Our May issue features an article that breaks down the lens needs of millennials, Gen X’ers, and baby boomers, and asks ECPs which lenses they typically prescribe for each group. Here, we take the conversation even further, with Heidi Pham-Murphy, O.D., of Visions Optometry in Sacramento, CA.
Here are Dr. Pham-Murphy’s thoughts and strategies for finding the right lens for the right patient:
MILLENNIALS (20s –early 30s)
“The millennials have a wide range of lifestyles: you have your college and graduate student life, the working life, the fun traveling exploring life. This age group also encompasses moms and dads who are working and running to children's events. This group have varied lifestyles, but the one common thread is that this age group spends a significant amount of their day and night on mobile devices!”
Everyday Wear: SV digital such as Unity SVx (from VSP Optics) in Trivex or high index (the goal is to keep as thin as possible) with TechShield Blue (VSP Optics)
Sports: A sport safety frame or fashion sunglasses with polarized lens and backside AR.
Device/Computer Use: SV for all distances or SV for reading/computer distance (or even the new anti-fatigue lens designs that puts a small add on the bottom.). My go-to choices include Unity SVx, or SYNC (from Hoya Vision Care), BluTech with AR.
GEN X (late-30s-early 50s)
GenX patients also have a wide range of lifestyles. From work to sport and leisure, and from fashion to function, so we really need to address all these needs. This age group has a high level of near-vision demands. The emerging novice presbyope as well as the seasoned presbyope are within this age group. One very common theme is that this group uses a variety of devices from desktops to tablets to mobile devices.
Everyday Wear: SV digital in Trivex or high index (the goal is to keep as thin as possible) with TechShield Blue. For presbyopes: A progressive digital like Unity Via Elite. TechShield Blue to decrease fatigue and blue light exposure.
Device/Computer lenses: Unity CVx in BluTech material. This filters blue light more broad-spectrum, and in my experience patients are reporting less eye fatigue, better sleep patterns, and significant decreases in headaches!
BABY BOOMERS (Mid-50s-early 70S)
Baby boomers are a very active group of patients. However, we must be aware of post-cataract surgery. Patients who have lens implants are now once again very susceptible to the impacts of blue light and UV.
Everyday Wear: A progressive digital (such as UnityVia Elite) in Trivex, with a TechShield Blue treatment.
Device/Computer lenses: Unity Via Elite with TechShield Blue or, Unity CVx in BluTech with antiglare.
“Really, the bottom line is that we need to understand and realize that life in front of digital screen, an active outdoor life, and sports activities are a part of all of our patients lives. One simple way to find out what our patients need is to ask how they spend their days,” Dr. Pham-Murphy says. “With that knowledge, we can use our expertise to make very specific recommendations to meet those needs. Often, it's lenses that patients are unaware of. Remember, we are here to not only meet patients’ needs, we are here to exceed their expectations."