TOO COOL FOR SCHOOL EYEWEAR / PAGE 6 CHILDREN’S LENS OPTIONS / PAGE 14 June 2010 • Volume 4, Issue 30 • www.ECPmag.com
EYECAREPROFESSIONAL Kids Issue
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Vol. 4 Issue 30
SAFE AND STYLISH KIDS FRAMES Take care of your youngest patients with the latest in safe and sturdy eyewear and sunwear. by Amy Endo, ABOM, CPOT
CHILDREN’S LENSES Provide for the future and offer your kids the safest and best possible lens options.
by Carrie Wilson, BS, LDO, ABOAC, NCLEC
ENDING FREE SERVICES, PART 2 ECPs give away more free goods and services than almost any other profession, and it has to end. by Anthony Record ABO/NCLE, RDO
THE ABC’S OF KID DISPENSING Dispensing to youngsters requires a different mindset and approach than dispensing to adults. by Ginny Johnson, LDO, ABOC
BACK TO SCHOOL MARKETING Marketing to the parent is often as important as marketing to the child. by Judy Canty, ABO/NCLE
MAKE YOUR PRACTICE KID FRIENDLY Treat your kids like the important customers they are and watch your practice grow. by Lindsey Getz
On The Cover: HILCO 800-955-6544 www.hilco.com
Departments EDITOR/VIEW .....................................................................................................4 MOVERS AND SHAKERS.................................................................................12 OPTICAL PHILANTHROPY............................................................................30 21ST CENTURY OPTICIAN ...............................................................................36 SECOND GLANCE ............................................................................................40 ADVERTISER INDEX .......................................................................................46 INDUSTRY QUICK ACCESS............................................................................47 LAST LOOK .......................................................................................................50
Editor / view
by Jeff Smith
Publisher/Editor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Jeff Smith Production/Graphics Manager. . . . . . . . . . . Bruce S. Drob Director, Advertising Sales . . . . . . . . . . . . Lynnette Grande Contributing Writers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Judy Canty, Dee Carew, Harry Chilinguerian, Timothy Coronis, Amy Endo, Bob Fesmire, Elmer Friedman, Lindsey Getz, Ginny Johnson, Jim Magay, Warren McDonald, Anthony Record, Carrie Wilson Technical Editor . . . . . . . . Brian A. Thomas, P.h.D, ABOM Internet Coordinator . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Terry Adler Opinions expressed in editorial submissions contributed to EyeCare Professional Magazine, ECP™ are those of the individual writers exclusively and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of EyeCare Professional Magazine, ECP™ its staff, its advertisers, or its readership. EyeCare Professional Magazine, ECP™ assume no responsibility toward independently contributed editorial submissions or any typographical errors, mistakes, misprints, or missing information within advertising copy.
ADVERTISING & SALES (215) 355-6444 • (800) 914-4322 lgrande@ECPmag.com
Making the Grade with Back to School Marketing he Back to School sales season is generally thought to be from July to September, but in the 24/7 media blitz that today’s marketing has become, it’s never too early to prepare. Below are some tactics I’ve come across for promoting pediatric eyewear.
For the average independent dispenser with a small advertising budget, television, radio, and even print ads may be too much of a stretch. In order to get more children, teens, and their parents into your store, thinking more practically and even outside the box is necessary.
111 E. Pennsylvania Blvd. Feasterville, PA 19053 (215) 355-6444 • Fax (215) 355-7618 www.ECPmag.com editor@ECPmag.com
One effective way to increase pediatric sales is to target events that involve kids and teens. Try and become involved in school activities, either in an educational or recreational setting. Educational events could include a PTA discussion about children’s vision, an optical lecture in a science class, or providing education at a health fair. Gift certificates for school fund raisers are another good option.
EyeCare Professional Magazine, ECP™ is published monthly by OptiCourier, Ltd. Delivered by Third Class Mail Volume 4 Number 30 TrademarkSM 1994 by OptiCourier, Ltd. All Rights Reserved.
A free examination/presentation for local sports teams could also be worthwhile. Many local merchants, in all fields, have had success with sponsoring a little league team, so why should eye care be any different? It is generally quite cost effective and is a nice gesture in the community.
No part of this magazine may be used or reproduced in any form or by any means without prior written permission of the publisher.
OptiCourier, Ltd. makes no warranty of any kind, either expressed, or implied, with regard to the material contained herein. OptiCourier, Ltd. is not responsible for any errors and omissions, typographical, clerical and otherwise. The possibility of errors does exist with respect to anything printed herein. It shall not be construed that OptiCourier, Ltd. endorses, promotes, subsidizes, advocates or is an agent or representative for any of the products, services or individuals in this publication. Purpose: EyeCare Professional Magazine, ECP™ is a publication dedicated to providing information and resources affecting the financial well-being of the Optical Professional both professionally and personally. It is committed to introducing a wide array of product and service vendors, national and regional, and the myriad cost savings and benefits they offer.
For Back Issues and Reprints contact Jeff Smith, Publisher at 800-914-4322 or by Email: jeff@ECPmag.com Copyright © 2010 by OptiCourier Ltd. All Rights Reserved
Sports eyewear is more appealing than ever to kids, and a great way to reach them is through their parents. Over 40 percent of sports related eye injuries occur in children under 15 years old, yet 85 percent of children who play sports do not wear protective eyewear. Statistics like these provide a strong selling point to attentive parents. Also remember that young children don’t tend to view eyewear as a way to make a fashion statement like teenagers do, so including parents in your presentation is important. All of the above are great for pediatric advertising, but don’t neglect the more universal strategies for increasing traffic/sales. Finding a Pediatric MD within the vicinity for referrals is essential. Branding and repetition are crucial in standing out from the competitive retail crowd. Running a small advertisement regularly in a local paper - especially an ad promoting a sale on name brand frames – can be quite successful. And of course every retail company should have at the very least a website displaying the store’s address and general info. I hope I have offered some useful tips and ideas. With just a few successful promotions, you could bring home an A+ in Back to School sales!
4 | EYECAREPROFESSIONAL | JUNE 2010
Means fall fashions and a mad rush to buy school clothing and eyewear. Take a look at what’s hot this fall.
1. Baby Banz Baby Banz Rxable wraparound sunglasses have polycarbonate UV400 lenses, come in 18 cool colors and fit ages 0-5 years. Our swimwear and sunhats offer UPF 50+ and protect little ones all over! www.babybanz.com
2. LBI LBI’s Shrek & Friends eyewear collection currently consists of seven styles with more “Friends” under development. Model Shrek features an ogre-green logo pattern on the frame interior, while the Princess Fiona style has enchanting rhinestone crowns. Shrek & Friends metal frames have overlay bridges and end pieces to add strength, deeper eye wire grooves for better lens retention, one-piece pad arms, and have no end-to-end solder points. www.lbieyewear.com
3. Kenmark Kenmark is adding four new optical frames into its Thalia Girls collection this summer. Each frame offers brilliant and unique floral designs, creating a youthful yet modern feel to the collection. These frames offer grown-up styling and colorful designs inspired by world-renowned Latin pop star, Thalia. The new styles are available in full metal, zyl, and metal/zyl combinations with modified oval shapes that portray an energetic and fashionable appeal. Most frames feature spring hinges and adjustable nosepads for added comfort. Shown here are Jacinta and Moda. www.kenmarkoptical.com
4. KLIIK: denmark KL-417 is an acetate frame with a fashion forward rectangular eye shape, which is a wardrobe essential for all adolescent frame wearers. Fresh, versatile colors include purple pink, brown, black red and grey and are available in size 49-17-135.
Young frame wearers can revamp their personal style with KL-420, a full rim metal frame with two tone coloring available in aubergine pink, chocolate aqua, red black, and burgundy grey. The fun color combinations allow young fashionistas to boost their fashion smarts with a playful look. The model is available in size 45-17-135. www.kliik.com
5. REM The Pop Corn Eyewear collection introduces four fresh frames for Summer. For ages 6-12 years old, these competitively priced eyeglasses feature creative patterns in kidfriendly colors, in shapes that parents will love. The metal fronts with flexible TR90 injected temples combine up-to-the-minute style with good-looking durability and flexibility. The Holly (shown) and the Lonnie are sister and brother, she in pink and he in blue, both with eye catching color-play on the temples. www.remeyewear.com
6. Revolution Start your little guy off in the right direction with the Ed Hardy Street Eyewear for Boys. We have six boys styles in the theme of our very popular Ed Hardy Vintage Tattoo Eyewear. Each frame comes with a polarized magnetic clipon. The temples are silk screened onto leather with the Vintage Tattoos of Don Ed Hardy, The Godfather of Tattoo. Colors available are Black, Cobalt Blue, Gunmetal, Latte, Silver and Pecan. www.revolutioneyewear.com
Have you ever wanted a Ted baker style in a smaller size? Well Ted saves the day with these new Ted mini’s which are hitting the mark for the back to school selling season for the tween market, as well as the smaller-faced ladies and gents who require a smaller eyesize. B909 “Secret ID” – is a semirimless design that can’t be kept a secret. Secret ID is available in 3 colors: Brown w/Brown temples, Purple w/Purple temples and Red w/Black temples, in Size 47. www.tura.com
Well known for their casual and trendy approach to fashion, Esprit once again convinces with new eyewear styles for kids. Playful and charming was the key theme in developing frames for the little ones. A colorful bunch of tiny flower buds along the temple are sure to make a little girl’s day cheerful. Model 9388 is a full metal frame that is available in Burgundy, Violet, Pink and Purple. Sizes include 44-16 and 46-16. www.charmant-usa.com
Luxottica Ray Ban, a style that reaches all age groups, has great styles for kids, too! RY 1024 – child’s stainless steel/zyl frame with flex hinge; available in shiny Dark Blue/Navy (size 44), shiny Black (size 46), and Brown (size 46). www.luxottica.com
Baby Phat’s new collection includes Tweens such as Style 230. It is infused with trend, fun, and excitement. Pearl embellishments are sprinkled into the collection for an eye pleasing mix. Classic shapes with stand-out temples in beautiful Blue, Plum or Brown marbles. www.modobiz.com
Alpha Viana Our Kool Kids collection has a special Back to School Promotion, featuring a free light up Yo-Yo or pencil bag in assorted colors with purchase. They are the perfect complimentary gifts for that special Kool Kid. The newest styles feature fashion-forward laser cut temple designs, spring hinges, and excellent color accents. Now with an expanded size range to accommodate even small-fit adults. www.alphaviana.com
Eye Q Eyewear
Georgetown has had a successful collection of eyewear targeted at the ‘campus’ age group, and is introducing three new styles for this year’s back to campus season. Georgetown 759 is a softened oval shape with flowing end pieces. A flat metal front complimented with a spring hinge. Colors include Black, Brown, and Violet, in Size 48-18-135. www.eyeqeyewear.com
Nouveau From the hit animated Nickelodeon show, Avatar: The Last Airbender, Nouveau is featuring cool frames for kids ages 6 to 12. The Crescent model shown here is a rectangular frame
that features raised arrows on temple. It’s available in Colors: Satin Brown and Satin Gunmetal, in Sizes: 43-18-125 and 45-18-125. www.nouveaueyewear.com
Viva International Group
The Bit eyeglass from the Juicy Couture Girls collection is a semi-rimless metal frame which features a larger eye shape for tweens. The enamel and glitter heart detailing on the temples is inspired by a bracelet found in the Juicy Couture Girls jewelry collection. Bit is offered in fun colors of Pink, Lavender or Brown. www.mysafilo.com
Marchon Disney Eyewear introduces the latest addition to the Princess eyewear collection, the Tiana. Named after the beautiful new Princess featured in the film, The Princess and the Frog, the Tiana frame is as jazzy and spicy as her New Orleans bred namesake. The Tiana features a soft, pillowed almond shape sure to complement any little Princess’s face. The unique, flower-splashed design on the endpieces and temples are sure to evoke images of fragrant meadows and colorful gardens. It is available in two sizes and four sweet colors, Wild Blackberry Burst, Mint Burst, Blueberry Burst, and Strawberry Burst. www.marchon.com
Viva launches the Harley-Davidson® Eyewear’s Wild Child Collection, an explosive group of optical styles created exclusively for tweens. The collection captures the spirit of the Harley-Davidson® brand, while delivering an array of dynamic styles that fit the adventurous lifestyle of today’s tween. Model HD 340 is for tween girls only, and features a modified oval plastic front in contrasting colors, including Black/Yellow, Brown/Leopard and Burgundy/Orchid, with matching plastic temple tips. www.vivagroup.com
This grouping has something for every kid with a trendy palette of colors and shapes. The young wearer will have fun choosing his or her personal eyewear statement from bold colors and strong silhouettes, or softer hues and minimalist shapes. Parents will appreciate the high performance acetates that are rugged enough to survive active young lifestyles. The moderate pricing will accommodate those second pairs that all wise parents keep on hand “just in case.” Shown is frame KZ902K available in Burgundy, Orchid, Brown and Black. www.claritieyewear.com
CNS Frame Displays and Signature Eyewear announce new Frame CO-OP Program In an effort to assist optical professionals in the purchase of their initial frame inventory CNS Frame Displays has partnered with Signature Eyewear in a special CO-OP program. When new clients place a minimum order of $5,000 with CNS Frame Displays for optical dispensing displays and furniture, they will receive a 35% discount on their initial eyewear frame purchase from Signature Eyewear. In order to qualify, a minimum of 20% of the board space in each respective office has to be allocated for Signature Eyewear frames and sunglasses. This offer is only valid for first time clients of Signature Eyewear. The brands include: Bebe, Carmen Marc Valvo, Cutter and Buck, Hart Schaffner Marx, Hummer, Laura Ashley, Michael Stars, and Nicole Miller. All Signature Eyewear products are made from the highest quality materials .To take advantage of this program please contact CNS at 877-274-9300.
As ClearVision’s premier children’s eyewear brand, Fisher-Price Eyewear offers unsurpassed quality and adorable designs. Parents love Fisher-Price frames because it’s a name they know they can trust. Designed by pediatric optical specialists, Fisher-Price addresses the special fitting needs of a child’s face. The gold fish frame is a metal alloy frame with gently bowed skull temples (standard) and single action spring hinges, gold fish is available in Brown and Gunmetal. www.cvoptical.com These days, most children become fashion conscious at a very early age because of what they see on television. Music videos, teen magazines, and peer pressure make it clear what is in style and what is not. Parents have become fairly obliged to purchase for their kids the styles that make them feel good. Going back to school has long been a means for students to make their fashion statements for the year.
Amy Endo, ABOM, CPOT – email@example.com
For more information about CNS Frame Displays and its products, visit www.framedisplays.com. For information about Signature Eyewear call 1-800-765-EYES or visit www.seye.com.
Intercast Europe Names Zeiss Exclusive U.S. Distributor of NXT Rx Lenses Carl Zeiss Vision and Intercast Europe have announced an exclusive distribution agreement under which Carl Zeiss Vision’s Laboratory network will be the exclusive provider of NXT Rx lenses through its national lab network and other wholesale labs. NXT Rx lenses are made using a proprietary “confined tinting” process in which the tint actually permeates the front of the lens to a depth of up to 0.9 millimeters, creating superior color stability, photochromic performance and UV protection for the life of the lens. NXT lenses are made with Trivex® material and are available in a wide variety of colors and styles, including matte tints, mirror tints, photochromic tints, polarized treatments, and combined polarized/photochromic treatments.
Transitions Optical Brett Craig has resigned as president of Transitions Optical. The company’s chief executive officer, Richard C. Elias, is now serving as Transitions’ president. Craig joined Transitions in July 1999 as general Brett Craig manager/managing director for Transition’s Asia/Pacific operations. After serving in a similar position in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, he became the company’s chief operating officer in mid-2006, taking over day-to-day leadership for Transitions’ global business at that time. Craig was named president of Transitions in January 2008.
Pro Fit Optix Pro Fit Optix International has named veteran optical entrepreneur and executive Rudolf Suter chairman of the board of directors and CEO. Suter most recently served as CEO of Optixx AG, a Swiss company he founded that Rudolf Suter developed and marketed free-form lens designs. The company terminated operations at the beginning of May. Suter has served the industry as a founder and member of the board of directors at the European Sunglass Association until 2007, a member of EUROM (European Optical Manufacturer Association) until 2001 and The Vision Council.
PixelOptics PixelOptics has appointed Larry Rodriguez as senior vice president of global sales and marketing. Rodriguez is responsible for leading the worldwide sales and marketing organization of PixelOptics. Rodriguez has held a number of Larry Rodriguez management positions at major optical companies. As the vice president of sales for Southern Optical Group, Rodriguez led a team that established the company as one of the largest wholesale labs in the U.S. He later served as director of U.S. sales and European business, for Johnson & Johnson Vision Care’s ophthalmic lens group.
Maui Jim, Inc. has announced the appointments of two new executives. David Stotz has been named associate vice president of merchandising and Richard Walker has been named Maui Jim’s new director of product development.
Prior to joining Maui Jim, Stotz was the associate vice president of creative brand development/visual merchandising for Luxottica Retail for three years, where he was responsible for the overall “creative expression” of the Richard Walker Sunglass Hut brand in the U.S. market. Walker began his career selling his sunglass designs at Fred Segal in California, and went on to develop his own sunglass line, Blinde, now distributed by Optical Shop International (OSI).
American Board of Clinical Optometry The American Optometric Society (AOS) said that founding member and vice president of communications, Art Epstein, OD, has tendered his resignation from the AOS board of directors, effective May 21. Epstein cited the Art Epstein, OD growth of the American Board of Clinical Optometry (ABCO), of which he is president and executive director, and the need to devote more time to that organization. He also cited a growing concern about potential conflicts of interest in light of his growing responsibilities with ABCO.
Kowa Optimed Kowa Optimed, Inc. has announced the promotion of Craig C. Ross to president and chief operating officer of the company, and named Shinji Toyoda as its new Vice-Chairman. In his new role as President/COO, Ross will report to Craig C. Ross Kowa Optimed’s Vice-Chairman, Shinji Toyoda, and will be responsible for the company’s day-to-day operations. His primary focus will be executing the company’s growth business plan with a continuing role in strategic acquisition activity. Mr. Toyoda’s role will be to Shinji Toyoda support Kowa Optimed’s strategic planning and continued growth.
WellPoint WellPoint has promoted John Thorp to senior product management director for its vision business. In this role, Thorp will be responsible for expanding WellPoint’s Vision business in the East, Central and UniCare markets. In addition, he will develop products that target the individual and senior markets and will lead an initiative that focuses on international expansion opportunities. Prior to joining WellPoint, Thorp held various positions at EyeMed Vision Care. Thorp is based at WellPoint’s Mason, Ohio location. To submit a Mover & Shaker please email: firstname.lastname@example.org
12 | EYECAREPROFESSIONAL | JUNE 2010
Seiko Optical Introduces the Surmount Lens with It’s New Patented Free-Form Technology Seiko Optical Products of America, the pioneer and global leader in digital ophthalmic lens technology, introduces Seiko Surmount, the next generation of progressive lenses and the first to utilize newly patented free-form design technology. Mike Rybacki, Senior Vice President of Sales & Marketing stated, “Seiko Surmount is the first lens in the U.S. market to incorporate recently patented advancements in internal free-form design. This new technology allows us to process a convex surface on the concave side of the lens. Therefore, Surmount lenses can be produced on lower base curves than before, resulting in much flatter, more cosmetically
appealing lenses. They are, simply, the world’s thinnest progressive lenses.” Seiko Surmount also features automatic variable inset based on patient distance Rx and PD that permits customized alignment of the intermediate and reading area. The design further uses advanced aspheric compensation throughout the entire lens to optimize the Rx for the as-worn position (measured power will vary from the prescribed power in both the distance and near portions). Finally, multi-polar astigmatic correction reduces the need for head movement and increases wearer comfort. For more information go to www.seikoeyewear.com or call 1-800-235-5367.
Through the Lens Carrie Wilson, BS, LDO, ABOAC, NCLEC
Seeing Into the Future: Providing Children with the Best Possible Vision Now and Tomorrow As the new school year approaches, the thoughts of the ECP start to turn to children. This is the perfect time to discuss with parents and schools the importance of vision health in a child’s learning process. Vision is the sense that children rely on the most to discover the world around them. It is reported that approximately 80% of learning occurs through the visual system. There are several basic visual skills that work together to provide the student with the necessary tools to learn properly. These skills include: • • • •
Distance vision Near vision Binocular fusion Focusing clearly for long periods of time and changing focusing distances quickly and easily • Maintaining awareness of the peripheral environment while viewing things straight ahead • Accurate eye and hand coordination • Smooth and accurate eye movement from one point to another If something occurs early in a child’s life to upset the working of the visual system, learning as well as visual functions can be permanently impaired. Luckily, early detection of problems and subsequent appropriate vision care can correct a situation before it progresses into a lifelong impairment. Seeing the Signs Determining if a child is experiencing problems seeing can be difficult, especially in a younger child. The main reason is that children don’t complain about visual problems because they do not know what normal vision is supposed to look like. Children do not realize that they are seeing abnormally. Additionally, a child’s brain adapts quickly to visual discrepancies. In some instances, the brain learns to suppress an image from the weaker or turned eye, resulting in an image that appears correct to the child.
Unfortunately, it is during this critical time, before the age of seven that the visual system is developing. Although a child doesn’t always verbally alert an adult to visual problems, he or she usually displays signs of visual distress. We just need to be alert to their presence. The first person that a parent or teacher comes to with questions about a child’s visual health is the ECP. Therefore it is important for an ECP to know the signs of visual discomfort and the most common reasons for them. The most frequent signs of vision problems are: • Headaches – Many headaches are caused by the child straining to hold something into focus. When a child is experiencing a headache, the length of the headache, the trigger for the headache and the method of relief should be noted. • Winking – If a child closes an eye on a regular basis, it may be a sign of double vision or a blurred image in one eye. This tends to occur frequently when the child is in the bright sunlight. The high illumination can overload their already fragile fusion system. • Frequent blinking, squeezing the eyes shut, or rubbing the eyes. These are all customary signs of poor focusing. • Eye misalignment – Any turning of the eye, no matter how slight, can result in double vision (diplopia) and needs to be addressed as quickly as possible. • Behavioral problems – Visual difficulties can cause a child to become frustrated. Consequently, a child can be mislabeled as unmotivated, hyperactive or a slow learner. Getting the Exam The proper recommendation for eye examination is crucial for an ECP. Although an ECP knows to advise an exam to anyone who comes in with signs of visual problems, it is also important Continued on page 16
14 | EYECAREPROFESSIONAL | JUNE 2010
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T H E
U L T I M A T E V I S I O N.
to advocate eye health exams at the age of three and again before the child enters school. The first exam at three can help detect vision problems early and ensure that the vision is developing normally. The complete exam before the child begins school can determine if the child’s visual system is equipped to handle the visual demands of school. Prior to school, a child’s visual needs are mostly for distance. Once school begins, class work requires the child to focus at near on a more consistent basis. Accordingly, visual deficiencies that were undetected before may become more of a hindrance. If no visual correction is needed, an exam every two years is appropriate as long as no signs of visual distress present itself. If correction is needed, then an eye exam should be recommended annually. Vision screenings are a very important tool for the ECP. It can help detect major problems and it can create a greater amount of eye health awareness to the primary caregivers of many children. However, it is very important that the ECP remind a child’s parent that it does not replace a comprehensive exam. While a screening can determine a child’s visual acuity, it cannot give information about binocular vision, the ability to focus comfortably, or if the child can track print without losing his or her place. Common Vision Problems and Treatments Amblyopia About 5% of children have Amblyopia. Also called “lazy eye”, it occurs when the visual pathway is shut down by the brain due to diplopia or poor vision in one eye causing a distorted image. Since the visual pathways need to develop at an early age, the distortion must be detected and treated early before it is suppressed. If the pathway remains closed until the age of 8, then the visual system is complete and the child will have poor vision for life in the amblyopic eye. Strabismus Strabismus is when the eyes do not align properly when under normal conditions. Strabismus is strictly an extra-ocular muscle issue. With this condition, one or both eyes may turn in (eso), out (exo), up (hyper), or down (hypo). If the turning happens on a consistent basis, it is called a tropia. If the eyes align normally most of the time, but have a tendency to turn during times of fatigue or stress, the turning is called a phoria. Accommodation Problems Simply put, accommodation is the process of focusing from far to near and vice versa. When children must focus on print for long periods of time, and an accommodation problem is present, the print could become progressively blurry. In addition, 16 | EYECAREPROFESSIONAL | JUNE 2010
the eyes strain trying to keep the print clear and eye fatigue and headaches can occur. Refractive Errors Refractive errors are when the light entering the eye doesn’t bend properly and a blurred image results. Hyperopia, or far sightedness, occurs when the light entering the eye focuses behind the retina. The result is blurred images when viewing things up close. Myopia is near sightedness and occurs when the light entering the eye focuses in front of the retina. With this error, far images are blurry. An astigmatism is when the light entering the eye comes into focus at two separate points in the eye. Usually caused by uneven curvature of the cornea, the different foci result in a blurred, wavy image at all distances. Seeing Clearly Correcting a child’s vision is crucial for the life-long well being of the child. The most common method of vision correction for children is eyeglasses. When designing lenses for children, safety is crucial. Polycarbonate: • Advantages – Very lightweight; 10% lighter than CR-39, Superior impact resistance – the strongest lens material, At least 10% thinner than CR-39, UV protection that blocks approximately 99% of UV up to 380 nm • Disadvantages – A low ABBE value of 32 which increases chromatic aberrations if not fit properly Trivex®: • Advantages – Extremely impact resistant and scratch resistant, A higher ABBE value of 43 to 45 so there are less incidences of chromatic aberrations, lightweight, Blocks UV transmittance • Disadvantages – Expense and thicker and heavier than polycarbonate It is imperative that measurements are taken properly when working with polycarbonate and Trivex so that incidences of aberrations are decreased. Both lens materials should be fit with monocular pupillary distances and vertical optical center placement to give the child the best possible vision. In addition, a very close vertex distance is critical. Conclusion How a child sees today affects his or her whole life. If the visual process is disrupted at an early age it can lead to a permanent loss of vision if not corrected in a timely manner. It is in this situation that the eye care professional can have the most impact on a person’s life. ■
Managing Optician Anthony Record, ABO/NCLE, RDO
Food for Thought
We Are at a Crossroad – an Editorial Opinion
But if you, like me, want to do everything you can do to seriously reverse the disturbing Internet optical trend then read on. (Last month I laid out this troubling trend and a proposition to stave it off. If you missed part one of this message, I would encourage you to read it at www.ecpmag.com.) What follows is my “prescription” for killing Internet opticianry. The way I see it, a two-pronged attack is what is called for. The first part of the attack needs to be waged on the front-end of the dispensing process, the second part on the back-end of the process. Allow me to explain.
We all know about the enormous amount of eyeglasses that are currently purchased online. As eye care professionals, do we want to facilitate or make it easy for people to purchase glasses for kids over the Internet? I think not. If we take seriously the reason for our very existence as ECPs – the health, safety, and welfare of our clients – the Internet is the last place we want our patients, especially children, purchasing their eyewear. If I need to convince you of that, or outline the reasons for that stance, I’d say quit reading now.
As you may or may not know, many websites that sell prescription eyeglasses do not even ask for segment or multifocal heights on their order forms. They guess. That should tell you something right there. They do however, ask for PDs. Some sites offer instructions on how to have a friend take the measurement. Other sites have a printable PD stick so the person can take the measurement himself. Still other sites give suggestions on how to weasel the information out of us – the unsuspecting, all-too-willing optical accomplice, aka eye care professional. So, step number one of the two-pronged attack is that 99.9% of the time, an eye care professional should refuse to give the PD measurement to someone who requests it. There are many ways to avoid giving the information in a tactful and diplomatic way, and if you have already discovered something that works for you, stick with it. If not, consider the following approach: With someone off the street (not a previous or current patient in your practice) it is straightforward and easy. When asked to take the measurement, just respond with a puzzled look and say, “Why would you need me to do that?” Regardless of how they answer that question, your response Continued on page 20
18 | EYECAREPROFESSIONAL | JUNE 2010
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“If we take seriously the reason for our very existence as ECPs – the health, safety, and welfare of our clients – the Internet is the last place we want our patients, especially children, purchasing their eyewear. If I need to convince you of that, or outline the reasons for that stance, I’d say quit reading now.” should always be the same. Keep the puzzled look on your face and simply say, “It’s the optician who fills your prescription’s responsibility to take that measurement.” After the third or fourth optician refuses to take the measurement maybe they’ll change their mind. You might also provide a little education, “If that measurement is wrong it could induce unwanted prism in your glasses, which could cause eye strain, headaches, or distortion. I wouldn’t want to take that chance if I were you. After all, who’s going to check to make sure your prescription was filled accurately?” Regardless of how the conversation turns, just invoke Nancy Reagan: Just say no! If the person requesting you to provide her PD has been or is a current client, it gets a little trickier. Obviously, we must abide by the laws that govern our profession. In this regard each state is a bit different. For example, in the state where I practice, Florida, I am required to keep a copy of prescriptions I fill on file for two years. During that two-year period if a patient or an agent of the patient requests a copy of the prescription I filled, I am required to provide it. Does that mean I have to also provide the PD? Absolutely not...unless the PD was noted on the doctor’s prescription...which it rarely is. The pupilary distance is an ancillary measurement that is supplemental to the Rx itself. If the patient requests a copy of his entire medical records, you might have to provide it, but short of that I wouldn’t offer it. There are a few other front-end considerations. I would suggest that you spend a little time poking around the Internet, thinking like a layperson. Do some searches for things that they might search for: eyeglasses, prescription eyeglasses, cheap eyeglasses, are a few possibilities. Familiarize yourself with the policies and price structures of the most popular sites. You will find that you could easily “compete” with these websites if you chose to do so. With very few exceptions, the frames and lenses sold on these sites are no great bargains. To be fair, there are a couple of sites that inexplicably offer prescription eyeglasses at unbelievably dirt-cheap prices. How do you deal with that? Perhaps sharing some of the following true stories might help you dissuade people from ordering “cheap” eyeglasses over the Net. I have been told of opticians discovering that the received glasses from these ultra-cheap sites have been off more than an 20 | EYECAREPROFESSIONAL | JUNE 2010
entire diopter. Lenses have been cut eye-for-eye. I personally saw one where the progressive lenses were cut upside-down! Sharing some of those stories with people considering an Internet purchase might persuade them to think otherwise. This leaves the back-end strategy. How should we as industry professional’s deal with back-end requests for service? In other words, people who ask for a replacement screw, an adjustment, or some minor repair. How do we differentiate between an Internet patron and someone who purchased their eyewear at a bricks-and-mortar establishment? Do what I do...ask them. When someone comes to my place and requests some minor service, I casually ask them something like, “Wow...these frames are pretty cool...where did you get them?” If they tell me they got them at Wal-Mart, Dr. Matthews’ office, or Acme Optical – any actual, licensed optical dispensary, I am more than happy to help them out, just like those establishments would likewise help out one of my customers in need. But if they tell me they purchased their glasses online, my whole approach changes. Once again, I tell them that a repair like they need is something that is usually handled by the seller, it’s part of the purchase price. When they say, “but I bought them online,” I say I’m sure if they send them back the online retailer would probably be glad to repair the glasses. We offer an unconditional year warranty on everything we sell, I explain. Sometimes they then offer to pay me for the repair. I respectfully decline, explaining that I’d be scared because if I accidentally damaged the frame while adjusting, or if my screwdriver slipped and scratched a lens while replacing a screw I wouldn’t be able to replace it. Regardless of what they say, I tactfully and respectfully decline my services – as is my right to do; as it would also be your right to refuse to service the glasses if they showed up at your dispensary too. You may say that it is unreasonable to think that as an industry we can make this universal stand – to simply refuse our services for Internet-purchased eyewear. Maybe you would be right. But make no mistake, we are definitely at a crossroad, and each of us, as individual eye care professionals must make a decision. I hope the decision you make will be based on what is right for the patient, your practice and the industry as a whole. If you do, I believe you too, will just say no. ■
The Mobile Optician Ginny Johnson, LDO, ABOC
Now I know my A,B,C’s next time our practice has kids to please An apple a day does not keep an OD
away. Eye health exams can be performed as early as 6 months of age and continue for the next 100+ years.
done it. When you give the parents the kid’s new eyewear and it becomes a mystery as to what happens from there. Be sure to show the kids how to clean and handle eyewear. Using both hands to put them on and take them off usually starts to sink in after about age 70.
Beware of tweens in the dispensary that
do not acknowledge your existance when you speak directly to them. They’ll come around when they find out you have to teach them I&R before they leave wearing any contact lenses. Common Symptoms Of Kids With Hidden And Not So Hidden
Vision Problems 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10.
Frequent headaches with reading or writing Developmental delays Rubbing eyes repeatedly Tilting head to one side Hard to write in a straight line Hard to understand what they read One or both eyes turn in or out Tip of nose almost touches book when reading Grades are declining Redness or tearing of eyes
Deciding on frame inventory for young patients is not easy to do. Keep in mind that kids grow like weeds and quickly blossom into tweens. Kids love fun colors. Tweens might ask for a smaller version of an adult frame. Look for durable, reputable frame lines to carry. Be careful not to get into the habit of offering to order numerous single frame units for one patient’s approval. Keep track of any lost sales and why they walked with their Rx. Discuss these at your next staff meeting. Explain to the parents that when the eyewear is ready you will need to fit the patient. No mysterious dispensing. We’ve all
22 | EYECAREPROFESSIONAL | JUNE 2010
Frame features, benefits and happy kids are very important to parents. Wanting to know if the eyewear will cost an arm and a leg is another biggie. Hopefully the parent who is present is the one who wears the pants in the family and has the final say so. Glare is an interesting word in the optical industry that ECPs often use. Glare can mean a piercing stare (I’ve been known to glare while on the phone with a vendor to find out my order is MIA). Glare can also affect vision and cause eye fatigue. Young patients spend a large portion of their day using computers, handheld devices and workboards. Recommend the best antireflective treatment available. Kids have a better outlook on life looking through non glare lenses that are easy to keep clean. Have someone from your practice contact local schools and offer to speak to different age groups about vision. Just make sure they are smarter than a 5th grader. Imagine yourself in the kid’s shoes. How would you feel around a group of grown-ups dressed in scrubs, white coats or black and white attire? Just because you have colorful stickers or suckers to give to good little boys and girls, the experience can be frightening. Put your imagination thinking cap on. Just do it. Stay in control when kids/parents are upset with the first time Rx news. They walk out of the exam room texting and calling family and friends. Talk about dispensary trauma drama. As ECPs we might be thinking of this long overdue Rx as child abuse or neglect. Sadly sometimes it is. But they don’t need Judge Judy or Judge Joe right now, they need a nonjudgemental highly qualified Optician. Just do it.
Kid Contracts are cool tools to use and can be very effective if presented correctly. Get your creative staff to develop one that works for your practice. Make it fun. Hold kids accountable for the way they treat their new eyewear or contact lenses. Get the parents on board. Even though your practice may be paperless, you may consider this a wise paper trail.
“Keep track of any lost sales and why they walked with their Rx. Discuss these at your next staff meeting.” Lenses for young patients should always include impact resistant materials such as Trivex or polycarb. If the parent declines and requests the use of CR39 lenses, then personally I’m unable to help them. I don’t waver. Feeling like you are helping the parents out by saving them money is not your obligation, duty to warn is. Better safe than bankrupt. Make sure little kids don’t get the wrong idea about what type of doctor’s office they are in. You may have to prove to them that you aren’t carrying a pocket full of needles or syringes. Nose pads take a lot of blame and abuse. Kids will tell you their nose pads were hurting so they pressed on them or squeezed them together. It’s really bad when the parents attempt to adjust the nose pads and they break. What can you say? Optician wannabes should never try this stuff at home. Over the head terminology should be avoided when working with patients. It reminds me of visiting a foreign country and not having a clue as to what is being said around you. No one likes to be out of their verbal comprehension comfort zone. Parents and coaches need to know that everyday eyewear is not sports friendly. Kids engaged in sports, especially ball sports should be wearing appropriate sports protective eyewear. Kids wouldn’t be allowed to play on a little league football team wearing a hat instead of a helmet. So why are they allowed to play with the wrong eyewear? Quickly bond with kids when they first arrive to the practice. Some reception areas have games and books available to entertain kids. Make sure your practice is kid approved and G-Rated while these patients are around. Keep the kids out of the candy dish until it is time for them to leave. Unless you like playing chase. That might be bordering on PG-Rated. Recommending protective sunwear is not something to kid around about. Discuss the different options with parents Continued on page 24
Photochromic lenses are kid approved and tween friendly. Polarized sunwear is not just for parents anymore. Selecting eyewear is a process that can be challenging for kids, parents and ECPs. Especially if the parents pull a role reversal and act out, making inappropriate remarks. Assure parents that kids will wear their eyewear if they represent something they love. Talk is not cheap. Talk directly to your young patients. Talk about what makes them laugh and what frustrates them. Center of attention is their middle name. Kids and tweens may let you in on some valuable self information that parents aren’t even aware of. You can’t possibly build rapport with them by turning to the parents for answers to every question. U should stress the importance of UV protection to kids and parents. Use easy to understand language and examples. The UV fried egg poster available from Transitions® is still one of my favorites. Value every patient. A practice goal should be to have a kid patient for life and their kids for life and their kids for life... Washing your hands before handling contact lenses should be the #1 rule for lens wearers. Hands down. No excuses. X out of your mind any thoughts of not wanting to work with or help young patients. They may be taking care of you one day. You can’t please every patient and parent. Establish guidelines and stay within them. Know when enough is enough. Explain to the patient that you have done everything for them that you possibly can. If you have to fire them as your patient, follow the proper legal procedures in the event they should have an eye emergency. Zealous ECPs help kids feel at ease as much as possible during their visit. They tell kids how great they look in their new eyewear and applaud responsible, young contact lens wearers. ■
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Dispensary Promotion Judy Canty, ABO/NCLE
Marketing to the Parents of
KID’S EYEWEAR is always packaged with cute cases. The POP is attractive to kids. The furniture and fixtures are kid-sized and colorful. We fuss over kids when they come in our offices because, well, they’re, with a few exceptions, just plain adorable. That’s all well and good, but kids aren’t forking over hard-earned cash for new glasses. Their parents are; and parents have an entirely different agenda and “adorability” is fairly low on their list of requirements. As of August 2009, the cost of raising a child in the US from birth to adulthood (18) has risen to $291,570. This is from the Department of Agriculture which has been calculating the costs since 1960, when the cost for a middle income family to raise a child was $25,300. No, that is not a typo. Having met very few 18 year old adults in my life, the spending won’t end there. College tuition is rising, jobs are scarce and many move from home to dorm and back again. Kids are expensive. While the kids are sitting in their appropriately sized chairs in the adorably decorated kids section of the shop, it’s time to talk with their parents about glasses. It has been my experience that the majority of parents are concerned about four major criteria: 1. 2. 3. 4.
Necessity or Optional Durability Affordability Repair, salvage or replacement
As always, lenses should be the first topic for discussion. You should explain how you will interpret the prescription. What the numbers mean, how the correction will impact the wearer and what, if any, adaptation issues may arise. 28 | EYECAREPROFESSIONAL | JUNE 2010
The basic material availabilities you should be offering are polycarbonate and Trivex®. Both materials offer high impact resistance, UV absorption and scratch resistant coatings. Both are lightweight and drillable. Their Abbe numbers, a measure of refractive efficiency or chromatic dispersion, are 31 for polycarbonate and 45 for Trivex®. Crown glass, the “gold standard” for optical clarity has an Abbe number of 59. So the closer the number is to 59, the more efficient the lens is. There is a price difference and in the end that may play the more important role. Polycarbonate has been the material of choice for children and active adults since the late 1970’s and Trivex is the relative newcomer and is a bit more expensive. Both materials are available in clear and as variable tinting lenses, i.e. Transitions®, SunSensors®, InstaShades® and LifeRx®. Another option to be offered is a high quality anti-reflective treatment. Now before you go all crazy on me; think a minute. We all spend far more time in front of a computer than ever before. Kids who used to spend the school day looking at a chalk board, now spend at least part of the day looking at a computer monitor. They also spend many more hours at home doing the same thing. The Kaiser Family Foundation found that young people are multi-tasking their way through a wide variety of electronic media every day, juggling iPods and instant messaging with TV, cell phones and hand-held gaming. The anti-reflective treatment that we always recommend for parents should be the same treatment we offer their kids, especially their “kids” who are learning to drive. Statistically, mile for mile, 16 and 17 year olds are about 3 times more likely to be involved in a fatal car crash at night than during the day and a good anti-reflective treatment will enhance their vision while driving at night by reducing the impact of glare from oncoming headlights.
The bare minimum lens product you should offer is polycarbonate with a good scratch resistant coating. From there you should guide parents through all the options and the associated benefits and costs. Never forget that you are the expert, but they are the financial managers. Now on to the frame choices. At this point, the kids must be involved. Parents and their kids often have very different ideas about what frames are cool and what frames are not cool, often referred to as “dorky”. You need to help parents understand that if their kid doesn’t like the way the glasses look, they will not wear them. Oh, they may leave the house wearing them, but out of sight, those things are gone, gone, gone. Even if the kid can’t see very well, those dorky specs are history until the ride home from school. Almost every frame manufacturer in the world has a kid’s line of products. Some are branded with cartoon characters or pop stars, some are not. “Advertising at its best is making people feel that without their product you’re a loser. Kids are very sensitive to that. If you tell them to buy something, they are resistant. But if you tell them they’ll be a dork if they don’t, you’ve got their attention.” –NANCY SHALEK, FORMER PRESIDENT OF GREY ADVERTISING.
Having a branded identity is no guarantee of quality or staying power. Some manufacturers are more protective of their brands identity than others. At the same time, just because a kid’s frame line does not have a well-known identity doesn’t mean it lacks quality. As the expert, you should educate parents about the things to look for in a good quality frame. Begin with the frame material. • Plastic frames, actually cellulose acetate, should be coated to seal the frame material and protect the wearer from any allergic reactions and should keep the frame color from fading. Another “plastic” material to be considered is proprionate, which is about 3⁄4 of the weight of cellulose acetate. • Nylon based materials, such as polyamide or copolyamide are strong, extremely light weight, resistant to chemicals and hypoallergenic. • Monel is an alloy of nickel, copper, iron and some traces of other elements. It is easily adjusted and holds its color very well. Good quality nickel based frames are coated to protect the roughly 10% of people with nickel allergies and to prevent corrosion. • Stainless steel is strong and when made thin enough, very flexible. It’s resistant to corrosion and quite strong. It can be difficult to adjust.
• Titanium is the ultimate in metal frame materials due to its light weight, strength, corrosion resistance and its lack of allergic reactions. Titanium is also used with other metals as an alloy, and unless properly coated, allergic reactions could still occur. “Memory metals” are an alloy of titanium and other metals, specifically nickel to increase flexibility and also be properly coated. Titanium is difficult to solder or weld so repairing a broken titanium frame may not be possible. Titanium is also a more expensive material to process and can be costly. Frame design and construction are also important for parents to understand. Kids frames should be designed with kids faces in mind. Most kids have low bridges and chubby cheeks, so just downsizing adult styles is not a good plan. Kid’s frames should allow the weight of the frame to rest at the bridge of the nose and on the ears, not on their cheeks. Steer kids towards frames with shallow “B” measurements. Show parents the advantages of good temple design as well. Young children are usually best fitted with cable or riding bow temple styles. Either design does a great job of keeping the glasses where they belong on young faces. Conversion kits are available so that any metal or plastic temple can be converted to a riding bow design. Bridge design is pretty straightforward. Saddle and unifit bridges usually fit those low bridges well, as do adjustable pads or strap bridges. Again, as the expert, bridge design and fit should be your choice. Branded or un-branded, cartoon character or pop star and color is where the kids input is vital. If they like the look, color or shape and it fits properly, they’ll wear it. If they don’t, the glasses will disappear or unexplainably break. A final word about protective eyewear for kids. According to The University of Illinois Eye Center, almost one third of sports-related eye injuries are to children between the ages of 5 and 14. Prevent Blindness America recommends that children wear protective goggles or face shields and that proper lenses should be made from polycarbonate. Protective eyewear should also bear an ASTM label indicating that they meet the standards of the American Society of Testing Materials for the specific sport. Yes, that second sale is tough to ask for, but as the expert you have an obligation to discuss the need for protective eyewear with every parent. Marketing to kids is not tough, educating parents requires knowledge and skill. ■
JUNE 2010 | EYECAREPROFESSIONAL| 29
Optical Philanthropy Mark H. Morris Optician
Giving the Gift of Sight IN OUR INDUSTRY, you may find yourself in a variety of situations – dealing with the nicest patients to, of course, the dreaded unreasonable client. Everyone has heard stories about how patients who have strong prescriptions and rely heavily on their glasses often do not have a spare pair. This has made me wonder at their priorities. Their vision is critical to them because they can’t see a thing without their glasses. Yet if they suffer a breakage they become very upset that their vision is compromised. Unfortunately, there are those that do not even have one pair of glasses, even though they are functionally blind without them, because they simply lack the means to purchase them. Some of these people go their entire lives without glasses. This can sometimes cause the person without glasses to be vilified, or mistakenly classified as a special needs person. I recently had an opportunity to help someone I’ve never met or seen, and probably never will, but nevertheless was compelled to do so. Sometimes you come across something that speaks loudly to your inner optician and it will not let you turn away.
On the premier online community for eye care professionals, Optiboard.com, a thread was started seeking help for a student of a former coworker (now in Louisiana) of one of the members from Georgia. She was a very high myope, had no glasses at all to see with and was indeed classified as a special needs student. Her teacher told me this girl had been a discipline problem and was a very poor student. Since I was formerly a minus 15.00 before my cataract surgery, I have a strong affinity for these types of patients. So I volunteered to make the lenses for her if they could fit and measure the frame, and send it to me to make and mount the lenses. Her Rx was: OD -14.50 sphere and OS -17.50 sphere. Fortunately, they picked a frame with excellent fitting characteristics as far as not having any excessive decentration horizontally or vertically that would make the lenses even thicker than the prescription required. The lenses I chose for her involved a lot of time, but they produced a very nice result. A lot of people would have immediately thought of 1.67 or 1.74 index lenses for this high of a power, but that can produce such poor peripheral vision due to a low Abbe value for those lenses. CR-39 has an excellent Abbe value and will produce excellent crisp vision, but conventional processing of those will produce a very thick edge. So I used an old, little-known technique, where I started out with a +20 base single vision aspheric lenticular “poached egg” lens and turned it into a reverse saddleback myodisc.
30 | EYECAREPROFESSIONAL | JUNE 2010
With some help from the never-to-be-sufficiently-thanked Harry Chilinguerian, I arrived at some final lens calculations.
polishing happens again. After polishing and inspecting, I sent the lenses off for Carat® Advantage AR.
Front Curve Calculation
After getting the lenses back from AR, I was able to edge and mount the lenses, and they looked pretty good. I sent them off to Michelle Pelisier in Louisiana, the teacher and former optician and soon was rewarded with a photo of the girl wearing her new myodiscs. Seeing her seeing (and smiling) again really brought home to me how lives can be improved so greatly by something as seemingly simple as a pair of glasses.
Since the front curves are going to be negligible in power, the thickness won’t have a significant effect on the front curve power, so it’s easier to use the lens maker’s equation: Power = Front + Back OD -14.75 = Front + (-14.79) Front = (-14.75) + 14.79 Front = + 0.04 OS -17.50 = Front + (-16.64) Front = (-17.50) + 16.64 Front = (-0.86) *If I could make a recommendation to use the -19.00 as the back curve for the OS, it would allow you to have a complimenting plus front curve and reduce the amount of disparity in magnification as well as disparity in reflections: – Harry Chilinguerian OS Back 1.498 = -19.00 * (0.49/0.53) = -19.00 * (-17.57) OS -17.50 = Front + (-17.57) Front = (-17.50) + 17.57 Front = + 0.07 So I went with Harry’s recommendation of the -19.00 tool for the OS. Next came the grinding of the lenses. First I taped up the “back” side of the lenses and blocked them up so that the “front” curve was now going to be the new back side. I then ground the requisite curves until they nearly filled the bowl of the front aspheric curve, then fined and polished as normal. Then I taped up the now finished back side (formerly front side) of the lens and started grinding the new front side of the lens. Since there was very little leeway in thickness, I had to start grinding at a huge thickness and bring it down a small amount at a time. Eventually, the tool starts skimming the new front and when the new surface is completely ground, fining and
Local Eye Site to Help Promote Healthy Vision in Children Through “Star Pupils” The ECP community website Local Eye Site is partnering with Prevent Blindness America to help protect children’s vision. Through its growing network of registered users of eye care professionals including ophthalmologists, optometrists, opticians and registered nurses, Local Eye Site will provide its members with the tools and information from the Star Pupils program to offer to their patients and how they can encourage parents to participate.
Many thanks to the other Optiboarders who chipped in to help procure these glasses for this fine young lady. Thanks also go to Dr. John Henahan of Spectrum Eyewear in Atlanta, GA who also donated a pair of glasses. This was truly a multi-state operation with work done in WV, GA, PA, and LA, and donations from many more states. And, since these worked out so well, we thought we’d go a step further and create a spare pair for her. This time I used a pair of 11.00 base 1.71 index lenses, and thanks to the higher index of refraction, she will have an expanded field of view through these new lenses. Having worn the 1.71 index myself, I thought this was a very viable material for her prescription. The Abbe is higher than any other ultra-high index lens. The procedure for manufacturing these was essentially the same as the CR-39 lenses, but with an obviously different set of curves. I also tinted the lenses lightly before sending off for AR, so the lenses should be a bit stealthier with fewer glittering reflections. I also used just a soft satin edge polish. A few weeks after sending the glasses, I was told I had a phone call, and when I picked up the phone, a shy voice on the other end identified herself as the recipient of the new glasses. She told me she was very happy that she could now see and was excited to have her new pairs of glasses. Michelle told me that this student was now the smartest girl in her class and the discipline problems have gone away. This is yet another example of how important children’s eye care can be. Don’t just ignore your children if they’re griping about not seeing something - take them to your eye doctor! ■ Star Pupils is a trademark program of Prevent Blindness America that promotes children’s eye health and safety. It is designed to provide parents with the information they need to help their children succeed in the classroom through healthy vision as well as tips on proper eye protection and information on common eye problems. Donations to the Star Pupils program will help to provide access to vision care services for disadvantaged children. The goal of the program is to reach 5 million children through Star Pupils within in the next three years. For more information on Star Pupils, please visit www.starpupils.org JUNE 2010 | EYECAREPROFESSIONAL| 31
Dispensing Optician Lindsey Getz
KIDS Welcome, Too! Make the whole family feel comfortable and you’ve instantly added new patients to your practice.
HETHER YOU SEE A LOT OF KIDS at your practice now or are looking to draw in some younger clientele, making your office more kid-friendly will keep them coming back. And when you attract the interest of the entire family, you instantly bump up the number of patients your practice sees. After all, mom, dad and their children all have their own eyecare needs.
Making families feel more welcome at your practice starts with the waiting room. Leading pediatric eyecare expert and optician Katheryn Dabbs Schramm, president and CEO of A Child’s View with four Southern California locations, and author of Will My Child Actually Wear These Glasses, says that a sterile environment is an automatic turnoff for families. If everything looks very clinical or even breakable, it makes parents feel uncomfortable about bringing their children with them. It’s important to remember that even if the child isn’t a patient, many parents need to bring their young children with them to their own appointments. Making your waiting room an environment where the whole family is happy will keep them all coming back again and again. While it’s important to make young ones feel comfortable, you don’t have to go crazy with making everything in the waiting room kid-friendly. You still need to cater to your adult clientele too. Even just some bright colors on the walls or some posters with characters that children will recognize would do the trick. This instantly tells families that yours is a place where kids are welcome to come along. “It doesn’t even have to be specific eyewear P.O.P.,” says Dabbs Schramm. “If you have a poster of Mickey, that’s going to be something that children recognize and feel comfortable with—even if you don’t carry those frames.”
32 | EYECAREPROFESSIONAL | JUNE 2010
Photo: Courtesy of Transitions Optical Inc.
A Space for the Little Ones One thing that is vital is having an area in the waiting room that’s designated for children. Even if it’s just a small section of the room that has a basket of toys available, it gives them a space to play (and stay put rather than running around the dispensary!). When selecting toys for the waiting room, make sure they are safe for multiple ages, advises Dabbs Schramm. “You may be treating a seven-year-old patient but the three-year-old brother is with them for the appointment,” she says. “Remember that the three-year-old is your future patient, so it’s important to make them safe and welcome too. Provide a variety of toys that different ages would enjoy and can play with safely. Avoid toys with small parts or other small objects.” It’s also important to be able to designate an area of your exam room where kids can play. Be up front and point out the area where a young patient can go play with a toy when he or she is done in the chair. Doing so gives you a chance to talk to the parents. “This is also important if siblings are coming into the
exam room as well,” says Dabbs Schramm. “They need a safe and comfortable place to sit and play during the exam so that Mom or Dad can pay attention.” Dabbs Schramm, who has also consulted with many eyecare professionals wanting to re-do their dispensaries, says that one thing she does not believe in is putting counters and displays at the child’s level. This is often something that many eyecare professionals believe they should do to make their practice more kid-friendly, but Dabbs Schramm says that it can be a mistake. “With this set-up the glasses are treated like a toy right from the very beginning,” she says. “When you put frames at the child’s level for them to touch you are inviting them to play with the glasses. It’s then very hard to explain that frames are expensive and need to be treated with respect when they have a pair of their own.” As far as displaying the eyewear, Dabbs Schramm says that placing a kid frame right next to the adult version invites parents to inquire about them as they’re browsing for themselves. Of course if you’re heavily focused on pediatric eyecare, it’s nice to have an entire “kids section,” though this isn’t feasible for some smaller practices. And it never hurts to put a small sign at your front desk saying something like “Kids Welcome” or “We Cater to Children,” especially if you’re just starting out with this younger market.
Working with Kids Of course if you’re going to be seeing more kids at your practice it’s important to feel comfortable working with them. This will put the patient and the parents at ease. Dabbs Schramm says that working with the child at eye level is important. Kids may be frightened by a trip to the doctor and standing over them while speaking down to them may make the experience even more unsettling. Make a point to kneel down and speak to the child eye-to-eye as you would with an adult. It’s also important never to touch a child unless invited, says Dabbs Schramm. What you may view as being personable may seem aggressive to a child. For instance, many eyecare professionals would walk into the room with their arm extended to shake hands with their patient. But this is something that may scare a child. Even being bold with your introduction— using a loud and firm tone—can be scary to a young child. Dabbs Schramm advises: “Don’t reach out to shake the child’s hand as you would an adult. Definitely introduce yourself, and give your name, perhaps kneeling down and giving a welcoming hello. Be conscious of whether the child seems shy or frightened.” Working with kids requires time and patience, but the pay off can be well worth it. If you put the effort into welcoming an entire family you can gain lifelong, loyal clientele. ■
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INTO THE NEXT CENTURY: Are Opticians Ready for Change? OPTICIANRY AS A PROFESSION is rapidly changing. Unfortunately, some Opticians in the United States may be under-trained and under-educated. Apprenticeship is the primary training mode for Opticians in some jurisdictions in the country, according to the American Board of Opticianry (2002). This method of training may not provide the needed background for tomorrowâ€™s Optician. Some states, such as New York, Florida, North Carolina and others, require a state license to practice and also prerequisite education prior to sitting for the mandatory licensure examinations (Opticians Association of America, 2002).
In other states, there are no existing regulations for Opticianry. Coupled with the lack of training in some states is an increase in new technology that may demand a higher level of understanding and knowledge of optics and vision care in general. Several emerging issues will have a significant effect on Opticians. They include: Advances in Technology Optical research has provided many widely recognized advances in recent years in spectacles, vision testing and contact lenses. Examples of those advances include a new specialty contact lens design, Corneal Refractive Therapy (CRT) from Paragon Vision Sciences. CRT is an advanced contact lens design that can reduce or eliminate the need for corrective lenses by reshaping the cornea. This procedure is effectively, a completely reversible alternative to LASIK surgery. The lenses are worn overnight and gently provide a change in the anterior corneal surface radii as the patient sleeps. This procedure has some potential danger to the wearer if the lenses are fitted incorrectly. To safely utilize this technique in practice an expansion of the knowledge of ocular anatomy and physiology of most Opticians may be necessary. Several new devices to test refractive error are specifically designed for use by technicians. They allow for accuracy in assessing sight by vision care professionals. Opticians could operate these devices. However, the education and training required of some Opticians may limit their use even under the supervision of a physician. Spectacle lenses have been developed that are based on complicated computer models. They provide the wearer with superior vision than in the past, as well as a more cosmetically appealing lens generally. These lenses require advanced knowledge by the Optician if they are to be adequately utilized in practice. Under current educational requirements in most states, Opticians lack Continued on page 38
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the education to use these computer-based devices. This leaves one to ponder the question “What level of education and training is needed for Opticians to safely and effectively utilize these new technologies in practice?” Changing Practice Roles Practice styles have changed over the years (Drew, 1990). 20 years ago, most Opticians had a goal of becoming independent practitioners. It was unethical for physicians to sell eyeglasses, and the relationship that naturally developed between the Ophthalmologist (a physician specializing in the eye) and the Optician was a natural one. Opticians filled the prescriptions for spectacles and contact lenses written by the Ophthalmologist, who handled medical eye care. Optometrists were a second group of eye doctors who did their own sight testing/eye examinations and prescribed and dispensed spectacles and contact lenses. Today, the optical landscape has changed dramatically. Most Ophthalmologists dispense glasses from their offices, and large chain operations have rapidly become the primary market competitor. Optometrists, once the professional adversary of Ophthalmology, co-manage much of the medical care of post surgical patients with Ophthalmologists and have the right to treat diseases that once were the realm only of the physician. Some Opticians today have seemingly been relegated to the role of “spectacle peddler” in a retail or chain store environment, far removed from the professional Optician of the past. The changing landscape of the eye care industry presents a quandary for the Optician. Where do they fit into this new environment? Should they expand practice roles through additional education and training, or serve as technicians and assistants working for chains and eye doctor’s offices? What are the personnel needs in vision care for the future and how will those needs be met? Licensure/Certification Requirements Twenty-two states require a specific state license to practice Opticianry. One other state (Texas) recognizes a national board certification, but does not require it to practice (American Board of Opticianry, 2002). The remaining states have little or no restrictions placed on the sale of prescription eyeglasses. Pass rates on state and national boards vary according to training and education of the student (McDonald, 1987; North Carolina State Board of Opticians, 1995). Additionally, as the core knowledge and skills required for Opticians to pass their licensing board examination increase, it may necessitate an increase in the qualifying level of education and/or experience in order to attain licensure. (South Carolina State Board of Opticians, 2002). Should an increase in educational and experience requirements for Opticians be considered unacceptable 38 | EYECAREPROFESSIONAL | JUNE 2010
by the profession, there may be a reduced need for the profession in the future, as technology may replace some of our existing skills. There are some differences within the Opticianry community as to the definition of “Optician” in the United States. Some within the profession view it as a retail business that demands limited education, while others see the role of the Optician as becoming far more advanced, with an increase in the scope of practice to include refraction and more involvement in contact lenses and other specialties (Opticians Association of America, 2002). Several questions must be answered to gain a clear understanding of what tomorrow’s Optician will be doing professionally. These questions also underlie the problems facing Opticians today as a profession. For instance, what level of education and training should be required to utilize safely and effectively new and emerging technology in practice? An acceptable answer to this question has not been adequately resolved by Opticians throughout the United States. Another key problem which has not been studied or addressed by Opticians is to define the role they will play in the eye care delivery system of the future. Opticians seem to have only two choices – become an assistant or a technician in a doctor’s office, or expand our scope of practice. Optometrists view the Opticians potential advancement as encroaching on their territory. Optometry regularly fights the ability of Opticians in legislative arenas across the country (Opticians Association of America, 2002). Opticians of today are seemingly at a crossroads. They will either advance into new areas of activity or be reduced to a paraprofessional under the supervision of an ophthalmologist or an optometrist. Regulatory problems also impact the Optician. The issue which has a significant effect on the profession is the question of licensure. States have the power to regulate and impose licensure for Opticians under the state’s police power. The state’s power to regulate Opticians is an attribute of a sovereign government. In the United States’ Constitution, sovereignty is found in state governments. However, licensing of Opticians can only be justified to protect the public’s health. This is an important concept to understand because the issue of licensure is resolved by state government and not the Opticianry profession. The issue of licensure is further complicated by the fact that some members of the profession, particularly those from unlicensed states, as well as other eye care professionals, do not see the need for licensure or certification of Opticians. To end our comments for the month, the Optician needs to change. Next month we will discuss whether or not they seem ready. Stay tuned. ■
Second Glance Elmer Friedman, OD
“What’s the Matter with Kids Today?” In the popular musical of yesteryear, “Bye Bye, Birdie”, the long suffering father of a teenage girl asks the musical question, “What’s the matter with kids today?” THE ANSWER IS: Nothing that a Gucci frame wouldn’t fix. Fortunately, kids and their peer groups now take glasses for granted. In any case newer styles and designs are considered “cool”. The looks are attractive and the days of stigma associated with deficient vision are long gone. Eye care professionals must take care not to underestimate the sophistication, knowledge and taste of today’s kids. Additionally, our kids are confident in registering complaints or kudos concerning their professional eye care experience. We have a lot to learn from our children’s thinking. These kids are undergoing expected changes – physically, mentally and glandular - so who among us can expect them to be as perfect as we adults? They are bewitched, bothered and bewildered and sometimes, correctly or incorrectly, are accused of unfathomable behavior. We’ve all survived and are better for the experience. Office rapport is one of the secrets of understanding the desires of our younger guys and gals. We attempt to connect with their conduct during the exam and fitting. We also address some of the unexpected behaviors that the kids exhibit after the delivery of the glasses. My wife, Dr. Lillian Friedman, has had fifty years of experience in handling our patients who are preschool, preteens and teenagers. Her manner of connecting to children is much better that my knuckle to the side of the head routine. I asked her, “What do you say to put the kids at ease?” She responds, “If the kids look frightened when first entering the office, I tell them ‘I don’t give needles and there is nothing that will happen here 40 | EYECAREPROFESSIONAL |JUNE 2010
that will hurt you. Climb up on this chair and we’ll have some fun.’ I may ask them, during the ophthalmoscopy procedure, ‘What do you think is the color inside the eye?’ They will guess different colors and I tell them the color is orange. They are surprised at this. A pleasant rapport has been initiated and the kids become relaxed. I make them feel that they are participants during the exam. Following the exam I always ask if they had fun.” There are other occasions when a sterner demeanor is required. Dr. Friedman explains, “Sometimes I note that young patients are continually losing or breaking their glasses” she said. “Some present a sullen attitude and others say, ‘I don’t need glasses because I see just fine.’ These are clues that tell me that they are not going to wear their glasses. I then say, ‘You don’t want to wear glasses, do you?’ They usually agree. Then I strike them with the statement, ‘Well, I guess there is no sense in going to the trouble of examining you since you’re not going to wear the glasses.’ At this moment most of the youngsters will promise to wear the glasses as instructed. I will say to them, ‘Select a frame Continued on page 42
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that you really like and will enjoy wearing. Perhaps, in a few years you will be able to be fitted with contact lenses.’” It is the habit of teens and preteens to emulate celebrities who wear eyeglasses. The most frequent names the kids may mention are Tom Cruise, Angelina Jolie, Bono and, of course, Harry Potter. High fashion sunwear has been a beacon of light for the waif and scamp groups. In my previous article “Teenagers Flip over Glasses”, from the July 2008 edition of this publication, we presented a detailed account of how and why our kids chose their eyewear to reflect their desire for getting more enjoyment from their glasses. Having said that, there is a different problem that often rears its ugly head. I refer to the sometimes disastrous manner with which the kids behave badly regarding the care of their eyeglasses. In spite of the “flexible metal” and “unbreakable plastic” at our disposal, the kids are inflicting severe damage to their glasses. This affects not only the adjustment but the accuracy of the prescription that has been altered by careless handling. Patients young and old come in and request an adjustment on their glasses which appears to have traveled through a wringer. They have no idea how this could have occurred. During the course of conversation it is revealed that they fell asleep last night, forgot to place their glasses in a safe place and awoke with their vision correction somewhere beneath their buttocks. The adults feel guilty but the kids say, “The glasses are not strong enough.” Teens should be made aware that the proper nutrition fuels the body and contributes to the well being of the eyes. The mind is also influenced toward positive functioning. A healthy diet keeps the kids alert as well as strengthening the bones and muscles. Wise food choices also help a teenager’s desire for smooth and clear skin. Starting good eating habits during the teens helps the vision, maintains a healthy body weight and decreases future risk of serious eye problems that may arise in later life. These may include cataracts, macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy. A few key vitamins and nutrients that play an important role in good vision are: Vitamin A, which helps to prevent night vision problems or dry eyes. It plays a vital role in bone growth, helps to prevent pink eye disease and keeps the immune system strong. Note should be taken that an excess of Vitamin A can cause a toxicity. Symptoms include headaches, loss of appetite, dizziness and skin and joint pain. Good sources of Vitamin A are beef liver, chicken liver, cod liver oil, milk and eggs. Carotenoids are also very healthy for the eyes. They are found in kale, spinach, leaf lettuce, carrots, bell peppers, tomatoes, tomato juice, sweet potatoes, broccoli, squash, watermelon, pink grapefruit and apricots. 42 | EYECAREPROFESSIONAL |JUNE 2010
Vitamin C is a very basic vitamin vital to body function, a catalyst for other nutrients and is an important ingredient for the success of antioxidant activity. Main sources are found in oranges, orange juice, red and green bell peppers, grapefruit, strawberries, broccoli and kale. Most vision health cues will mention the help of Bioflavonoids. They can be traced to berries, grapes, apples, oranges, grapefruit, yellow onions, soy foods, legumes, teas and dark chocolate. Most kids have pets. Special precautions should be taken to avoid eye injuries or other eye problems connected with household animals. Allergies to dog or cat dander are common. The acquisition of a hypoallergenic pet is the most practical answer to the allergy problem. Exotic pets such as snakes or spiders can pose special risks for eye problems for the kids. Many of these creatures possess salmonella on their skin. Serious illness can result from contact with them. Tarantulas are covered with tiny hairs that can penetrate human skin and eyes like tiny spears, causing inflammation. Sometimes the hairs are so small they cannot be removed from the eye, even when viewed with a microscope. Parents: think twice before allowing your kid to adopt a tarantula as a pet. Kids today don’t realize that there are many things that can be done with old glasses. 1. Plastic lenses and frames can be recycled. 2. Donate glasses to a charity such as the Lions Club, Goodwill or Eyes for the Needy. Special collections are made for third world countries. 3. Single vision readers could be handed over to a needy presbyopic member of the family or neighbor or friend. 4. Suggest an art project for the kids. They can paint the glasses with exciting colors and attach rhinestones to create something different and special. 5. Whimsical ideas are helpful. Use old glasses for the winter snowman on the front lawn. Take photos of your pet adorned with the old glasses. It would be amusing to send a copy to someone who is 40+ and starting to experience the pangs of presbyopia. We know that kids today are keen and are not reluctant to express their ideas even if faced with parental opposition. Today they present logical reasons to uphold their views and determination to see it through. They sense their burgeoning power and have developed their own “kids way” of utilizing it. Famous comedian, Red Buttons, summarized it neatly when he said, “Never raise your hands to your kids. It leaves your groin unprotected.” ■
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As children begin to head out to enjoy the warmer weather, many parents remember to apply sunscreen to protect their children’s skin from damaging ultraviolet (UV) rays. However, many parents may not be aware of the damage that UV rays can have on the eyes. According to the World Health Organization, up to 80 percent of a person’s lifetime exposure to UV is received before the age of 18. In fact, children are more susceptible to UV damage than adults because they tend to spend more time outside than adults. And, according to the AOA, children are at a greater risk of UV damage because the lenses of their eyes are more transparent, which allows more short wavelength light to reach the retina. UV damage to the eyes is cumulative, meaning it builds over time. (Courtesy of Prevent Blindness America)
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ACCESSORIES • CASES • CONTACT LENSES • DISPLAYS • DISTRIBUTORS • EDGING SERVICES • FRAMES / CLIP-ON SETS EQUIPMENT (NEW / USED) • HELP WANTED / BUSINESS SALES • INSTRUMENTS • PACKAGING • MANUFACTURERS
OPTOGENICS overnight service on surfaced AR jobs digital AR jobs: AVANCE or Zeiss SET
Digital Facts Ideal - surfaced in house at Optogenics - full backside Choose one of 3 designs - 17mm regular classic design - 14mm short and wide - 17mm advanced large distance vision
To advertise please call 800.914.4322, or visit www.ecpmag.com
Prices & Specials on Optogenics.com DIGITAL SURFACING Digital Lenses & AVANCE-AR A Winning Combo for Patients & Rebates OPTOGENICS = DIGITAL Open your Acct. at Optogenics.com Demo log-in username: “optouser” password: “loveit” Tel: 800-678-4225 Fax: 800-343-3925
The Premier Laboratory for
In House Digital FreeForm Lenses
Step into Three Rivers Optical’s “O” Zone. Our “Free” Lens Series offers one-of-a-kind bifocal designs that fill a void in the optical industry. With our unique, patented “Round Seg” technology, your patients will experience the best in bifocal lenses.
WHEN SKILLED HANDS using state of the art technology come together the result is precision bench work. We pride ourselves in producing edge work that is light years ahead of our competition.
Get in the “O” Zone Today
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Use one website to order all of your stock lenses electronically. With no usage or ordering fees!
Green Bay, WI 54308 800-678-4266/Fax 920-965-3203
email: firstname.lastname@example.org www.opticom-inc.com
48 | EYECAREPROFESSIONAL | JUNE 2010
OPTICIANRY SUMMIT RESPECTED INDUSTRY veteran and EyeCare Professional contributor Dr. Warren McDonald will be hosting an informal summit at the SouthEastern Opticians Conference in Atlanta on July 23-25. The objective is to devise a cohesive proposal to move Opticianry back to the professional status it once enjoyed, while serving patients at a higher level. For more info go to: www.southeasternopticians.org
Balester Optical is a full service independent family-owned wholesale optical laboratory. We maintain an in-house Digital Processing center and 3 anti-reflective coating systems. Balester Optical provides expert objective advice & consultation regarding the best lens for each Rx. We pride ourselves on using the most up-to-date technologies in the industry!
Toll Free: 1-800-233-8373 Fax: 1-800-548-3487 www.balester.com
National Lens America’s Leading Discount Contact Lens Distributor Phone 1-866-923-5600 Fax 1-866-923-5601 www.national-lens.com
INDUSTRY QUICK ACCESS
ACCESSORIES • CASES • CONTACT LENSES • DISPLAYS • DISTRIBUTORS • EDGING SERVICES • FRAMES / CLIP-ON SETS EQUIPMENT (NEW / USED) • HELP WANTED / BUSINESS SALES • INSTRUMENTS • PACKAGING • MANUFACTURERS
LOW PRICE LEADER SINCE 1949 Factory Direct Savings on Fully Stitched Slip-in Cases
Op-Tags , Labels & Bar Code Systems...
Clamshell Cases Lowest Prices in the Industry
Your most cost effective merchandising tools! Arch Crown, Inc. 460 Hillside Avenue Hillside, NJ 07205 Toll Free: 1-800-526-8353 Fax: 973-731-2228 e-mail: orders@ArchCrown.com www.ArchCrown.com
Molded Plastic & Children’s Cases Huge Saving on Microfiber Cleaning Cloths and Spray Cleaner
Call: 800 249-1058
Framedisplays.com is the leading provider of optical frame displays for ophthalmic dispensing professionals. Products include optical eyewear and sunglass displays in addition to lockable, rotating, standing, wall mount and slatwall frame displays. Call 877.274.9300 for info and catalog.
Print too small?
We sell PALs.
F E A Industries, Inc. FULL SERVICE LABORATORY A/R AND MIRROR COATINGS
Tel: 800-327-2002 Fax: 800-955-7770
Lab Equipment for Sale
Edgers Briot Accura CX RC . . . . . . . $13,950 Essilor Gamma RC . . . . . . . $12,950 Essilor Kappa RC . . . . . . . . . $17,950
Two Horizon II Edgers: one used/great condition. One new, still in box. Several BPI tinting units, BPI gradient stroke sensor, B&L Lensometer, Pattern maker, Layout blocker, Vigor polisher, chem and heat units, diamond grinder etc...Package $1,000.
Safety bevels and Grooves!
Instruments Reichert Keratometer . . . . . . . . $595 Chart Projectors starting at . . . . . $395 Marco Radiuscope . . . . . . . . . . $695
Dr Sandoval 714-547-6819. email@example.com
Optical Finish Equipment and Supplies
Grimes Optical Equipment Co. 800-749-8427 www.grimesoptical.com
Drivewear lenses uniquely combine two of the most advanced technologies found in the industry today: Transitions™ Photochromic Technology and NuPolar® polarization. Drivewear is the first polarized photochromic lens to darken behind the windshield of a car.
KERATOMETER RANGE EXTENDER by
ABO/NCLE APPROVED CONTINUING EDUCATION Dry Eyes and Its Effects on Contact Lens Wear $ 12.99 for 1 NCLE Credit Hour
Available at: www.ecpmag.com/CE Take the course online and receive your certificate within 5 days!
SALES HELP WANTED
If you are tired of working for a company who doesn’t appreciate what you do then give us a shot.
topographer readings. easily for temporary or permanent use. • Eliminates, bothersome taping & alignment of trial lenses and removal of adhesive residue. • Extends range; flatter to 30.87D or steeper to 60.62D. • A “Must-Have”, for fitting keratoconus patients. • Attaches
Experienced Sales Reps • Top commissions • Many Territories Available •
Contact your Preferred Distributor or Direct thru Marlin.
Fax a Resume to 800-756-0034 Attn. Steve Seibert
firstname.lastname@example.org or 805-473-2743
A case with a double lock & your name imprinted on it!
12¢ per unit Printed!
NELLERK CONTACT CONTACT LENS LENS CASES CASES 607-748-2166
To advertise please call 800.914.4322, or visit www.ecpmag.com
See our complete case catalog at: http://www.LBI.biz
• Invoice Lookup • On-line Ordering • Real time job tracking • Account Statements and balances • Technical & Processing Information And more.......
Last Look Jim Magay, RDO
Tweens and B’Tweens When Mrs. C—— brought her kids in for glasses a few weeks ago, she thought the insurance plan the family was on would take care of everything.
WRONG! The insurance frames were; in the words of her 12 year old daughter, “Disgusting!” and furthermore, “I’ll never wear any of those — ugly glasses!” At that point two thoughts ran through my mind, “Thank G— she isn’t my daughter!” and “I’m very glad I invested in some new kid’s and tween’s frames at Vision Expo this year!” The “tween” shopper — the buzz word for the population segment comprised of children 7 to 14 years old, which is now around 29 million strong and growing, according to New York-based MarketResearch.com, is a strong force in a “down” economy. In fact, tweens will spend a total of $38 billion, or an estimated $1,294 each (for the last year figures were available). So how are these kids reached? Corporations capitalize on the age-old insecurities and self-doubts of teens by making them believe that to be truly cool, you need their product. According to No Logo author Naomi Klein, in the 1990s corporations discovered that the youth market was able and willing to pay top dollar in order to be “cool.” The corporations have been chasing the elusive cool factor ever since. “Cool” hunters, consumer panels, Facebook, Twitter, and basic marketing research are all employed to help them figure it out. This aggressive marketing, besides destroying childhood as most of us know it, borders on insanity – if you doubt me, look 50 | EYECAREPROFESSIONAL | JUNE 2010
at the ads Abercrombie, Calvin, et al run – most would be appropriate in an earlier form of Playboy magazine. Public cynicism is rising and as a result marketers are moving away from celebrity endorsements (I’m sure Paris and Tiger really used all those products they shilled for – right!). The trend now seems to be the grand merchandizing strategy, the Movie, the Game, the celeb appearances, the merchandise tie-ins, the T-shirts, the dolls, the tons of stuff for Toys “R” Us to push. What to do? In Canada, there are rules for advertising to children. Except in Quebec, where all advertising to children under the age of 13 is prohibited under the Quebec Consumer Protection Act. I doubt that would fly here in the home of the brave and land of the politically correct but free (but it is an approach). So we are the good guys, right? Do we promote and pander, like the Disney’s and Warner Brothers, and other entertainment dynasties. Probably not, but only because we don’t have the budgets – I think it is more socially desirable to get involved in community things like sponsoring youth athletics, reading programs, and art shows. We need to foster healthy attitudes towards our clients and their kids and meet them in a spirit of mutual respect and trust. By the way – Mrs. C———’s daughter got a modestly priced name brand and her insurance paid for the lenses. ■ Photo: Courtesy of Transitions Optical Inc.
Published on Jun 8, 2010
June 2010 Issue of EyeCare Professional Magazine. A Business to Business publication that is distributed to decision makers and participants...