​THE ‘TAKE AWAY’ [Marcie Patten]

Here’s the scenario:  In walks your door a male client in his mid 50’s and he immediately starts boasting about having eagle eyes and 20/10 vision all his life.  BUT- darn thing happened he couldn’t see that fine print anymore so his buddy suggested he go to the drug store and buy himself  +1.00 readers.  He did and just used them when he was at dinner in a dark restaurant. 

Well now he has an Rx from his OD and OH MY GOD it has a distance Rx in it.  Looks a little like this:

OD  +0.50  -0.25 x 180
OS   +0.75-0.25  x 175
+1.75  ADD

PAL’S recommended

So you (hopefully) start the dialogue with lens selection before frame selection, and you tell him his OD has recommended PAL’s.  He replies, ‘What? what are those?’ You reply,  ‘You know, the no-line multifocal lens’.

He replies, ‘Oh yeah, ugh, my buddy warned me not to get those, there awful.’  You reply, ‘actually they are the best lens technology for your visual condition.’  He replies, ‘I only need reading glasses, I can see just fine far away…..’  I could go on, but we’ve all had that guy at least once! 

So where do you go from here? Clearly he isn’t mentally ready for PAL’s because he’s in denial and keeps listening to his buddy’s rather than you, the lens expert.  Since a huge part of a good optician’s arsenal is the ability to listen intently to the client, you’ve heard loud and clear where he stands on the subject.  So do the ‘TAKE AWAY’.  Here’s the conversation:

Okay, Mr. Iman Denial, based on everything I’ve heard from you today, I don’t recommend PAL’s at this time.  You’re not ready for them.  Bam- you just did the’ TAKE AWAY’.  All of a sudden the dynamic has shifted and you are telling this man he can’t have something.  I guess it’s human nature but saying they can’t have somthting reverses the equation and all of a sudden they are saying, ‘Well maybe I should try it, what do you think?’  You stand your ground and say, ‘Honestly Mr. Denial, you’re not ready.’  Then of course you have to explain simply why he’s not ready etc.  And, without taking a breath you begin the discussion about 2- maybe 3 pairs of glasses.  One for distance, one for reading and oh yeah, one for the computer screen.  ‘Do what-  3 pairs? …….  Then you give them Presbyopia 101 lesson and tell them that’s why 3 pairs is recommended,  because even though the PAL would do the job of 3 pairs, he’s just not ready for them yet, and you of course want him to be successful with adapting to the lenses. 

From my experience with PAL lenses, and I fit the first wave of PAL’s back in the late 80’s early 90’s-  this client/patient profile has to feel some pain and frustration with multiple pairs of reading glasses and never having one of them when they need them, before they are really motivated and willing to wear the PAL’s successfully.  Trust me after a couple of years of dealing with readers they will be begging you to give them PAL’s.  Trust me it works!!  

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