Trending Lightweight Eyewear / page 6
2015 Accessories Supplement / See Inside May 2015 • Volume 9, Issue 81 • www.ECPmag.com
A new solution for presbyopes that’s never been seen before
The latest innovation in adjustable focus eyewear from Adlens®
Precision vision on demand
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CONTENTS MAY 2015
Vol. 9 — Issue 81
Photo courtesy of Zimco Optics
Sell Those Accessories Boost sales by carrying the perfect accessories. Review a comprehensive list of items that beneft your patients. Renee Jacobs, OD, MA
Free-Form Lens Design and Marketing Digital and Free-Form – A look inside various ways digital processing is utilized in lens manufacturing. Judy Canty, LDO
Vision Therapy 101
Vision care experts believe that certain ocular activities can help build up visual processing centers in the brain.
Lightweight Eyewear The most comfortable, fashionable, thinniest, rimless designs of the season. by ECP Staff
Beth Carlock, OD
Connect the Dots Reap all the benefts of success by returning to a fun, childhood activity – by simply connecting the dots. Anthony Record, ABO/NCLE, RDO
How to Lose Weight Helping your patients feel light as a feather with their comfortable new frames – made of lightweight material. Sam Winnegrad, MBA, LDO
No Shows Missed appointments is a bottom line loss for your practice. Do you charge a no show fee or not?
On The Cover
Jason Smith, OD, MS
See Supplement Adlens 857-233-9813 adlens.com
Accessories and Readers Supplement Review of the latest accessories and how it can help to increase your patient loyalty and sales. Lynnette Blanton, Editor
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FROM THE EDITOR
Editorial Offices 4600 Grandview Avenue, Bensalem, PA 19020 Toll Free: 844-384-2181 • Fax: 215-702-0629 firstname.lastname@example.org Editor/Publisher
Lynnette Blanton email@example.com
Accessorize for Success
Sr. Production/Graphics Design
Bruce Drob firstname.lastname@example.org
As I post things on Facebook, I have been perusing images of friends and their children, their grandchildren, etc. and I must say I am very impressed by how many people are starting their youngsters off wearing sunglasses. Maybe, just maybe the message is starting to get across how important it is to protect your eyes from early on. By the way — have you liked us on Facebook? Have you signed up to receive our email blasts? Look for our ad to win an Amex gift card in this issue by liking us on Facebook and for signing up for our email blasts through June 30th! On another note, as most females – my favorite things come by the way of accessories. I just love accenting my look for the day with just the right accessory. It may be a bright floral scarf, my red StaysOn readers, or my eyeglass case that’s shaped like a purse. Accessories are for everybody – women and men alike. In this issue we feature our annual Accessories and Readers supplement that highlight some of the must have accessories and readers on the market. From readers, fitovers, clip-ons sun protection to holders and cleaners – and it’s a tip-in so you can remove for easy reference. Accessories may be just a small sale but Renee Jacobs talks about how to evaluate your competition and carry the most sought after accessory for your practice. Make sure you know your clients and their lifestyles to know what you should carry to increase your accessory bottom line. Also in this issue, Anthony Record brings us back to our earlier days with a feature on how to connect the dots. Yes, going way back to kindergarten where we were taught to draw those funny pictures by drawing line to line. You can use the same metaphor when working with your patients by not missing an opportunity to provide genuine patient satisfaction. Pay attention to how your staff is explaining lens products, coatings, care for the frames, policies, etc. Make sure they explain in a manner that is understood by persons who are not in the business. Don’t let them miss an opportunity to connect the dots.
Contributors: Mary Armstrong, Judy Canty, Pamela Capaldi, Beth Carlock, Renee Jacobs, Jim Magay, Corrie Pelc, Anthony Record, John Seegers, Jason Smith, Sam Winnegrad EyeCare Profesisonal Magazine is published monthly by ECP, LLC. Delivered by Third Class Mail Volume 9 Number 81 No part of this magazine may be used or reproduced in any form or by an means without prior written permission of the publisher. ECP, LLC. makes no warranty of any kind, either expressed, or implied, with regard to the material contained herein. ECP, LLC. 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 ECP, LLC. endorses, promotes, subsidizes, advocates or is an agent or representative for any of the products, services or individuals in this publication. For Back Issues and Reprints – contact Lynnette Blanton, Publisher/Editor at 844-384-2181 or by email at email@example.com. For subscription changes, email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Opinions expressed in editorial submissions contributed to EyeCare Professional Magazine, ECP, LLC are those of the individual writers exclusively and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of EyeCare Professional Magazine, ECP, LLC its staff, its advertisers, or its readership. EyeCare Professional Magazine, ECP, LLC assume no responsibility toward independently contributed editorial submissions or any typographical errors, mistakes, misprints, or missing information within advertising copy.
Just a reminder – June 27th is National Sunglass Day! Enjoy,
Lynnette Blanton Editor & Publisher
Scan this barcode with your smartphone to go to our website.
Independence is… freedom of style
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*Colors shown are representations and not the actual color.
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focused on technology
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Hilco introduces Glide-Fit SunClips – the most trouble free SunClips system that works with both metal and plastic frames. Glide-Fit combines the easy on/ of utility of a spring bridge with a unique patentpending “slip over” clip that glides the SunClips into place. And there’s no risk of Rx lens damage with the unique Glide-Fit clip design that doesn’t contact the back surface of the Rx lens. www.hilco.com
2. Silver Dollar
UTX frames, are one of the thinnest acetates frames in the market today. An “ultra” material: These compressed acetate frames are manufactured using a complex and unique process allowing extremely thin profles, an infnite range of colors, and an acetate that can be heated for lens insertion. An “ultra” thinness: Half the thickness of a regular frame, profles are 2.6mm from the top. www.silverdollaroptical.com 5
3. Rudy Project
The Warp easily blends timeless design with high clarity optical technology. Its refned and distinct look will elegantly ft both women and men while ofering superior protection against UV rays or any impact. Available in eight styles: Green Wood, Black Gloss, Camoufage Grey, Ice Graphite, Demi Turtle, Ice Gold, Ice Rose and Ice Blue. www.rudyprojectusa.com
Innotec introduces the Orion, a technologically advanced frame with traditional details. Time honored elements including a decorative metal hinge and a keyhole bridge blend beautifully with innovative design. A hand painted demi pattern enhances the double laminated TR-90 front, hand polished with a sleek matte fnish. This masculine style is fexible and lightweight, giving it the perfect blend of substance and style. www.ogieyewear.com
5. Live Eyewear
Featuring an ultra-lightweight rimless design, Cocoons polarized rimless clip-ons efortlessly transform plastic framed and rimless 3-point mounted prescription glasses into glare-cutting, UV400 polarized sunwear. Available in a variety of shapes and sizes with a choice of deep or shallow scratch-free plastic mounting prongs, there is a Cocoons Rimless Clip-On to ft today’s most fashionable lightweight eyewear. www.liveeyewear.com
6. Acuity Eyewear
Free Form Green by Thomas Trauth. This frame is German design and is completely free of screws and possibly the lightest sheet-metal frame in the world. The Green Collection is environmentally responsible in every step from its origination to the fnal production. www.acuityeyewear.com 6
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Made from ultra thin handmade acetate, EVATIK’s style E-9109 is as light as a feather. With a front thickness of 3.0 mm and a temple thickness of 2.1 mm, this modern full rim, rectangular frame is so lightweight that you may forget you are wearing glasses. Available in size 55-18-145, colors include black, tortoise and havanna black. www.evatik.com or www.classique-eyewear.com
Spend the Summer in Havana with Konishi KF8424! Highly durable, fexible and lightweight, this Flex-Titanium frame has a rectangular eye that’s wrapped in an antique trim that carries onto the satin temples. This brilliant frame is available in Antique Havana and Matte Steel! www.claritieyewear.com
Cotton Club Carbon Fiber Line is constructed of the newest lightweight space age materials and defnes the concept of style, extreme quality and luxury. Made of carbon fber with rubberized temples for comfort, strength and adjustability. Model CC 280 is available in Black, Black and Gun, Black and White (shown) for a striking contrast. Made in Italy and backed by a two year warranty. Sold exclusively in North America by National Lens. www.national-lens.com
Stromboli is not only an Aeolian island in the Tyrrhenian Sea, north of Sicily (IT), it’s also a new theo model. Call it nostalgia. With the Islands collection theo returns to small, friendly frames, but injects them with the latest technology. We invented a new, discreet, patented hinge that emphasizes the pure form of the frame without any distraction. At the Hong Kong Optical fair, theo received the golden V.AWARD for Technology for this special hinge. Both the shape of the hinge and the ear tip refers to these volcanic Islands. www.theo.be
Modern technology meets legendary styling. The new Adlens John Lennon™ collection ofers a solution for the correction of near, intermediate and distance vision through adjustable focus lens technology. Each lens is continuously adjustable to suit the wearer’s needs and features UVA and UVB protection. Lightweight frames come in three color options; metallic gold, silver and pewter. Imagine. www.adlens.com
The new Adlens John Lennon™ collection — modern technology meets legendary styling.
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Exclusive Optical Shop Distribution The New Non-Rx, 1st Step to Longer, Lusher, Fuller Looking Lashes and Brows #1 Recommended Among Eyecare Professionals
PROFESSIONAL COURTESY PRICING OFFER : provides you and your staf an opportunity to try new Lash Advance at a very low price (just $10 + S & H — 80% of the regular retail price). Visit www.mediniche.com/ LAprofessionalpricing.html or call MediNiche at 1-888-325-2395 for more details.
Introduced exclusively for eyecare professionals, new LASH ADVANCE® is a non-prescription cosmeceutical developed in conjunction with a female optometrist as a sensible start to healthier lashes and brows. LASH ADVANCE is suggested for use prior to expensive prescription products. • Natural; no drugs or known sensitizers. • Contains PeptiPlex®, advanced peptide complex, supports the growth cycle of lashes and brows. • Unlike other lash products, not sold at major drug and food retailers.
INTRODUCTORY PURCHASE OFFER :
• Easy application; will not run, clear gel absorbs with no residue.
buy a dozen (12) packages of Lash Advance at the regular wholesale price of $24/package and receive a 25% discount, two (2) free packages, free shipping, a free counter display, customer/staf materials and more. Visit www.mediniche. com/lashadvanceofer.html or call MediNiche at 1-888-325-2395 for more details.
• Reasonably priced; affordable.
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Various cultures and landscapes from all over the world have inspired the You’S brand for many years. This latest collection has been inspired by Holland’s capital. With designs that range from the subtle to striking and features that include intricate metalwork to eye-popping artwork – You’S boldly and beautifully blows past the status quo. www.youseyes.com/
Blending frst-class functionality with design excellence, the T112 has cutting-edge framework that ofers matchless quality and sophisticated style. Made in Japan, the 0.4 ounce T112 features a full titanium frame, reverse groove and a ballistic pattern nose pad – eyewear that’s durable and designed for the on-the-go professional and frequent traveler. Available in 52/17/145 and 55/18/150 in Black, Brown and Slate. www.remeyewear.com
Eyes of Faith
Rejoice is a progressive-friendly frame with elegant stained-glassinspired acetate "skylights" nestled within jewel-toned stainless steel temples. Carefully crafted from super-lightweight satin-fnish metal, Rejoice is glamorous and comfortable. When you wear Rejoice, you'll always have a faithful reminder with the Psalm 35:9 scripture "..my soul will rejoice in the Lord..." printed inside its temple. www.eofoptical.com
Zimco Optics proudly introduces our ultra lightweight eyewear collection. The Oxygen Collection made from the material ULTEM; is strong, extremely fexible, and highly stylish. These plastic “memory” titanium frames, come in an array of beautiful colors and fattering shapes. www.zimcooptics.com
The Lite Fit collection from adidas Eyewear ofers a polished look while still including the high-tech features available in sports performance collections. Custom ft features like the adjustable nose area and Traction Grip™ ensure a perfect ft. Lite Fit also features embedded temple screws for less risk of injury while straight temples and a frame made of lightweight and comfortable SPX™ material create a sporty design. www.adidas.com/eyewear The Lite Fit collection is manufactured by the eyewear producer Silhouette International in Austria.
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2015 Accessories Supplement
THE WORLD’S FINEST
AVAILABLE IN OVER 250 FRAME AND LENS COMBINATIONS! Choose from seven patented frame designs available in seven supple Soft Touch® fnishes with a choice of Polaré® polarized amber, copper, gray, yellow, blue mirror, or green mirror lenses.
POLARIZED UV400 • SCRATCH RESISTANT • FLEX2FIT TEMPLES INCLUDED CASE & LENS CLOTH • LIFETIME WARRANTY ®
Second to none, Cocoons polarized ftover sunglasses incorporate numerous features that make them the ideal sunwear accessory to any prescription eyewear. The patented collection comfortably fts over 99% of all prescription eyewear styles, delivering instant protection from damaging UV light and blinding glare.
Call now for additional details and special offers!
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PLUS: READING GLASSES
WHEN PRESBYOPIA HITS
MORE: SUNWEAR ACCESSORIES CLIPS-ONS & FLIP-UPS
Accessories 2015 Adding value for patients to help beneft your practice Compiled by Lynnette Blanton
OPTISOURCE —OptiPets and OptiNoses are the creative, collectible, and fun-to-use eyeglass holder. Each hand-painted piece has a cradle designed to hold folded frame temples. Originally introduced to spice up storefronts and frame counters, OptiPets have quickly become an incredibly popular accessory item that sells itself. OptiPets have become the go-to gift item for the hardest to shop for men, women, and children.
Readers OptiSource Introduces Kodak Lens Folding Reading Glasses
OptiSource International has launched a new breed of folding reading glasses that combines quality and style under the trusted Kodak Lens brand. The compact folding reading glasses feature patented telescoping temples, resilient spring hinges, and comfortable built-in nose pads. The design technology allows the glasses to easily fold into the size of a Zippo® lighter and carried inside a stylish and durable Kodak Lens branded case. These are the only folding reading glasses in the market that can bear the name and lens technology of one of the world’s most trusted consumer brands. “Kodak represents over 100 years of quality, innovation, and integrity” states Daryl Squicciarini, president of OptiSource. “Our Kodak Lens Folding Reading Glasses will bring our customers new add-on sales, especially for newly diagnosed Presbyopes that are reluctant to carry full sized reading glasses”.
O START OFF, what is an accessory? An accessory is a “thing” that can be added to something else in order to make more useful, versatile or attractive! In fashion, accessories can be bags, jewelry, hair clips, headbands, shoes and adornments to your shoes to name a few. They complete an outft or a “just the right look” and can be seen from every fashionista and celebrity to all the runway shows around the world. In optical we have everything from reading glasses, sunglass clips, cases, cords, and supplies. I have personally met several individuals in the industry who have dispensing stands or have custom built cabinets to hold their array of frames and accessory collections in their home. When talking about optical accessories it isn’t for the fainthearted it is serious business! READERS Most people need readers when presbyopia sets in. Presybopia is part of the natural aging process of the eye, and can be easily corrected. The technical defnition of presbyopia is the loss of the eye’s ability to change its focus to see objects that are near. It’s as natural as fne lines and wrinkles, and it affects everyone at some point in life. Presbyopia generally starts to appear around age 40 and according to the latest U.S. Census there are 77,336,482 people in the U.S. 40 and over. That sure is a lot of reading glasses! While most reading glasses are purchased at their local dollar store or pharmacy
chain, they can be a terrifc opportunity for eye care professionals. In the past, ECPs steered clear from selling reading glasses because they felt that it was a draw away from their essential function – ftting and selling Rx eyewear. Many ECP’s are now including reading glasses in their locations because they realize it can be an advantage to offer your customer one-stop shopping. Why let a patient leave your offce to purchase those frames elsewhere when YOU are the EyeCare Professional. Most people – when they reach the age of needing reading glasses, rarely have just one pair. They typically have several to leave in different rooms in their homes, offce, etc. ECP’s can also have fun with their patients selling this accessory. Keep your styles updated, offer a diverse collection and make the purchase and visit enjoyable. Since they are a less-expensive eyewear item you can keep your patients coming back for more. Optisource International, a leading provider of lens processing consumable supplies and eyeglass accessories has partnered with Kodak who has over 100 years of innovative lens products. Together they introduced the folding reading glass. This pocket size, folding reader is designed to simply carry and go. The ingenious design allows the readers to fold into the size of a Zippo® lighter and be tucked away in a branded Kodak Lens case. They are marketed as the only folding reading
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“Hide n’ Seek”
Loss & Damage Warranty • Rx-able, polarized, 100% UV protection, and impact resistant • Fits children ages 0-7+ • Retail price: $19.99/per pair We’ve taken all of the weight out of clunky clip-on sunglasses and improved the design and function.
• Proprietary rubber frame material is virtually indestructible and super comfy
• .7mm thin AR/Polarized lenses • Unique hook system uses no screws or rivets • Flexible nose bridge replaces unsightly brow bar
Adjustable nose bridge and hooks provide a near-custom fit
Display: 10”w x 12”d x 12”h Complete fitting kit includes 43 clip-ons in 3 boxes
Includes slim case
$515.59 43 Piece Fitting Kit
At any point in the future, should the child lose or damage their Minishades, or scratch the lenses, the manufacturer will send them a one-time replacement pair for free. • $7.95 processing fee applies to all claims • Simply register at www.PolarizedMinishades.com
$219.99 FREE DISPLAY
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Live Eyewears’s Cherry Vistana Fitover Sunglasses
glasses and partnered with such a trusted name as Kodak – a must have for all those presbyopes. One of the most innovative new reading glasses in the industry is StaysOn Eyewear. The readers feature an innovative grip-on technology to prevent glasses from damage, slipping, or loss. The design works by simply sliding the COCOONS® FEATURES RIMLESS CLIP COLLECTION
SUNWEAR ACCESSORIES Sunglasses can be considered an accessory alone however, for many the need to have them as prescription is just as important as their daily eyewear. Many patients who like or need Rx sunwear simply do not like the task of having to change from frame to frame. The simple task of taking off their Rx frame to put on their Rx sunwear is just too daunting of a task.
Cocoons® Ofers Rimless Clip-Ons Designed to Instantly Convert Plastic and Rimless Prescription Eyewear to Polarized Sunwear Dave Dean, Vice President of Marketing, explains, “The extremely lightweight rimless design ofers a sleek and stylish look that will be popular with those wishing to efortlessly convert their plastic or rimless prescription frames to polarized sunwear. The low profle, frameless sun lenses feature a spring tension bridge and wider, gapped prongs to allow them to easily attach to plastic and rimless ophthalmic eyewear.” Karen Zappia, Executive Vice President, says, “Our rimless clip-ons feature a variety of prong widths to accommodate all eyewear frames ranging from a completely rimless 3-piece mount to the extremely popular plastic frames that can often be difcult to ft with traditional clips. These new additions to the Cocoons Clip-Ons collection further strengthen our position that we are the leader in sunglasses and clip-ons designed to convert existing prescription eyewear into polarized sunwear.” Lens options include both amber and gray polarized Polaré® scratch-resistant lenses and each Cocoons Rimless Clip-On includes a protective case and limited lifetime warranty. Live Eyewear’s headquarters is located on the central coast of California in San Luis Obispo. You can fnd the company’s patented ft-over sunwear collections at eye care professionals and better quality sporting goods locations worldwide. Live Eyewear’s focus on quality, unsurpassed customer service, and creative innovation has made them a leader in the ft-over sunglass and low vision aids category. For further information contact Live Eyewear at 800.834.2563 or visit www.liveeyewear.com.
All of these are great choices but more importantly is how they increase your opportunity with your patients. As mentioned, your patients are more inclined to buy multiple pairs of reading glasses and why let them buy from someone else. As an ECP and to successfully sell readers, you should carry an array of colors, shapes, and designs with multiple price points to market to all of your patients.
glasses onto your head similar to wearing an accessory like a headband. Optician Renee Bachner, founder of ReneesReaders.com started in 2012 and named each pair of readers after her actual customers. She previously had a background in fashion and design so designing these readers came easy to Renee. They feature face fattering shapes, trendy colors, wide bridges and long, spring hinge temples for a more secure ft. They also have a large lens area for easy reading and wider feld of view. ReneesReaders are made from lightweight premium plastics and stainless steel screws and hinges. Renee also is very passionate about Alzheimer’s disease. A portion of each sale goes towards helping Alzheimer’s research and support services.
Live Eyewear is a company that caters to those who need Rx sunwear but also like convenience. They have spent more than a decade transforming the way patients can change from prescription to polarized in a effortless fashion. Live Eyewear’s Cocoons Rimless Clip-Ons Collection is geared towards those patients who do not want to invest in another pair of frames but who do want polarized sunwear. The collection comes in many shapes and sizes that are designed to ft a wide range of eyewear frame styles, including rimless glasses and plastic designer frames. Most important is they flter 100% of damaging UVA and UVB ultra-violet light. With a case and lifetime warranty – you can’t go wrong. Next they have their Cocoon Flip-Ups. Flip-ups offer instant polarized UV400 protection. They are very convenient and very simple to attach to your Rx eyewear. Simplicity at its fnest is what Flip-Ups are – inside you fip up, outside you fip down! All while protecting your vision. Of course these are also backed by Live Eyewear’s lifetime warranty. They have so many new lens colors such as Twilight™, polarized yellow and nonpolarized Lemon along with other new products, go to www.liveeyewear.com to see what would be best for your business.
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Also introduced is Hilco’s new Glide-Fit SunClip. The Glide-Fit SunClips system works on both metal and plastic frames. It ease of use is appealing to those who do not like to change frames from Rx to sunwear. Their unique design has a spring bridge with a patent pending “slip over” that guides the SunClips in place. This prevents any risk of damage to the Rx lens. They are available in 2 chassis colors and 2 polarized lens options. These are just a few of the options out there to offer more convenience to your patients. Obviously the more convenience you offer – the more it can increase the loyalty of your patients. They will recognize you, the ECP, as a provider who offers them the latest styles and most up to date products all while caring about their overall vision health. Protection from the sun for both Rx wearers and non-Rx is something we should preach everyday!
cleaning care items, patients will often take the matter into their own hands as opposed to believing it to be an issue with their eyewear. As their ECP, if they are happy with their product they tend to be more loyal and keep coming back. Eyewear cleaning products can also keep your patients coming back for more. While this may be a smaller sale, they can add up over time. The main objective is to have a little variety when offering your cleaning products. For instance, if you have an elderly person – you may only provide them with a cleaning cloth, towlette or wipe. For people on the go you may offer Hilco’s LensCare and Cloth to Go. It includes lenscare spray and a cloth conveniently on a clip. It’s for those who live the on-the-go lifestyles. You can clip it on your bag, purse, or belt loop and take with you anywhere. Simple, compact and convenient – all in one package. The newest cleaning product by Lenspen called Peeps™ was introduced at Vision Expo East in March. Peeps™ uses carbon-cleaning technology. It’s the same technology that has been used to clean
COCOONS® FEATURES NEW HIGH CONTRAST LENS OPTIONS IN CLIP-ON COLLECTION Polarized Yellow and Non-Polarized Lemon Lens Tints Are Ideal For Low Light Conditions and Indoor Use. Live Eyewear announces the addition of two new lens options to the company’s Cocoons Clip-Ons collection. The world renowned brand of optical grade, clip-on sunwear has provided a simple and convenient way to transform prescription eyewear into polarized sunglasses for over a decade. Dave Dean, Vice President of Marketing, explains, “The increased demand for our polarized yellow and non-polarized Lemon lens tints in our Cocoons ftover sunglasses and low vision UV flters is a strong indicator that an increasing number of eyeglass wearers are discovering the vision enhancing benefts ofered by high contrast, high light transmission tints.
CLEANING CARE ITEMS Teaching patients from the start on caring for their eyewear can be very valuable. Not only to you as their ECP, but also to your patient. If patients are taught to properly care for their lenses they are more apt to be happier with the overall product. Some of the complaints that are most often heard are of smudges on their lens. When teaching proper care and how to use these
COCOONS® INTRODUCES HIGH CONTRAST, TWILIGHT ™ LENS OPTION IN FLIP-UPS
camera lenses for more than 20 years. In the demo at Vision Expo East, they stated that when your lens is in need of cleaning there could be small particles of dust, debris, etc. that when rubbed with a microfber cloth, could actually scratch or harm your lens. Using this carbon-cleaning technology protects your lens from harm and the same Peeps™ can be used to clean your lens up to 500 times! It also comes in a variety of colors and fnishes.
The Cocoons brand of fip-up UV flters will ofer a new high contrast lens tint designed for nighttime use. Live Eyewear announces the soon to be released addition of its Twilight™ lemon lens tint in the company’s Cocoons brand of fip-ups designed to be worn over prescription eyewear. The new tint from the world renowned brand of optical grade, clip-on and fip-up UV flters will provide a simple and convenient way to reduce eyestrain caused by artifcial lighting in nighttime conditions.
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New Peeps™ from LensPen® Cleans Eyeglasses and Sunglasses Peeps™ is the new all-in-one cleaner for eyeglasses and sunglasses, created by LensPen®. Peeps features the same carbon-cleaning technology LensPen products have used to clean fne optics for more than two decades. “People that wear high-quality glasses or sunglasses are not satisfed using microfber rags, tissues, sprays and shirt sleeves to clean their lenses,” said Peter Meurrens, Vice President of Operations for the LensPen Group, and developer of Peeps. “They want something better: a cleaning device that cleans perfectly, is convenient and has some style. Since a camera lens and an eyeglass lens are virtually identical in structure it was logical for us to develop a new product for the optics market which has not seen a cleaning innovation in over 50 years. And that product is Peeps.” Cleaning eyeglasses with Peeps is a simple two-step process. First, clean the lens with the retractable goat-hair brush to remove any loose dust or potentially abrasive particles on the lens surface. No other cleaning system ofers this pre-cleaning step, which is essential to protect the lens and the AR (anti-refective) coatings. Second, slide the arms out from the holder and clean the lens with smooth circular motions of the cleaning tips. If some smudges remain, breathe gently on the surface and repeat. Each time the arms slide back into the holder, the carbon on the cleaning tips is replenished and Peeps is ready for its next cleaning. The Peeps cleaning tips can be recharged up to 500 times. “Everyone who wears high-quality glasses or sunglasses wants a cleaning solution that is safe, convenient and efective,” Meurrens said. “Peeps is the answer – the only eyeglass cleaning innovation in 50 years. And they’re available in stylish colors and fnishes.” For more information on Peeps and other LensPen products, go to www.lenspen.com.
HOLDERS/CASES/CHAINS When you purchase a new frame, you traditionally get a new case. However, not every patient likes the case that comes with the frame or they might need something additional for home, offce or car. Many companies offer a nice selection of cases in many styles and shapes such as Modern Optical and California Accessories.
i place to hold your precious eyewear. nient Function and fashion – a great unbeatable combination! From private practices to large, full service facilities, Fashion Optical Displays has been the industry leader in full service design, manufacturing and installation of custom, dispensary environments since 1978. They offer free dispensary design and will work with you to lay out your
Modern Optical’s colorful new cases
OptiSource offers a unique eyewear holder called OptiPets. They are hand-painted and each has a cradle to house the folded frame temples. They were originally designed to enhance imagery at the store front and counter area. These quickly became a sought after item by adults and children. When trying to teach children to take care of their eyewear, what better way than to have an OptiPet on their nightstand! LaLoop which offers eyewear holders that mimic jewelry started over 15 years ago. In search of that perfect accessory with purpose and fair there wasn’t anything like it in the industry. It has a patented hinge which uses 360° degree swivel technology and sets it apart from the others. It ensures that your eyewear stays right where you put it – safe and in place. While it looks like a necklace with adorning stones, leather or silver it’s really a conve-
dispensary and waiting areas until your are fully satisfed. A proud and independently owned, American manufacturer. Give them a call or go to their website to fll out a No Obligation Quote Form today. As I have been saying all along, carrying accessories in your business may be small sales but can defnitely add up over time. Be sure to train your staff to include them in conversation with every patient with every eyewear sale. Sometimes you will fnd that an accessory can actually persuade the buyer in completing the eyewear sale. Make sure to carry a good selection and a variety of products. Understanding that most of these products have a smaller margin, they can add value to your ECP/patient relationship. Also the problem of ECP’s big box competition on pricing— $5 extra is better than zero! ■
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A Revolution in Cleaning Glasses and Sunglasses!
Peeps™ Eyeglasses and Sunglasses Cleaner No cloths, tissues, liquids or sprays Safe for all eyeglass lenses Long life - more than 500 cleanings Patented carbon cleaning compound Environmentally friendly Attractive colors and styles Two-step cleaning process: Brush away harmful dust Clean off messy ﬁngerprints and grease
Packaging and POP display
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Les Pièces Uniques to launch their iconic collection in the United States No Ego… Be “YOU”nique For over 30 years the owners of Les Pièces Uniques have created some of the world’s most iconic sunwear and optical frames. From the brainchild of the original designer for Gianni Versace, Les Pièces Uniques provides the highest quality Italian acetate and metal frames that come together in fantastic designs and unique executions. Together with their United States distribution, Les Pièces Uniques brings its iconic collection to the U.S. market with style and direction to grow the brand with clean distribution and quality frames. Les Pièces Uniques has announced that they will be launching the most recent collection beginning this month in the United States. The collection will consist of 150+ styles of dynamic sunwear and optical frames in numerous colors. Using the highest quality acetate and different metals— including stainless steel and titanium in various color combinations will make Les Pièces Uniques a leader in the optical and fashion world. Les Pièces Uniques strongly believes in things done by setting your ego to the side and being “You”nique. Les Pièces Uniques reinterprets the artisian tools of the past through the use of advanced technologies, blending yesterday’s know-how with the most sophisticated, modern Italian craftsmanship.
WOOW, the brand with “mini-messages” strikes again and launches its frst sunglasses, a very fashionable, graphic collection in a range of amazing colors.
The WOOW styles speak to all women and men with a sense of humor: their little message inserted in the end tip of the frames will make the wearer smile anytime. www.wooweyewear.com SUPER is the code for the messages carried by the sunglasses, messages that end with a surprise. Two concepts for women, SUPER DUPER, and SUPER CHIC, one for men SUPER LAZY; every family has a unique style. SUPER DUPER is the most playful with its strong and regular lines.
Technique becomes a form of art. “Our company is just this, a family passion with one, and only one, goal: to create a line of unique frames – completely handmade – characterized by elegant and refined details,” says owner Mario Mucelli.
Solo Bambini® Introduces The NOVICE Frame Made from lightweight and durable Grilamid TR90, a Swiss product. Available in Three Shapes: Round 37/16, Oval 38/19 and Rectangular 41/18. All shapes available in Five (5) colors: Pink, Blue, Lavender, Orange and Brown. Temples are adjustable with cable tips. For more information please contact Solo Bambini® at www.solobambini.com or 1-800 358-8383
Frames of Life Campaign The new campaign for the Giorgio Armani Eyewear Frames of Life collection tells the story of five central characters, five individuals who spontaneously and sincerely recount a “frame” from their life: Kelly and her link with Italy, Anna who grew up among the glaciers of Finland, Melodie who remembers the colors of Martinique, Maximiliano and his roots in Argentina and its perfumes, Maaya and the oriental charm of Japan. Made from ultralight, technologicallyadvanced materials, the collection proposes models with iconic details that create a timeless style. In the innovative dedicated website, www.framesoflife.com, thanks to FaceTracking technology opening and closing the eyes corresponds to the click of a mouse.
Jennifer Lawrence wearing Shaelie
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Renee Jacobs, OD, MA
Assess Your Eyeglass Accessories Why offer eyeglass accessories in your optical when a plethora of items are readily available online? The logic is simple. Always strive to provide what your patients need. Even low dollar add-on sales can grow trust and loyalty while increasing your bottom line. The challenge is offering the right accessories, and merchandising in ways that accomplish your mission.
DECIDING WHAT TO SELL You have numerous ways to determine which eyeglass accessories you should sell. You can review a comprehensive list and select items of greatest personal beneft plus those most appropriate for your patient base. Include products that maximize your competitive edge. Emotion Based Decision Making Review the list below, and notice any items that remind you of accessories you own, use, and enjoy. This exercise is worth the effort because it feels good to sell products that you value. For me, a personal favorite is my large, bright yellow cleaning cloth, with a map of the world. I love that travel destinations are illustrated, and the large size is incredibly practical. Photos: Fashion Optical Display
Another favorite is my zebra striped sunglass case. I enjoy seeing it in my purse when I rummage for my keys, and I like retrieving the stripes to locate my oversized polarized sunglasses. Because these accessories are important to me, I can easily communicate the value to patients. You can do the same thing. Identify your favorite accessories, then get strategic with merchandising to increase sales. Business Savvy Decision Making Start with demographics. Identify appropriate products. Then apply smart sales strategies. When you identify eyeglass accessories most appropriate for your business, contemplate a typical week or even a month
of patients. You can pull patient fles, analyze medical histories and purchasing patterns. With those individuals in mind, review the list below. Put a check mark next to every item appropriate to your demographic. If you prescribe glasses for infants, then sports bands are important. If you live in a ski town, then anti-fog remedies are critical. If your optical is part of a cataract surgery clinic, then polarized ft-overs will sell. You donâ€™t need to be a one-stop-shop for everything eyeglasses, however you can stock what your patients need most. Maximize Your Competitive Edge You have the competitive advantage of understanding each patientâ€™s prescription and lifestyle needs. For this reason, you are best positioned to connect patients to eyeglass accessories best for them. You know when over-the-counter readers will provide adequate vision for computer use, or specifc tasks like applying makeup or fngernail polish. You can explain add power benefts plus limitations. Look for opportunities to sell accessories that differentiate your business, such as lenses for blue light protection. Ask your lab to make low add readers from BluTech Indoor lenses. With explanation, your patients will understand the value of improved comfort, safety, and vision when using digital devices. Plano BluTech Indoor lenses are great to cut glare and enhance contrast for driving and for sports played under stadium lights. Plano BluTech Outdoor polarized lenses protect the eyes from bright sun, high energy blue light, and also allows viewing digital devices. Differentiate
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your business by selling top tier products that maximize your competitive edge. Merchandising To Increase Sales While it may seem obvious, many optical managers overlook the value of implementing a multi-level sales strategy. Keep accessories top of the mind by positioning them throughout store displays. Use visual cues to remind patients that accessories make great gifts too. Whenever possible demonstrate use. With some creativity, you can systemize routines that encourage add-on purchases. We can use the example of large cleaning cloths, to envision a multi-level sales strategy. Begin by positioning a few with eyewear on featured displays. Place them in easy-to-touch locations that patients can comfortably can engage with.
“You don’t need to be a one-stop shop for everything eyeglasses, however you can stock what your patients need most.” For a visual cue and a great gift idea with a cleaning cloth— individually wrap colorful cloths in see-through gift paper with a bow. Place a few inside a basket or on a tray within reach of each dispensing table. Patients can impulse purchase for personal use or buy an entire stack - perfect presents for friends, and family. Also a great idea for co-workers, simple and not to personal! Avoid displays that eliminate the possibility of touch, such as high on a shelf or under glass, as this will also eliminate sales. Strong business managers know that great displays alone are not enough. You can combine visual cues with customer service messages. With a little planning, and staff training, opticians can demonstrate use of large cleaning cloths during each dispense or eyeglass repair. With practice, opticians can routinely incorporate conversational selling to assure that every patient notices the value of “family sized” cleaning cloths. Take merchandising to the next level by adding a voucher or coupon to your dispensing routine. When each patient arrives to pick-up their new glasses, you probably already reviewed eyeglass use, care, and cleaning. Now you can include patient information about lens materials or coatings, plus a voucher for $2.00 off any eyeglass accessory purchased on the day that new eyewear is dispensed. Over time, consistent messaging will reinforce the value of top tier optical products and increase add-on sales too. One Final Tip All great recipes come together with the right ingredients. To increase add-on sales, incorporate attractive ‘touchable’ displays. Remind patients that eye care, eye wear, and eyeglass accessories make great gifts for many occasions. Combine visual cues with targeted conversations, connecting patients to products best for them. Also, incorporate vouchers or coupons to systemize discussion plus added incentive at the point of sale or during dispensing. The real idea here is to provide for each patient’s needs and wishes. Increase add-on sales and impulse purchases. Craft the perfect selling recipe to grow patient loyalty and trust. ■
OVERVIEW OF OPTICAL ACCESSORIES Review the list below, and notice any items that remind you of accessories you own, use, and enjoy. Identify every item appropriate for your patient base. Also identify products that can differentiate your business from your competition. Decide what to sell. Then merchandise strategically to increase add-on sales and impulse purchases. • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •
Lens Spray Cleaner Cleaning Cloths Disposable Towelettes No-Fog Cloths Anti-Fog and Anti-Static Cleaning Spray Eyeglass Cases Eyeglass Purses Belt Loop Eyeglass Cases Eyeglass Repair Kits Keychain 4-in-1 Screwdriver Cords Chains Sports Bands Floaters Readers Folding Readers Slim Line Readers in Tubes Flip-Up Readers Stick-On Bifocal Lenses Bifocal Reading Sunglasses Adlens Adjustable Computer Glasses Adlens Adjustable Strength Sundials BluTech Indoor Readers for Use with Digital Devices BluTech Indoor Plano Eyeglasses for Digital Devices, Driving, and Sports BluTech Outdoor Polarized Sunglasses Clip-On Sunglasses Swim Goggles Ski Goggles with Rx Adapters Safety Glasses Protective Sports Glasses Fit-Overs Ear Lock Retainer System Magnifers Magnifer Lamps Fresnel Sheet Magnifers Mirrors Visor Clip for Eyeglasses Desk Caddie Glasses Holders Hangers Magnetic Eyeglass Holders Eyeglass Light Nose Pad Cushions Clip-On Mounted Loupe for Macular Degeneration Gift Certifcates Vouchers or Coupons Hand Soap for Contact Lens Wearers Contact Lens Cases Contact Lens Mirrors Other: _______________ (write in)
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bebe Summer 2015 Optical Collection Three optical styles channeling the spirit of adventure
This Summer 2015, bebe Eyewear releases an optical collection that captures the spirit of adventure with exclusive animal camoufage prints and shimmery iridescent animal acetates. Flowing silhouettes, metal logo cuff embellishments and ‘b’ rivet logos satisfy sophisticated tastes. Available in vibrant teal, amethyst and ruby jewel tones as well as earthy topaz and olive, this collection appeals to the many facets of the bebe girl and offers an assortment of feminine, fashionable styles. “Miss-Understood” (BB5090). No one will be “Miss-Understood” with this sassy rectangular geek-chic style. Featuring solid acetate frame fronts and triple laminate animal camoufage temples with metal logo engraved cuffs. Available in Jet, Topaz, Teal and Ruby. “Mamacita” (BB5091). Rock-out with this trendy true geek-chic acetate style, “Mamacita.”
Featuring solid acetate frame fronts and triple laminate animal camoufage temples with metal logo engraved cuffs. Available in Jet, Topaz, Olive and Amethyst. “Majestic” (BB5093). Feel “Majestic” in this desirable modifed milled metal style with iridescent animal acetate temple tips. This rectangular frame features satin metal frame fronts and iconic stacked ‘b’ rivet logos. Available in Jet, Satin Brown and Satin Navy.
ClearVision Named One of 2015’s Best Companies to Work for in New York State ClearVision was one of only four Long Island companies recognized in this year’s annual competition, among both small/medium-sized employers (15 to 249 U.S. employees) and large
employers (250+ employees). ClearVision was selected as a winner in the former category. Created in 2007, the Best Companies to Work for in New York State awards are part of a program that evaluates and ranks the best places of employment. It is designed to identify, recognize and celebrate the state of New York’s elite employers, which have proven that they know what it takes to create an environment where people love to work. “Each member of the ClearVision family has played a pivotal role in creating this exceptional culture and we couldn’t be more proud of this recognition,” said Jennifer Trakhtenberg, ClearVision’s senior talent leader. “ClearVision has always lived by the credo of making each day better for someone else. It is woven throughout every interaction we have with our customers, community and colleagues. We have consciously attracted and retained talented individuals who embrace similar values and are driven to make their career an enriching experience. By pairing these great people with our creative approach to recognition, inclusive polices, engaging employee activities, a commitment to continuous learning, an extensive philanthropic effort, and an upbeat and fun environment, we believe yields us a great place to work,” she said. ClearVision had to meet specifc registration eligibility requirements and participate in a two-part survey of employee satisfaction and engagement.
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Groundbreaking Solution for Presbyopes Launched by Adlens® Strong patient responses have validated the new technology; 88% of patients stated they would be buying a pair of AdlensFocuss as their next eyewear, while 96% commented that their overall vision was good, great or perfect. One patient commented ‘AdlensFocuss have a high end style and are nicer than my other glasses’. Another said ‘I love the large feld of view’, while another remarked ‘a huge improvement over bifocals and progressives.’
June 2015 sees the launch of AdlensFocuss™ to select ECPs across the US.
eralded as the most signifcant leap in lens technology for over 50 years, AdlensFocuss offers patients an alternative to progressive lenses – and that’s great news for the 32 million Americans who are not satisfed with their current eyewear. There is a clear demand for a new solution. A Consumer Presbyope study by GFK Roper undertaken in 2014 found that 37% of Americans over 40 wore progressive lenses. Of this 54 million-strong group; 60% were not wholly satisfed with their eyewear and 20% were actively seeking alternatives. Adlens believes that the launch of AdlensFocuss will provide patients with the alternative they’ve been looking for. As the global leader in adjustable focus eyewear, Adlens has been developing Variable Power Optics (VPO™) at their state of the art research and
development facility in Oxford, England. The result is a remarkable achievement in engineering, style and user-focussed design. The patented technology provides 4x more viewing area at near, intermediate, and distance than the best freeform progressive lenses. High acuity and unmatched viewable areas for all distances are achieved by simply turning a dial. Patient benefts include a more natural focus with minimal strain or fatigue, the ability to see with complete clarity throughout the lens at all distances – as well as being one of the frst in the world to own the new VPO technology. Dr. Rob Stevens, Chief Technology Offcer at Adlens underlines how the company has come to this point; ‘Understanding our patients’ needs is central to the success of our business. We listen and learn, working with ECPs and consumers to evolve and improve every day.’
David Eichelberger, Senior Vice President at Adlens commented, ‘We couldn’t be happier that eyecare patients have responded to our technology just as we expected – and in many cases even better than that. We’re all about learning from the patient and want to keep developing the experience for customers and ECPs as AdlensFocuss goes out in its frst wave. We know patients from across the US are going to want to get on board with a real alternative to progressive lenses.’ So how does it work? AdlensFocuss combines a single vision distance prescription with a proprietary adjustable lens module, that is activated using a small dial on the inside temple. The diopter range is -6 to +4 with up to a -2 cylinder and a max power add of +2.5. The lens is treated with a premium quality AR coating. The AdlensFocuss collection comprises 18 beautifully crafted frames across four different styles. It has been designed in collaboration with Blake Kuwahara, recognized as one of today’s preeminent eyewear designers. Kuwahara has noted that the current trend for “bold and interesting eyewear” creates a favorable environment for Adlens. The range of styles and colors “appeals to a market
16 E Y EC A RE PR OF E S S ION A L
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increasingly aware and concerned with how eyewear contributes to their visual identity”. The current buzz surrounding wearable tech is also “something that helps our unique products fourish, as people are excited to see innovative eyewear in the market.”
“Patient benefits include a more natural focus with minimal strain or fatigue, the ability to see with complete clarity throughout the lens at all distances.” Adlens has opted for a selective launch in 2015, to ensure that they partner with the right ECPs. The criterion is tech-savvy practices that have a history of championing new technology. The ECPs in return are able to establish a real point of difference in their local market. AdlensFocuss has the potential to act as a signifcant foot traffc driver creating interest not only with the existing patient base but also driving new patients through the ECP’s doors. This means a true competitive advantage that is otherwise rarely available within the optical market. The launch also comes with a robust support package. The Adlens team has analyzed the patient journey and devised a marketing package which enables brand exposure at all
touchpoints. Beyond conventional marketing collateral, this includes a modular display unit that has been designed for both small and large footprint stores. The counter top display has been designed to invite interaction, and includes a demonstration module which enables the patient to quickly understand the dynamics of an otherwise complex technology, while the display case highlights the exclusive nature of the product. Patients receive a welcome gift pack upon purchase as well as a beautifully crafted gift box and bag when their pair of AdlensFocuss is delivered, designed to elevate the overall brand experience. So what does the next 18 months hold for Adlens? David Eichelberger explains; ‘We’re currently focused on working with all of our chosen ECP partners to make sure they are set up to provide their patients with a truly unique product and patient experience. This will be underpinned by our in-depth training program; providing our ECP partners with a thorough understanding of Variable Power Optics technology and giving them the confdence to sell to patients from day one.” The training program has been designed to be suitable for all learning styles, and includes personalized training from Adlens Account Managers backed up by both an interactive online learning module plus a dispensing video. Adlens also has a Customer Excellence hub, so if the ECPs have any further questions they can either call their dedicated Account Manager or telephone the Boston Customer Excellence team. Moving in to 2016 Adlens is looking to a small roll-out in the United Kingdom and further expanding its partnership base in the US. For further details of how to partner with Adlens, phone the Adlens sales offce at 857-233-9813 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Judy Canty, LDO
e ens ys ! l ’ in ee-form us wa turing. m r o out fr e vario anufac F e b h e r lk a n on t ens m F a t ) to io l
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Free-form is how we describe the ability to combine a lens design with a spectacle prescription creating a unique lens surface for each patient and each eye. 䀘 Simply stated, a free-form lens is not constrained by a specifc design molded into the front surface of a lens, but is the combination of design and prescription for optimal performance
imply describing a lens product as a digital lens is not enough information. All free-form lenses are digital lenses, but not all digital lenses are free-form lenses. In the world of lens production, digital can be defned as either:
䀘 The process used to create a glass mold for any lens design. If the lens design or part of the lens design is created using a digitally produced glass mold with all or part of the lens design on the front surface, the lens can be rightfully called a digital lens. Whether it is a fat-top bifocal or a progressive design, if the mold is digitally created, the lens is a digital lens. Like a digitally enhanced movie or recording, it does not change or improve the original; it allows the original to be more accurately reproduced. 䀘 The process used to create a free-form lens design on the back surface of a semi-fnished lens blank. A digital or free-form generator is a CNC (Computer Numerically Controlled) milling machine that produces a lens design on the back surface of a lens blank using a proprietary point fle. Rather than cutting the back surface in only 2 directions (side-to-side or up-and-down) it also adds dimension with a third direction (in-and-out) using a diamond stylus instead of the old-style diamond cutting wheel. This frst step provides the foundation for a free-form lens design.
䀘 Free-form lenses may or may not require POW (Position of Wear) measurements. However, including those measurements greatly enhances the precision of the unique surfaces and the patient’s wearing experience. 䀘 Free-form lenses are compensated lenses. The power as read through a focimeter will not necessarily match the written prescription the patient received from his or her prescriber. The lenses are designed using default parameters for BVD (Back Vertex Distance), Pantoscopic Angle, and Wrap Angle. Supplying those three measurements when ordering the lenses greatly increases the accuracy and optimization of the freeform lens design. The most recent innovation in free-form design is the Camber technology developed by IOT (Indizen Optical Technologies). This unique lens surface is designed to reduce unwanted astigmatic error by creating a variable front base curve. You can investigate this new technology at www.camberlens.com. Camber technology is only available through independent wholesale laboratories, so check with your independent lab for availability. Evaluating free-form technology
䀘 Digital does not mean free-form. A digital lens can be one that is produced from a digitally produced lens mold or one that combines lens design and Rx power on the back side of a semi-fnished lens blank.
䀘 Educate yourself and your staff. Every major lens manufacturer and nearly every wholesale lab have free-form lens designs in their product lines. Ask for information from both manufacturer’s reps and wholesale lab reps and keep an open mind when evaluating the information. You must look past the marketing and fnd the relevant information. If you don’t understand what you’re reading, never be afraid to call a rep and ask for a more detailed explanation.
So, if we use digital to describe a process for creating a lens mold or creating a surface, what does free-form mean?
䀘 Try as many lens designs as possible and practice. Most manufacturers and labs have vouchers available for this
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purpose. Free-form designs are not limited to progressive lenses; there are single vision options as well. If you are an emmetrope, choose other staff members to evaluate the designs for you. Or ask your favorite patients to do the same thing. Feedback from these wearer trials are an invaluable source of real world experience. 䀘 Choose the lens designs that will work for you, your practice, and your patients. Keep in mind that the best products may not all be in the same family of products. They may be available through a number of sources or limited to a single source. There are a number of factors that should be a part of that selection process including: 䀠 䀠 䀠 䀠 䀠
Design properties Material availability Lab accessibility Price Competition
technology is a big one and should always be investigated thoroughly for cost/beneft/ease-of-use. The reality is that patients will expect the high price of free-form lenses to be accompanied by a high level of technology in the ftting process. 䀘 You and your staff need to become comfortable with higher prices. This is probably the most diffcult hurdle to cross. Often, eye care professionals are more concerned with their patient’s bank account than the patients are themselves. As the expert at the table, your main concern is providing the proper solutions to your patient’s visual needs and wants. Why are you wearing free-form lenses? Why wouldn’t you want everyone to enjoy the same benefts? Be prepared to tell that story. 䀘 Offer your services as a speaker to local organizations, business, and professional associations. Ensure that your offce is the “go to” practice for the most up-to-date technology and professional advice.
Marketing free-form technology There is a reason for including competition in your lens evaluation process. If you choose to offer the same products that are available from your competition, you have eliminated a major part of your marketing strategy. Every successful practice must have its own niche, from the frames you carry to the lenses you offer. You don’t need a consultant to tell you that if your practice is identical to the one down the street, patients will shop for price and begin that race to the bottom. What can you do differently? 䀘 Digital Measuring Devices are a very visible differentiation. Nearly every lens manufacturer and many independent labs have digital measuring devices. They vary in price from just under $1000 to well over $10,000. Most offer some kind of incentive to lower or rebate the initial expense. Some require a commitment to monthly service/update contracts, some do not. Some are free-standing and some are desktop units. Many have a tablet/iPad option as well. The decision to use this
䀘 Regular communication with your current patient database. A yearly or bi-yearly reminder card or email is insuffcient. The obligatory sunglass sale in early summer or spring is insuffcient. Regular communication via different modalities, i.e. email, text, snail mail, and Facebook will grab your patient’s attention. If you have a website, one that is unique and not the cookiecutter sites that are the “beneft” of a buying group or professional association, make sure that it is updated regularly to highlight the most current lens technologies. Yelp yourself by allowing patients to comment on their experiences in your offce. Ask them to talk about their new free-form lenses, the how and why they selected those products. Marketing free-form lens designs is not diffcult when you become conversant in the technology, understand how it benefts your patients, and stop worrying about the money. The positive feedback you receive from your patients is worth it! ■
Virtual Digital Optical: The Most Advanced & Affordable Digital Lenses Virtual Digital Optical is pleased to launch their new website for ECPs looking for the most advanced and affordable digital progressive lenses in the industry. Virtual Digital Optical specializes in offering exceptional quality backside free form progressive lenses at an affordable price. We have sourced products from the most technically advanced labs in the industry. This allows eyecare professionals to compete against large chains and international
suppliers. We provide our customers with the best service and value with 24/7 access to your order information.
ence in the optical industry means we understand the needs of opticians and optometrists.
At Virtual Digital Optical we offer a competitive advantage to our customers by eliminating hidden fees, markups and commissions. The price you see is the price you pay. Now you can receive quality lenses and increase your margins on every pair dispensed.
We have the existing technology and supply chains that make us your only choice for lens products. VISIT US AT: www.virtualdigitaloptical.com or email email@example.com to register for an account.
Our goal is to guarantee the quality of our product and the satisfaction of our customers. Our extensive experi-
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Rudy Project Sponsors Team Beyond in World Record Trans-Atlantic Rowing Attempt Two Rowers Aim to Set a Record and Feed the Hungry Daley Ervin & Phil Theodore, wearing Rudy Project
Team Beyond, a foundation of endurance athletes taking on the world’s toughest challenges to change the world, announces their partnership with Rudy Project, Italian crafters of performance sunglasses, prescription eyewear and helmets since 1985.
By providing the most technically advanced eye protection, Rudy Project will assist this two person team in their attempt to cross the Atlantic Ocean in record time. Team Beyond founders Daley Ervin and Phillip Theodore will be rowing 3,000 miles across the Atlantic Ocean in the Talisker Whiskey Atlantic Challenge. They are poised to be the first Americans to win the race, and raise $5 million dollars to fight hunger in America. “Having been a competitive rower for 7 years, I can say firsthand that what these guys are setting out to do is absolutely incredible,” said President and Co-founder of Rudy Project North America, Paul Craig. “Not only is their goal to set a new world record inspiring, but their ambitions to help the hungry get reliable access to healthy food is noble. Rudy Project is the Official Eyewear & Helmet of USRowing, so it makes a natural pairing for us to partner with Team Beyond and support them in any way possible.” The Team Beyond Boat
The long time endurance athletes are very comfortable wearing Rudy Project sunglasses and gear in extreme conditions running ultramarathons, triathlons and adventure races, such as the Leadville 100 (4X) and the Spartan Death Race (3X). This will be the first time that Rudy Project will enable endurance athletes to cross the Atlantic Ocean, in the world’s toughest rowing race.
Team Beyond will be using the Rudy Project Zyon Sailing and Rydon performance glasses with ImpactX PhotoPolar lenses. The state of the art lenses are polarized and UV protective, keeping the team focused and healthy, yet don’t interfere with LCD screens for necessary navigation and weather planning on the fly. Furthermore, both team members will have their eye prescription digitally surfaced onto the backside of each sunglass lens, giving them edge-to-edge RX coverage. Additional sunglasses will be provided as giveaways at the Team Beyond website to winning fans who share their own stories of pushing past personal limits in adventures and philanthropy, tagged with #mybeyond.
Younger Optics Announces Expanded Availability of Transitions® XTRActive® Lenses in Brown
Transitions® XTRActive® lenses provide extra light protection, outdoors indoor and even in the car, and are now available in brown from Younger Optics.
Younger Optics has expanded its offering of Transitions® XTRActive® lenses to include a new color – brown – in addition to gray. Transitions XTRActive lenses are everyday adaptive lenses that offer extra darkness to patients that prefer extra protection from light outdoors, indoors, and even in the car. From a fashion perspective, Transitions XTRActive lenses in brown give eyecare professionals a new opportunity to cater to patients who prefer the look of brown photochromic lenses or wish to complement a specific frame. A brown lens also offers high contrast, an added benefit that many eyeglass wearers find valuable. Transitions XTRActive lenses in brown are available from Younger Optics in Hard Resin 1.50 SFSV & FT28, polycarbonate SFSV, Trilogy® Trivex® SFSV and High Index 1.67 SFSV.
The Vision Council Announces New Partnership with Lifetime Fitness The Vision Council has again partnered with Lifetime Fitness to reach consumers directly in promotion of the importance of UV protection as well as the latest in lens technology and finding the right pair of lenses to fit your lifestyle. These themes will be on display in Lifetime Fitness centers throughout the country from April 1 through June 30, and The Vision Council will also be hosting sunglasses-related activities in 12 locations throughout the country to celebrate National Sunglasses Day on June 27. Lifetime Fitness has over 110 locations and their fitness centers see over 200,000 members per day, which is about 6.25 million members each month. Their clientele is wealthy, healthy, and educated, making them perfectly aligned with our target demographic. The Vision Council is reaching this audience with messages featured in each gym by way of indoor posters, digital signage, and multiple 30-second TV spots on Lifetime TV - their in-house television station.
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USE ONE WEBSITE TO ORDER ALL OF YOUR STOCK LENSES! AND USE IT FOR FREE! Re-order your inventoried lenses using a barcode scanner, and order your Rx shorts by searching our complete lens data base.
To Demo Our Lens Ordering Site
Free Web-Based Services
If you are currently ordering lenses from any of the following participating vendors, you can create and submit your order using the Opticom website at no cost to you!
Augen Optics Bristol C&D Carl Zeiss/AO Sola Centennial Optical Limited Conant USA Essilor (Silor, Varilux & Gentex) Eye Solutions Eyenavision Eyewear by ROI Eyewear Designs Fantom Optics Hilco (Supplies) Hoya Lens I-Coat Kaenon Polarized KBco Lab-Tech L.B.I. Lenses Lensco Nassau Lens Nouveau Eyewear Optima/PFO Global Polycore Polylens (Chandel Optical) Private Label Optical Rochester Optical Seiko Optical Shamir Insight Shore Lens Signet-Armorlite SOMO Optical Speciality Lens/iRX Xperio Titmus (Frames) Vision Dynamics Vision-Ease VSP Optics Group X-Cel Optical Younger Optics Zyloware (Frames)
Beth Carlock, OD
visual memory, and visual perception diffculties as well as trouble with the eyes being able to track correctly across a page or screen.
Vision Therapy 101 You have undoubtedly heard about physical therapy, speech therapy and perhaps occupational therapy. However, have you heard about vision therapy?
Amblyopia is the medical turn for reduced vision in one eye that is not due to eye disease and which cannot be corrected to 20/20 with contact lenses or glasses. Vision in the affected eye may be reduced only a line or two on the chart, or be as poor as 20/400 or worse.
This condition can occur for three main reasons. First, the refractive errors may be very different between the two eyes. This is especially problematic if a person has one eye that is signifcantly more farsighted (hyperopic) than the other or has ISION THERAPY, OR VT, is an eye doctor-supervised substantially greater astigmatism in one eye. Second, lazy eye program that uses a variety of techniques to maximize can occur when one or both eyes turn in or out, a condition a patientâ€™s acuity, eye alignment, and visual skills. known as strabismus. Third, amblyopia can happen due to light Optometrists and ophthalmologists may prescribe lenses, deprivation. This may develop rapidly in an infant who has a prisms, patching treatment, and eye exercises to help the eyes congenital cataract. This particular see and coordinate better together. type of amblyopia can be visually In addition, vision development Optometrist consults with patient devastating if left untreated and experts believe that certain ocular about vision therapy options. needs prompt attention. For inactivities can help build up the fants with a severe cataract, surgery visual processing centers in the is done as soon as possible after brain, allowing them to function birth, and a specialized contact more effectively. These activities lens is ft on the affected eye or eyes often are prescribed in the offce to prevent blindness. with supplemental home therapy.
Most patients are children who have a lazy eye, a turned eye, or problems with reading or other school work. However, vision therapy experts are seeing an increase in patients who are recovering from traumatic brain injuries or strokes. In addition, some professional athletes will undergo vision training to maximize their visual performance in their specifc sport. Eye doctors evaluate and prescribe individual treatment plans for each patient based on his or her particular needs. What Common Conditions Are Treated by Vision Therapy? There are three common conditions that eye doctors treat with VT. These include amblyopia, eye turns, and focusing disorders. Less common problems that are treated include vision analysis,
Vision development specialists also use VT to treat problems with eye teaming, such as an eye turn (strabismus) or phoria. Strabismus is
a condition where one eye is never aligned with the fellow eye. Usually, the eyes are turned either in (esotropia) or out (exotropia). In less common situations, an eye may be too high
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䀘 Special ficker glasses
or low compared to the other eye, called hyper- or hypotropia. In rare cases, an eye may be rotated differently from the other eye. This is known as cyclotropia. Focusing, or accommodative disorders may make it diffcult for someone to do near work comfortably. One common problem is accommodative insuffciency. This causes a diffculty focusing at a near range that is normal for that age. It tends to affect school-age children and younger adults. This is different from presbyopia, which is a diffculty seeing at near, due to the normal age-related thickening of the lens inside the eye. Another common disorder is accommodative infacility, or the inability to adjust the focus quickly between near and far targets. Some people have so much trouble with this condition that it may take several seconds to change focus from a near target, like a book, to a far target, such as a teacher or professor. Problems with vision analysis, visual memory or visual processing are less common. In these cases, the diffculty is not with the eye itself, but rather the ability of the brain to use the information sent from the eye correctly. For instance, someone with a visual processing issue may perceive a letter F when the eye is presented with the letter B. Visual memory problems make it diffcult for a patient to use the vision system to remember images. Patients who have problems with saccades have trouble with the eyes tracking smoothly. This can make it hard to read or scan the road easily while driving. In vision training for sports, eye doctors focus specifcally on the vision needs of that player’s sport. Professional baseball players, for example, need to be able to track 90 mile per hour fastballs accurately not only to hit the ball but also for their safety in order to dodge if the ball comes too close. Archers, range shooters, biathletes, and hunters need to be able to focus on a precise position on a target in order to maximize their accuracy. How Amblyopia and Eye Teaming Disorders Are Diagnosed Strabismus, amblyopia, and accommodative problems often are diagnosed during a routine comprehensive eye examination. The eye doctor will detect
䀘 Computer Programs
Vision Training For Sports problems with eye turns, lazy eye, or focusing diffculties during normal testing. Sometimes, patients may have symptoms that warrant additional testing. If a patient complains of eye fatigue, frequent headaches, poor depth perception, losing his or her place while reading, or diffculties in school or work, the optometrist may do additional testing to evaluate visual perception, vision analysis, visual memory and saccades. The eye doctor may coordinate this testing with school psychologists if children are having trouble with studies, particularly in reading and math. Some patients are referred for testing by a rehabilitation specialist or a neurologist after a stroke or brain injury. An athlete might be sent for evaluation if a coach notices the player having trouble with certain activities. Diferent Vision Therapy Treatments There is a wide variety of vision therapy treatments that eye doctors can use. These include the following: 䀘 Prism 䀘 Bifocals 䀘 Binocular exercises 䀘 Vision memory training 䀘 Eye patching 䀘 Focusing exercises 䀘 Saccade training 䀘 Atropine eye drops
Amblyopia treatment frst requires treating the underlying problem, like strabismus or congenital cataract, and then working on improving vision in the affected eye. Once the eyes are aligned and any refractive errors are corrected fully, optometrists and ophthalmologists will use patching therapy to cover the good eye. This forces the brain to use the eye with reduced vision, which helps the vision pathways to grow and develop. As the pathways develop, the visual acuity improves. Eye doctors may also use atropine eye drops in the better-seeing eye to achieve the same thing as patching. A device called Flicker Glass and a computer program named RevitalVision may also be prescribed to help improve vision in the amblyopic eye. Treating strabismus may require a multi-disciplinary approach. An ophthalmologist may need to perform surgery to bring the eyes into close alignment. After the eyes have healed, vision therapy specialists may fne-tune the muscle alignment with prism in glasses and eye exercises. These exercises help the brain to keep the eyes focused on the same spot at the same time. Vision therapy for accommodative diffculties includes prism and bifocals to reduce the demand on the focusing system. In addition, eye doctors will frequently prescribe in-offce and home exercises, like ‘pencil push-ups’ to help the accommodation work more effciently and comfortably. Computer exercises have become more common, too. Computer programs are frequently used for training visual perception, vision analysis, saccades and vision memory. Memory games and even metronomes may be used at home to improve vision memory and eye tracking. If you would like to learn more, the College of Optometrists in Vision Development has helpful information on vision therapy. They also have a search tool to fnd a doctor. With properly prescribed VT, patients may achieve better visual function and greater comfort. ■
䀘 Visual-perceptual training
5/5/15 12:34 PM
FOCUS ON EDUCATION
Anthony Record, ABO/NCLE, RDO
THE DOTS When we were youngsters, I bet most of us went through a phase where we found Connect-the-Dots one of the most intriguing and entertaining pastimes ever.
n the outside chance you forget exactly what they are: Connectthe-Dots puzzles are a seemingly random group of dots printed all over a single page – sometimes hundreds of them. They are all numbered. Place your pen, pencil, or crayon on the dot marked #1 and draw a straight line to the dot marked #2, then #3, etc. The implement you are using to draw the lines should never be lifted from the paper. As the dots begin to be connected, eventually a picture starts to take shape. Once they are all connected…voila…a masterpiece has been created. Perhaps the wildly successful author, Robert Fulghum, got it right in his book, All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten. After all, I have discovered that the most successful ECPs (eyecare professionals) are the ones who consciously connect the dots for their clientele. Whether it’s selling lightweight lenses, free-form progressive lenses, or a new optical accessory, an optician will be far more successful if she consciously remembers to connect the dots. Probably the best way to explain exactly what I mean by “connect the dots” is to simply give you a few examples. I recently went to have lunch with an old friend. He’s an optometrist. While waiting for him to finish up with his last
patient, I had the opportunity to observe his well-seasoned, optical sales force in action. As experienced and knowledgeable as I know they are, I witnessed several missed opportunities to connect the dots. For example, while discussing one of the benefits of Trivex® lenses, his optician informed/educated the patient by saying, “…and another great thing about these lenses is that they have built-in UV protection.” I noticed that in response to that optician’s sage lesson, the patient’s response was a half-hearted smile, and a tentative, “well…that’s good.” Despite her words, when I took into account her body language, it was clear to me that the patient had no idea what the optician was talking about.
Think about it. Think about all the assumptions that were made by the optician, and all the dots that went unconnected. Assumption number one: that the patient knows what the acronym UV means. To connect the dots, it would have been more effective to say, “These lenses come with built-in protection against the sun’s harmful, ultraviolet rays. UV rays have been linked to cancer, cataracts, and age-related macular degeneration – which can actually lead to blindness.” Something like that would have eliminated assumption number two, which was assuming that the patient not only knew that UV meant ultraviolet, but assuming the patient knew what harmful effects are caused by them.
ECPs are the ones who consciously connect the dots for their clientele.
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Another example is an ECP telling a client that he will enjoy better vision with free-form progressives because of what we sometimes refer to as the keyhole effect. The message went something like this: “One of the benefits of this type of progressive is that your actual prescription, including the reading part, is created on the back of the lens instead of just being molded on the front.” Period. To better connect the dot in this case, the dispenser might be well advised to have an illustration, or better yet a brief video, that illustrates the keyhole effect and explains how having the optics closer to the eye more fully duplicates the vision experienced in the exam room, and how it widens the field of view.
I’ve even seen such instructions on printed sheets given to patients. That’s great information by the way. And I’m sure the patient leaves your office with no intention of ever using tap water. On the other hand, it’s a rare occurrence for the ECP to connect this potentially blinding dot. Unconnected, six months from now (when the patient finds herself in a hotel room on vacation, having forgotten her contact lens case and cleaning supplies) when she faces the choice of sleeping in her lenses, making a midnight run to an all-night pharmacy, or simply storing them in glasses of water overnight, she chooses the option that many people would (and believe me, have) chosen— the store-‘em-in-water
“Whether it’s selling lightweight lenses, free-form progressive lenses, or a new optical accessory, an optician will be far more successful if she consciously remember to connect the dots.“ Sometimes, not connecting the dots could have a devastating effect on a patient. For example, while instructing a new contact lens wearer on things like wearing schedule and lens maintenance, most ECPs would warn the patient to not wear the contact lenses in a swimming pool or hot tub, and to never use tap water to rinse or store their lenses.
option. To correct…simply connect: “Ms. Johnson, remember, don’t ever use tap water to rinse or store your lenses. Many times in tap water – and even bottled water, there lives a really nasty organism called Acanthamoeba. If it gets on to a contact lens and gets into your eye, it starts to reproduce, and it can very quickly cause severe damage
to your cornea, which can actually lead to blindness. Before you go, I want you to watch this brief video...” While it’s no guarantee, having connected this dot makes it far more likely that this patient will be making that midnight run to the local drugstore. Remember too, that sometimes connected dots need to be reconnected. Meaning that sometimes patients forget. So a year or two from now when your clients return to your dispensary, even if they’re making a purchase that is virtually identical to their previous products, a quick reconnect is probably called for. In other words, the dots need to be reconnected. Finally, in an effort to practice what I preach, allow me to make sure that the dots are fully connected for you, and to put it into language we all were taught as novice opticians. By connecting the dots for your patients you have expanded the process of not selling features, but also benefits. You’re describing features, explaining benefits, and furthering the process by educating your patients as to the consequences (both positive and negative) of those benefits. By doing so you are creating educated patients, who will then in turn become loyal customers. In the process of ensuring better eye care for your clients, you are giving yourself a renewed sense of career satisfaction. Who would have thought you could reap all those benefits by returning to a fun, childhood activity – by simply connecting the dots. ■
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5/5/15 12:43 PM
FASHION Frames style): the American actor is best known and still remembered for playing the title character in the 1980’s film “Flash Gordon”. EXTRA TV co-host,  Charissa Thompson, wearing the Jonathan Adler Positano frame, host Mario Lopez, wearing the Jonathan Adler Santorini frame, and co-host Tracey Edmonds wearing the Jonathan Adler Capri frame.
ate Hudson  wears MYKITA + Maison Margiela MMDUAL003 on the streets of Los Angeles.  Gillian Anderson in Guess Eyewear (GU6838_56F style): the American actress achieved international recognition for her role as FBI Special Agent “Dana Scully” on the sci-fi horror drama series “The X-Files” and she’s now currently starring in leading roles in the BBC/ Netflix hit TV series “The Fall” and NBC’s “Hannibal”. American actor  Samuel L. Jackson is spotted wearing Neymar Special Style S1948 col.NV9H. Actress  Allisyn Ashley Arm (best known for her main role as Zora Lancaster on Sonny with a Chance) wearing the Converse Jack Purcell Y003 frames.  Sam Jones in Diesel Eyewear (DL0142_01N
Photo Credits: Kate Hudson: MYKITA, Gillian Anderson, Sam Jones: Marcolin U.S.A. Eyewear Corp., Allisyn Ashley Arm, Charissa Thompson, Mario Lopez, Tracey Edmonds: REM Eyewear.
5/5/15 11:16 AM
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5/5/15 10:46 AM
Sam Winnegrad, MBA, LDO
How to Lose Weight We all know that losing weight can be tough...
many combination style frames offering similar aesthetics at a fraction of the weight. Also, many frame manufacturers have introduced new lighter weight cellulose acetate and cellulose propionate lines that are just as rugged as their predecessors.
“When weight is a concern, it is imperative that the frame itself is made of a lightweight material.” Also in style, and incredibly popular, are metal frames with wider temples. Selling a patient a monel frame or any other nickel based metal with these fashion-forward temples can be a recipe for disaster. Using a stainless steel, aluminum, beryllium or titanium frame would result in substantial weight loss.
There are simple things that anyone can do to make it much easier. Obviously, eyecare professionals have extremely active lifestyles (characterized by sitting in exam chairs and at dispensing tables) – so this article will primarily focus on how one can help their patients reduce weight on future spectacle purchases. There are a myriad of factors that contribute to the overall weight of a new pair of eyeglasses.
some cannot. When patients experience perpetual buyers remorse – constantly reminded of how their eyeglasses are too heavy and will not stay up on their nose or keep hurting behind their ears this does not create positive word of mouth for the offce.
Consumers, for the most part, are illinformed about prescription limitations when seeking a new pair of eyewear. As eyecare professionals we must do our best to satiate our customers desire to be fashionable while also being cognizant of what our patient’s fnal product will look (and feel) like!
Selling patients the lightest and most comfortable eyeglasses will make the ftting process much easier and will also prove benefcial for business as patients are sure to experience greater satisfaction with their purchase. Looking around the average optical it would not take someone long to fnd the words “ultra light” or “light-weight” on demo lenses, lens brochures, and scattered about on other advertising. The fact is – weight matters!
Weight is a problem when it translates to issues related to comfort and ft. It is imperative to take the time to ensure that eyeglasses are adjusted properly, especially the nosepads and temple bends, because many of these cases can be resolved with a proper ftting; however,
When weight is a concern, it is imperative that the frame itself is made of a lightweight material. Many of today’s popular plastic frames are made from dense zylonite materials that can be unforgiving if paired up with a higher prescription. Thankfully, there are
Choosing the right lens material is just as critical as the frame selection. Finding a patient the lightest titanium frame in your dispensary and then pairing it up with a set of crown glass executive lenses is plain out ludicrous. Being able to interpret the prescription and visualize what the fnished product will look like is a necessity when considering which lenses will be best for your patient. In general, plastic lenses with higher indices are the best solution to most of your customers “weight problems”. These high index lenses are now available in indices of 1.67, 1.71, and even 1.74 creating an ultra thin set of eyeglasses. It is also notable that Trivex, though thicker than polycarbonate, has a lower specifc gravity (less dense) and creates surprisingly lightweight lenses. Thankfully, aphakic patients are for the most part a thing of the past and we are able to create weightless and visually appealing lenses for most everyone. ■
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Prevent Blindness Has Declared May as UV Awareness Month Exposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays has long been linked to skin cancer. According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, UV radiation from the sun and from tanning beds is classifed as a human carcinogen by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the World Health Organization. Another potential casualty of UV rays is healthy eyesight. Cataract, a leading cause of visual impairment across the globe, has been linked to UV exposure. In fact, a recent study by Case Western Reserve University, funded by the National Eye Institute, provided a link between UV rays and “oxidative stress,” fnding that UV light can substitute for oxygen to trigger harmful oxidative reactions in the lens. In addition to cataracts, other eye problems that UV rays can cause include corneal sunburn (photokeratitis), pterygium (a growth that begins on the white of the eye), macular degeneration, and the development of skin cancer around the eyelids.
There are different types of UV. UV-A radiation has lower energy and penetrates deep into the eye, which may injure the macula, the part of the retina responsible for sight in the center feld of vision. UV-B radiation is presumably more dangerous and is mainly absorbed by the cornea and lens of the eye and can damage those tissues. Prevent Blindness strongly recommends that both adults and children always wear both a wide-brimmed hat or cap and the proper UV-rated sunglasses. Wrap-around sunglasses are best as they protect the eyes and the skin around the eyes. For UV protection in everyday eyewear, there are several options such as UVblocking lens materials, coatings and photochromic lenses. UV protection does not always cost a lot of money and does not get in the way of seeing clearly. There are also many types of sports eye protection glasses that offer UV protection as well. For more information: (800) 331-2020, preventblindness.org/uv
Photo courtesy FUDEM/CooperVision
2014 Project Highlights – Your donations at work With your help, Optometry Giving Sight allocated $1.5 million to 35 projects in 27 countries in 2014 - transforming the lives of tens of thousands of individuals. We also provided vital support to community education and advocacy activities to raise awareness of the importance of eye health and the role of the Optometrist as primary eye care provider. Sahondranirina and Raveloson are two students from Madagascar who have just completed their Diplomas of Optometry in Mali, West Africa*. They recently returned home after 3 years of studying abroad with some big dreams for the future.
Highlights: • 152,441 people screened • 19,961 glasses dispensed • 8,151 referrals made • 9 Optometry programs / schools supported* • 2,324 people trained • 13 Optical Labs and Vision Centers supported • 12 local people developed as future faculty
“I want to start working immediately to provide for the people that need refraction services and refer those with other eye problems,” said Sahondranirina. “We plan to conduct a number of outreach programs and establish a Photo courtesy Brien Holden Vision Institute centre for refractive services in Madagascar. We also want to work with the Ministry of Health in order to garner enough attention for the project.”
*Optometry Programs receiving funding support:
“I am hoping that many more people will choose to study optometry and over the next few years we can start making a marked difference,” said Raveloson. “The biggest problem we have at the moment is that there are just two of us.”
*The School of Optometry program in Mali is part funded by Optometry Giving Sight and implemented by the Brien Holden Vision Institute in association with Institute of Tropical Ophthalmology
To donate visit
www.givingsight.org or call 1888-OGS-GIVE
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5/5/15 8:57 PM
Jason Smith, OD, MS
What To Do About Those “No-Shows?”
If you “Google” “No-Show Patients”, there are 87 million hits on this topic. Patients who do not show up for their scheduled appointments are a contant in most medical, health care, and eye care professionals’ offces.
t is a topic of constant debate within every professional practice and the options to remedy the situation are complicated. If you consider the costs to a business or an eye care practice, (and these numbers are being used only to make a fnancial point), a missed eye examination on average may be $70.00. This fee will vary widely depending upon insurance reimbursements, refraction costs, and an eye examination cost which vary. Add an additional eyeglass fee of $300 for a frame and bifocal lenses. This number may be on the low end when not considering high index and transition lens prices. Then, consider contact lens fttings and the purchase of contact lenses at $200 per missed patient. As an example only, if a patient misses their appointment, the loss of 1 patient can be $400-$600 and possibly much more. If
there are 4 “No-Shows” per month, then an offce can suffer losses as much as $2500 per month. This can reach a staggering $30,000 per year in lost income. And depending upon the type of business, eye care professionals’ offce, or medical offce, these lost revenue amounts can be much higher. According to www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/ pmc/articles/PMC1466756/, “some offces have “No-Show” numbers that range from 28-45% and some residency clinics have “No-Show” rates of 20% despite the use of a reminder system. Research indicates that patients who miss appointments tend to be younger and of a lower socioeconomic status. They often have a history of missed appointments, have government-provided health benefts, and psychosocial problems.” There are many reasons to count as to why people miss their appointments
including, the car would not start, my boss changed my work schedule, I am sick, my child is sick, school was cancelled, it costs too much, or I forgot. Sometimes, patients show up early, late, or on the wrong day which adds more confusion to an already busy schedule. When schools delay their opening by 2 h hours due to the winter weather, parents m must adjust their schedule appropriately. A And the same thing occurs when school iis cancelled due to a major snowfall or w when wind chill advisories are dangerous. A As a result, professional offce schedules aare affected because the appointment that w was supposed to occur now needs to be cchanged. Most of these circumstances can b be remedied at a later date by rescheduling tthe patient and it is a real bonus when tthese patients call to reschedule. But there h has been an epidemic of patients that do n not show up and they do not call to let the offce know that they cannot make the pre-arranged appointment. Our offce always calls the patient to fnd out if we can reschedule and there still seems to be problems again with many people not showing up nor calling a second or even a third time. These missed appointments are always noted in a patient’s fle. The question as to what to do in order to solve this “No-Show” problem has many answers and more questions. There are no easy answers, and what may work in one offce, may not work in another offce. I am not a big fan of charging patients who do not show up. It has been thought that this may serve as a deterrent. I have stated often that “patients are not going to pay you for the services and products that they receive; you think that they are going to pay you for something that they did not receive”? Some offces have taken an approach to schedule these “No-Show” patients at the end of the day or on a “walk-in” only basis. Some offces have a policy of sending a letter to the patient advising them as to the offce policy when they do not show up the frst time. If this happens a second
30 E Y EC A RE PR OF E S S ION A L
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time, another letter is sent along with a fee of $25.00. If this happens a third time, patients are sent a third letter where the patient is now “dismissed” from the practice, and another $25.00 fee is assessed again. I do not fnd that this process has any capabilities of working effciently and opens up the potential for newer problems outside of losing a patient. If the patient does not pay the late fee, what is the next option? Do you turn this patient over to a collection agency or to a lawyer in order to collect these fees for services that were never provided? At what point does this process begin and end? There are many ways to attempt to reduce the number of patients that do not show up. Many offces call their patients the day before their appointments as a reminder. Post cards or e-mails can also be sent in order to remind patients when their appointment is scheduled. My dentist is now sending text messages to my cell phone and I have to reply with a “confrm number” that I press on my cell phone in order to confrm my appointment. When a patient comes to the offce for their appointments, the offce “No-Show” policy can be explained to the
patient. When appointments are scheduled by phone, patients repeat the time and the date and are asked to write down this information. When appointments are scheduled, patients should have a general or specifc understanding as to waiting times in the offce as well as fnancial costs to the patient. Some offces and businesses have a policy of requesting that a credit card be kept on fle. The offce “No-Show” policies as well as late arrival policies are explained and written copies of these policies are handed to the patient. Patients are then charged a fee on the credit card if they do not show up or do not call. This policy can certainly serve as a deterrent. I have discussed this policy with the offce managers of several local medical offces. They all agreed that it does reduce but does not eliminate the numbers of “No-Shows”. Some offces have a policy of overbooking patients. This can possibly solve the potential problem of some “No-Shows”, but it can lead to patient dis-satisfaction when their waiting times are increased signifcantly. Research on this subject has indicated that patients do not show up for many reasons. Surveys have indicated that
patients want an appointment sooner than later. Patients have anxiety or fears about the potential results or costs of seeing a health care professional. And when follow-up care is needed and the original symptoms go away or become lessened, that again opens the door for a “NoShow” to occur. If the initial appointment resulted in bad news or a patient felt disrespected, this can guarantee that they will not return. Some patients do not understand what it means when they do not show up and some surveys have stated that patients actually believe that “now the offce staff can have a break from their busy schedule if I do not show up”! This problem has many reasons for existing and there is not one answer to solve it. Health care and eye care practices have to look specifcally at their “No-Show” rates and provide the remedy that will work most of the time. And if one solution does not seem to help, than a re-evaluation and a change in policy may be what has to be looked at next. There are no easy answers and this is something that has to be dealt with as a cost of doing business, unfortunately. ■
5/5/15 12:53 PM
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Buyer’s Remorse: NOT! This has been a real busy spring. A season with Vision Expo East in March and The OAM Show and day of education (Optician’s Association of Massachusetts) in April.
All across this great country – and in fact, many other countries as well (I heard that Vision Expo East drew over 15,000 visitors from more than 30 countries in addition to our own 50 states!) people have returned to their homes and businesses after a wonderful week in the Big Apple. Many state societies are also having their education days, here in Massachusetts the OAM has taken over the Optometry School in Worcester for their weekend extravaganza – over 300 opticians from all the New England states. In the days and weeks after these Shows – mysterious parcels, little boxes, big boxes, some heavy some light, some worth big bucks and some downright bargains arrive. Moving vans with new ofce interiors, trucks with spify new edgers, big box trucks with complete lanes of refracting equipment. It’s all there! Everything you can buy, rent, or lease in the optical line. A veritable cornucopia of product fowing from vendors representing at Vision Expo East and the OAM – a river of technology, fashion, and style right to your ofce.
I had a couple of double take moments while looking at 3D printers, ready to go producing frames in your ofce for just a bit more than the cost of a high end line of frames. I loved the car wash for glasses “Optic Wash” – a neat way to get people to walk in to sanitize their glasses every week or so, and how about the “Stays On” sunglass and head-band in one. I also liked the wine dispenser system repurposed for decanting eyeglass-cleaning fuid! We as a country, have been through some rough times lately – a major recession that we are just now recovering from, the toughest northeast winter in a hundred years (my back might straighten out by August from shoveling snow (it is ofcial – Worcester, Mass was the snowiest town in the US this year setting a record that goes back 200 years!). Talking to people, customers, vendors, and buyers, I got a sense that the business climate is fnally getting back to pre-recession levels. Opticians that I talk to are reporting more multiple sales and vendors are less apt to ofer give away price deals.
Of course ECPs are worried about online sales; but funny thing they would add that online sales didn’t seem to afect their bottom line. I haven’t seen national sales statistics from last year but it seems like the number of people buying online is growing but slowly. The online customer may prove to be people with very slight vision correction needs and little harm would be done if their Rx’s weren’t made correctly. The quality of the frames from the more popular discount sites that people bring in to my shop for adjustment are as you might imagine – pretty cheesy. I particularly enjoyed hearing a young woman’s tale of needing three packages of fve frames each to fnd one style that she liked and felt comfortable buying (at $95.00), then paying us $25.00 to adjust the frames (which will be reimbursed by the company). Her comment was— “I’m exhausted with all the back and forth, I can’t imagine ever doing this again, I’ll just come here in the future!” She was positively drooling over some of our high-end frame collections, I guess it is tough to eat hot dogs if you get used to steak. Hope that is true!
5/5/15 1:55 PM
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5/5/15 8:34 AM
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5/5/15 8:23 AM
Eye Care Professional Magazine - May 2015 Issue