LIGHTWEIGHT EYEWEAR / PAGE 6 POSITIVE CHANGES IN OPTICIANRY / PAGE 12 April 2011 • Volume 5, Issue 40 • www.ECPmag.com
Vol. 5 Issue 40
Courtesy of Jee Vice
LIGHTWEIGHT EYEWEAR AND SUNWEAR Keep your patient’s cool and comfortable with the latest in lightweight eyewear and sunwear. by ECP Staff
POSITIVE CHANGES IN OPTICIANRY Chronicling some recent events that will hopefully help change and expand the field of Opticianry.
by Warren McDonald, PhD
RETRO EYEWEAR Keep up with the latest styles in the currently trendy “Retro” eyewear category. by Laura Miller
BOUTIQUE MEDICINE Profile of Executive Medicine of Texas, who offer concierge packages to high-end clients. by Lindsey Getz
Courtesy of Transitions Optical, Inc.
Creating a brand that stands out from the rest is the key in differentiating your practice. by Judy Canty, ABO/NCLE
POLARIZATION 101 The increase in outdoor activities and 3D technology makes polarization education more important than ever. by Carrie Wilson, BS, LDO, ABOM, NCLE-AC
On The Cover: US OPTICAL LLC 800-445-2773 www.USOPTICAL.com
Departments EDITOR/VIEW .....................................................................................................4 MANAGING OPTICIAN...................................................................................20 MOVERS AND SHAKERS.................................................................................32 MOBILE OPTICIAN .........................................................................................36 THE MODERN ECP ..........................................................................................40 ADVERTISER INDEX .......................................................................................46 INDUSTRY QUICK ACCESS............................................................................47 LAST LOOK .......................................................................................................50
Editor / view
by Jeff Smith
“Three’s a Crowd” Dispensing It can be challenging enough to convince a male patient that a different frame style may best fit his lifestyle and prescription and still be stylish, but what happens when a “style consultant” enters the picture? It generally is his wife or girlfriend, but very often it’s someone older, perhaps his mother or mother-in-law. Even though you might have established a good relationship with the patient, it’s time to start all over. Being aware of the dynamics of the situation may help you in determining how to proceed. The consultant is given the power of decision, and many times feels she must demonstrate her expertise. That often comes out as a negative, that is, whatever the patient and you might have decided on must be wrong, or why else would he have asked for her help? While being careful not to ignore the patient, it is important that you direct your analysis of lifestyle and prescription requirements to the consultant. Doing so puts her in your confidence and acknowledges her as an expert. Be sure to greet the consultant as you would the patient, that is, give your name and title. It is important that she recognize you as the authority, particularly if she doesn’t know you. If you had previously picked out frames with the patient, it is helpful not to show them to her immediately, but rather go through the same procedure you did with the patient. While you don’t need to go through the entire selection process again, this step is important and will make it easier to settle on the frames that were already selected. If the consultant is wearing frames, pay close attention to them. If they are an older style, it may be more difficult to get her to agree on a new style for the patient. Be careful not to be overly critical of her glasses; if pressed, you might mention how the new lens designs allow for smaller frames, or perhaps how the new styles are emphasizing color. If this is the initial selection, remember to direct you comments to her. Certainly include her in any decision process. You might have the patient try on a frame, then stand back with the consultant and discuss with her how it looks. Once a few frames have been selected, your attention should swing back to the patient. But although the consultant has receded more into the background, don’t ignore her all together, she still has to feel a part of the process. Having a consultant can complicate the sales process and slow things down, but it doesn’t have to create undue problems if handled correctly. And there are times when a consultant may be very welcomed, such as when a patient just can’t seem to make up his mind. A consultant may very well just walk up, grab one of the frames, and seal the deal for the patient!
Publisher/Editor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Jeff Smith Production/Graphics Manager. . . . . . . . . . . Bruce S. Drob Director, Advertising Sales . . . . . . . . . . . . Lynnette Grande Contributing Writers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Judy Canty, Dee Carew, , Timothy Coronis, Gary Fore, Elmer Friedman, Lindsey Getz, Ginny Johnson, Jim Magay, Warren McDonald, Anthony Record, Jason Smith, Carrie Wilson Technical Editor . . . . . . . . Brian A. Thomas, P.h.D, ABOM Internet Coordinator . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Terry Adler Opinions expressed in editorial submissions contributed to EyeCare Professional Magazine, ECP™ are those of the individual writers exclusively and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of EyeCare Professional Magazine, ECP™ its staff, its advertisers, or its readership. EyeCare Professional Magazine, ECP™ assume no responsibility toward independently contributed editorial submissions or any typographical errors, mistakes, misprints, or missing information within advertising copy.
ADVERTISING & SALES (215) 355-6444 • (800) 914-4322 lgrande@ECPmag.com
EDITORIAL OFFICES 111 E. Pennsylvania Blvd. Feasterville, PA 19053 (215) 355-6444 • Fax (215) 355-7618 www.ECPmag.com editor@ECPmag.com EyeCare Professional Magazine, ECP™ is published monthly by OptiCourier, Ltd. Delivered by Third Class Mail Volume 5 Number 40 TrademarkSM 1994 by OptiCourier, Ltd. All Rights Reserved. No part of this magazine may be used or reproduced in any form or by any means without prior written permission of the publisher.
OptiCourier, Ltd. makes no warranty of any kind, either expressed, or implied, with regard to the material contained herein. OptiCourier, Ltd. is not responsible for any errors and omissions, typographical, clerical and otherwise. The possibility of errors does exist with respect to anything printed herein. It shall not be construed that OptiCourier, Ltd. endorses, promotes, subsidizes, advocates or is an agent or representative for any of the products, services or individuals in this publication. Purpose: EyeCare Professional Magazine, ECP™ is a publication dedicated to providing information and resources affecting the financial well-being of the Optical Professional both professionally and personally. It is committed to introducing a wide array of product and service vendors, national and regional, and the myriad cost savings and benefits they offer.
For Back Issues and Reprints contact Jeff Smith, Publisher at 800-914-4322 or by Email: jeff@ECPmag.com Copyright © 2011 by OptiCourier Ltd. All Rights Reserved
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4 | EYECAREPROFESSIONAL | APRIL 2011
©2011 Intercast Europe S.r.l. All rights reserved. NXT is a registered trademark of Intercast Europe S.r.l. Trivex is a registered trademark of PPG Industries Ohio, Inc.
Unrivalled technology. Unrivalled performance vision. A prescription shouldn’t stand between your patients and an incredible visual experience of the world around them. And it won’t with NXT® Rx lenses featuring: ÊÊÊUÊ`Û>Vi`Ê} ÌÊ/À>Ã>ÌÊ/iV }Þ ÊÊÊUÊ1Ì>ÌiÊ ÌÀ>ÃÌ]Ê>ÀiÊ>`Ê Þ>VÊ À} ÌiÃÃÊ ÌÀÃÊ ÊÊÊUÊ>`iÊÜÌ ÊÕÌÀ>ÊVi>À]Ê`ÕÀ>Li]Ê} ÌÜi} ÌÊTrivex® material Now you can offer the premium performance of NXT lenses in many customized lens `iÃ}ÃÊvÀÊ >ÀÊ<iÃÃÊ6Ã°Ê Available in the complete range of NXT lens treatments to meet every sun lens need: ÊÊUÊ*>Àâi`ÊÊÊÊÊUÊ* ÌV ÀVÊÊÊÊÊUÊ*>Àâi`Ê« ÌV ÀVÊÊÊÊÊUÊÝi`ÊÌÌÃÊÊÊÊÊUÊÀÀÀÃ
Ì>VÌÊÞÕÀÊ >ÀÊ<iÃÃÊ6ÃÊÃ>iÃÊÀi«ÀiÃiÌ>ÌÛiÊ ÀÊÛÃÌÊÜÜÜ°ÝÌÛÃ°VÉâiÃÃÊvÀÊÀiÊvÀ>Ì°Ê 1-ÊÊ£nääÎxnnÓxn
1. Jee Vice Jee Vice differentiates itself with its large lightweight sunglasses. Designed for incredible comfort, this distinctively inspirational design, called Egoist, is as light as a feather with exceptional fit making them easy to wear. These sunglasses use a modified Grillamid 90 which has unequalled elasticity, stability and flex memory and retain their shape if left in the hot sun. www.jeevice.com
LIGHTWEIGHT Eyewear and
3. O Dark Thirty
2. Alain Mikli Starck Eyes Biozero eyewear collection features gravity, an injected material that has never been used in the eyewear industry so far. Gravity opens new prospects in terms of thinness, lightness resistance and perceived quality. Shown is Style PL1014, and the Biozero collection consists of three complementary eye shapes to fit every head shape and prescription. www.mikli.com
Stay stylish at all hours with O Dark Thirty's Mantrum. The metal embellishments prop the hand-braided leather trim in a lightweight frame with an easy-to-wear, modified-geometric front. Available in black, gunmetal and antique gold. All OD30 frames are perfect for single to multi-focal lenses. www.ODark30.com
4. Classique Eyewear T-Lite is a classic ultra Lite Titanium collection. Its modern design expresses style and sophistication. Exquisite and sleek, T-Lite offers elegance and versatility. Its ultra Lite structure, radiates beauty and confidence. For those who seek comfort and quality, we invite you toâ€”see the Lite. www.classique-eyewear.com
5. FYSH UK The TR-90 temples on F-3442 make this frame extremely lightweight and the beautiful snakeskin design creates a sultry textured look. The vividness of snakeskin colors result in a variety of fun color combinations when paired with black, red, violet and brown fronts. This model is available in size 52-18-135. www.fyshuk.com
6. Morel Lightec is launching 6 highly contemporary models for men and women in this new series. Alpha 12 is a continuation of the Lightec stainless steel groupings fitted with the Alpha screwless, spring-hinge system. From a design standpoint, the folds in the stainless steel temple offer the wearer a fluid product, with a colorful and contemporary design, combining volume and lightness. www.morel-france.com
The flamboyant HOLLY model cites popular ladies’ spectacles from the 1950s and 1960s: the butterfly-Nylor style. Its translation here into MYKITA’s flat-metal concept gives the iconic design a new context; thick acetate applications are replaced by painted surfaces, while the classic Nylor thread is now only a reference as a part of the metal frame. www.mykita.com
Durable and lightweight, the newest Tony Morgan Memory Flex styles not only feature fashion-forward designs recognized from our signature collection but the memory titanium material allows superlight, corrosion resistant, and unbreakable flexibility. Class and comfortability make these styles a popular choice for everyday eyewear. www.alookoptics.com
ClearVision Rudy Project
Positano – A women’s flat metal stainless steel frame with soft cat eye shape, it features beautifully designed acid etched cut out temples with a micro chain pattern featured in Ellen Tracy jewelry. The lightweight frame also has contrasting matte finish on the front with shiny finish on the temples. It is available in Brown, Eggplant and Wine. www.cvoptical.com
Safilo Group Emporio Armani presents model EA 9779/S from the Summer 2011 collection. An urban inspiration is reworked in an industrial way where the sunglasses are compressed into a precise and graphic silhouette as seen in a technical drawing. They are produced in thin concentric metal wires reminiscent of a circuit board or a computer chip. The colors play up to the mechanical look of the model with optical white with shaded grey lenses and asphalt grey with dark grey lenses. www.safilo.com
Rydon Orange Fluo – Rudy Project’s style- accelerated “fluo” florescent colors are revealed this year on the ever-popular Rydon sunglass. Unifying seamlessly advanced design technology and materials science, it blends cutting-edge ergonomic features with advanced materials to create a super-lightweight, versatile, high performance sunglass. Easily RXed with ImpactRx in single vision and progressive directly into frame. www.rudyprojectusa.com
Smooth silhouette and feather-soft comfort define this Italian designer brand, which employs the lightest of strong materials to provide a stylish and sophisticated look. Rimless, with comfort nose pads and titanium or aluminum frames, the Enni Marco collection highlights the beauty within each and every customer. IV 52-013A is shown. www.ennimarco.com
Surface is the new, distinctively designed eyewear collection exclusively for men. In handsome tones of black and brown, this masculine collection delivers high design at an affordable price, perfect for the guy with his eye on the future. The premiere Surface set is comprised of ten RX-able frames constructed with excellence in metal and acetate. www.remeyewear.com
Clariti Eyewear is stepping forward to provide a new take on memory metal frames with their Konishi Flex-Titanium line. Konishi Flex-Titanium is unique in that it combines the technology of light-weight, flex-titanium memory metal frames with the Clariti commitment to excellence and affordability. Available in over 100 different styles at unbeatable prices. www.claritieyewear.com
CH11904 BK â€“ A comfortable lightweight pressure mount style in Excellence Titan featuring masculine lens shape design with modern pierced temple accent. Excellence Titan is a highly flexible material that provides unlimited design options and superior wearing comfort. Available in size: 53-19-135, colors: Black, Blue, Brown and Gray. www.charmant-usa.com
Coleman These lightweight, full aluminum sunglasses feature double spring hinge arms with polarized lenses. By filtering out specific colors from the spectrum, our tinted high acuity polarized lenses can help enhance sports and task-specific activities in nature. As Coleman has its roots in the outdoors and nature, this brand new collection is a next step of Coleman serving another generation...in full clarity. www.identity-group.com
Corning and SunSensors are registered trademark of Corning Inc, Corning, NY - CopyrightÂŠ 2011 Corning Incorporated.All rights reserved
[ The alternative photochromic ]
7BMVFGPSUIFNPOFZtReliable t Quality
The 21st Century Optician Warren G. McDonald, PhD Professor of Health Administration Reeves School of Business / Methodist University
The American Optician: Is Transformation and Change Taking Place?
HIS MONTH, I am going to diverge from my recent management topics, and look to some positive changes taking shape in the world of opticianry. I am very proud of some great work going on around the country that will have a national affect. As every reader is aware, I am a strong advocate for changing and expanding opticianry. Many of us who want to see change take place are extremely frustrated at the seemingly slow pace required to affect change, but some recent things are happening that gives this writer some real hope for the future. Often those who are involved in change find themselves alone, or at least they feel alone, but take a look at some of the great initiatives going on, and you will see that people are working to improve opticianry. I, for one, appreciate the great work they are doing and hope they are successful in their endeavors. Let’s take a look.
Florida Legislation The first activity I want to bring to your attention is happening as you read this article in the great state of Florida. Exact information on the bill can be found on the website of the Professional Opticians of Florida (www.pof.org), and I want to state publicly how very proud I am for their efforts on behalf of us all. POF is one of, if not THE best, opticianry organizations in the country, and is run by an outstanding Executive Director, Mr. Mark Miller. They are working on a bill that would expand the scope of practice for opticians in Florida, and positively affect several other important restrictions on opticians. From a source I have discussed this bill with at length, it appears it was
spearheaded by a legislator very interested in consumer issues. Please review the information below, and see what you think. Very interesting “doings” in the great state of Florida, the following is from the POF website: Professional Opticians of Florida is extremely pleased to announce that a very pro-consumer and pro-opticianry bill was introduced into both chambers for Florida’s 2011 legislative session as House Bill 549 by Rep. Tobia (R) of Melbourne and as Senate Bill 868 by Sen. Sobel (D) of Hollywood. The highlights of these proposed changes that are in the Bills and of most interest to opticians are: • Removes the restriction on opticians performing refractions of the eye* • Allows opticians and optometrists to form a partnership, corporation or professional association to create, own and manage an optical establishment together • Clarifies the term ‘optical dispensing’ by adding the word final into the legal definition to read as, “...transferring an optical aid to the wearer after an optician completes the final fitting...” • Requires apprentices entering the program after July 1, 2011 will need to earn at least 12 semester hours of college credit • Non-licensed supportive personnel working in an optometrist’s office will only be able to dispense eye wear and provide the final fitting on a patient under the direct Continued on page 14
12 | EYECAREPROFESSIONAL | APRIL 2011
Safigel Signs U.S. Distributor Agreement with Wisconsin Vision Associates
Soothe with Saﬁgel
The bio-lens that brings tears to patients’ eyes
Safigel™ has signed an agreement with Wisconsin Vision Associates (WVA) for expanded distribution of its Safigel 1 day™ daily disposable contact lenses. As a full-service contact lens distributor and buying group, WVA will distribute Safigel 1 day Daily Disposables directly to Eye Care Professionals. “It’s a pleasure to partner with Chris Fait and the entire WVA team to bring Safigel’s patented Hyaluronate-Gel (HA) Technology to a new group of Eye Care Professionals and their contact lens patients.” said Safigel CEO Eric Sharvelle. “WVA’s impressive growth over the years is a testament to the quality of both their sales and customer service organizations. We look forward to becoming a part of WVA’s continued success story.” WVA CEO, Christopher Fait said, “We are excited about our new partnership with Safigel. Their innovative 1 Day Daily Disposable is a great lens that will work well for many of the doctors we serve.” Safigel is the world’s only hyaluronate contact lens. Positioned at the cutting edge, these contact lenses have the same natural bio-polymer, sodium hyaluronate, used in many leading dry eye drops. HA has unique, water-attracting properties which cause lubrication of the tear shield on both sides of the lens, increasing patient comfort and wearing times. A leading Optometrist in New York City explains, “Our patients wear their lenses from 6:00 am to 10:00 pm – at work, at the gym, shopping, and at home. They love their Safigel lenses because they can put in a lens that fits their schedule without having to put drops in all the time. With Safigel contact lenses, our patients say they are a lot more comfortable.”
Patented Hyaluronate-Gel Technology attracts water so continual hydration lubricates the eye. As a result, wearing times are extended and dry eye dropouts can comfortably wear lenses again.
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Safigel maintains its Corporate Offices in Chicago. For more information, contact Scott Orphanos, VP of Sales, 877-SAF-IGEL, Ext. 2, email@example.com , or visit www.safigel.com. WVA is an authorized contact lens distributor and buying group that serves over 3,000 doctors nationwide with support from 23 field reps. For more information, visit www.wisvis.com.
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supervision of the optometrist and not under the general supervision as the optometric rules allow now • Restrict optometrists from delegating to another person, the duty of determining the refractive error of the eye unless that person is specifically licensed to provide these services *Additional language is currently being drafted to also include the educational curriculum, competencies, and practice standards that would allow qualified Florida opticians to refract. Online Eyewear Sales Another important issue significantly affecting not only opticians, but also optometrists is the proliferation of online “retailers” selling eyewear across state lines, and the lack of professional oversight of such entities. Well, I can tell you that there is an active group working on this issue. I had the privilege of lecturing at the Optical Society of Western New York (OSWNY) meeting in balmy Buffalo, New York recently, and heard all about it! While the February weather was not great for a good old Southerner like me, the people were great, and I thoroughly enjoyed my time with them. They are doing something interesting, and requesting assistance from the State Department of Education that regulates the health profession in the state. Online sales are not much of an issue in my state, according to most I talk to, but in Western New York, it is taking a big chunk out of the market. President Arnold Edelman and Vice President Dennis Bunz and their membership have asked in a formal letter for the Department of Education that regulates the health professions in the state of New York to take action to stop the unlawful sale of prescription eyewear in the state. It is unlawful in New York to dispense a pair of spectacles without a license, and this group correctly points out that not only will they send a patient a pair of spectacles based on a faxed Rx, they will also make changes to that Rx without consulting the prescribing doctor. If an Optician were to do that, they would soon be in jail! These online retailers need to be policed just like the rest to assure the safety and well being of the public. OSWNY is moving to require these folks to dispense according to state law, and that is right and fair. Most feel online sales will continue to grow, and the public may be placed at risk if untrained people are attempting to do the job of the professionals. I applaud their efforts. More needs to be done to look into this situation and come to some conclusions before too long.
14 | EYECAREPROFESSIONAL | APRIL 2011
SAO Update Finally, I want to address the Society to Advance Opticianry from a previous article. The organization now has a website (www.advanceopticianry.org). It should be active by the time this article is published, and I hope you will take a look at what they are attempting to do. It is administratively supported by the Opticians Association of America and is dedicated to recognizing opticians who have advanced educations and licensure/certification. It is an excellent group of dedicated people who want see opticianry advance to a higher rung up the eyecare ladder. Review this site and consider becoming a member. I know, I can hear the rumbling now. Another organization...we need that like another hole in the head! But folks, we hope this one will be different. Its sole purpose is to provide recognition for opticians who have gone the extra mile. Much like the CPA is to general accountants, the advanced-practice opticians recognized by the SAO will be the cream of the crop of opticians educationally. These folks will have taken the time to go to school to truly learn optical theory. They are the problem-solver, and really know how to analyze patients’ optical problems and correct them. They sat for, and obtained advanced-level board certifications, and want to do more than discuss frame cosmetics with Mrs. Jones. They should be able to market themselves as the advanced-level practitioner they are, and SAO will help to do that. We can do more as opticians, and the SAO wants to recognize the thousands out there who have gone the extra mile to educate themselves. Those who come to the field to simply “sell glasses” can continue along that path, but SAO wants to see the field expand and improve. The SAO is for you, if you have similar feelings. If you do not have the requisite education, they can help you obtain it, and will work to see your goals accomplished. Conclusion Things are changing, and it appears the work many have done for years may be paying dividends....finally! I am excited about these efforts, and wanted to keep you, our readers abreast of these and others. If you have something going on in your state, please let us know. We want to support your efforts, and I look forward to any comments. I am going to try to keep you updated on things that can affect you. If you know of anything that should be made known to the field, please contact me through the magazine. I will get the word out! ■
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The Fashionable ECP Laura Miller
Making the Most of
RETRO Oliver People ’s JonJo n
If we can learn one thing from fashion, it is to keep clothes and accessories for 25 years and eventually they will become stylish again. The same goes for your eyewear. It seems like every frame company is adding “vintage” and “retro” lines to their collections and opticians and patients are buying. First we need to know the difference between “vintage” and “retro.” You are probably buying retro frames, since “vintage” frames actually come from an earlier era at least 25 years ago. “Retro” frames are new frames that look like something from an earlier era. Don’t be fooled by calling a frame “vintage” when it is really vintage-inspired. These frames, like the Ben Franklin look, are becoming more popular than ever. With the John Lennon inspired, P3, cat-eye frames from the 60’s and the oversized, bold frames of the 80’s, your patients have many choices. Traditionally, these styles were made specifically for men, who did most of the reading and writing, but now, frame companies are adding women’s and children’s frames to their collections.
Though it is difficult and daring for most women to pull off big, bright and bold frames, you should still carry a few in your office just in case. You do not want to send your patients to the competition around the corner. Even if they sit on the board for a little longer than others, it gives patients the idea that this doctor is “with it.” Designers including Michael Kors and Catherine Malandrino donned their runway models in oversized round frames. They are a “must-have” this spring, whether your patient’s wear prescription eyeglasses or not. Whatever your patient base may be, make sure the retro glasses are comfortable and compliment your patient’s face and skin tone. Be cognizant that the following traditional rules don’t always apply. For round faces: You need to create angles. Because the retro frames are wider and deeper all around, use some type of rectangular shape. Note that the bridge is more prominent in the zyl frames. To widen eyes, you might try a metal retro frame with a lighter bridge to give a softer look. Continued on page 18
In fact, designers seem to be targeting the female market. The most popular glasses on the runway are big, black and round, creating an edgy, urban look. Bold colors are also an important look on the runway. Oversized, (the Jackie Kennedy look) round or rectangular glasses in red, hot pink, or blue adorn the faces of the sleek and slender (models) and the spectators who come in all shapes and sizes. Tura’s Marc O’ Polo 16 | EYECAREPROFESSIONAL | APRIL 2011
WHAT’S MOST IMPORTANT ISN’T IN THE BOX.
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©2011 X-Cel Optical Company, all rights reserved. Transitions and the swirl are registered trademarks of Transitions Optical, Inc.
T H E
U LT I M AT E V I S I O N
For oval faces: Since there is already balance in the oval face, any retro frame can work. Compliment your patient’s eyes with some color if they want their frame to stand out. For oblong faces: You want to make the face appear shorter, so, a deep frame will work. Most retro frames are pretty deep, but you may not find the ornate temples usually recommended for this type of face. Unfortunately, most of the temples in vintage collections are usually pretty plain. The hard fast rule of “just trying them on” applies particularly here. For base-down triangle faces: Cat-eye frames work great for this type. They’re flattering and so “in” right now.
Tura’s Marc O’Polo Collection features a deep, square 80’s style that will lighten a face with a bright tortoise color. Luxottica’s Oliver Peoples has been making retro and vintagestyle eyewear since 1987. The JonJon was introduced earlier this year and is a favorite with its oversized black, square shape. This one is straight off the runway. Remember... retro frames are for a niche clientele. Therefore, they might not sell as quickly in different markets. Don’t get discouraged, some will sell, some will sit. Be sure to ask your frame representative about their return policies so you don’t get stuck.
For base-up triangle faces: Try a rimless, round frame in a light color. If your patient insists on a zyl, keep to the light, round category. For diamond-shaped faces: Oval or cat-eyed frames work the best. The retro frames might be a little deeper than normally recommended but can still compliment the face. For a square face: You want to soften the angles. Try to steer your patients away from cat-eyed frames. To create the retro look, suggest slightly wider frames. With so many designers adding retro to their collections, how do you select what to buy? Here are some examples of frames leading the way in popularity and sales. Still, remember to ask about the buy-in, return policy, warranty and prices. Safilo’s Juicy Couture collection has launched 6 vintage type frames to cater to women. The Smart and The Lover Girl are 60’s inspired frames using feminine colors such as pinks, purples and turquoise.
Europa International’s Cinzia collection has their Cinzia Black line with big, bold and black frames consisting of zyls from the 60’s including some cat-eyes. They have also just launched their vintage-style sunglass collection with some keyhole bridges in bold, feminine colors. Marchon’s Michael Kors Sun Collection has a nude-colored style call the Shetland with pointed logo temples and a deep oval look. 18 | EYECAREPROFESSIONAL | APRIL 2011
Lafont’s Cosinus 528
Another new market for these retro frames is children and tweens. A & A Optical introduced the kid’s Score by Pez. These rectangular zyls are selling like crazy. They are available in 43 and 45 eye sizes. Lafont also has the Cosinus collection with P3 shapes available in pastels with adjustable hinge temples and temples tips to grow with the child. Thanks to celebrities such as Justin Beiber and the Jonas Brothers, tweens and teens are flocking to the thick military style frames. Make sure you keep some in stock. Retro frames seem to getting additional board space and opticians keep them highlighted with Point of Purchase materials. If the company you buy from doesn’t have the POP needed, it is easy to make a display with an old ink pen and a retro picture in an antique looking picture frame. If you have an antique watch, that is another fantastic piece to add. Drape your new frames around the picture frame and add some pieces around the pen and the frame’s case. Now you have an eye-catching display. Remember to ask your representative to send all of their point of purchase material so you have some choices. You can also add some pictures of celebrities wearing retro frames. Open any celebrity magazine and you are sure to find celebrities in retro. Cut it out and put it in a nice, matted picture frame. Make sure you have a similar frame in stock. This will ensure that your patients know this is a popular trend and appears to be here for awhile. ■
NEW OPTICAL ACCESSORIES The Corinne McCormack Moroccan Sunset Column Eyeglass Chain uses bright fuchsia, gold and orange beads to make this accessory fun and bright for the
spring/summer season. The adjustable rubber tips secure the glasses in place, and make for an accessory that is both fashionable and functional.
Astucci has released its new line of “Bubble” material cases. The shoulder strap purse style Bubble case (in Black) features three compartments, which is good for your sunglasses, cell phone, makeup and anything on the go. The AS413 (Purple) sunglass case and the smaller AS185T Bubble eyeglass case is a fabulously fun, small unisex case, with an exterior lush bubble pattern. www.astuccui.com
The Corinne McCormack Moroccan Sunset Fuchsia Slim Triangle Case shows off a new, bright spring/summer color and material. www.CorinneMcCormack.com These eye glass holders from Optipets are great for kids to use. Simply put by your child’s bed side, insert into the animals mouth and it protects your child’s frame. It helps stop losing, damaging and scratching. And it makes it fun! www.eyedealgifts.co.uk
Hilco’s new fashion eyewear cases, sunglass cases and coordinated fashion holders add sparkle to women’s stylish accessory needs. The new vibrant colors add shimmer to our new cases and the fashion holders double as an eyewear holder and a fashion necklace enhancing their value. www.hilco.com
Managing Optician Anthony Record, ABO/NCLE, RDO
Can You Help Me?
them is no help—they said I’ll get used to them. But I’ve had ‘em nearly a month, and I’m telling you something’s wrong! Would you mind just checking to make sure they were made right? Can you help me?” With that, he handed me a prescription and a pair of Flat-Top 28 Transitions in a fashionable, semi-rimless frame. I said I would check and asked him to have a seat. The prescription read: “O.D. +0.25 + 2.75 x 175; O.S. Plano + 2.75 x 095; +2.50 add O.U.” The lensometer read: “O.D. +0.25 +3.00 x 173; O.S. Plano + 2.75 x 093; +2.50 add O.U.” I told him what I believed to be the truth, “Pretty darn close—almost right on the money.” Then I started to probe. “What exactly seems to be the problem?” He explained that he had no problem seeing at a distance. Driving and walking around was okay. The problem manifested itself at near. He said whenever he tried to read a book, he felt some strain almost right away, and that every once in awhile he was experiencing a double image. I asked him if the double image was horizontal or vertical. His puzzled look immediately told me I needed to rephrase my question. I asked him if the double images were on top of one another or side-by-side. When he told me the images were on top of one another (vertical) I thought of one thing—Anisometropia—leading to vertical imbalance at the reading level.
I WAS ON MY WAY TO THE AIRPORT, and for a change, I had some time to spare. That’s why I decided to swing by my office (always a good idea to pop in unexpectedly once in awhile) and make an appearance. As I approached the front door I was delighted to notice we were pretty busy. So of course I jumped in and began to help a few clients. I figured I’d leave the new sales to others, and worked my way through a few deliveries and repairs. I was about to leave, when I decided to help just one more person. “How may I help you?” I asked. The man was probably in his late 60s or early 70s. “I didn’t get these glasses here, but I’m having a lot of trouble with them. The place where I got 20 | EYECAREPROFESSIONAL | APRIL 2011
You should also know that there was no slab-off or reverse slab-off present in his glasses. At first glance, the prescription he presented to me would not give a reason for pause. But upon further, closer consideration, perhaps it does. Consider the power in the 90th meridian of each of these lenses. Since the add powers, and presumably the reading level is the same in both eyes, we can disregard both in our calculations. In the right eye, the sphere power is +0.25 and the cylinder power is +2.75 at axis 175. Since that is nearly 90-degrees away from the vertical meridian, we can presume that nearly 100% of the cylinder power is present in the vertical plane. Therefore, +3.00D of power is present in the 90th meridian of the right
eye. In the left eye, there is no spherical power. The cylinder power is +2.75, but with an axis of 95 there is virtually no power present in the vertical meridian. Therefore, the effective power in the 90th meridian of the left eye is close to zero. This creates a vertical imbalance of 2.4 Δ diopters which far exceeds the minimum amount of vertical imbalance that should at least be considered for special correction.
glasses. He claims he’ll never buy his glasses from anyone other than me. That makes me happy – and proud.
You could reasonably argue that an inexperienced ECP would easily place the initial spectacle order without ever considering the vertical imbalance. However, you could not convince me that the ECP should be forgiven for telling the patient to “just get used to it,” after trying it for a month, and expressing difficulty time and again.
• If only one eye received an IOL implant, ask how long it will be before the other eye is done.
This type of patient and this particular scenario are ones that we, as an industry, are beginning to see quite often. With more and more Baby Boomers coming of presbyopic and cataract age, the number will only increase. This particular patient had just had an IOL (Intraocular Lens) implant in one eye, but his doctor said it might be a year or more before the other cataract was ready to be removed. What is he to do while he is waiting for the second surgery? I explained the situation to him in language he could understand, and explained that he basically had three choices: 1. Deal with it. Put up with the discomfort until the other cataract was removed and hopefully, the eyes would be in better optical balance. 2. Replace one lens with a lens that included a slab-off (bicentric) prism. 3. Get two separate pairs of glasses – one for distance and one for reading. (If he looks through the optical center of his lens he will not experience any prism) Just so you know: He opted to keep his Flat-Top 28 Transitions and use them strictly as distance glasses, and he purchased two pairs of single-vision reading glasses – one for home and one for the car. You should also know that he is extremely happy with the current set-up. However, he is extremely disillusioned with the eye care “professional” where he initially purchased his
Some tips for handling anisometropia in general, and particularly in the 21st century: • Treat post-IOL patients as if they were wearing glasses for the first time.
• Verify that the visual acuity is reasonably good in each eye. (Vertical imbalance requires two well functioning eyes in order to be problematic) • Check for total vertical imbalance. If it is more than 1 Δ Diopter, educate the patient as to what anisometropia is, why it wasn’t a problem before, and what the possible effects would be if it goes uncorrected in the new glasses. • Document your discussion. • Discuss the benefits, costs, advantages and disadvantages of slab-off prism. Also, discuss the benefits, costs, advantages and disadvantages of two pairs of singlevision glasses. • Remember that single-vision wearers and people with very low acuity in one eye are not candidates for vertical imbalance corrections for the reasons stated above. Corrections that have 1.5 Diopters or less vertical imbalance are not candidates for anisometropic correction via slab-off prism. However, there are other techniques for these smaller imbalances that are quite effective. You would need to determine that these smaller amounts are, in fact, troublesome to the patient. Educate or re-educate yourself to be competent in this area. Brush up on anisometropia, antimetropia, asthenoipia, diplopia, Prentice’s Rule and the resulting prismatic effect of these prescriptions. Once you brush up, you will be surprised how often you will spot vertical imbalance in prescriptions. As a result, you will be truly helping your patients to a better quality of life and increasing your revenue in the process. What could be better? ■
Progressivelenses.com APRIL 2011 | EYECAREPROFESSIONAL | 21
Practice Profile Lindsey Getz
A Doctor at your Beck & Call Concierge medicine is gaining popularity among both doctors and their patients.
many of these physicians are forming relationships with their local ophthalmologists so that they have an eye doctor to refer their patients to if the need should arise. Boutique Treatment Executive Medicine of Texas, based in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, has seen growing success with its “concierge packages,” which start at $2,500 when added to a physical. It’s something that’s becoming popular nationwide as both doctors and their patients see a need for change. One of the biggest differences with this boutique type of medicine is that the doctor spends a good part of their day with a patient during a physical in which a whole slew of tests are run. It’s not uncommon for the time with a patient to average around five hours. With Executive Medicine’s concierge packages, follow-up visits and phone access to medical staff 24/7 are also offered. In fact, the physician typically gives their patients a direct cell phone line and welcomes patients to call anytime. It’s a big difference from the typical doctor’s office where a patient is lucky to get 15 minutes’ of their doctor’s undivided attention. The idea for concierge medicine sprung out of both patient and doctor dissatisfaction, says Walter Gaman, MD, who co-owns Executive Medicine of Texas with Mark Anderson, MD. “In Continued on page 24
Dr. Walter Gaman and Dr. Mark Anderson
Where do rock stars, professional athletes, actors or politicians go for their health care? Most likely a private doctor. While these types of high-profile patients have always had access to customized health care, this type of service is no longer just for the rich and famous. “Concierge Medicine,” also known as “direct care,” is really starting to gain popularity. It’s a relationship between a primary care physician and a patient where the patient pays a flat annual fee or retainer for specialized care and attention. As health insurance costs skyrocket for many, paying out of pocket has become a more viable option and these types of practices continue to grow. It’s something to be aware of as Dr. Gaman administers a Stress Test to a female patient 22 | EYECAREPROFESSIONAL | APRIL 2011
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order just to cover their overhead and make a reasonable living, doctors were tied to seeing so many patients a day,” he says. “That put them on a treadmill of rushing from patient to patient. But it wasn’t just the patients who were unhappy. Doctors knew they couldn’t do the best job they were capable of when they were under a time constraint. The idea of concierge medicine was born out of that frustration.”
as though they got their money’s worth,” says Gaman. “We go into great detail and give them a road map to where their health is headed. And we offer them convenience. I had a patient call from the middle of China who needed medical advice. I also had a patient with Gout who needed a shot of Cortisone so I met him at the office at midnight and gave it to him there so he didn’t have to go to the ER.” With this kind of individualized treatment, physicians who offer concierge type of services have to take a limited volume of patients. There’s only so much time in one day. Gaman says that concierge medicine is a return to traditional medicine—the way it used to be when you were on a first-name basis with your doctor. “I haven’t had to do a house call yet but if one of my concierge patients called and needed it, I would do that,” he says. “It’d be part of the service.”
One of Dr. Gaman’s specialized treatments
With concierge medicine, Gaman says the focus is on prevention. Gaman and Anderson do highly in depth physicals on their patients that include everything from lab testing, to hearing screening, cardiovascular stress testing, and more. A vision screening and color vision screening are also performed as part of the extensive overall physical. “It’s not uncommon for us to find patients with early cataracts,” reports Gaman. “If we find this type of thing, we’d refer them to an ophthalmologist.” Of course this type of specialized treatment has also drawn a celebrity crowd. “We’ve had professional athletes and celebrities, but we also have a lot of CEOs and company executives,” says Anderson. “These are often people who have a very particular time schedule that they need to keep and we can accommodate that. Athletes also don’t want to be recognized in their home town for going to the doctor or there starts being all kinds of speculation as to what’s wrong with them.” Worth the Cost Concierge medicine does require more out of pocket cost. Testing done through the hospital would likely be covered by insurance, but the office visits to Executive Medicine and in-house testing would not. These types of services would require an out-of-pocket retainer. But that flat fee covers much of the services. While a patient’s insurance doesn’t cover all of the care involved in Executive Medicine of Texas’ packages, the physicians say that patients feel it’s worth the cost. “Patients walk away feeling 24 | EYECAREPROFESSIONAL | APRIL 2011
Dr. Gaman at his office with a female patient
On Executive Medicine’s website, they help patients put the price in perspective with a few figures. They note that $3,600 would be the cost of drinking a Venti Frappuccino® each day for a year, while $1,700 would be the cost of a movie date night per weekend in a year. Considering these costs, they suggest that paying more out of pocket for concierge medicine makes sense since matters of health are so critical. Anderson says that he’s certain ophthalmologists probably understand the frustration of having to see many patients in a day just to keep up with office expenses and overhead costs. While it’s more of a primary care issue right now, even many specialists are feeling the weight of busy offices. Anderson says that eyecare practice owners should consider forming relationships with concierge practices in their area. “We have many relationships with area specialists,” he says. “That way if one of our patients needs to see someone, like an ophthalmologist, we can refer them. Generally these are patients that have good benefits and well-paying plans. If you can create a relationship with a physician’s office that offers concierge medicine, it may benefit you as well.” ■
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Dispensing Optician Judy Canty, ABO/NCLE
BRANDING a Successful Practice
“I’LL HAVE THE HOUSE DRESSING...” Expert after expert advise us, lecture us actually, that we should be branding something. Brand our practices, our lenses, our frames, or our service. Just keep in mind that if you’re going to hang your hat on a particular product brand, yours won’t be the only one there.
tributors, frame manufacturers hired sales reps and the battle for our loyalty was on!
If there are lots of hats on that hook, you’re going to have to find a way to make your hat stand out. A red hat in a sea of blue, so to speak.
Unfortunately the field has become so cluttered with brands and designers and trademarks that patients are beginning to shut us out of the conversation and opting for online vendors, where they can sit with a cup of tea or a glass of wine and browse to their hearts content. No pressure, no hundreds of choices to make, no smiling salesperson up close and personal. Just upload a photo, drag and drop images, a few simple explanations of options, a credit card and done. Can we compete with that? Of course we can.
Creating Your Brand Marty Neumeier in ZAG: The #1 Strategy of High-Performance Brands suggests that we complete this sentence: “Our (Practice) is the ONLY___________ that___________ .” Now realistically, we all have access to the same products; the same lenses, frames, coatings and labs and we offer the same services; eye exams, contact lens exams and eyewear. So how do we differentiate our practice from the one down the street? There was a time when the lenses you used and the frames you carried were determined by the lab you used. American Optical and Bausch & Lomb had labs and carried their own lenses and frames. Some labs carried Univis products and some carried Universal. When the product offerings became too numerous, independent labs began to carry a multitude of lenses and frames. Then lens manufacturers began identifying labs as dis28 | EYECAREPROFESSIONAL |APRIL 2011
There are a few simple steps to follow. Simple does not mean easy or quick, it means simple and effective. 1. WHO are you and WHAT do you do? Write it down. If it takes more than a dozen words to cover this, keep refining the statement until it is 12 words or less. Having been involved with more than a few “visioning” meetings, I learned that the “vision” was usually what the corporate office wanted and had very little relevance to daily operations. 2. WHO are your patients and WHAT is the benefit to them? Your patients are more than just hyperopes,
myopes and presbyopes. They are more than the sum total of their vision plan reimbursements. If you’re not tracking your patient demographics, and that includes knowing likes and dislikes and most importantly WHY they chose your office, you are less likely to be able to identify your points of difference, the THING that you do that no one else does or does as well as you do. 3. WHO is the competition? Competition is not a bad thing, unless you’re on the losing end. Competition forces us to keep our eye on the ball, our ear to the ground or any other maxim that fits. You must know what other practices are doing, not just what they’re doing well, but where they are missing out. Those places, the “white spaces” to use an art term, are where the opportunities are to build a brand for your practice. 4. HOW do you define your practice? It’s called a trueline or a tagline. It allows you to describe your practice in a nutshell, the reason your practice matters to your patients. Remember, says Neumeier, it’s not what YOU say; it’s what your (PATIENTS) say that counts. It’s why “You Are Now Free to Move about the Country” or you “Just Do It” or why “Nobody Cares For Eyes More Than Pearle.” The power of a trueline or tagline is amazing. 5. HOW do you spread the word? First you need to track the patients you have. How did they find you? Those are the touchpoints, the places where your name came up or into view or was overheard. Who does your recalls or reminders? Who administers your website? You do have a website, don’t you? Or a Facebook page? Outsourcing these activities may cost a bit more money, but the cost of not having them done properly is much higher. This is how you link those steps into a plan, from ZAG: The #1 Strategy of High Performance Brands. FOR HARLEY-DAVIDSON WHAT:
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About the House Dressing Why do I want the house dressing? There are 1) too many choices and 2) it’s reliable. We are inundated with choices and information from the moment our eyes open in the morning until we turn out the lights at night. And just to be sure we don’t miss anything while we sleep; our computers automatically update our software. What news program do I watch while I’m getting ready for work? Do I have time for breakfast at the table or just the closest drive-thru? What radio station do I want to listen to on the drive to work or relax to on the way home? Do I have time for the gym? Who’s making dinner or picking up the kids or doing the shopping? And don’t get me started on shopping; when did grocery stores become a maze? What can I turn off, the radio, the GPS or my cell phone? When there are too many choices to be made, the average consumer will stick with what they know and what they’re comfortable with. So the idea of creating a house brand is very appealing. It does take considerable research into what your patients want, how much they’re willing to pay and how long they’re willing to wait for the finished product. On the other side of the ledger, you must decide how much you’re willing to pay, the level of technology you’re comfortable with, the skill sets involved in working with the product, the turnaround time and the return policies. The brands you choose, whether you put your practice name on them or simply choose to carry and promote specific recognizable products are your “house dressing.” They must reduce the marketplace clutter and allow your patients to have the best possible person-to-person eyecare experience. Now, take a deep breath...and start creating your “house dressing.” ■
APRIL 2011 | EYECAREPROFESSIONAL| 29
Through the Lens Carrie Wilson, BS, LDO, ABOM, NCLE-AC
Polarization 101 The Technology behind the Lens The easiest way to describe a polarized lens is to describe its filter as a micro Venetian blind. Like the Venetian blind on a window, a polarized filter blocks light coming in at a certain angle, while allowing light to be transmitted through the lens at an angle 90 degrees away. The filter is horizontally aligned so that the horizontally reflected light is absorbed. This can be demonstrated by viewing light reflected off of a flat surface through a polarized lens. Rotate the lens 90 degrees so that the changes in the intensity of the reflection can be observed. The horizontal alignment of a polarized lens is crucial. Any misalignment will cause the lens to be less effective with glare.
Spring is here! The weather is warmer, the sun is shining and the patientâ€™s thoughts are turning to the outdoors. This is the perfect time to offer the patient the most technologically advanced sun lens: polarized lenses. Why Polarized Many popular summer activities such as fishing, bicycling, sports, even relaxing beside the pool, can be visually demanding for our patients. Glare, eyestrain, and depth perception problems can all result from the bright summer sun. Luckily, most of these problems can be resolved through the use of polarized sunglasses. Polarized lenses enhance contrast and visual clarity, increase depth perception, eliminate dangerous glare and reduce eye strain.
Polarized lenses are composed of thin sheets of polyvinyl alcohol that are stretched over a clear lens surface. The film is then typically passed through an iodine solution. Once in the solution, the iodine crystals align themselves parallel to each other, creating a window Venetian blind effect. Because there are multiple ways of creating a lens, there are multiple ways of applying the polarized filter. The oldest form of polarization is called lamination. This is when a polarized film is placed between two pieces of lens substrate that are then laminated together to form one solid lens. Although not considered a significant problem today due to improved manufacturing methods - delamination, or the separation of the polarizing film from the lens material, was a major issue for eye care professionals. This was especially true for glass polarized lenses. Plastic polarized lenses are created when the CR-39 lens material, which is a thick viscous liquid, is poured into a mold in which the polyvinyl film has already been placed. Due to the heat created by the injection molding process of polycarbonate manufacturing, the polarized filter is placed on the lens blank and then coated with a scratch resistant coating. This helps protect the polarized film from heat degradation. Over the Rainbow There are a variety of polarized lens choices available today. Continued on page 34
30 | EYECAREPROFESSIONAL |APRIL 2011
Photo: Courtesy of Transitions Optical, Inc.
Pro Fit Optix Pro Fit Optix announced that is has expanded its management team. Hoa Nguyen has been appointed to the newly created position, executive vice president of technology and operations. He will oversee Pro Fit’s R&D and Hoa Nguyen manufacturing activities in Europe and Asia. Nguyen is a founder of TransPacific Enterprise Loop, a technology and business service provider. He has also served as VP of business development and financial services for Valere. Alan Yuster has been appointed to the new position of executive vice president, international business development. Yuster, a founder of Pro Fit Optix, had previously served as the company’s executive vice president, operations. Alan Yuster He has more than 25 years experience in optical sales, management and operations, and has held senior management positions with Optische Werke G. Rodenstock Germany, Rodenstock USA and Younger Optics.
Novartis Novartis announced that Naomi Kelman has been appointed head of the Novartis Over-The-Counter (OTC) Division and will become a permanent attendee to the executive committee of Novartis, reporting to Joseph Naomi Kelman Jimenez, CEO of Novartis. Kelman joins Novartis from Johnson & Johnson where she has held several leadership roles within both the consumer and medical device and diagnostic sectors.
IDOC The Independent Doctors of Optometry (IDOC) group has named Donald S. Teig, OD as the organization’s vice president, professional affairs. In his new role, Teig will support the growth of IDOC, including expanding the Donald S. Teig membership, conducting local and regional educational events and representing IDOC at national and regional tradeshows. Teig was most recently the Director of the Institute for Sports Vision in Ridgefield, Conn. as well as the founder of Ridgefield Family Eye Care.
Bausch + Lomb
Calvin W. Roberts
Bausch + Lomb has announced the appointment of Calvin W. Roberts, MD, to the newly created position of Chief Medical Officer (CMO). Roberts will serve as a member of the Executive Leadership Team and coordinate the
32 | EYECAREPROFESSIONAL |APRIL 2011
company’s global D&R efforts across the Vision Care, Pharmaceuticals and Surgical business units for greater leverage and outcomes. Roberts is a member of the board of directors at Alimera Sciences, a biopharmaceutical company he co-founded in 2003.
VISTAKON VISTAKON®, Division of Johnson & Johnson Vision Care, Inc., has named W. Lee Ball, OD, FAAO, Associate Director, and Janelle Routhier, OD, FAAO, Manager, Medical Affairs. In their new roles, Dr. Ball will be responsible W. Lee Ball for providing strategic direction and leadership for Medical Affairs and Dr. Routhier will be responsible for clinical and technical aspects of ACUVUE® Brand Contact Lenses. For the past year, Ball served as part of the company’s Professional Affairs Consultant (PAC) team. Janelle Routhier Before joining VISTAKON, Dr. Ball was in private practice in Boston and adjunct clinical faculty member at the New England College of Optometry. Before joining VISTAKON, Dr. Routhier was Adjunct Clinical Faculty at the Michigan College of Optometry and in optometric practice.
Allergan David Pyott, chairman and chief executive officer of Allergan, will resume his former responsibilities as president of the company as well, following the departure of current David Pyott president Michael Ball. Both moves are effective March 27. Ball, a 16-year Allergan veteran, is leaving to become CEO of Hospira, a pharmaceutical and medication delivery company. Pyott was previously president of Allergan from 1998 until 2006.
University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Optometry Rod Nowakowski, OD, who has served as interim dean of the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Optometry since December 2009, has now officially been named Rod Nowakowski dean of the school. Nowakowski has spent 36 years on the UAB faculty; he earned his doctor of optometry degree there in 1975, and immediately joined the faculty as chief of the low vision rehabilitation service. In 2000, he was named chief of staff of UAB Eye Care, responsible for all of the school’s clinical activities.
Trends Change, Safety Remains JOE PARSONS, Regional Business Manager Occupational Prescription Eyewear, 3M
Often we think things are going much better than they are. I am reminded of the old saying “as much as things change they stay the same.” We still read reports that tell us each day nearly 2,000 American workers suffer an avoidable workplace eye injury that requires medical treatment. Men between the ages of 25 to 44 represent the largest percentage of all workplace eye injury victims (81%). That said, during the 30 years that I have been involved with Safety Prescription Eyewear there have been tremendous improvements in workplace safety. As with any industry, the Safety Prescription Eyewear market has encountered extreme changes in frame design over the years. We have witnessed the shift from “Buddy Holly” safety glasses to the extreme three-piece mountings found in safety frames. Lens materials that were tempered glass and only available in solid tints such as pink 1 & 2 or a solid green lens, have made way for progressive addition lenses, polycarbonate offerings and other plastic lens materials in a variety of coating options. In recent years industries have been challenged with maintaining a safe and healthy workplace for their
employees while improving productivity and reducing costs. Consequently, many workers are now able to get a pair of eyeglasses every other year or every two years – with the exception of those who have had a change in their prescription. In addition, new standards for eyewear, such as NFPA 70E for Electrical Safety and ANSI Z87.12010 for Occupational and Educational Personal Eye and Face Protection Devices, have brought about change for eyewear compliance. These standards, coupled with the need to reduce costs and enhance workplace safety, have prompted the Safety Eyewear Market to develop products geared toward performance – and not just to the latest trends. This has resulted in the production of many new eyewear styles, which have integrated side shields and gaskets to protect from dust and small particles that can get in the eye. And while style remains important, functional performance is critical. As we continue to make progress, one thing is for sure: The need for eye care professionals to work together to provide the highest quality eyewear that will enable their patients to work safe and be compliant with their employers and national safety regulations.
Protect Their Vision. Diversify Your Revenue. More than 2.5 million eye injuries occur each year. By using the “Inquire. Inform. Introduce.” strategy you can help patients protect their vision, while at the same time expanding your patient base and diversifying your revenue stream. To learn more about vision protection and how you can make a difference, visit www.thevisioncouncil.org/ecp or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
helping you to grow your practice
There are a multitude of colors available as well as color densities. Each has its own unique attributes and recommended circumstances. What follows is a list of these lens choices and their suggested application: Gray, brown, G-15: These are the typical colors for polarized lenses. They are the classic sunglass shades and utilized for general wear. The gray C and G-15 choices are general purpose colors and densities. The classic brown C shade has some contrast enhancement in addition to the general purpose density. Dark Gray- 25% light transmission; truest color recognition and is ideal for bright sunny days and high glare activities such as deep water fishing and driving. Light Gray- 55% light transmission; ideal for being used with tints to create a custom colored polarized lens. Dark Brown- 25% light transmission; a true blue blocker balanced lens â€“ it is ideal for improved contrast since it eliminates much of the blue wavelength, it also enhances visual acuity and depth perception, and is useful in activities such as driving and shallow water fishing. Light Brown- 45% light transmission; ideal for being used with tints to create a custom colored polarized lens. Melanin- 25% light transmission; a relatively new lens to the market, it contains the pigment that normally occurs in the body and is ideal for anyone with macular degeneration and works well in bright conditions and activities in which the light varies such as golfing. Red- 55% light transmission; a high contrast lens that is ideal for low light fishing and as a shooting lens in bright light. Orange- 50% light transmission; blocks blue light, increases contrast and is most commonly used for clay target shooting, biking, and skiing. Can inhibit color perception. Green- 60% light transmission; true color balanced lens that works well in varying light conditions such as golf and tennis. Violet- 55% light transmission; increases contrast and darkens certain backgrounds so it works well with shooting in average to bright, golfing and for winter sports. Blue- 60% light transmission; lets in the maximum amount of blue light so it works well with sports activities against green backgrounds, for example tennis and golf. However, it does block much of the yellow wavelength, so it will have quite a darkening effect to the wearer. Yellow- 80% light transmission; eliminates the blue wavelength of light so it is good for contrast enhancement. It truly makes images stand out from their background so it is effective in early morning hunting situations and for some target and skeet shooting. This lens will definitely inhibit color perception since it eliminates the blue wavelength. 34 | EYECAREPROFESSIONAL | APRIL 2011
Finishing Touches Anti-Reflective Coating Light bouncing off of a dark lens creates a window pane, mirror-like effect that causes distortion and eye fatigue. To prevent this, an AR coating can be applied to the back of the lens. Consisting of metal oxides, AR coating is a multilayer process. Each layer is a thin film that is designed to block a specific wavelength of light from reflecting. The more layers of the film that are applied to the lens, the more light wavelengths that are blocked from reflecting. Working by the destructive interference principle, AR causes the light that reflects from the inner and outer surfaces of each film layer to become equal and thereby canceling each other out and eliminating the reflection in the process. The newer anti-reflective coatings are excellent for outdoor enthusiasts. They repel dirt, dust, water and fingerprints through the use of anti-static, hydrophobic and oleophobic coatings. Hydrophobic layers are thin layers of silicone that are placed on top of the AR. It provides a smooth surface that decreases the wetting angle of the lens. The result is that liquids form small beads and can be easily removed from the lens. Oleophobic layers are important with the multilayer coatings because the more effective the coating is in easing reflections, the more likely it is to show smudges. An added benefit is that when oleophobic and hydrophobic layers are combined, they create a seal that acts as a secondary scratch coat. Mirror Coating Mirror coatings are highly reflective coatings that are applied to the front surface of the lens. Applied using a vacuum process, mirrors can come in flash, solid, gradient, double gradient and triple gradient. It can help reduce eyestrain by blocking an additional 10 to 60 percent of light transmission to the eye. This can be especially helpful when participating in highly reflective outdoor activities such as water or snow skiing, driving, mountain climbing at high altitudes or at the beach. However, be mindful of the total amount of light you are blocking. If you are using a polarized lens with 80% light transmission (20% light blockage), you would most likely not want the mirror to exceed 60% since the combination would equal 80% light absorption or 20% light transmission. These are the levels of a standard sunglass. In extreme cases naturally, you could go with greater light blockage. Polarization is the ultimate combination of form and fashion. When properly used, polarized glasses reduce dangerous glare, dramatically reduce eyestrain, provide a fashion statement and enhance performance. â– With contributions from Brian A. Thomas, P.h.D, ABOM
The Mobile Optician Ginny Johnson, LDO, ABOC
Things That Make You Go Ommm... I just survived my 25th Bikram Yoga class in 30 days. Who would have thought that I could handle this series of two sets of 26 postures and 2 breathing exercises conducted in a 105-degree room for 90 minutes? Especially since the extent of my exercise program is wii bowling every few months and running to catch the UPS driver before he leaves without my outgoing box of lab orders. What does this have to do with the ever changing optical industry and ECPs? Pull up a yoga mat and let the class begin. I am not certified nor qualified to teach Bikram Yoga, so I will be teaching you Opti Yoga to practice throughout the day at your optical studio.
LEASE FOCUS your attention on this page and we’re ready to begin. Opti Yoga requires everyone to stay well hydrated by drinking plenty of water. If you are working out properly and talking to your patients you will get thirsty. Coffee water and caramel colored carbonated water with caffeine are both far stretches from hydration. Please keep in mind that drinking too much barley and hops or fermenting grapes with yeast after hours makes for an extra rough yoga recovery the next day. A hangover will affect your balance and performance in the optical studio. Hangover remedies with electrolytes might be a smart move.
Focus on controlled breathing during your practice of Opti Yoga. Slow breathing in and out through the nose. Try it now. Breathe in, belly rises. Exhale, belly falls. Keep your breathing in check and try to remain calm when working with difficult patients. Avoid any fight or flight breathing by keeping your mouth closed when it is full of hot air. This type of breathing can cause your heart rate to accelerate and blood pressure to increase. The more you dwell on the heat, the more exhausted you will eventually become. Practice artificial yawning as a calming exercise.
Opti Yoga will make you more aware of proper posture. Don’t overlook the wise investment of work stations and seating that promote a healthy spine. Yogi staff will be much more productive when working isn’t such a pain. Office chairs aren’t always one kind fits all. Shop around and get input from other yogis before you make a final decision. Place work computers slightly below eye level so they may be viewed comfortably with the head and neck in a natural position. To reduce the risk of dry eyes during computer use, try this exercise: Every 20 minutes, blink 10 times slowly by closing your eyes as if falling asleep. Practice the 90 degree angle pose. Your ankles, knees, hips and elbows should be at 90 degrees (L shaped). And your wrists should rest neutral. Make sure that everyone is comfortable sitting on their sitz bones. That’s what they get paid to do, right? Opti Yoga can help with the healing of Opticianitus. If you are bothered by numb thumbs from years of mounting lenses into zyl frames then work on ThumbsUpAsana stretching with another yogi. Sit down and relax your favored arm on the dispensing table. Place other arm behind your back. Hook the four fingers of your dominant hand with the same four fingers on your opponent’s hand. Point your thumb up towards the ceiling. Lock your knees. Try to pin your opponent’s thumb Continued on page 38
36 | EYECAREPROFESSIONAL | APRIL 2011
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down for five seconds using full thumb strength, while dodging any attempts of him/her doing the same. Repeat ten times.
low your gut on this one. No two guts are alike and that’s the beauty of practicing Opti Yoga.
A great stretching exercise that I call NoSaleAsana should be practiced often. Stand on your toes as high as possible; now lift your chest up and with a straight spine reach for a frame on the very top row of the frame board. Hold it there for a count of ten and then slowly lower your body back down and remove a frame from the eye level row. Place the frames back on the board in opposite positions. This works well for strengthening your calves and as well as good inventory karma.
In the stillness, the healing begins. Remember these words the entire time you are working out with a patient to get them fit with eyewear excellence. Engage in the conversation by opening your mouth and never closing your ears. Discover what a typical day for them outside the studio is like and how they use their vision. Sit down at the dispensing table and make sure you are eye level with the patient. Balance the frames evenly on their face. No leaning in, stretching up or slouching down to take the proper measurements. Exercise your fingers on the keyboard or by using a pen and paper if your instructor insists. Look into the eyes of the patient and stay energized while you are setting the tone for the best possible eyewear for them. This next part can be a very uncomfortable for some yogis.
One of the most strenuous stretching postures is bending over backwards for the patients. Be careful though, you don’t want to overdo this posture at the risk of it coming back to harm you. You won’t find me offering medical advice to a patient that is out of the scope of my licensed position or measuring a patient’s PD during this posture for use outside of our optical studio. The advanced yogis in my state have got my back on this one. Sometimes the optical studio gets so busy we forget to eat or don’t bother taking the time to do so. Not eating can become a cranky topic very quickly so we try to keep some healthy snacks on hand at our studio. Fresh fruit, protein bars and trail mix can usually be found in our break room along with the occasional happy birthday cake and ice cream. You just need to fol-
Trust me this posture is 90% mental and you can master it with continued practice. Relax your brain of all negative thoughts and tell the patient what the total amount of their bill will be. Be careful not to ramble on or you might lose your balance due. Remain calm without fidgeting all around. Close your mouth. Keep your eyes open and wait for the patient to respond. In the stillness the healing begins and that’s the things that make you go ommm. Give yourself a hug. You are awesome. Namaste. ■
Seiko Optical Products Signs Exclusive License Agreement for Minima Eyewear product portfolio. Minima is established world-wide as one of the most desirable high-end brands in the optical market, and this agreement offers substantial potential for growth of the brand in the United States.”
Seiko Optical Products of America, a division of Seiko Optical Products Inc. (Japan), have signed a license agreement with Minima (Linas, France) to be the exclusive distributor for Minima eyewear in the United States. In making the announcement, Michael Rybacki, Senior Vice President of Sales & Marketing for Seiko Optical said, “We are extremely delighted to add Minima to our
Patricia Jehan, Export Manager for MINIMA S.A.S. added, “The philosophy of Minima eyewear is to provide solutions in line with trends towards simplicity and flexibility, while offering a variety of shapes in an extensive range of styles and colors. The name ‘Seiko’ is synonymous with technical and design excellence, and we are pleased to partner with Seiko Optical to distribute our Minima collection of rimless eyewear.” Rollout is scheduled to commence in February 2011, with 6 adult styles and one junior style, each with multiple colors and options, with over 70 eye shapes available.
The Modern ECP Gary Fore, ABOC
Train and Re-Train
At the top of the list, regular training was required to keep our FAA certification as an air controller. An equally valid reason was that we needed to do even the simplest things repeatedly to maintain our skill level at a point that we could direct an aircraft under adverse conditions with high tension levels, and do it accurately. That regimen kept us ‘on the leading edge’ of techniques and skill level so those pilots would have the high level of trust in us as controllers. These days, I make, dispense and repair glasses. While I don’t worry about high speed collisions in the air, I am concerned for the accuracy, precision and craftsmanship of our office’s products. I believe patients expect their optical practice to have those concerns as well. How can we meet those expectations? Train and retrain. I suggest a regular time set aside for training in new products and techniques and for reviewing things we learned some time ago.
During the eight years I served in the U.S. Navy, part of my responsibilities as a Naval Flight Officer included controlling sets of jet fighters. Traveling near the speed of sound, those fighter pilots had little room for error on my part. To keep our skills honed, we went through countless hours of training and re-training, including things we had learned in basic flight school and air controller school. We all knew how to get an aircraft from point ‘A’ to point ‘B’ but we practiced doing that very thing weekly. I still have dreams about controlling aircraft, though I quit doing that in 1976! Why did we do that repetitive training?
Staff meetings are an ideal time for training. If you schedule once a month meetings that are devoted solely to training, it would highlight the importance to your staff of staying ‘on the leading edge.’ One person, devoted to organizing the training, would produce dividends well beyond just having an informational meeting. Training topics can be selected from things we do regularly, like proper dispensing techniques, as well as from things we don’t like to do, like dealing with difficult patients. Every patient who comes to our practice is a potential purchaser of lenses, either regular or contact. When they receive their lenses, we may discover that they are a patient who inspects every little thing about their purchase, looking for any small flaw. That’s understandable, considering how much money they likely spent but it also represents an investment of time with them to ensure that they are satisfied. They will likely remind you, “I spent $700.00 on these.” Ever notice how some patients just can’t seem to be satisfied, no matter what you do for them? When we hear their name or see it on the daily patient list, we start trying to find a way to hide so we aren’t the one who has to deal with them. Continued on page 42
40 | EYECAREPROFESSIONAL | APRIL 2011
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A better strategy would be to get training on how to deal with such patients and how to adjust and repair their eyewear so that they find no fault. Yes, there are some who can find something wrong with the time of day and you will meet them if you stay in the optical business for any length of time. However, your confidence level in dealing with those types of personalities will go up as you get trained. Regular re-training in check-in procedures will also help remove the causes for complaints at dispense time. As we cruise through the check-in of glasses, we can forget to make sure there are no lens flaws, frame scratches, loose screws (on the frame, not the patient), missing anti-reflective, lenses that don’t transition or change to the wrong color and, well the list goes on. Time spent with the training person watching and coaching others to standardize the check-in procedures will yield a positive dividend. Verifying the prescription, frame name and color, lenses, and treatments are all a part of making sure that, at dispensing time, we have eliminated many common errors that will embarrass us and the practice if they are discovered by the patient. All these are common and simple things to address but they can be forgotten if they are not reviewed regularly. Resources for training are numerous. Leading eye care magazines have articles, lab questions, troubleshooting tips and the monthly quizzes for starters. ABO preparation books and videos can be important sources for training and can bring expertise beyond your staff ’s ability to teach. I keep articles from a variety of sources in a large 3-ring notebook, so they can readily be referenced. I recently added two articles from an optical magazine, one on adjusting frames and the other on why patients return unsatisfied, just to keep me reminded about some important techniques that can prevent patient dissatisfaction and improve the quality of our output. Some vendors can provide training and they are usually eager to come to your practice, but be aware that their primary reason for visiting your office is to sell their products.
Establishing a monthly training schedule gives you at least twelve opportunities to talk about things that were learned perhaps years ago but are currently unused because they’re not being brought back to the surface. Keep a log of patient complaints or dispensing difficulties experienced during the last month and training time can be used positively for discussing those problems or complaints with the aim of preventing them. Staff training time is also a good time to bring up new products, tools and techniques. Lens manufacturers will willingly provide you with copies of lens cutout charts, availability charts and dispensing guides, all of which can be used to make sure we fit lenses properly and have a satisfied patient on the first try. Training should be expected and required. In fact, CE should probably be required to qualify for annual raises. At our office, if you don’t get ABO certified within a certain period of time from when you begin work as an optician, your next salary increase will be after you do get certified. That’s not punitive; it’s setting an expectation for professionalism that goes beyond just so many years of work experience. Think about this quote: “I would rather have a person who has three years of experience than one who has one year of experience repeated ten times.” Each year, a true professional gets better at their job and a part of that is due to training and re-training. Training can be in many different formats, including video, instructional, Q & A, dialogue, role-play and hands-on. Make it fun by offering prizes for correct answers. You could provide incentive to be eager and participative by offering a paid day off to the one who won the most prize opportunities in a 6 month period. Encourage contributions from staff members for training topics and reward them appropriately. Training doesn’t have to be dull at all – in fact, it shouldn’t be. It should be a time where your staff eagerly meets to make them better at what they do – for the practice and for your patients. ■
Randy Jackson talks frames at Vision Expo East
Lynnette Grande from EyeCare Professional Magazine got a chance to speak with Randy Jackson about his eyewear collection from Zyloware at Vision Expo East last month in NY. ECP Magazine: How involved are you in the creation of your eyewear line? RJ: Very involved. I am a hands on kind of person. I always have been. I am an artist, musician, and love being creative. Even back in my days of being with Journey (the band) I always put in 100%. I don’t know how to be any other way. If I decide I am going to do something I make sure that I give it my all – always! ECP Magazine: Do you ever wear any other frames than your own? On American Idol I see you wearing frames that I don’t see in your line. RJ: I always wear frames from my collection. However, a lot of my frames that I wear on the show are prototypes. Sometimes I have prototypes made that are a bit too eccentric or bizarre for the normal individual to wear. Since I am a celebrity and based in Hollywood, I can wear them. I don’t put all prototypes into production because they are not for the average person and they wouldn’t sell. ECP Magazine: What do you see as the trend going forward? RJ: I always like the Back to the Future look. The lines going forward will be affordable, quality frames. They will be very fashion forward with a retro flair. ECP Magazine: What colors can we expect to see for Spring 2011 from the Randy Jackson Collection? RJ: The colors will be blues, blacks and red tortoises. ECP Magazine: Okay Randy, now that we are friends – How can I get tickets to the American Idol finale? RJ: That process starts back in September. You’re funny Philly (nickname he gave Lynnette)!
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Assistant Professor – Vision Care Technology The Vision Care Technology department seeks a full-time faculty member. This program, the only one of its kind in the CUNY system, prepares students for a career in eyeglass dispensing, ophthalmic fabrication and contact lens fitting. The curriculum includes a balance of theory and clinical practice in all aspects of the eye care profession. A graduate of the program may become a proprietor of an optical dispensing business or may secure a position as an ophthalmic dispenser, contact lens fitter, manager, ophthalmic assistant, ophthalmic sales representative or optical research technician. Our faculty is made up of licensed opticians who are active in the field. Responsible for teaching a range of vision care technology courses, academic advisement, curriculum development, and research leading to publication and professional presentations. Committee and departmental participation is required, as well as professional development activities. The candidate must have a Master’s Degree, be ABO and NCLE certified and licensed in New York State in Ophthalmic Dispensing. Substantial experience in a responsible position in the field is a must. The ideal candidate will b e well qualified to teach Ophthalmic Dispensing, Business Management and Retail Organization, Ophthalmic Fabrication, Anatomy and Physiology of the Eye, and Optics. Prior teaching experience at a college level in opticianry is preferred, as well as excellent communication and computer skills. Experience in curriculum development, instructional technology and innovative pedagogy desirable. . HOW TO APPLY E-mail cover letter and curriculum vitae to: ISR@citytech.cuny.edu Subject line must read: Vision Care Technology EQUAL EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY The City University of New York is an Equal Opportunity Employer which complies with all applicable laws and regulations, and encourages inclusive excellence in its employment practices.
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Last Look Jim Magay, RDO
Rock Bottom So the phone rang the other morning, it was a...not to say “great customer,” but an insurance covered family guy. Two kids, him, and a wife all in eyewear, been with us for ten years and been a pleasant relationship and always gets the “free” insurance stuff. Just so happens they are in between coverage and he wants his prescription. After printing out the information, I asked if I could help with anything, and he bluntly replied a chain-store (rhymes with Earles) was offering two pair of glasses for $99. I said, “We can do one pair for $99, why don’t you come in and try them on.” (They aren’t totally bottom of the barrel glasses – I don’t want crap in the store.) But he responded that he wanted the two pair deal for “beater” glasses. So feeling dejected after faxing him his Rx, I started surfing the web to check out what your money does buy today. Now, someone smarter than me coined the phrase, “A fool is someone who knows the cost of everything and the value of nothing.” So I’m looking at $6.95 complete pairs from Zenni Optical, which seem to be the cheapest followed by a lot of $7.95 and $8.95 per pair competitors. Then they ramp up to $29 and $39. First thought is – why would any of us want to compete with those prices – and by extension, those margins? If you were Zenni I suspect the $6.95 pair is a loss leader to hook in the suck...er, I mean customer. I can hear the mental conversation, “Well, I guess I should opt for the better frame, and well, yes the deluxe lenses would be thinner and safer, and yuh, it would be nice to have Transitions!” So the person ends up with a $200 pair of $6.95 glasses – and, bad a bump, bad a Bing, they are walking into your office for an adjustment, (or to have their lenses checked to see if they were made correctly).
50 | EYECAREPROFESSIONAL | APRIL 2011
Speaking of free services for the brazen online purchasers of eyewear who come into your store, I was talking with John Jeffrey – an ace Essilor instrument salesman in these parts, and he told me about one of his pals who is happy to give pd’s, seg heights, etc. Of course he charges a $50 fee and says it is a co-pay for an additional office visit for Blue Cross (or whatever insurance they have) and tells the client that they must have the finished glasses delivered to him for verification (since he furnished the measurements) and a frame adjustment. Hmmm, I wonder how many pair gets sent back for optical deficiencies? So how low do you go? Are you a new breed of limbo dancing ECP’s who takes pride in how low (cheaply) you can turn over a pair of glasses and still stay in business – or are you trying to do a better job educating your customer so they are happy to pay what your expertise and materials are really worth? ■
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Published on Apr 7, 2011
April 2011 Issue of EyeCare Professional Magazine. A Business to Business publication that is distributed to decision makers and participant...