Before patients come in for their sMap3D™ exam, it’s crucial that they take a break from wearing their scleral lenses or corneal GPs for three to seven days. To get the best surface fit for custom-designed lenses, consultants need to be able to accurately measure the anterior ocular surface with the sMap3D™. Wearing lenses just before the exam can alter the surface fit and may necessitate an additional remake based on the patient’s conjunctival rebound.
We recommend giving patients clear instructions in advance of their sMap3D™ mapping. Here is a sample script you can use with patients to communicate the importance of giving contact lenses a break before the appointment, courtesy of Dr. Stephanie Woo, OD, FAAO, FSLS at Contact Lens Institute of Nevada:
Office: Hello, Mrs. Smith, this is Leigh from the Contact Lens Institute of Nevada. I am calling to schedule your evaluation with Dr. Woo for specialty contact lenses.
Patient: Great, can you tell me more about the visit?
Office: Of course! Please expect to be at the office for about an hour or longer. During this time, we will be using several instruments to measure the exact curvature of your eye. Since the shape of your eye is so important in helping Dr. Woo recommend a lens that is right for you, it is important to stay out of any contact lenses for 48 hours prior to your appointment. Once we have properly measured your eye, Dr. Woo will review all of the information with you and help design a lens perfect for your eye. If you decide to proceed with the specialty lens fitting, we can also accommodate you that day as well. What days work best for your schedule?
Patient: Oh, I didn’t know I couldn’t wear my contacts. In that case, I should probably schedule for a Monday appointment so that I can stay out of my contacts over the weekend. And then I can have my husband drive me because I won’t be able to see very well.
Office: That sounds great. Will 12 p.m. next Monday work for you?
Patient: Sure, that will work.
Office: Great, we have you scheduled for a contact lens consultation with Dr. Woo at 12 p.m. next Monday. We will send you a reminder text message two days before your appointment. See you soon!
We asked ODs to share a few more tips for reminding patients to stop wearing scleral lenses before their sMap3D™ exam:
Emphasize short-term inconvenience for long-term benefit
“Patients often want the best fit possible but understand that even with highly advanced technology, such as the sMap3D™, the results will not be as accurate and the quality of their lens design will be reduced if they do not remove their lenses prior to the scan. The best way to explain this is by demonstrating to the patient that it is just a short-term inconvenience (three to seven days) in order to obtain a long-term benefit. The reduced chair time and increased stability, comfort, and vision that patients gain by allowing us to capture the best quality scan possible is worth the few days of lens rest.“
– Dr. Elise Kramer, OD at Miami Contact Lens Institute.
Schedule a reminder call
“If a patient is coming in for an evaluation for specialty contact lenses, the front desk will let them know the cost of the consultation, how long the patient will be in the office (usually an hour or more), and what to expect during their visit. They also remind them to stay out of any contact lenses for at least 48 hours prior to their appointment to ensure the information we capture is accurate. I will also have staff call the patient two days prior to their appointment, reminding them to stay out of their contact lenses.”
– Dr. Stephanie Woo, OD, FAAO, FSLS at Contact Lens Institute of Nevada
Fit one eye at a time
“If a patient is completely reliant on contact lenses and cannot function without them, one option is to have them remain out of their lens in one eye for 48 hours, and perform the fitting. Then you can do the same thing for the other eye. This is for patients who are wanting or needing the sMap3D™ technology. If this is not an option for them, then you may not be able to use the sMap3D™ with fine accuracy. “
– Dr. Stephanie Woo, OD, FAAO, FSLS at Contact Lens Institute of Nevada.
Communicate verbally and in writing
“At the initial consultation, our staff is trained when booking the appointment to mention to remain out of lenses at least three days if possible, prior to coming in. The patient also receives a text message reminder prior to the appointment reiterating this important step. Communicating with patients verbally and in writing helps to ultimately save time in the design and fitting process.”
– Dr. Thanh Mai, OD at Insight Vision Center.
Start with the eye with worse vision
“If a bilateral refit is necessary, I generally have the patient discontinue lens wear in the eye with worse vision. They will return after the one-week mark for a scan, after the scan they can wear their previous lens sparingly until the new lens arrives. Once that lens is design is finalized, I repeat the process for the other eye.”
– Dr. John D. Gelles, O.D., F.I.A.O., F.C.L.S.A., F.S.L.S. at Cornea and Laser Eye Institute – Hersh Vision Group CLEI Center for Keratoconus”
Clear communication with patients about how to prepare for their sMap3D™ exam helps you deliver better care and minimize unnecessary chair time.