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May 2009 • Volume 2, Issue 17 •

Generate Patient Traffic & Increase Profits With The

RUDY PROJECT FREE GEAR DEAL nts 0 your patie For only $22 r this gea receive all of value! over a $450

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Your Practice Benefits By: Increasing Rudy Project sales 2-5 times! Excite patients when they need to be excited most! Create traffic, create BUZZ! See an increase in referrals, seed your local community with Rudy-branded gear and realize the increase in your customer base! We’re promoting the Gear Deal with MILLIONS of ads and four-page inserts in magazines like Men’s Journal, Men’s Fitness, Bicycling and Outside, etc. Blogs and editors will be promoting this fantastic offer. You get the point…this will be BIG!

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The Future of High Index 1.74 New ed rov p m &I 4 HR-7 n Resi

The Leader in High Index



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MAY 2009


Vol. 3 Issue 17

Features 6

Courtesy of Kenmark Optical



SUMMER SUNWEAR Stay cool this summer with the latest and greatest in spectacular sunwear. by Amy Endo, ABOM, CPOT


DEALING WITH ADAPTATION ISSUES Learn how to prevent and resolve common adaptation problems.


by Carrie Wilson, BS, LDO, ABOAC, NCLEC


OPTICIAN TRAINING – HOME AND ABROAD The U.S. has some excellent Opticianry programs, although we still trail behind many other countries. by Warren G. McDonald, PhD


STAYING COMPETITIVE Develop a fall back strategy and introduce alternative revenue streams for your practice. by Judy Canty, ABO/NCLE



DRY EYES: EFFECTS ON CONTACT LENS WEAR Technical, 1 Hour, NCLE CE Credit, also available at: by Alvaro Cordova, LDO, ABOC-AC,/NCLEC


RECAP OF A SUCCESSFUL VISION EXPO Vision Expo East in New York has much to offer people from all facets of the industry. by Anthony Record, ABO/NCLE, RDO


On The Cover: RUDY PROJECT 888-860-7597

Departments EDITOR/VIEW .....................................................................................................4 INDUSTRY NEWS.............................................................................................24 DISPENSARY MARKETING ............................................................................36 MOVERS AND SHAKERS.................................................................................40 SECOND GLANCE ............................................................................................42 ADVERTISER INDEX .......................................................................................46 INDUSTRY QUICK ACCESS............................................................................47 LAST LOOK .......................................................................................................50



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Editor / view


by Jeff Smith

Publisher/Editor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Jeff Smith Production/Graphics Manager. . . . . . . . . . . Bruce S. Drob Director, Advertising Sales . . . . . . . . . . . . Lynnette Grande Contributing Writers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Thomas Breen, Judy Canty, Cliff Capriola, Dee Carew, Alvaro Cordova, Harry Chilinguerian, Amy Endo, Bob Fesmire, Elmer Friedman, Paul King, Jim Magay, Warren McDonald, Anthony Record, Ted Weinrich, Carrie Wilson 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

EDITORIAL OFFICES 111 E. Pennsylvania Blvd. Feasterville, PA 19053 (215) 355-6444 • Fax (215) 355-7618 EyeCare Professional Magazine, ECP™ is published monthly by OptiCourier, Ltd. Delivered by Third Class Mail Volume 3 Number 17 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: Copyright © 2009 by OptiCourier Ltd. All Rights Reserved

Accessorize your Practice f you’ve been in the optical business for more than a couple of hours, you’ve already been bombarded with strict orders not to forget the second pair! Most often these are sunglasses, or perhaps specialty glasses such as computer, safety, or occupational. Certainly they are important, but another area of opportunity that is often neglected is accessories.


If you don’t already have an accessories display area, set one up. One of the best areas is the dispensing area, where they can be presented as the patient receives their new glasses, but the cashier area can work as well. When presenting accessories, keep your presentation light and fun. Remember to emphasize the added benefits, and sell on value. But perhaps most important, don’t forget to present them in the first place! Don’t let the excitement of fitting the patient to their new eyewear make you lose sight of helping them identify and fulfill their needs. Here’s a list of some of the common accessories you might want to offer: Lens cleaner: Although you might provide a free sample with purchase, now is the time to remind the patient of the importance of wetting the lenses before wiping them off, and the convenience of having several bottles of the lens cleaner available at home. Many dispensaries will give a small bottle with the new frame, but have larger bottles available for sale. Lens towels, or wipes: While you might give a sample with purchase, now is the time to mention having several in the house, car, and at work. How often is a clean, soft cloth readily available? Usually not when you need it, and the attractive packaging of the towels looks good enough to be seen in the nicest places. Sun clips: Although you might have mentioned clips during the selection process, now is an ideal time to remind the patient of the benefits of sun protection. With the new glasses in hand, it is easier to see how the clip is going to look and work. Since clips should be fitted to the frame after the prescription lenses have been inserted, it is a natural time to show pre-made clips or to prepare custom made clips. Lanyards, visor frame clips, repair kits: These inexpensive accessories can make life a lot easier. Be sure to mention lanyards to your patients who are purchasing reading glasses or computer glasses; they’re a great way to keep from losing the glasses. Also, don’t forget the sport enthusiasts, especially those who are active on the water. Premium cases: There are several premium cases available that offer fun looks, added features such as mirrors, room for contacts as well as the glasses, carrying handle, etc. And don’t forget the guys; there are oversized cases, cases that clip to a shirt pocket or the visor of the car, as well as sports cases, featuring golf, football, etc. Offering an array of accessories to everyone who walks into your practice is a great way to differentiate from the chains and increase your bottom-line.




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It’s no secret that celebrity sightings in shades have played a vital role in the rising popularity of sunglasses. Of course, they ‘speak’ to the latest styles and trends. There are many ‘must have’ lines that you should consider carrying. Here is just a sampling of some great sunglasses, from sports performance to high fashion.



1. Revolution Eyewear Hit the beach with Revolution Eyewear’s latest Ed Hardy style – Surf or Die, number EHS-040. Embroidered temples on a zyl frame with UV400 protection make these sunglasses a true stand-out. 2. Marchon The COACH Dog Tag logo, proudly portraying that COACH was established in 1941, is artfully engraved on each temple of this new sun style, Tasha. Sure to turn heads, Tasha sets the trend with color choices including tortoise, olive, navy, black and burgundy with each complemented by an explosion of color within the interior of the frame as well as within the logo. 3. Prodesign The 8309-10 is for the person who wants good design and quality yet something different from the usual. There are two models in two colors each, one is strong and strikingly masculine, although it also can be considered unisex, and the other is a little bit smaller and flatteringly feminine.




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4. Viva International Group Inspired by translucent color fades and structural logo patterns, Bedazzled Glam, a new women’s sunglass group presented by GUESS Eyewear, offers the bold brilliance of runway glamour. The provocative styling of GU 6490 features a wide-rimmed plastic front with a sharp bevel-edged rectangular eye shape.


5. Rudy Project Made with pure carbon fiber, Kynetium, and the revolutionary ImpactX™ lens material, the KarbonEye is a single-piece lensshield that offers the most unobstructed range-of-vision at any angle. However, the KarbonEye is unprecedented in its use of a full-on ImpactX Photochromic shield for the ultimate in optics and full-on Carbon temples that include Rudy’s hallmark adjustable tips.

7 6. Allison USA The Rock & Republic collection is dark, rock & roll, sexy, unconventional; this is the soul of the exclusive sunglasses styles. A detailed steel mesh is the leit-motiv of this collection. The shapes are oversize and very dressing. The materials used are metal and acetate. The color range of the metals goes from gunmetal to black with a touch of gold in some of the women styles. 7. Luxottica Vogue’s VO 3683 is a women’s monel frame, available in gold, dark brown, and violet. This frame is lovely and stylish. It also offers the wearer an extra “pop.”





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Enni Marco

The Enni Marco Sunwear collection offers sexy sophisticated style and intricate design, as well functionality and dependable materials. The bold frames come in a vast amount of colors, shapes, and sizes. From jet-black lenses to metallic carved out temples, these frames are luxurious and would make anyone stand out in a crowd.


Switch Vision is launching its inaugural collection of sports performance sunglasses, which include a user friendly magnetic lens-switching system. This revolutionary new feature uses two pairs of small, powerful magnets embedded in the sunglass lens and frame so users can swap lenses as light conditions and activities change. Shown here is the Avalanche in Cobalt Blue.

Tura 7eye

A laser-etched tropical motif adorns the temples of the Tina, bringing an air of understated elegance to a bold, big-lensed frame. Its sophisticated style – in taupe or black – comes straight off the catwalk, but its burly NXT lenses are all business when it comes to eye protection.

Kenmark The Cynthia Rowley collection features six sun styles inspired by runway designs. Each design portrays her creativity, wit and originality. The CR0350 is a modern rectangular shaped frame that is highlighted with its CNC milled temples in a whimsical pattern. Available in size 55-15-140 in colors: black, brown, and teal.

The Ted Baker B470 “Karavi” is a slight oversized double bridge aviator with one inch wide temples made of TR-90, also known as injected plastic. “Karavi” is an 8 base with polycarbonate lenses with natural UV protection. Available in eyesize 65-13-120 and in colors: gold with tortoise temples, black with black temples and gunmetal with blue python pattern temples.



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Jee Vice

Optylux Optylux Group Inc. has released a brand new été collection of frames with matching bracelet and pendant made with inlaid feathers. At present été from Italy makes the Chardon and Rosa styles out of plexi-glass with hand carved flowers in them. Zyloware

The new styles for Jee Vice’s collection for 2009 are on point with sunglass trends that we are seeing this year. Bold colors, inspired styles and special features such as frames that are made for women with high cheek bones and flat bridges, are highlights from this year’s collection.

Custo Barcelona

The Via Spiga 323S is the culmination of spring fashion featuring a large modified oval zyl frame, adorning multiple oversized studs on hand-crafted zyl temples. The metal studs and glamorous coverage express an edge in styling for this new frame to the sunglass collection. Available in size 62-16-135 and in colors: blonde Havana and grey Havana.

Launching its first collection of glasses – 23 sunglass models and 20 prescription spectacle models. The designs are inspired by the aesthetics of the sixties with a slight futuristic touch. Large, flat, extremely retro shapes are the foundation upon which the new textures of metal and plastic volumes are structured.

Costa Del Mar Legendary oceanic explorer Zane Grey would be proud of Costa Del Mar’s™ latest performance sunglass, aptly named Zane. The newest addition to the company’s product line gives wearers everything they’d expect from a pair of Costa’s: unparalleled “Costa clear” lenses, nearly indestructible nylon frame construction and the signature “forget-they’re-on” fit.

The sunglass market has recently been dominated by many highly known labels. These sunglasses offer high quality and high performance lenses. There are still many people willing to spend premium prices, but with the recent turn in the economy, also look into brands that offer quality at affordable prices. Amy Endo, ABOM, CPOT



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The Future is Bright...


Choose DriveWear “DriveWear has become the go to multi-purpose lens for the ECP's we service. Now available in polycarbonate, DriveWear combined with digital freeform single vision and progressive lenses is the perfect prescription for active and discriminating patients.” James Craft, Sales & Marketing, American Vision Lens Design Lab

10495 Olympic Drive, Dallas, TX

214.352.3550 • 877.280.5227 So advanced they even activate behind the windshield, Drivewear® Activated by Transitions® lenses provide drivers with the best visual acuity for the driving task. Drivewear cuts glare and bright sunlight in both driving and outdoor conditions. Combining NuPolar® polarization and Transitions® Photochromic Technology, these lenses make the driving task safer and more comfortable for all your patients. Available in single vision, Image® progressive and now hard resin Flat Top 28 lenses.




For more information for your patients, look for the Drivewear Owner’s manual with each prescription. Today’s best driving lens is Drivewear. One sunlens for driving, and for living. Visit

now available in polycarbonate image


Drivewear, NuPolar and Image are registered trademarks of Younger Optics, Torrance, CA. Transitions, Activated by Transitions and the swirl are registered trademarks of Transitions Optical, Inc.



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Through the Lens Carrie Wilson, BS, LDO, ABOAC, NCLEC

Get Used To It! Adaptation Issues Happen – How to Prevent and Resolve Them I just can’t get used to these. I have to tilt my head down to drive. I can’t find a spot to read. I can see better out of my old pair!


HAT EYE CARE PROVIDER doesn’t cringe when he or she hears these words? Although these statements are opportunities to improve patient care, they can create a sense of guilt, failure and confusion for the ECP. To help eliminate these problems for both the patient and the ECP, there are some steps that can be followed.

When are adaptation problems more likely to occur? One of the first things an ECP should be aware of is what factors may cause adaptation issues to occur. Most patients will be able to put on their glasses and be fine, but there are those who will require an extra amount of time and care to see as well as possible. It will be helpful to know when the extra adaptation time is more likely to occur and plan for it. Multifocal Lenses A common adaptation issue for patients is when a new presbyope has to wear a multifocal for the first time. Many first time presbyopes are already feeling some stress over the natural aging process, and do not enjoy the fact that they are losing their near vision. Now, they have to wear glasses that either have a line that they believe shows their age and may cause “image jump” or a progressive which may cause unwanted distortion. Either way, it is not a happy time for the wearer. Prescription Changes Every ECP has had the patient with a lot of change. Although 12 | EYECAREPROFESSIONAL | MAY 2009

the situation may cause prayers to come from the ECP, there are many reasons for a sudden change. It could be that the patient has not had a refraction for many years; he or she may be developing cataracts or another medical issue; or, the patient may have a change in medications. Whenever a large prescription change has occurred, common side effects may be headaches, eyestrain, blurred vision, and disorientation. Lens Design Changes Many factors in lens design are up to the optician, unless certain parameters are specified by the optometrist or ophthalmologist. It is important to note on the patient’s records their current pupillary distance, optical center, base curve, progressive lens design and lens material. This way, if any changes are made to better serve the patient, the ECP can be aware of the adaptation issues that may arise. For instance: • Pupillary distance – In theory, the PD should remain the same from one pair of glasses to the next. However, the previous pair of glasses may have been made incorrectly and unwanted base in or base out prism may have occurred. When this situation is corrected, objects may



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appear sloped for a short period of time due to the patient’s previous adjustment to the unwanted prism. • Optical center – Since the patient has become adjusted to this unwanted prism, when it is taken away, the patient may view vertical items as too short or too tall, or may view the world as either from being on top of a hill or from the bottom of a valley. • Base curve – Not as relevant today due to the increase in the number of aspherics, base curve can still play an important role in certain prescriptions and frame designs. Base curve problems may occur with patients that have a large prescription change or when patients select a frame with a large amount of wrap. Common adaptation issues with base curves are chromatic aberrations and distortion when viewing items out of the corner of the lenses. • Lens material – The most common adaptation issue with lens materials are chromatic aberrations and it most commonly occurs when changing from a higher abbe value material to a lower abbe value material. Solving the problem before it starts Taking Accurate Measurements By taking measurements properly, a lot of adaptation issues can be resolved before they start. Measurements enable the circle of least confusion, or the clearest portion of the lens, to be placed in the appropriate area for the patient. When taking measurements it is important to: • Adjust glasses before taking measurements. This is critical and often not performed by the ECP. The glasses should fit comfortably and in the location that the patient will wear them. Not where you think they should be. If the patient likes to wear his or her glasses at a certain location on their nose, adjust for that. • Watch the patient’s posture. When talking to the patient, the ECP should be aware of the patient’s normal and relaxed posture and adjust the measurements for this. For example, when a patient sits or stands with the chin up, or if he or she is exceptionally tall or short, the segment height may need to be adjusted accordingly. • Take note of previous measurements, but use your own. As stated earlier, it is important to document previous measurements, but be sure not to rely on them. The previous measurements may have not been done correctly. Now, this can be exceptionally tricky when a lot of change is noted from the previous measurement and the current measurement.

For example, a –8.00 D patient has a previous PD of binocular 58 and monocular PD of 29/29. When the current PD is taken, the measurements are found to be binocular 61 with a monocular PD of 29/32. After double checking the measurement, the ECP now has to decide what to do. For the left eye, if the measurement is kept the same and 2.4 D of unwanted prism is induced. If the measurement is changed, then the unwanted prism will be eliminated; however, the patient may have an adaptation problem because he or she may have adjusted to the previous unwanted prism and may have difficulty adjusting to the new one. Another option is to split the difference to try and make the adaptation period easier. • Refresh yourself on how to take measurements. There are common errors that ECPs make when taking measurements. The most common involve PDs, OCs, and segment heights. • Pupillary distance – Go ahead and take a monocular PD. Even though it is not always necessary, it only takes an extra second to perform and they are always nice to have on hand for reference. The most accurate way to take a monocular PD is with a pupilometer. They help eliminate parallax errors and can give accurate readings on very dark irises or with patients with strabismus. • Optical Centers – Optical centers are not measured in front of the eye. In fact, they are lowered from the center of the pupil 1mm for every 2 degrees of pantoscopic tilt. Placing it in front of the eye will result in unwanted prism. • Segment heights – Double check your segment heights by having the patient walk around in a relaxed position and look around straight ahead with eyes level. While the patient is doing this, recheck your measurement height. If all looks well, proceed. Helping the Presbyope With lined multifocals, the most common adaptation situation is “image jump.” This occurs when the patient views things through the reading area and everything appears to jump up at the patient. This is a normal occurrence and is usually adapted to within a week or two. If the patient cannot become adapted to a straight top bifocal due to image jump, then a round or a blended bifocal, as well as a progressive, may be a better option for the patient. Progressives may also be a better option for the non-adapt trifocal wearer. Continued on page 14 MAY 2009 | EYECAREPROFESSIONAL | 13



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When the issue is a progressive lens, the adaptation becomes more complicated. This is mainly due to the corridor width and length. A progressive is designed with a distance portion at the top and a corridor that has progressively more plus power that ultimately leads to the reading area. This corridor is an hourglass shape with areas of distortion on the sides. When a patient changes corridor designs, or wears a progressive lens for the first time, the distortion may be more noticeable and bothersome. To help minimize the distortion, it is important that the ECP take accurate measurements. It is imperative that the patient’s PD, optical centers, and segment heights be taken monocularly.

such as buyer’s remorse, it is time for the ECP to rely on their experience and knowledge to fix the problem. If minor adjustments such as face form, pantoscopic tilt or nose pad adjustments cannot resolve the problem, then the glasses will probably need to be remade. This is where all the previous notations in the patient’s records will come in handy.

Talk to the patient

For multifocal wearers, a change in lens design may be all that is needed. Sometimes switching to one of the newer free-form progressives with wider corridors may be all that is needed to fulfill the patient’s visual needs. Or, a different style of segmented lens such as the atLast! from PixelOptics may prove beneficial. If this is not the case however, and the patient has tried numerous multifocal options and still has adaptation issues, he or she may need to switch to multiple pairs of single vision glasses.

Talking to the patient may seem like a simple task, but on hectic days, the ECP may not feel as if he or she has the time to explain everything fully. This is a mistake, because making the patient aware of everything up front can eliminate a lot of problems later. Explain to the patient any changes that he or she may have had in his or her prescription, the changes in lens design that may have occurred, and what is common in multifocal wear adaptation. Remember, when patients know what to expect, they will try harder to get used to the prescription before coming back to vent their frustration. If all else fails... Sometimes, it happens. A patient cannot get adjusted to their new eyewear. This is the time for the ECP to really shine for the patient. First, the ECP should remain calm and listen. Although it may seem like a personal attack, patients are just frustrated and nothing that they say right now should be taken personally. Once the patient has vented to the ECP, he or she should repeat to the patient everything that was heard to prevent any miscommunication. Once the problem has been determined to be an adaptation issue, and not something else


If the problem seems to be due to a large prescription change, contact the doctor and discuss the situation. Even though the prescription may be correct, the amount may be too large to get adjusted at one time and the doctor may decide to cut back the initial prescription and step the patient up at regular intervals.

When lens design changes are the primary problem, there are multiple options available to the ECP. The frame may need to be restyled if the issue is too much wrap, a switch to a higher abbe valued lens material may be in order to reduce chromatic aberrations, or changes to the measurements may be needed to help the patient adapt easier. Adaptation issues are a common occurrence in the optical field. Sooner or later, it is something that all ECPs will experience. With a little patience and a lot of knowledge, it can prove to be a rich and rewarding experience. It is the non-adapt patients who will become the most loyal when their problems are resolved and they leave the dispensary happy. ■



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The 21st Century Optician Warren G. McDonald, PhD Professor of Health Administration Reeves School of Business / Methodist University

Educating and Training the American Optician Opticianry has become too complex as well, and that current “training” programs have become nothing more than cheap labor. As evidence, review the pass rates of standardized tests, such as the ABO/NCLE, and some of the more rigid state licensure examinations. In my own state of NC, apprenticeship pass rates are abysmal. Unfortunately, the “old masters” of the past are no longer with us and those being trained are not getting a complete and thorough grounding in all facets of the field. With each new generation we are “dumbing-down” those who follow us, and this needs to change. This has been a sensitive issue for years, quite frankly. Some see the “new breed” of Optician as a threat. If apprenticeship was good enough for granddad, and good enough for me, why is it not good enough for the future? I don’t want them to get ahead of me! This kind of thought permeates the industry, and we need to find an area of compromise where we can all feel comfortable, and move into the next century! International Comparisons

This month’s article examines the education and training of the American Optician. The series will include a very brief history, and discuss educational opportunities for those currently in the field, as well as those who seek to enter. I hope you find it enjoyable. History: Apprenticeship versus Formal Education Originally Opticians in this country and across the world were trained via apprenticeship, as were most professions. Medicine, Law (Abraham Lincoln was an example) and many others were trained via a structured apprenticeship program, in which the apprentice was almost an indentured servant to the master. This type of training was effective for that time in history, but is not in favor in today’s complex world. According to contemporary educational research, apprenticeship lacks the ability to disseminate complex ideas. Medicine, law and others are too complex for the one-on-one methods of the past. Many, including this author, feel

This author has often wondered how we could affect positive change in regards to education and training for current and future Opticians. To provide some insight, let’s look at our peers in several other nations across the globe. Canada In Canada, Opticians must attend a formal program of study and be licensed in each of the ten provinces. There are several institutions across the country where Opticians can study. In Ontario, for example, two traditional colleges, Georgian College and Seneca College, offer excellent face-to-face programs over a two year format, similar to our community/technical colleges. In Alberta, The Northern Alberta Institute of Technology offers an outstanding program via the Internet that provides training for Opticians all across the country, also a two year program offered in conjunction with apprenticeships. The student must be working and have a supervisor who reviews their clinical application to assure competency. In British Columbia, there is a condensed 6-month program at the British Columbia College of Optics that shortens the training program, but students are prepared and allowed to sit for licensure in British Columbia. Continued on page 18




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Canada allows the fitting of contact lenses, and in some provinces, sight testing, by Opticians. This is a far cry from most states in the US that has no requirement of any sort to call oneself an Optician. Europe The English system is similar to Canada. In reviewing the data, it is clear that English Opticians were also ahead of us in that they require formal education and licensure. There is also a bridge to become an Ophthalmic Optician (Optometrist) as well for those who wish to go further. German Opticians are trained via a rigorous apprenticeship program that combines hands-on clinical application with classroom experiences. The training program is very structured and combines significant clinical and work experiences. These are just a few examples of our counterparts in other areas of the world. It is enlightening to see what others are doing, and I encourage the reader to do your own search. Comparing the US to other nations may provide some insight into things not before considered. Educational Opportunities There are many opportunities for US Opticians to get a formal education. Let’s take a look at some of those, and hopefully you will get some idea of the depth and breadth of educational offerings here in this country. The National Federation of Opticianry Schools This outstanding organization is made up of schools and colleges across the country that offer degree and certificate programs for Opticians. They have an excellent website ( that provides a great deal of information about not only the schools that are members, but about the profession itself. The current list of members is 35, and these institutions and programs range anywhere from the standard two-year Associate in Applied Science (AAS) degree programs, to shorter, condensed certificate programs. The site provides excellent information on each individual program, so we will not take up our limited space for descriptions, but reviewing the site can provide a great deal of information for those who seek educational opportunities, both in face-to-face traditional formats, as well as distance education opportunities. The Ophthalmic Career Progression Program The National Academy of Opticianry offers a home-study program, utilized by several states as a component of the apprenticeship program that allows them to sit for the state licensing exam. Several states require some formal education during the apprenticeship, and this is an approved program by 18 | EYECAREPROFESSIONAL | MAY 2009

those states. The website for the NAO is You can easily find information there regarding the OCPP. This homestudy program allows the student to complete the program at home via correspondence, and in a comfortable time frame. Proctored examinations are required. The books are well written by industry professionals, and provide a solid foundation in the spectacle dispensing side of Opticianry, preparing self-directed individuals with optical theory sufficient to sit for the ABO examination. The Contact Lens Society of America Similar to the CPP, the CLSA offers a home-study program for contact lenses. Completed generally via correspondence with required proctored examinations, the program is well written by excellent contact lens practitioners, and provides the self-directed learner with a solid foundation in contact lenses. NAIT Optical Sciences As a matter of full disclosure, this author is a consultant for the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology, representing the Optical Science Program here in the US. This outstanding program provides Opticians across the country the opportunity to gain a two-year diploma in Eyeglasses, Advanced Diplomas in Contact Lenses, and Sight Testing. The program is extremely well written and offered via the Internet. The courses are led by full-time instructors who are there for full support for the student across the entire depth and breadth of the course. NAIT currently partners with state optical associations to deliver the program to their respective members here in the US. Texas, Pennsylvania, Nebraska, and Kentucky are currently partner states. Information on the program can be found at the websites for each participating state partner. Summary and Conclusion With all these opportunities out there, why do the NFOS schools seem to struggle to find students? Apprenticeship is not a structured learning experience in the US, but merely a poor do-it-on-you-own kind of thing. Unfortunately we cling to it like the Holy Grail! Why do we not seek to improve the future for the profession, and seek to upgrade our standards? We cannot forever remain mired in mediocrity, but must seek new benchmarks for success. This article is designed to provide these outstanding programs with some visibility, but they will never reach their full potential until the profession supports them completely. I am always amazed during my lectures across the country at the lack of understanding of some of the very basic optical principles, but at the same time the strong desire to learn exhibited by those in attendance. It is time for Opticianry to move forward. Or is it past time? â–



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Dispensing Optician Judy Canty, ABO/NCLE

Spring Ahead With a Fall Back Strategy

designer sandals for less than $80. Didn’t need the sunglasses, but my 20-year old Aigner sandals were looking a bit worn. The catalogue was in the mail on Friday and according to the nice salesperson on the phone, there was ONE pair of those sandals left in my size. Guess where I was on Saturday? I didn’t care if I could have bought those sandals somewhere else, Nordstrom had them in the catalogue and they had a pair for me. I wasn’t going to buy the $1,200 watch, even though it was really cute, but those sandals got me in the store. That’s a fall back strategy. According to Mark Zandi, chief economist and co-founder of Moody’s, home prices should reach their lowest by the end of the year and the fiscal-stimulus program should start to work by this summer. The unemployment numbers will peak in Q2 of 2010 and the economy should begin to expand by the fall of 2010. In the meantime, what’s an ECP supposed to do to hang on? Develop a business strategy and a fall back strategy. Strategy n — 1. Science of military operations 2. Artful management 3. plan

For several months now, I’ve been watching the Nordstrom catalogues as an indicator of the strength of the retail marketplace. No, I’m not sure what THE color is for spring and summer. It might be green, or possibly orange. I’m just not sure. What I do know is that their sunglass offerings have changed. I’ve grown accustomed to seeing the latest in designer sunwear, retailing for a few hundred dollars. The designer names are familiar and are also represented in their handbag and shoe offerings. While I don’t think that Nordstrom is over-priced by any means, they do represent the upper end of my budget. Imagine my surprise when the single pair of sunglasses in the latest catalogue was a designer name, but priced under $100. Yup, right there with the $1,200 watches and the $300 handbags, was a pair of less than $100 sunglasses and a pair of

Every one of those definitions describes what a solid business strategy should be. It is the artful management of a scientific plan of action. If your practice does not have a strategic plan as described by Dr. Warren McDonald in his series of articles in this publication, it’s time to develop one. At the very least, you and your staff must brainstorm the strengths and weaknesses of every facet of your daily operations. This may seem counter-intuitive given the current economy, but closing your practice to patients for a day so that you and your staff can evaluate every aspect of daily operations will be the smartest money you ever spend. From the front desk/reception area to the pre-test rooms to the exam lanes to the dispensary and back to the check-out, analyze every part of how well you are working as a team. If your team is weak in any area, the chances for one of those three things to disappear will multiply. Once you and your staff have analyzed the practice, choose three areas to concentrate on. Define three things that your team can do to make a positive impact on your practice. Decide what results you want to see and in what time frame. Allow team members to take ownership of each task and give them all Continued on page 22




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the support they need to accomplish the goals. The key to success is to implement the selected tasks immediately. Not after someone’s vacation or after the next conference...NOW! But I digress. What about a fall back strategy? According to, a fall back strategy is an alternative or second-choice option. It does not say, “Discount the heck out of everything because the sky is falling along with the Dow.” What could that strategy look like? Well, it certainly isn’t a big window sign advertising discounts on everything. That’s more like a surrender strategy. A fall back strategy is the plan you develop when things just don’t work out quite like you thought they would. First, look at your frame selection, specifically your high-end and designer lines. If they are not moving, move them...OUT. Most designer lines are tiered, meaning there are collections within the lines that are available at different price points. Ask your rep to exchange some, not all, of the higher priced frames for other lower priced ones. Do the same thing for your plano sunwear. The $300 pair might get your patient to the dispensary, but the $100 may be the one that gets sold. Second, re-evaluate your lens offerings. Today’s newest technology has real benefits for your patients, but they come with a

pretty steep price tag. Every lens manufacturer has a tiered offering of lens products and treatments. The top end will always be a part of the mix, but keeping your patient base intact may mean adjusting your recommendations to include less expensive options. It goes without saying that how well you know your lenses and treatments is critical. The differences between lens designs, materials and treatments may be small, but you had better be able to describe them very clearly. Third, take a hard look at how you work with your insurance patients. The economy is forcing more patients to stay within or very close to their plans’ covered services. Help them understand that insurance benefits are just that, an allowance or a contribution towards their eyewear purchase. That’s much more appealing than describing those benefits as just “coverage.” Even if the benefit is a simple discount plan, unless you have giant discount signs posted everywhere, that discount will look pretty good to most folks. Fourth and finally, watch your language. Don’t push and don’t beg. Everyone is uneasy in the current environment. Your patients will remember your professionalism, your kindness and your empathy. We’re all going to survive this cycle...well... MOST of us are going to survive. Many of us will emerge smarter and with a better plan for the future. ■



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OAA Selects Mark Cloer as State Leader of the Year

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The Opticians Association of America (OAA) is pleased to announce that Mark Cloer, HFOAA of Jackson, Mississippi has been named OAA’s State Leader of the Year. Presented annually at the Opticians Association of America’s State Leadership Conference, the award represents the highest honor the association can bestow upon an individual. The recipient of this prestigious award must meet the following requirements: involved in state leadership, past or present; attended at least two OAA State Leadership Conferences; promoted the advancement of opticianry in own state or other state(s); be ABO, NCLE certified, or State Licensed; and be a member of a state association for a minimum of five consecutive years. Tom Hicks, OAA President said, “Mark Cloer exemplifies leadership, love and commitment to our profession and his dedication to opticianry in Mississippi and OAA has been selfless and inspiring.” Mark Cloer has been involved in the optical industry for over 30 years. Mr. Cloer is a past President of the Opticians Association of America, served two terms as President of the Mississippi Association of Dispensing Opticians, is the current owner and President of EYE2EYE, Inc., serves as an instructor and director for the Contact Lens Service at the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson, MS, is an OAA Honored Fellow, has spoken on the national level and has had several articles published in ophthalmic trade journals.



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Continuing Education NCLE Approved CE Credit – $12.99 1 Hour, Technical, Level 1 Release date: May 2009 Expiration date: May 31, 2014

Alvaro Cordova is a licensed ophthalmic dispenser in New Jersey and has an Associates in Applied Science degree in Ophthalmics from Raritan Valley Community College in North Branch, New Jersey as well as a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science from Rutgers University. He is a contributing author for EyeCare Professional Magazine. Alvaro is a member of the Opticians Association of America, Opticians Association of NJ, and the Contact Lens Society of America and maintains a blog at

Dry Eyes and its Effects on Contact Lens Wear by Alvaro Cordova, LDO, ABOC-AC / NCLEC

Learning Objectives This CE will cover the tear film and tear film deficiencies; an important subject that may affect the wear of contact lenses. Topics include: • The components of the tear film • Dry Eye Syndrome/Keratoconjunctivitis Sicca (KCS) • Conditions that affect the individual tear film layers; lipid, aqueous and mucin layers • Medications that may play a role in KCS

Introduction ONTACT LENS WEAR REQUIRES certain conditions to be in place for a fit to become successful. Dry eye syndrome, or formally keratoconjunctivitis sicca, is a term for a group of symptoms whose etiology range from genetics to environmental. This paper will discuss lipid abnormalities, aqueous tear deficiencies, and mucin deficiency. These abnormalities cause several obstacles to a proper fit. While patients may complain of ocular symptoms such as burning or irritation, keratoconjunctivitis sicca poses more of a problem than just discomfort.


Classifying keratoconjunctivitis sicca will vary. As mentioned by Buddy Russell FCLSA, keratoconjunctivitis sicca has been divided by some researchers into five categories, the three listed above and two of which will not be covered in any significant detail in this paper: lid surface abnormalities and epitheliopathies. Others, such as C. Stephen Foster M.D. divide keratoconjunctivitis sicca into two categories, Sjogren’s syndrome (SS) related or non Sjogren’s syndrome (non-SS) related. The former approach is based on ocular anatomy. The latter basing itself on systemic etiology.

The Tear Film Before any discussion of keratoconjunctivitis sicca can take place, it is important to know what the tear film is and how it functions. The tear

film is composed of three layers: lipid, aqueous and mucin. Each of these layers has an important function in keeping the eye lubricated, clear and comfortable. Tears provide the eye with a lubricating surface between the globe and lids. They also provide oxygen to the cornea. This is of particular importance since many eye conditions are associated with corneal hypoxia due to contact lens abuse. Antibacterial substances in the tears provide the eye with an initial layer of protection against microbes. The tears give the cornea a very smooth refractive surface by filling in spaces on the cornea on the microscopic level and provide hydration to the eye surface. Tears trap and remove debris such as epithelial cells that shed regularly. The lipid layer is comprised of oils secreted by the meibomian glands. Some oils are also produced by the gland of Zeis. Both glands are located on the eyelids. It is common knowledge that oil floats on water. Similarly, the lipid layer acts like the oil on the aqueous layer decreasing the rate of evaporation. The aqueous tear layer is 99% water, the remaining 1% according to Lee Ann Remington, comprising of proteins, urea, inorganic salts, enzymes, and antibiotic components. The enzyme lysozyme attacks bacterial cell walls giving tears its anti-microbial property. The aqueous layer is produced by the lacrimal gland. The lacrimal gland is a small almond-shaped gland located in the lacrimal fossa, a depression

Exam can also be taken online at



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1 NCLE Credit Hour

in the frontal bone of the orbit on the temporal side. The mucin layer is excreted by the goblet cells of the conjunctiva. This layer helps bond the aqueous layer to the ocular surface evenly by providing a hydrophilic surface in which to adhere to.

Keratoconjunctivitis Sicca Keratoconjunctivitis Sicca (KCS) is a surface inflammation of the cornea and conjunctiva due to dryness. It may also be referred to as Keratitis Sicca. KCS is caused by a decrease in tear production or a compromise in one of the layers of the tear film, the etiology of which will be discussed. Patients may complain of a variety of symptoms such as burning, irritation and dryness. Other descriptions include “scratchy” or “tired” eyes. A counter-intuitive symptom may be excessively watery eyes. As a result of dryness in the eyes, the body may react by over-producing more tears. The severest cases can include corneal scarring and corneal perforation. Contact lens wear may become interrupted intermittently or for continuous periods of time.

Aqueous Tear Deficiency Aqueous tear deficiency is the most common problem affecting the tear film. Several conditions may be responsible for decreased or abnormal tear production. As a health care provider, your awareness becomes crucial in assisting the patient to the proper course of action.

Sjogren’s Syndrome Sjogren’s syndrome is a chronic auto-immune disease that may affect any organ. Depending on the study, prevalence can be as low 0.5% of the population or between 3% to 5%. Sjogren’s syndrome has been observed to manifest alone or in conjunction with other auto-immune diseases. Women are affected at a much higher rate than men by a ratio of nine women to every man. Sjogren’s syndrome has been found to most occur around the ages of forty through late fifties. Symptoms may include dry mouth and dry eyes as well as fatigue. It is not uncommon for Sjogren’s to cause dryness of the skin and other organs. Some auto-immune diseases that may accompany Sjogren’s syndrome are rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, scleroderma and others.


throughout various tissues of the body, but mainly in the lungs. Caseation is necrosis that has a characteristic cheese-like appearance under the microscope. In the case of sarcoidosis, there is a low amount of necrosis as opposed to necrosis found in other granulomatous conditions such as tuberculosis. Sarcoidosis generally affects young adults and women. Symptoms include fatigue, weight loss, pain, and shortness of breath. Ocular symptoms may include uveitis and KCS. KCS symptoms may develop through either a deformity that interferes with normal blinking or lesions on the conjunctiva. In some cases, the lacrimal gland may become inflamed and interfere with normal tear production.

Aging Aging itself is not a disease and our bodies are not pre-programmed to age necessarily. Many theories about the aging process exist. Anyone who is significantly older than you will not hesitate to advise you to “not grow old.” While this is not a possibility, understanding the aging process will help in understanding what the patient may experience as they grow older. This is especially true today as the baby boomers are coming to retirement age and may develop dry eye symptoms. Aging is associated with decreased tear production. Both quantity and quality may be affected. As one gets older, muscles in the body and eyelid become weaker. Older patients may develop an ectropian, a lid that turns outward, or a ptosis, a drooping eye lid. A patient who has an ectropian will have a pool of tears accumulating on the lower lid. While this falls under a lid abnormality, aqueous tear deficiency, coupled with an ineffective blink may expose the cornea to infection.

Rheumatoid Arthritis Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic inflammatory disease. There is no known cause, but infection is speculated as well as a possible genetic component. Other known factors include stress, hormones, and immune response. Frequency among the population is about 1%. Native Americans show more predisposition to RA than other races. RA is also 2 to 3 times more common in women than in men. Arthritis is a condition that causes joint pain. In RA, patients may complain of swelling in joints that is typically symmetric. Ocular manifestations include scleritis, episcleritis and dry eyes. As mentioned before, Sjogren’s syndrome may be found in patients suffering from RA, but not necessarily so.



Sarcoidosis is an inflammatory disorder of unknown origin. The disease also goes by Besnier-Boeck disease or Boeck’s sarcoid. The disease manifests as non-caseating microscopic granulomas, or nodules,

There are medications that may cause some of the symptoms of KCS by decreasing lacrimation. Whether over-the-counter or by prescription, it is important for the patient to divulge all medications to their



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Continuing Education

health care provider to rule out medication as a possible cause of KCS. Many drugs such as anti-histamines and pain-killers are ubiquitous and can often be overlooked by the patient since many are over-thecounter. Other drugs that may cause a decrease in the amount of tears produced includes tranquilizers, contraceptives, anti-cholinergic drugs, diuretics and anti-hypertensive medication to name a few. Contact lens wear may be complicated by the dry eye side effects of these medications.

Lipid Deficiency Several diseases and conditions can cause a lipid abnormality. As mentioned, the meibomian glands are responsible for producing oils that prevent the evaporation of tears.

Blepharitis Blepharitis is the most common lid disorder. Blepharitis is an acute or chronic inflammation of the eyelids, chronic being the most common. The inflammation may be caused by the presence of a bacterial infection. Blepharitis can lead to complications such as lid notching, chalazion, trichiasis, conjunctivitis, punctate keratitis and even corneal ulceration. Blepharitis can be classified into two types: Anterior marginal blepharitis and posterior marginal blepharitis. Symptoms include the crusting and thickening of the lid margins with crusting and scaling along the bases of the lashes. Other symptoms include itching, excessive watery eyes, burning, foreign body sensation/grittiness. Generally, symptoms are similar for both types, but posterior blepharitis is considered more difficult to diagnose because symptoms may not be as evident.

erupting in blisters. Lesions on the conjunctiva are a common sign of those suffering from SJS. Causes vary from drugs, infection, systemic disease and even food, but most commonly drugs. If left untreated, ocular defects may become present such as trichiasis and entropian.

Complications of Contact Lens Wear Corneal neovascularization (NV) is a serious complication of contact lens wear. NV of the cornea are vessels that grow into the cornea. Current thinking suggests that vessels deeper into the cornea are a result of less oxygen to the cornea then that of superficial vessels. Keeping the cornea avascular is extremely important. If enough vascularization occurs, contact lens use may need to be discontinued entirely. With the introduction of silicone hydrogels with high Dk values, contact lens users have decreased the incidence of corneal NV. NV can also be exacerbated by non-compliance and over-wear of contact lenses. Contact lens wearers who also have KCS are at an increased risk of neovascularization. The eye care professional would need to address any dry eye conditions before continuing contact lens wear.

Treatments and Options There are many treatments available to treat dry-eye symptoms. The first of which may be the use of over-the-counter artificial tears once any underlying systemic disorders have been treated. Moisture chamber spectacles also exist as a solution for patients not responding to artificial tears. The use of punctal plugs could also be beneficial.

Meibomianitis Meibomianitis (also known as meibomitis) is a chronic inflammatory dysfunction of the meibomian glands. One of the most prominent symptoms is a white froth like presence located at the lid margins. Another sign is “globules” of oils secreted by the meibomian glands present at each gland duct. It is common for meibomianitis to be associated with posterior marginal blepharitis, but can also be found on its own.

Mucin Deficiency Stevens-Johnson Syndrome Stevens-Johnson syndrome (SJS) is a milder form of a disease called toxic epidermal necrolysis (TEN). Previously, the disease was thought to be a severe form of erythema multiforme (EM), although there is ongoing debate about this. Current reasoning has shifted because both SJS and TEN both have the same signs, treatment, and prognosis. Regardless of the classification, SJS affects the mucous membranes by

Punctal plugs, as the name suggests, interfere with the drainage of tears through the puncta. Punctal plugs are a consideration if artificial tears do not treat symptoms. There are also new prescription drugs that may also be used; Restasis® and FreshKote®. FreshKote attempts to treat each layer of the tear film and increase its stability. Restasis helps by increasing tear production. Depending on the severity and etiology, KCS may necessitate surgery such as Tarsorrhaphy.

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Conclusion Contact lens wear paired with KCS may cause complications. As many eye-care professionals know there are many patients who are not compliant. Many people tend to ignore symptoms until it’s generally very serious. While some treatments help, for many the condition is chronic, depending on the etiology. Thankfully, with monitoring and treatment there is some reprieve for many of the severest cases. With some care, patients can still wear contacts and manage symptoms as they arise.

Questions 1. What are the three layers of the tear film? a. lipid, aqueous, mucin b. lipid, aqueous, vitreous c. lipid, aqua, vitreous d. lipid, mucin, vitreous 2. KCS stands for... a. Superficial Punctate Keratitis b. Ketoconazole c. Keratoconjunctivitis Sicca d. Sclerosing Keratitis 3. The cornea needs to remain ______ for continued contact lens wear. (please choose the best answer) a. wet b. sterilized c. vascular d. avascular 4. Contact lenses with a high Dk value allow for... a. smaller diameter lenses to be manufactured. b. larger diameter lenses to be manufactured. c. the lens to remain sterile. d. more oxygen permeability. 5. Which of the following does NOT exacerbate KCS? a. Anti-histamines b. Anti-hypertensives c. Anti-cholinergics d. Restasis 6. Stevens-Johnson Syndrome affects which layer of the tear film? a. aqueous layer b. aqueous humor c. mucin layer d. lipid layer 7. Blepharitis affects which layer of the tear film? a. aqueous layer b. aqueous humor c. mucin layer d. lipid layer

8. Sjogren’s Syndrome is strongly associated with which of the following? a. rheumatoid arthritis b. Sarcoidosis c. the mucin layer d. the lipid layer 9. Sarcoidosis is what kind of disorder? a. genetic disorder b. an infectious disorder c. due to toxicity d. inflammatory disorder 10. Tarsorrhaphy is a _________ a. surgical procedure. b. medication. c. neurological disorder. d. tear film layer. 11. Punctal plugs _________ a. hinder tear drainage. b. increase aqueous layer production. c. increase lipid production. d. stabilize the mucin layer. 12. FreshKote is which of the following? a. a brand of punctal plugs b. inflammation of the retina c. contact lens solution that helps with KCS d. a prescription drug 13. Sjogren’s Syndrome affects which layer? a. aqueous layer b. aqueous humor c. mucin layer d. lipid layer 14. Artificial tears are available _________ a. by prescription only. b. over the counter. c. by making robots cry. d. by mail-order only.



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15. Meibomitis affects which layer of the tear film? a. aqueous layer b. aqueous humor c. mucin layer d. lipid layer

18. Which of the following is NOT a treatment for KCS? a. Restasis b. Hemianopic spectacles c. Moist chamber spectacles d. Punctal plugs

16. Meibomitis is which of the following? a. inflammation of the tear ducts b. inflammation of the meibomian glands c. inflammation of the eyelids d. inflammation of the cornea

19. Restasis is which of the following? a. a prescription drug b. inflammation of the retina c. contact lens solution that helps with KCS d. a brand of punctal plugs

17. Contact lens wear paired with KCS may cause... a. sarcoidosis b. increased neovascularization c. rheumatoid arthritis d. blepharitis

20. Which disorder affects the lipid layer? a. Sarcoidosis b. Rheumatoid Arthritis c. Sjogren’s Syndrome d. Blepharitis

Please Fill Out Answers Below for Dry Eyes and its Effects on Contact Lens Wear 1 Hour CE credit – National Contact Lens Examiners – Credit valid until May 31, 2014 Exam can also be taken online at Select one answer for each question, a minimum score of 16 correct answers is necessary to obtain credit.

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10.





11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20.





Payment of $12.99 required with this exam ❑ check enclosed (payable to Opti-Courier) ❑ pay by Credit Card Name on card: __________________________________________ Credit Card #:___________________________________________ Expiration Date: _________________________________________ Signature: _____________________________________________

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It’s time to turn the page on dry eye misery. How do you transform the dry eye experience? With a high performance product that goes further to lubricate and protect the ocular surface, providing immediate comfort and extended protection.1,2 Breakthrough relief is finally here.

This is relief. References: 1. Data on file, Alcon Laboratories, Inc. 2. Ketelson HA, Davis J, Meadows DL. Characterization of a novel polymeric artificial tear delivery system. Poster A139 presented at: ARVO; April 2008; Fort Lauderdale, FL.

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Give your patients the unmatched comfort that comes with the highest standard of biocompatible disinfection,1 proven lens cleaning,2 and enhanced wettability2,3 they deserve. Recommend OPTI-FREE® RepleniSH® MPDS every time you see them – it’s a positive reflection on you.



©2009 Alcon, Inc.



References: 1. Andrasko G, Ryen K. Corneal staining and comfort observed with traditional and silicone hydrogel lenses and multipurpose solution combinations. Optometry. 2008;79(8):444-454. 2. Schachet J, Zigler L, Wakabayashi D, Cohen S. Clinical assessment of a new multi-purpose disinfecting solution in asymptomatic and symptomatic patients. Poster presented at: AAO; December 2006; Denver, CO. 3. Data on file. Alcon Laboratories, Inc. 4. Survey of 305 Optometrists, Harris Interactive®, May 2008.



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Managing Optician Anthony Record, ABO/NCLE, RDO

Looking Back at a Successful Vision Expo East Sometimes as I read an article or continuing education module in this or one of our other optical journals, I sense a bit of a subtext – a pink elephant in the room, if you will. By that I mean that it is apparent the author is “promoting” a particular lens, frame, or company.

o, I will take the advice of the late Randy Pausch, author of The Last Lecture, who wisely suggested the best way to deal with a pink elephant is to simply introduce everyone to it.

have purchased some frames, sunglasses, or accessories that no other dispensary in your market carries. You could have walked away with stacks of posters, brochures, and samples from the world’s leading contact lens and frame manufacturers.

Here it is: I am, in fact, attempting to promote something in the writing of this article. What, exactly? I am targeting all of you Eye Care Professionals (ECPs) who have never attended the International Vision Expo – East or West – in an effort to convince you that you should.

At night you could have attended a Broadway musical, experienced world-class dining at bargain prices, and strolled through world-famous Times Square. If you were lucky enough, you might have bumped into Paris Hilton, who was at the Expo touting her new line of sunglasses. Your eyes could have met...smiles exchanged...a date was that’s hot!


Had you attended the Expo in New York at the end of March, you might have been able to obtain some or all of your continuing education credits (CECs) that you need to renew your state, ABO, and/or NCLE licenses. You could have asked American Idol judge, Randy Jackson, for an autographed picture. You would have seen first hand the most up-to-date, cutting edge surfacing and finishing equipment. Access to all the latest, coolest frames would have been yours – you could

And by the way, most of your cost for traveling to and attending the Expo might have qualified for a tax deduction. Wow! So, in an effort to further entice you to do whatever it takes to make Continued on page 34



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it to Vision Expo West in the fall, or Vision Expo East 2010, I present to you, my partial Expo diary, 2009. Enjoy. Wednesday, 12:30 pm. My wife, Andrea, and I leave Tampa International Airport, non-stop to JFK. I have “paid” for our tickets with frequent flyer miles. The flight leaves on time and arrives early. The taxi driver actually speaks English fairly well, despite the lack of vowels in his name. The hotel reservation is in order – also paid for, only this time with frequent hotel “miles.” We’re staring off on a good foot.

Paris Hilton signs autographs while promoting her new sunglass collection with Gripping Eyewear.

Thursday, 12:00 pm. After a leisurely breakfast, we head to the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center. For the first time, I have the honor and privilege of teaching CE classes at the Expo. At one o’clock I will present Professional Telephone Skills, a two-hour class I have taught a dozen times before. Despite that fact, I am a bit nervous. This is, after all the Big Apple. If I can make it here... Thursday, 3:00 pm. The class and the attendees were amazing. Based on the evaluations it was very well received. Exhale! Thursday, 8:00 pm. Although it has been around for many years, the dates and times have never quite worked out, so tonight we went to see the Broadway musical, Wicked. It was fabulous, and I would give it my unconditional recommendation. Tomorrow is a busy day, so we turn in early. Friday, 8:30 am. I am teaching my final two classes today. From 10:15-12:15 it is The One-Minute Optician, and from 3:15-5:15 An Interactive Assessment of Premium Lens Knowledge. Both classes are a success, and it left three hours in-between for walking the aisles of the show. Of course I must visit the frame and contact lens vendors I already deal with, so that gets done. Good deals are realized at Live Eyewear and Global Optique. Additionally, I view new styles at R&R Eyewear, specifically, new Bellagio models and an unbelievably nice $10 line called 34 | EYECAREPROFESSIONAL | MAY 2009

Blink. New accessories, cases, and cords are everywhere, as well as occasional moments of excitement which are heard in various parts of the hall. Paris Hilton is promoting her sunglass line at Gripping Eyewear, Mickey Rourke at Revolution Eyewear, and Randy Jackson appears at Zyloware. Steven “Cojo” Cojocaro was to host the fashion shows at Safilo Group, so perhaps some of that hoopla is for him. But with only a Cojo hosted Safilo’s Fashion Show couple of short hours to spend here today, we stick to business. A quick stop to visit the editor of EyeCare Professional magazine, and we continue on. We had no fixed plans for this evening but decide to visit Caroline’s Comedy Club for dinner, drinks, and Darrell Hammond, the longest-running cast member of Saturday Night Live. Dinner was okay, but Hammond and his two costars killed! They were all hilarious. Times Square was hopping, so I walked down to 49th and Broadway to visit my favorite NY store – Colony Music. It has music memorabilia and probably the widest selection of sheet music in the country. I love it. Virgin Records is closing for good, but most of the bargains were gone. A few street vendors were plying their trade. It seems pirated DVDs ($5 apiece or 5 for $20) have started to rival Randy Jackson met with fans while counterfeit handbags for promoting his Zyloware frame line. street selling space. A brisk 20-block walk back to the hotel near Penn Station and we call it a night. Saturday, 10:00 am. While the Expo still has two more days to go, we had planned to leave today. That’s the beauty and flexibility of Expo. With hundreds of CE hours and vendors on display, you can create your own schedule and itinerary, and make of the show and visit what you want. We decided to have lunch at JFK, and with only a slight delay, we arrive back in Tampa in enough time to share dinner with our son. All in all, it was a wonderful experience, and as I said earlier, why not begin planning your trip to New York (or Las Vegas) right now? You’ll be glad you did. ■



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Vision Expo East Upbeat Despite Economy International Vision Expo East, which wrapped up March 29th, finished on a high note despite the economy. “While preliminary attendance figures indicate that we are down approximately 12 percent in our attendance, we were very pleased to hear positive Deal making at the Show. feedback from both attendees and exhibitors at the show,” said Tom Loughran, event director for Reed Exhibitions. A complete third-party audit of International Vision Expo East will be available mid-May. “It is notable that International Vision Expos are the only optical events to continually audit their attendance despite the up and down swings in the economy,” said Loughran. Smarter shopping on the show floor reflected the quality of attendees at the show. Exhibitors at International Vision Expo East found that the attendees were at the show to buy,

not just browse. According to Geoffrey Moss of Eschenbach Optik of America, “We were quite pleased with VEE. Eschenbach had a terrific show! Our total leads and hot leads were up over 24 percent. Traffic was excellent on Friday and Saturday.” Michael Feldman of I-dealoptics also had a positive experience at the show, noting that “business was great at Vision Expo East – we were very busy Friday and stayed steady on Saturday. We’ve been writing some great orders.” The Visionomics conference program, which focused on actionable strategies to help eye care professionals identify business opportunities, increase efficiencies and build loyalty among their practice base, was also a success. According to Dr. Sean Phibbs of Emerald Eyes in Seabrook, NJ, “I come once a year to Vision Expo – this show has everything, the future of the industry. The conference program was great this year – especially Visionomics!” Teka Eyewear, a frame manufacturer, was awarded the Vision Choice Award from the New Product Showcase. In addition, Elizabeth Overton, a certified optician from Garland Vision of Darmstadt, IN won a $500 show shopping spree on Saturday for casting her vote for the Vision Choice Award.



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Dispensary Marketing Cliff Capriola, President, Focus Eye Care Consulting

Recession Proof your Practice With all the bad news about the economy lately, it’s hard for those of us in the eye care profession not to be discouraged when it comes to business. What we have to focus on is that these attitudes do a disservice to our patients, our staff members, and ultimately to ourselves. Here are some areas to focus on during difficult times:

1. Use the Internet for Inexpensive Online Marketing Traditional marketing campaigns are expensive with generally low rates of return. It’s also very hard for private practices to compete with national chains in this arena. For these reasons many private practices are turning to the internet for their marketing campaigns. I recommend two simple, inexpensive, and effective tools: Practice Newsletters Newsletters are a great way to stay in touch with your patients year-round. Keep them short and informative. Here are some of the subjects I touch on when writing newsletters for clients: • timely eye health articles • new lens/frame technology • vision screenings • trunk shows • dr. & staff news & notes, photos • practice community involvement In short, give your patients reasons to come in before their yearly eye exam. Ideally your newsletter can be emailed to your patient base. If for some reason you have not been collecting emails addresses from your patients, start today! In the meantime, you can place the newsletter on your website for easy viewing. If you want to market your practice to new patients in your area, there are companies which can sell you email lists. It’s still far less expensive than printing and mailing. Online Patient Surveys Exactly how do your patients feel about your practice? One way

is to ask them! An online patient survey can be placed on your website or emailed to patients after their appointments. The key point to remember is to structure your questions carefully; what you get out of the survey will reflect how well thought out your questions are. If there are certain areas you wish to concentrate on, be sure to ask questions that ask for something more than a “yes” or “no” answer. In a few months you will have a representative cross-section of your patient base providing you with valuable feedback you would not normally have.

2. Practice Management Have you ever watched a baseball team win a 10-0 game and thought how easy it must be to manage that team? Anyone who has coached or owned a business will tell you that it is much easier to manage during good times than bad. Yet creative and innovative doctors and business owners find ways to thrive during hard times. I tell my consulting clients not to focus on what they can’t control (the economy) and to focus on what they can control (what happens in their practice). The logical outcome of most office visits end with the patient in the dispensary, and your attitude goes a long way in determining what gets sold in that visit. Remember, how you and your staff feel about your practice is how your patients will eventually feel about your practice. If you are generally upbeat and positive during their visits, then that is the feeling your patients will leave with. If you or your staff has low expectations of your patients, they will invariably live up to them. One of the traps many staff members fall into in tough economic times is to subconsciously judge patients as to what they can or cannot afford in the dispensary. Considering one of the best qualities of a good staff member is the ability to care about Continued on page 38




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their patients, this is not a surprise. What we have to remember though is that we are doing our patients a disservice by this behavior. It’s our job to recommend products to people which will optimize their vision. Your patients are adults. They can manage their own money without our help. Never forget one thing: cost is directly related to perceived value. If patients truly feel a product, say polarized sun lenses, will make a difference in their quality of life, then they will purchase it.

3. Products How well do you maximize some of the niche areas in your optical? I stress two areas, sunwear and sports eyewear. Sunwear Most practices have an assortment of sun wear on their frame boards, but how often do we talk about it? The fact is that nothing increases bottom-line profits more than the routine dispensing on second pairs. Here are a couple of tips I suggest for improving your sunwear sales: Second pair vouchers Many insurance plans already mandate that you give a 20% discount to their patients for second pair sales. What percentage of your patients is actually offered this discount, both in the exam room and the dispensary? Of those patients, how many of them remember their discount by the time they get home?

Sports Eyewear: The Game Plan No other segment of your optical shop offers as much room for creative outside marketing. The benefits can be substantial in terms of optical shop profits, adding new patients, and preventing eye injuries in your community. Get in touch with your state Society to Prevent Blindness; they will provide you with some sobering statistics on the number of sport-related youth eye injuries every year. Visibility Both sports eyewear and sunwear displays are eye-catching, and should be placed near the front of the dispensary. They are also easily changed from season to season. You do not need an extensive amount of frames and goggles; just enough of the most popular styles for the primary recreational and sports activities in your area. Network In Your Community Work with other retailers to provide referrals for each other: sporting goods stores, scuba shops, surf shops, cycling shops, and skateboard shops are possibilities if they are not already selling sports eyewear. Consider other professional services that active consumers often seek out: nutritionists, health clubs, personal trainers, massage therapists, chiropractors, physical therapists, and orthopedic surgeons are all good sources. Discounts can be offered on sports eyewear for their clients who are not existing patients of yours. Youth Sports Teams: Give A Little To Get A Lot

Many of my clients have found it profitable to give a 20% off second pair voucher to all patients who purchase primary eyewear. First, it forces the dispenser to always bring up the subject of second pairs, no matter how busy they are. Secondly, it gives the patient something to hold on to as a reminder. I recommend having an expiration date of 90 days and having the dispenser sign it; this gives it more perceived value. The vouchers can be redeemed for sunwear, sports eyewear, or computer eyewear. Plano sunwear All of us have heard of the study which found that 80% of new contact lens wearers purchase plano sunwear in the first 48 hours...but how many of us have really tried to make plano sunwear a profit center? Keep a wide variety of price points in your practice; low to mid range in the contact lens room and higher priced ones in your dispensary. Both the doctor and the contact lens tech should talk about plano sunwear with every contact lens patient.


More and more emphasis is being placed on eye safety at all levels; interscholastic, intramural, and municipal. Work with the school districts and league officials to make sports eyewear affordable for all participants in youth sports. You will be surprised how much community goodwill this creates, and you will often end up with entire families as your patients as a result. I know one doctor who provided free sport goggles to all the members of his child’s little league team. It cost him close to a thousand dollars...and he gained six new families in his practice. Get Off The Bench and Get Moving Too many private practice owners feel that a combination sun/sports eyewear program entails too much work. Initially, it does require extra work both inside and outside the practice. However, the program is generally self-supporting once the referral systems, the relationships with youth sports leagues, and the vendor relationships are established. In addition, it provides tremendous community exposure. ■



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Bausch & Lomb Bausch & Lomb has appointed Brian J. Harris as chief financial officer and corporate vice president, with immediate effect. A business and finance executive with more than three decades of experience with multinational Brian J. Harris organizations, in 1989 Mr. Harris held positions of increasing responsibility with Tomkins plc, the industrial, automotive, building products and engineering manufacturing conglomerate. These included roles as president of the $2 billion Worldwide Power Transmission business for Denver, Colorado-based Gates Corporation, as well as senior vice president for Strategic Business Development, and chief financial officer and company secretary. Bausch & Lomb Japan has named Mitsuo Hirose as chairman, effective immediately. Mr. Hirose has served on the subsidiary’s Board of Directors since January 2009. Most recently he was representative director and chairman of Mitsuo Hirose Pacific Golf Group International Holdings KK. He has also served as president and representative director for both Johnson & Johnson Japan Inc. and Johnson & Johnson Medical Company. He was responsible for introducing disposable contact lenses to the Japanese market.

American Academy of Ophthalmology David W. Parke II, MD, has taken the helm of the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) as the Academy’s new executive vice president and chief executive officer. He succeeds H. Dunbar Hoskins Jr., MD, who led the David W. Parke II AAO since 1993 and is now retiring. Dr. Parke has served on the Academy’s Board of Trustees since 2000 and was the 2008 Academy president. He was president and CEO of the Dean McGee Eye Institute in Oklahoma City and professor and chair of the Department of Ophthalmology at the University of Oklahoma College of Medicine.

Charmant Group

Masao Miyachi

Charmant Inc has announced that Masao Miyachi, currently the company’s Executive Director, will become the President and CEO of the group. Junji Horikawa, the current President & CEO will remain on the Board and assume the post of Vice Chairman, a newly


created position as the company’s senior executive. Kaoru Horikawa the founder of the Charmant Group will maintain his active role as the group’s Chairman. In addition he will continue as a member on the Board of Directors. Masao Miyachi, who joined the company in 1980, spent 29 years in sales, marketing and products planning & development.

Transitions Optical Transitions Optical, Inc. has named Scott Henning director of its eyecare professional and professional development team. In his new role, Henning, who previously acted as national retail key account executive for Transitions, Scott Henning will be in charge of developing and driving initiatives to support eyecare professionals through education and marketing programs, and new communications strategies. He will also be responsible for the creation and implementation of an ECP loyalty program.

LENSCO LENSCO has announced the promotion of Grant Parsons to Director of Manufacturing & Consultation. Parsons has 30 years experience in contact lens design manufacturing and fitting consultation and is also certified by Grant Parsons Paragon Vision Sciences for Paragon CRT. His experience has allowed him the honor to study under such prominent industry experts as the renowned Dr. Leonard Bronstein, Bob Stone, and Dr. J.R. Reynolds. Eventually this led to a partnership between Grant and Bob Stone forming Contact Lens Research Laboratory, where Grant held the Vice President position until 1996, when LENSCO acquired the company.

Mark Andre Gets CLSA Award Mark Andre was recently awarded the Contact Lens Society of America’s Joseph W. Soper Award for Excellence in Education. The award recognizes “outstanding contributions in the area of contact lens education,” according to Mark Andre the CLSA. Andre, an associate professor of optometry at Pacific University in Forest Grove, Ore., has more than 30 years’ experience in contact lenses. Before joining the university he was director of the contact lens service at the Casey Eye Institute at the Oregon Health and Sciences University.



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Second Glance Elmer Friedman, OD

Albinism as a Cultural Phenomenon Albinism has occupied human imagination since ancient times, as a variety of myths, facts and fiction have been recorded. From the story of Zeus being incarnated as a white bull to the villainous killer in 2003’s Da Vinci Code, albinistic people have been seen as curiosities and even been exhibited in side shows as freaks.


NE OF THE MOST famous examples of albinism in

fiction is the great white whale in Herman Melville’s Moby Dick, written in 1851. Further evidence of evil associated with albinism can be found in the novels Jamaica Inn by Daphne Du Maurier and Deliverance by James Dick. The condition has often been used in the cinema to create a sense that provokes our fears of stalkers, assassins, hideousness and characters that are relentless and impervious to pain. The word “albino” is considered derogatory by victims of albinism. Those who have the condition are so few that writers, filmmakers and TV producers can use this unfortunate condition to amuse or frighten without fear of reprisal. And all this in spite of a disability sensitive movement started over 25 years ago as well as up to date thinking and actions regarding humanism and political correctness. Some say that albinism predates language and community, but it is still used to strike at our deepest fears. At this very moment albinism in Tanzania is considered by certain tribes as agents of demons. With ignorance and prejudice they are murdering pale eyed and pale skinned inhabitants by the thousands. It is reported that such a victim may be cannibalized by his foes in a ritual that removes their spirit and soul from ever reappearing again in this life or the life hereafter. Body parts of albinistic victims are sold and bartered between tribes and villages.

The incidence of albinism in Tanzania is ten times that of any other region of the world. Albinism is a result of a genetic process which does not permit the production of color in organisms. Examples are: chlorophyll in plants and melanin in people. Melanin provides, in people, color to the skin, hair and eyes. It also provides protection from ultraviolet light rays. There is a complicated series of DNA and chemical formulae that explains how recessive genes (1 in 70) carried by both parents causes albinism. This occurs approximately once in every 17,000 births. Hair color may be white or very light with light skin and blue or gray eye color. Albinism is present in every nation, ethnicity or religion. Most parents have normal coloring. There is a persistent tale that albinism causes a “red eye” appearance. Actually the light irides allow the highly vascular retina and choroid coloration to be seen through the pupil under certain conditions of lighting such as experienced with photography. Most of those affected by albinism are considered visually disabled. The condition usually results in legal blindness with best corrected V.A. below 20/200. Abnormal neurological patterns are present due to lack of pigment in the foveal area, preventing normal vision and invariably causing nystagmus and photophobia. One can readily imagine the handicaps that would befall an albinistic person in the areas of education, reading, socialization, sports participation, mobility and peer Continued on page 44




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acceptance. Help is sometimes available with new technology and vision aids. There are some who have been able to obtain a driver’s license with V.A. enhancement equipment. Cases of animal albinism are well documented. The “red eye” syndrome is usually more apparent than in humans since the animal eye is smaller and less pigment is available for protection. The albinistic person or animal is as healthy as the rest of their species with normal growth and development. Albinism, by itself, is not life threatening. However, many animals with albinism do not possess their natural protective camouflage in nature and cannot fend for themselves against their predators. Their survival rate, in the wild, is generally quite low. Some animal species are intentionally bred to be albinistic and used in biomedical experiments. The most common lab specimens are: mice, rabbits, rats, fish and frogs. There are many others that are also used for such purposes. There are two more categories of albinism in humans: oculocutaneous, wherein pigment is lacking in the eye, skin and hair. (In non-human bodies the results are seen in the fur, scales or feathers.) In ocular albinism, only the eyes lack pigment. Albinism can evidence anywhere from no pigment at all to almost normal levels. People with ocular albinism have generally normal skin and hair color and may have a normal eye color appearance. The skin may possess freckles or moles. In Africa and New Guinea albinism usually produces red hair, reddish brown skin and blue or gray eyes. Africans affected with albinism may have yellow hair, pale skin and blue or gray eyes. Ocular albinism type 2 is frequently linked to a form of color blindness and night blindness. Type 3 albinism seems to be more common among the Amish than in other populations. A variety of albinism is also associated with hearing loss. This has been observed predominantly among the Hopi Native Americans. A complete list of eye conditions prevalent in albinism must include: nystagmus, amblyopia, refractive errors (especially astigmatism), photophobia, foveal hypoplasia, optic nerve hypoplasia, and abnormal crossing of optic nerve fibers in the chiasm. Some vision aids recommended should include: eyeglasses and subnormal vision aids, large print material, closed captioning, and angled bright reading lights. Help may also be obtained through strong reading lenses, hand held magnifiers and projection screens for close work magnification. Contact lenses may be colored to block uncomfortable light from irritating the retina with unwanted glare. Dark sunwear may help albinistics endure outdoor activities. A rare form of albinism, in addition to the expected skin and eye problems, causes a greater tendency toward bleeding disorders, inflammations of the large bowel, lung disease and kidney problems. In the U.S.A., albinistic people are expected to have a normal life span as opposed to the threat of murder in places like Tanzania. ■



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FIRST QUALITY STOCK LENSES Step into Three Rivers Optical’s “O” Zone. Our “Free” Lens Series offers one-of-a-kind bifocal designs that fill a void in the optical industry. With our unique, patented “Round Seg” technology, your patients will experience the best in bifocal lenses.

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Green Bay, WI 54308 800-678-4266/Fax 920-965-3203



Interested in sharing your Optical insight with fellow ECP’s? If you would like to write for the fastest growing publication in the industry, email a brief description about yourself and your areas of expertise to:



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LOW PRICE LEADER SINCE 1949 Factory Direct Savings on Fully Stitched Slip-in Cases Clamshell Cases Lowest Prices in the Industry Molded Plastic & Children’s Cases Huge Saving on Microfiber Cleaning Cloths and Spray Cleaner

Call: 800 249-1058 See our complete case catalog at:


Op-Tags™, Labels & Bar Code Systems... Your most cost effective merchandising tools!

National Lens America’s Leading Discount Contact Lens Distributor is the leading provider of optical frame displays for ophthalmic dispensing professionals. Products include optical eyewear and sunglass displays in addition to lockable, rotating, standing, wall mount and slatwall frame displays. Call 877.274.9300 for info and catalog.

Rudy is Sport RX. Rudy Project is Italian for cutting edge technology and innovations in plano & RX eyewear/sunwear. Increase your sales to athletes!

Phone 1-866-923-5600 Fax 1-866-923-5601

WHEN SKILLED HANDS using state of the art technology come together the result is precision bench work. We pride ourselves in producing edge work that is light years ahead of our competition.

Contact us. or 888-860-7597

(800) 221-4170


ABO APPROVED CONTINUING EDUCATION A Tale of Ocular Anatomy $ 12.99 for 2 ABO Credit Hours

Available at: Take the course online and receive your certificate within 5 days!

TRANSITIONS® PREMIUM ELITE LAB Our Specialty — UnCuts Approved VSP Lab UNCUT CR-39 TURNAROUND: In By 12 Noon Out By 4pm SAME DAY!

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888-360-5367 215-289-4046

A case with a double lock & your name imprinted on it!



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Fax: 607-748-2273 MAY 2009 | EYECAREPROFESSIONAL | 49

To advertise please call 800.914.4322, or visit

Arch Crown, Inc. 460 Hillside Avenue Hillside, NJ 07205 Toll Free: 1-800-526-8353 Fax: 973-731-2228 e-mail:



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Last Look Jim Magay, RDO

Buying Local A common theme of mine, from last month’s article (and in my life), has been to support local ventures. I’ve not always been successful. Sometimes the allure of lower prices has been my downfall, other times, convenience. I’m pretty sure most of us try to observe my Dad’s axiom, “Buy from those you sell to.” For a time years ago that was easy – for a while now not so much. OCAL RESTAURANT owners disappeared a few years ago to be replaced by the likes of Applebee’s, Chile’s, and Olive Garden. I’m happy to say local restaurant entrepreneurs have brightened up the scene and now we have a vigorous local dining selection in our area. Drugstores; alas, have gone the way of the dodo bird. We now have Walgreen’s and CVS duking it out on every street corner with hardly an independent pharmacy to be seen. Ditto local clothing and shoe stores.


Newspapers have been taking a big hit of late; the Internet, radio, and TV have made serious inroads into their raison d’être. Our major local paper, The Worcester Telegram has been cutting local news coverage, and its sibling The Boston Globe (both owned by The New York Times!) has also been thrashing about trying to maintain fiscal stability. It’s obvious the recession hasn’t helped. Having noted this – (and also observed why consolidation and mergers don’t always work!) I have to tell you about a local business success story. We’ve started advertising in a local paper called the Worcester Magazine – and as a result received a very nice letter from the publisher, a fellow named Gareth Charter. Never did I receive anything remotely like this from the Worcester Telegram when we advertised with them for years. I’ll let Gareth’s words (abridged somewhat) speak for themselves: “Thank you for including us in your advertising investment and for supporting community publishing. We are not immune to the challenges of this economy. In recent months we have been forced


to find operational savings and even eliminate a few jobs. What hasn’t changed is the heart of our business – a never-ending focus on local news, local people, and local events. ...Yes, the Internet offers free, immediate access to national headlines, sports, weather, stocks, and a host of ‘commentary’ but we believe quality reporting and story telling about your community, your neighbors, your school, and your friends will always be valued. Simply put, we believe quality community newspapers operate with a vastly different and sustainable business model. Our belief is that if we stand by our communities, they’ll stand by us. That philosophy has served us well and will for years to come.” Isn’t that refreshing given all the doom and gloom raining down from every side and doesn’t it ring true to us independent optical shop operators? With our giant chain store competitors engaging in ruthless price under-cutting, it’s going to take a lot of local involvement for us to navigate through the wilderness of this recession! ■ Jim (Buy Local) Magay



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EyeCare Professional - May 2009 Issue  

May 2009 Issue of EyeCare Professional Magazine. A Business to Business publication that is distributed to decision makers and participants...

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