Special to Ophthalmology Times®
In my experience, patients are generally confused by the analogy so many doctors use when they say, “Your eye is shaped like a football rather than a basketball.”
In today’s tech-savvy and visual world, that simple analogy doesn’t always resonate.
And yet, we ask patients to spend money—out of pocket—for correction of astigmatism with limbal relaxing incisions, a toric IOL, or laser vision correction.
If they don’t understand what the condition is or how the proposed treatment can help, patients may be hesitant to make that additional expenditure, and then end up unhappy when they don’t have good uncorrected vision.
Fortunately, there are many ways to use technology to help patients understand complex concepts like astigmatism.
Here are four patient education tools I like to use:
1. Tecnis Vision Simulator (Johnson & Johnson Vision)
This is available from the Apple app store (for iPad only) or online at www.tecnisvisionsimulator.com.
There is a slider at the bottom of the screen that you can move to simulate astigmatism and vision after surgery with a toric or standard monofocal IOL, during the day and at night (Figure 1a, seen above; Figure 1b, to the right).
Figure 1a: Simulation of vision with presbyopia and astigmatism after implantation of a standard monofocal.
This makes it obvious to the patient that vision won’t be as clear without correcting the astigmatism.