Every Contact Lens Manufacturers Association (CLMA) member laboratory has experienced consultants who can guide you through the entire GP and custom soft lens material, design, fitting, and problem-solving process. Consultants serve as the “decision-making tree” for any potential contact lens wearer, and they are well qualified for this role.
They also take great pleasure in helping practitioners who are starting their journey into specialty contact lenses. There is no question they have not heard before or would consider too fundamental. Challenging cases, such as irregular-cornea patients, may be relatively infrequent for most practitioners. But laboratory consultants discuss these types of cases every day.
They often can guide the fitting of complex cases — sometimes via an empirical approach — aided by their knowledge of the high-quality designs they manufacture. They can assist by providing fitting sets as well as offering liberal warranty programs to help reduce apprehension about fitting specialty lenses.
Laboratories take full advantage of today’s technology, and consultants can work with your fitting tools and methods. They can use your topography maps, photographs, and video to assist in the design of the most appropriate lenses for a given patient. And they routinely upgrade their software, including topography programs for custom lenses.
Consultants can also guide you to specialty contact lens resources to assist in contact lens fits, such as the GP Lens Institute, International Academy of Orthokeratology and Myopia Control, Scleral Lens Educational Society, International Keratoconus Academy, Contact Lens Spectrum, Review of Cornea and Contact Lenses, and the Global Specialty Lens Symposium. In fact, many laboratories’ websites offer comprehensive information, such as fitting guides, calculators, design nomograms, and lists of materials and their properties. Many laboratories offer educational webinars about their new designs, including how to fit and troubleshoot specific scleral, multifocal, corneal reshaping, and irregular cornea patients.
In a competitive market, the laboratories that are successful today have achieved this success not only by embracing new technology and innovative designs, but also through the customer service and expertise their consultants provide. It is also evident that successful GP and custom soft lens fitting eye care practitioners recognize the many benefits of regular interaction with their CLMA member laboratory consultants.