician, assisting with exams, handling contact lens and spectacle fittings, and manufacturing and repairing glasses in an optometrist’s office.
“It is always a pleasure to speak with Suzanne in consulting! Her pleasant and cheerful demeanor adds to her thoughtfulness and willingness to solve any scleral complications a practitioner may have. Consultants like her make Visionary Optics stand out from the rest!”
Dr. Michael Berzansky, Optical Solutions, Hilton Head, SC
Q&A with Consultant Suzanne Kemp
Do you have a recent patient success story you’d like to share?
There are so many success stories that literally brings me to tears, which is what makes my job so fulfilling. One recent story that sticks out is a farmer who had such severe dryness that he could barely open his eyes. It was really affecting his work, and he was getting upset and losing hope that he could continue working. He had previously been fit with scleral lenses; however, that fit was unsuccessful. He found out about a doctor that fit our lenses and went to her in a desperate last attempt to find a solution. Our lenses were successful, and he was so happy he came into her office in tears. The doctor called to share with me that the patient was elated and told her that he would never be able to repay her for what she had done for him.
I also recently worked with a doctor to fit a small child in scleral lenses. This child was born with an autoimmune disease that made it so he could not close his eyes. Because of this, his right eye got severe exposure keratitis and that led to scarring of the cornea. At four years old, he received his first pair of scleral lenses, which help keep his eyes lubricated. The scar on his eye has become smoother and his vision has increased. His lenses are a success, and he and his family are so happy.
Why do you feel that the doctor/consultant relationship is so important to scleral lens fitting success?
I think it’s important to gain the respect and trust of the doctors you’re working with so they know that you’re fully capable of handling even their most complicated patients. The more you talk to the doctor and get to know them, the better you understand what they need and what they are trying to describe to you when it comes to how the scleral lens is fitting.
Some of these doctors I talk to every day and I’ve developed a real friendship with them. I care about the people that I work with, and I am just so honored and grateful to be a part of their important work giving sight to people who need help. What we do here is really incredible, and the stories we hear about the difference that our contact lenses make in people’s lives often bring me to tears.
Do you have any advice to doctors on how to make scleral lens fitting as successful as possible for the patients?
In the spirit of getting a better fit and better vision from the beginning, I highly recommend using our diagnostic fitting set to get a starting pair. It’s important to have patients out of any other RGP lenses they have been wearing for as long as possible before fitting a scleral lens.
OCT images and photos of the fluorescein pattern of the lenses are extremely helpful to the consultant when making changes. Addressing the patient’s dry eye issues with a lid and lash care regimen will also create a more comfortable lens fit. It will usually improve any wettability and fogging issues that are a problem for many scleral lens wearers. This can usually be resolved by recommending a product like an HOCl lid and lash cleanser.
What Doctors Have to Say About Suzanne:
Dr. Karen Lee
University Eye Institute
Suzanne is truly a great consultant who gives great advice when I am struggling with a difficult lens fit. She is incredibly patient and takes the time to listen to my input. It always brightens my day after speaking with her!
Dr. Morris Sheffer
I have been working with Suzanne Kemp for many years now and am constantly amazed at her knowledge of scleral lens fitting but even more amazed at her enthusiasm. Every time I talk to her, which is usually once or twice a day, she is super friendly and brings a smile to my face in spite of whatever challenging case I have just presented her!
Dr. Karina Conlin
UW Health Optical East
Give me a scleral contact lens consultant who is knowledgeable, up to date on the latest technology, willing to go the extra mile by encouraging photos, phone calls, texts, and emails… but make it fun! That is Suzanne in a nutshell. I’ve been fitting specialty contact lenses for a little over 10 years now and I feel very fortunate to have Suzanne as a scleral lens consultant. When I have those challenging fits, I know I can rely on Suzanne to give me great advice on moving forward and also to offer help with a “backup plan” if needed.
I get the impression that because of Suzanne’s tenacity and personality she would excel at any profession she would choose to pursue. I’m so thankful she does what she does. She has changed countless peoples lives by giving them the gift of sight. I’ve witnessed many people cry with joy in the exam room when they receive their scleral contact lenses and experience their new vision, and this was all made possible by the expert consulting that Suzanne provides. The world would be a better place if we all had a Suzanne in our life. Thank you Suzanne for being so awesome.
Learn how Visionary Optics can improve scleral lens fitting at your practice. Get in touch with our team.