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Kids Issue


July 2009 • Volume 3, Issue 19 •




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Bella 4th grader Big sister Checkers champion

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The first move is often the most important one. 9:00AM Watch cartoons 10:30AM Clean room 1:00PM Piano lesson 2:45PM Ride bikes with friends 3:57PM Win another game 6:30PM Re-clean room (while Mom watches) 10:03PM Pillow fight during sleepover

Kids need sharp, precise vision for all they do. Their active and unpredictable lives also call for on-demand impact resistance. How well their eyeglasses will perform at any moment begins with the lens material you recommend. Only Trivex provides crisp, clear vision plus unsurpassed strength in an ultralightweight lens. Introducing Trivex as the best foundation for a child’s daily vision needs may be the best first move you can make. Learn more at

©2009 PPG Industries, Inc. All rights reserved. Trivex is a registered trademark of PPG Industries.



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JULY 2009


Vol. 3 Issue 19

Features 6

Courtesy of BBH Eyewear

SAFE AND STYLISH KIDS FRAMES Excite your young patients with the latest in trendy and sturdy eyewear and sunwear. by Amy Endo, ABOM, CPOT


MAKE YOUR PRACTICE KID-FRIENDLY Treat your kids like the important customers they are and watch your practice grow.


by Judy Canty, ABO/NCLE


Courtesy of Hilco Eyewear



PROTECT YOUNG EYES WITH TRIVEX® Make sure your young, active patients are protected with strong lens materials like Trivex. by Bob Fesmire, ABOC


EDUCATING THE AMERICAN OPTICIAN Only through an increase in education can Opticianry reach its full potential. by Warren McDonald, PhD

Courtesy of Transitions Optical, Inc.



STOP SPORTS RELATED INJURIES Educate your kids and their parents about the necessity of protective sports eyewear. By Paul Berman, OD, FAAO


DISPENSING TO YOUNG PATIENTS It’s essential to recognize the different rules and techniques that apply when dispensing to youngsters. by Anthony Record. ABO/NCLE, RDO

On The Cover: HILCO 800-955-6544

Departments EDITOR/VIEW .....................................................................................................4 INDUSTRY NEWS................................................................................................5 KIDS CHARITY.................................................................................................20 MOVERS AND SHAKERS.................................................................................32 ECP OF THE MONTH ......................................................................................34 SECOND GLANCE ............................................................................................36 ADVERTISER INDEX .......................................................................................46 INDUSTRY QUICK ACCESS............................................................................47 LAST LOOK .......................................................................................................50




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Editor / view


by Jeff Smith

Publisher/Editor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Jeff Smith Production/Graphics Manager. . . . . . . . . . . Bruce S. Drob Director, Advertising Sales . . . . . . . . . . . . Lynnette Grande Contributing Writers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Thomas Breen, Judy Canty, Cliff Capriola, Dee Carew, Alvaro Cordova, Harry Chilinguerian, Amy Endo, Bob Fesmire, Elmer Friedman, Paul King, Jim Magay, Warren McDonald, Anthony Record, Ted Weinrich, Carrie Wilson Internet Coordinator . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Terry Adler Opinions expressed in editorial submissions contributed to EyeCare Professional Magazine, ECP™ are those of the individual writers exclusively and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of EyeCare Professional Magazine, ECP™ its staff, its advertisers, or its readership. EyeCare Professional Magazine, ECP™ assume no responsibility toward independently contributed editorial submissions or any typographical errors, mistakes, misprints, or missing information within advertising copy.

ADVERTISING & SALES (215) 355-6444 • (800) 914-4322

EDITORIAL OFFICES 111 E. Pennsylvania Blvd. Feasterville, PA 19053 (215) 355-6444 • Fax (215) 355-7618 EyeCare Professional Magazine, ECP™ is published monthly by OptiCourier, Ltd. Delivered by Third Class Mail Volume 3 Number 19 TrademarkSM 1994 by OptiCourier, Ltd. All Rights Reserved. No part of this magazine may be used or reproduced in any form or by any means without prior written permission of the publisher.

OptiCourier, Ltd. makes no warranty of any kind, either expressed, or implied, with regard to the material contained herein. OptiCourier, Ltd. is not responsible for any errors and omissions, typographical, clerical and otherwise. The possibility of errors does exist with respect to anything printed herein. It shall not be construed that OptiCourier, Ltd. endorses, promotes, subsidizes, advocates or is an agent or representative for any of the products, services or individuals in this publication. Purpose: EyeCare Professional Magazine, ECP™ is a publication dedicated to providing information and resources affecting the financial well-being of the Optical Professional both professionally and personally. It is committed to introducing a wide array of product and service vendors, national and regional, and the myriad cost savings and benefits they offer.

For Back Issues and Reprints contact Jeff Smith, Publisher at 800-914-4322 or by Email: Copyright © 2009 by OptiCourier Ltd. All Rights Reserved

Screen your Kids for CVS S COMPUTERS become increasingly significant in everyday life, it’s only natural that children increase their exposure to the computer screen. Studies have shown that kids who regularly work on a computer improve their school readiness and cognitive development quicker than those without computers. Also, children who work on the computer at home and at school do better than those who use a computer at school only.


But too much of anything can be a problem. Like adults, children who spend considerable time in front of a computer or video game screen have a greater risk of developing Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS), which affects 70-75% of adults who regularly work on the computer (Journal of the AOA). Prolonged viewing may cause symptoms such as eye discomfort, fatigue, blurred vision, and headaches. Some studies have even shown that excessive computer use can lead to progressive myopia in children. It is therefore essential for the ECP to help protect their youngest and most vulnerable patients. CVS symptoms to watch out for include eye redness, eye rubbing, awkward posture, or complaints of blurriness or eye fatigue. Kids aren’t always forthcoming when they have a problem, so alert the parents to keep an eye out for these symptoms. Parents should also supervise their child’s time on the computer, watching for signs of fatigue. Encourage them to take frequent breaks, as a 10minute break every hour will allow the eyes to rest, minimizing the development of eye irritation caused by constant focusing and reduced blinking. People tend to blink less often when concentrating, especially when working on a computer. Proper ergonomics are important as well, so it’s crucial that the child’s workstation is suited for someone their size and not an adult. Ideally the monitor should be around 2 feet away, and should be positioned approximately 15 degrees below eye level. There should also not be any glare from windows or any other light sources in front of the screen. When dispensing to the child (or people of any age, for that matter), AR Coating is a must. Justifying the price for premium coatings with parents can be tricky, so be sure to emphasize the benefits, like scratch resistance, low maintenance, and warranty. Eye-drops are another obvious way to treat the dry eyes that can result from staring for long periods at a monitor. Last but not least, a comprehensive eye exam should be undertaken regularly to ensure good eye health. Take care of young eyes and put their parent’s fears at ease. You’ll have happy, productive little patients who’ll hopefully become lifelong customers.




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Essilor Junior Lens Sales to Provide Lenses for Children in Need Essilor of America, Inc. has announced that sales of Essilor Junior™ lenses from June 1 to December 31, 2009 will help children in need. For every five pairs of Essilor Junior lenses sold, Essilor will donate one pair to the Essilor Vision Foundation for its work to improve the vision of children across the country. “This important initiative will allow each pair of Essilor Junior lenses sold to impact the lives of children who could not otherwise afford vision correction,” said Carl Bracy, vice president of marketing for Essilor of America. “Together with the Essilor Vision Foundation, we can help children see clearly and provide them with a better chance to succeed in the future.” The Essilor Vision Foundation strives to eliminate the obstacles, such as financial difficulties and lack of understanding, that prevent families from getting the necessary exams and glasses for their children. Eighty percent of everything children learn in the first 12 years comes through their eyes, yet one in four American children has a vision problem. In some inner-city communities, that number climbs to as high as one in every two children, and of those children, almost none are wearing glasses today.



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Back to School in


Going “Back to School in Style” will bring a sense of excitement for any child after the summer break. Kids love style with a variation of colors and embellishments from matte pink to bright aquamarine to light brown. Offer your kids durable frames with spring hinges or memory metals, and shapes which are fashionable and fun.



1. Optiq Optiq Frames releases two new Spider-Man models, 5411 and 5412 (shown). These new models feature a new coil spring flexible temple, eliminating the need for spring hinges. Testing of this feature has demonstrated dramatic reductions in frame breakage, common with kids frames. 2. BBH Eyewear Oio is breaking new ground with this collection: for the very first time oio is not only featuring a material mix with combines TiTAN flex with acetate but is also uniting “grown-up” design with the colorful world of kids. 3. Jungle Eyewear Jungle Animals are a collection of eyewear for kids from pediatric to juniors, all named after jungle animals. A rainbow of colors available in cutting edge styles with the quality parents expect. The carefree life of butterflies is featured on the newest frame “the Parrot.”




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4. Viva International Group The CANDIE’S® Eyewear collection consists of four styles, C Hannah, C Hazel, C Sade, and C Scarlett. Handcrafted in acetate, styles C Hannah and C Hazel feature a unique color-filled butterfly appliqué that highlights each endpiece and coordinates with the CANDIE’S signature logo. The chic metal shape of C Sade and C Scarlett feature a petite version of the butterfly motif on each endpiece.

4 5. Colors in Optics Steve Madden eyewear is trendy and classic with a serious edge that fits perfectly in today’s world making these silhouettes instantly recognizable. This new collection of 5 new models for smaller faces offers fun colors, textures and unique styles. The ST 009 comes in two other colors, tortoise/pink and black/blue. 6. A & A Optical The PEZ® collection offers children a variety of eyewear options in classic and contemporary styles, fun shapes and colors, and Twisterz™ high performance memory metals which fit and flatter girls and boys through age 10. Just Peachy comes in pink, purple, red or brown in size 45-18-125. Each temple is adorned with a raised, rubberized daisy which is repeated on the temple tip. 7. ProDesign Colors are in this year as seen in ProDesign’s new essential models that signal youth, movement and energy. The vibrant color combinations have an inner glow that make people think of the rainbow. Inspiration came from the wealth of fashion accessories that make allowances for having fun by mixing and matching colors at your heart’s delight.






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Juicy Girls is offering five new styles for girls ages seven to 13. The collection consists of two plastic styles, two metal styles and one metal/plastic. All five styles offer flex hinges and fun iconic details including the Juicy logo plaque, Juicy crown and Juicy cherries, all details also seen in the Juicy Couture eyewear line for women.


TuraFlexies model M207 is a fashionable eyeshape for the active lifestyle of young girls from the ages of 6 to 12. It features a memory metal bridge with monel temples and a spring hinge. Since it shares the same high quality as the TuraFlex memory metal collection, each TuraFlexies frame can be trusted to withstand the daily use typical from the young age group it is designed for.

Signature Eyewear


The RayBan RJ 9522S is a children’s monel frame with zyl temples. Colors available are gunmetal with green lenses, shiny silver with violet gradient lenses, shiny black with grey gradient lenses, and grey with silver mirrored lenses.

Baby Banz Junior BanZ feature UV400 Polarized polycarbonate lenses and sturdy frames, while offering new shapes and temples for the protection and style older kids want. Junior BanZ are available in 3 new styles, 11 cool colors and come with their own neoprene carrying case complete with zipper clasp.

Appealing to a target demographic of boys 7 to 13 years old, the Hummer Youth collection will deliver durable quality frames with upgraded logo tooling. Payload is a modified metal rectangle that has the Hummer logo tooled on both temples in a manner inspired from the truck’s rugged gas cap and spare tire mountings.



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Toll Free 1 800 268 1265 • 905 669 6251 •



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Charmant’s new kid’s series in metal from Esprit offers shapes for boys and girls and are offered in three eye-sizes to accommodate a wide range of kids. A playful twist on the “Esprit” logo is used as a design element on the temples for girls. For the boys, it’s more about two-tone color accents in a color palette of demi amber, brown and blue.

Julbo Eyewear The Heroes Collection features the BeeBop, Loola and Tango models with a “Flex Frame” design that is shock absorbing and has impact resistant hinges. The temples stay in line with the growth of the circumference of the head to ensure stability and the nose pads are made from an ultra-flexible silicone material. McGee Group Mary Ann is a full-rim handmade acetate frame featuring the Vera Bradley Bali Blue and Bali Gold patterns on the inside of the frame front and outside temple tips. This style has a modified rectangle eyeshape and spring hinges for a customized fit. This frame also comes with a coordinating Vera Bradley Girlfriends optical case.


The Kenmark Group is adding new styles into its Thalia Girls Eyewear collection that are both fun and fashionable for girls. The new styles are available in full metals and combinations of metals and zyls. From a sassy teacup shape to a modified rectangle, these frames offer modern shapes combined with decorative temples for a fashionable look. While looking for frames, be sure to mention to parents the importance of polycarbonate or Trivex® lenses. Also look into frames with a good manufacturer’s warranty. Many companies understand the wear and tear that kids frames can go through, and offer warranties from 1 year or more. Inform parents of this warranty as reassurance for their purchase. Make sure to also offer second pair specials for kids coming in to see you. Amy Endo, ABOM, CPOT



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ONE SUNLENS FOR THE WAY WE DRIVE AND LIVE ™ So advanced they even activate behind the windshield, Drivewear® Activated by Transitions® lenses provide drivers with the best visual acuity for the driving task. Drivewear cuts glare and bright sunlight in both driving and outdoor conditions. OVERCAST

Combining NuPolar® polarization and Transitions® Photochromic Technology, these lenses make the driving task safer and more comfortable for all your patients. Available in single vision, Image® progressive and new Flat Top 28 lenses.



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

now available in polycarbonate image


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



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Dispensary Marketing Judy Canty, ABO/NCLE

Is Your Office Kid-Friendly? Kid-friendly means more than a dish of candy at the reception desk and a box of worn out toys, games or books in a basket.

• Kids will not want what they cannot see. The kids’ area of your dispensary should be easy to find, clean, bright and comfortable to work in. If your kid’s frames are in a tray in the back room, they’ll never get seen or tried on. That goes for sport frames and kids sunwear as well. • Level the field. Frame displays, mirrors and furniture should be scaled, as much as possible to fit the area. The average height will be 30 – 50 inches tall, so everything should be visible at that height. • Talk to kids the same way you would want your children to be talked to. Don’t talk down to them. Use language, gestures and drawings they will understand and listen when they ask a question. They usually have an un-canny way of getting to the real heart of a discussion.

Create Colorful Family Dispensing Centers with Fashion Optical Displays.

KIDS are customers, patients, consumers with a significant “say” in what they wear and how they look. If you want a piece of this demographic, you need to start thinking like a kid. • Kids can spot a phony a mile away. If you are not comfortable working with them, they’ll know it and nothing you do will change that feeling. Treat kids as you would any other patient. If necessary, take the time during a regular staff meeting to discuss how kids and teens should be addressed. Task a staff member to stay current on what kids are being influenced by; perhaps it’s the latest video game or a cartoon or pop icon.

• Kids have a lifestyle. It may be filled with dinosaurs and princesses, dress-up and mud, but it’s a lifestyle and you need to discover what it is. Ask them about school, sports, favorite colors and who their heroes are. How do they feel about wearing glasses? Cool or not so much? • Kids each other. Word of mouth advertising is a powerful tool. If Susie Q’s new glasses are really cute or Bobby’s make him look awesome, you can believe that Susie and Bobby’s friends will want the same thing. If your dispensary was the “best place ever,” Susie and Bobby’s friend’s parents will know it as well. • Kids are brand-conscious. Like it or not, brand names are powerful influencers. I seem to remember that my oldest child’s first words were “dada, mama and McDonalds.” One study found that 52% of 3-year olds and 73% of 4-year olds always asked their parents for Continued on page 14




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It’s UNIQUE Like You.

For your patient’s UNIQUE vision. • Digitally-created backside progressive • Design selected for frame size & shape • As low as 13mm fitting height • Available in 36 lens materials • Available with KODAK Clean’N’CleAR™ Lens Coating

Nassau Lens Company Northvale, NJ 800.526.0313

Nassau Lens Florida Miami, FL 800.432.2202

Nassau Lens West Los Angeles, CA 800.433.2974

Nassau Lens Midwest Chicago, IL 800.323.8026

Nova Optical Laboratory Orangeburg, NY 800.668.2411

Nassau Lens Southwest Dallas, TX 800.441.2546

Nassau Lens Southeast Atlanta, GA 800.241.9048

Nassau Lens Mid-Atlantic Greensboro, NC 800.253.4271

Kodak and the Kodak trade dress are trademarks of Kodak, used under license by Signet Armorlite, Inc. Clean’N’CleAR is a trademark of Signet Armorlite, Inc. ©2009 Signet Armorlite, Inc.



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specific brands. Kids will have watched more than 5000 hours of television by the time they start school. By the time they finish, they will have spent more time in front of a television than in a classroom setting. Brand loyalties and buying habits formed at an early age will carry through to adulthood. According to Mike Searles, former President of Kids R Us, “If you own this child at an early can own this child for years to come.” You’re probably saying “that’s all fine and good, but who’s paying for this stuff?” Mom and Dad, of course! So, not only are you creating a kid-friendly atmosphere, you’re creating confidence in the minds of the people responsible for the money. In this day and at this time, that means creating value above everything else. Elizabeth Harris, writing for Promo Xtra, says, “...this recession is deeply and directly affecting women with children. Yet, like Rose the Riveter from WWII, the modern American mom is a strong woman doing what she always does in a time of crisis: She takes a hard look at things, freaks out in her head for about 10 minutes, and then moves on, creatively working through it, around it and within it.” • Packages, packages, packages! There are few better ways to demonstrate value than by creating eyewear packages for kids. If you’re using an “a la carte” approach to pricing, the only thing that parents will hear is the ding of a cash register, one charge at a time. Allow that to happen and at some point, they will begin to un-ring that bell and cut back on something or worse yet, head for the nearest discounter. Packages don’t have to be the cheapest stuff in the dispensary. The Good-Better-Best approach is perfect for creating packages, not just with frame selections, but with lens materials and options as well. • Help parents educate their kids about smart spending and the differences between price and value. This is the

perfect time to begin educating these emerging consumers about how to shop and how to decide what they need as opposed to what they want. You can and should help Moms and Dads understand how your products address not only their financial situations but also their concerns for safety and reliability. Once again, Elizabeth Harris says that “Deal-hunting and then bragging about bargains has not only become cool, it’s practically a new sport.” • Keep your message, the overall theme of your practice, upbeat and positive. After all, we’re all in this together. What better time is there than now to offer a “family plan?” Perhaps your patients can’t afford to invest in eyewear all at the same time. A family plan could stretch over the year, culminating in a deeper discount when the last family member is fitted. Reward good students with a discount for their grades. Remember birthdays or other significant events with a card. As a retailer, (and regardless of how you perceive yourself, if you sell something, you’re a retailer) now is the time to work with your vendors on pricing and volume discounts. Most labs offer attractive packages for adults and children, from value packages to brand name packages. Tap your lens manufacturers for patient literature to back up the value theme you’re creating. Frame vendors may offer gift-with-purchase programs and attention-grabbing point of sale (POS) displays, or you can create your own with finds from the local dollar or craft store. Move your kids’ area to the front of your dispensary during the critical Back-To-School shopping period. Use signage to tell passers-by that yours is THE place to come for the best kid’s eyewear in the area. However you choose to work with your youngest patients, do it right. Keep it fun. Make it valuable and profitable! ■ Email any comments to:

Our optical display options are limitless. Design your perfect dispensary utilizing our cutting edge display solutions. Call toll-free: 877.274.9300 Free shipping on orders over $150, enter code optc77 (Excludes freight shipments)



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The Future of High Index 1.74 New ed ov r p & Im -74 HR n Resi

The Leader in High Index



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Through the Lens Bob Fesmire, ABOC

Trivex – It’s Time to Get Onboard! ®

It’s that time of year when we start thinking about back to school and children’s eyewear. And we do not think about kids’ eyewear without thinking about lens materials. The standard lens material for years has been polycarbonate. Eight years ago we had a newcomer to the lens material arena. In 2001, Trivex hit the optical marketplace. Trivex was originally developed for the military, as visual armor. PPG Industries took the technology and adapted it for the optical industry. Trivex is a urethane-based pre-polymer. PPG named the material Trivex because of its three main performance properties. The three main properties are superior optics, ultra-light weight, and extreme strength.

Trivex has a specific gravity of 1.11. Specific gravity is the weight in grams of one cubic centimeter of the material. Specific gravity is also referred to as density. The higher the number, the more dense, or heavy, a lens material is. Trivex has the lowest specific gravity of any commonly used lens material. This makes 16 | EYECAREPROFESSIONAL | JULY 2009

Trivex lenses are strong! They are as strong, or stronger than polycarbonate for impact resistance. Trivex is able to pass the ANSI Z87.1 High Velocity Impact Test. This test is a requirement for safety lenses. The lens must have a center/edge thickness of 2.0mm. The test consists of a mounted lens being subjected to a 1/4-inch steel pellet being hurled at the lens at a velocity of 150ft per second. The FDA also requires lenses to be impact resistant. Their test consists of a 5/8 inch steel ball being dropped from a height of 50 inches onto a lens. Trivex not only passes the test at 2.0mm center thickness, it can even pass the test at a center thickness of 1.0mm. That is tough! Continued on page 18

Hilco’s Jam’n Sports Sports Goggle

Trivex has a high abbe value. Abbe value is a measure of the dispersion or color distortion of light through a lens into its color elements. Abbe number can also be referred to as v-value. The higher the abbe number, the less dispersion, and the lower the number, the more dispersion. Trivex has an abbe number of 43-45. This is significantly higher than polycarbonate. Polycarbonate’s abbe number is 30. Trivex has a very high level of light transmittance. The level is 91.4%. This is one of the highest levels of all lens materials. The high percentage is a factor that directly affects the brightness, clarity, and crispness of Trivex.

Trivex the lightest lens material. Trivex is 16% lighter than CR-39, 25% lighter than 1.66, and 8% lighter than polycarbonate! Trivex has a refractive index of 1.53. This allows for a thinner lens than a CR-39 lens. It can also be surfaced down to a center thickness of 1.0mm. This ability further reduces weight and thickness.



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 15% off invoice on EVERY pair of Clear, Polarized, or Transitions® Polycarbonate or Trivex™ for kids!

 Dispenser Awards Certificate with every pair of Transitions®!  50% off any In-house Anti-Reflection Treatment when we supply the frame!  15% off invoice on kids’ Rec Spec I-Sport Lab Services!  15% off invoice on EVERY kids’ frame* supplied on Rx — even with UNCUT lenses! Check out our kids’ styles!  Apple Bottoms  Jill Stuart  Bratz  Nickelodeon  B.U.M. Equipment  RecSpecs  Get It  Scooby-Doo  Hershey’s  SpongeBob SquarePants  Add your Balester Statement Discount for total savings of as much as 23%! Offer good from June 26, 2009 to October 2, 2009. *Frame discount only on manufacturers we represent. Lens discount does not apply to stock lenses.

Go Back to School with Balester and SAVE! Phone: 800-233-8373 570-824-7821

Fax: 800-548-3487 570-825-4275



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Lenses made from Trivex are very chemical resistant. They are even resistant to acetone. Polycarbonate is not resistant to acetone. Under normal conditions, Trivex is resistant to most commonly used household and optical cleaners and solvents. Cleaners such as Windex and alcohol are safe to use on Trivex. Trivex lenses do not have the internal stress that is associated with most polycarbonate lenses. This is due to the way Trivex lenses are manufactured. Internal stress can cause lens breakage and is often referred to as birefringence. Birefringence can blur vision. The lack of internal stress makes Trivex a perfect choice for drilled and grooved rimless. Trivex does not crack around drill holes like polycarbonate. These cracks are often called “spider cracks.” Lenses in a drill mount sometimes experience hole elongation. This is due to the flexing and stress that happens to the lens. This can cause lenses to become loose and cause the frame to get out of adjustment. Trivex lenses retain their shape and are not subject to hole elongation. Trivex lenses provide 100% UV blockage of both UV-A and UV-B radiation. This is inherent in the lens material. Trivex lenses are also very scratch resistant. This is especially important when comparing Trivex and polycarbonate for kids. I have read some literature that puts Trivex’s scratch resistance at twice that of polycarbonate! I feel that Trivex is an exceptional lens material. I have incorporated it into my practice with fantastic results. It really has so much to offer. I suggest that you try it in your practice. Review the above information and compare it to polycarbonate. I think that if you do, you will come to the conclusion that Trivex is the better lens material to put children into. I think you will find it beneficial for your adult patients as well. I have embraced Trivex and I hope you do as well! ■

Approximately 40,000 sports-related ocular injuries occur in the U.S. each year. Of these, 43 percent occur in children under 15 years of age. It has been estimated that 90 percent of these ocular injuries could be avoided with the use of appropriate sports-protective eyewear, but only about 15 percent of children use eye protection for sports. This is why impact-resistant lenses – especially Trivex and polycarbonate lenses – should be used routinely in spectacles prescribed for children, and impact-resistant sports goggles or safety glasses recommended for children engaged in sports, particularly ball sports. (courtesy Prevent Blindness America) 18 | EYECAREPROFESSIONAL | JULY 2009



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OneSight: Helping the World See OneSight is a Luxottica Group, non-profit, global, organization dedicated to restoring and preserving clear vision to millions in need around the world. neSight restores clear vision to those in need by harnessing Luxottica optical business expertise to hand-deliver eye care and eyewear around the world and preserves clear vision through granting funds for research and education to find cures for preventable eye diseases.


In May 2009, OneSight held a two-week long clinic in Meijillones, Chile. During this time, almost 14,000 people were given the gift of sight, including thousands of students from local schools. On the first day of clinic, the thirty-six team members – consisting of eight doctors, four team leaders, twenty-three eye care professionals from all over the world and myself – arrived at clinic full of energy and spirit, and ready to make a difference. Over the course of these two weeks, many lives were changed and many hearts touched. Having the opportunity to help a child see is an amazing and rewarding experience; one that I and the other team members will never forget. On the second day of clinic, one of the doctors, Thomas, brought a very young girl to the auto-refractors. She was with her mother and both were adorable and incredibly sweet. Thomas wanted to double check her prescription and make sure everything was perfect for her because she was starting school. After she had been auto-refracted, I gave her two pink hair clips, which she handed to her mother to put in her hair. Her mother was so overcome with emotion that she was shaking and unable to clip her daughter’s hair. My eyes teared up as I thought about the affect myself, Thomas, and the other mission members had on this young girl and her 20 | EYECAREPROFESSIONAL | JULY 2009

sweet mother’s life. I pinned her hair back with the clips and brushed tears from my face; I looked at Thomas and he was beaming. They thankfully hugged and kissed Thomas and myself while we took several pictures. It was wonderful. I will never forget the jubilant look on their faces as they walked away to receive the little girl’s new frames. Stories like this inspire something in everyone and enthuse the good in people. Donating time to help those in need is easy and rewarding. The feeling that you get when you realize you have helped make a difference in close to 14,000 people’s lives is unbelievable. I know I am only one of millions of people involved with OneSight, but I still had a hand in giving the people of Meijillones, Antofagasta and the neighboring communities a wonderful gift. This is the most remarkable emotion a person could ever have... and I thank OneSight from the bottom of my heart for choosing me to be part of such a wonderful journey. You, too, could share these feelings. Helping provide vision to those in need is as easy as donating a pair of frames or going to your local recycle center. Also, the OneSight Vision Van travels the whole country, giving free eyewear and eye exams to those that cannot afford eye care. You can volunteer and help the van for a day, or even a few hours— it is a satisfying and amazing experience. For more information on how you can help this wonderful foundation, visit ■ Margaret Mirtallo Marketing Communications Coordinator Luxottica Group



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Is Proud to Announce Its NEW AR Technology ™





Two Year Warranty

21st Century Optics 47-00 33rd St., Long Island City, NY 11101 (800) 221-4170 53 Brown Ave., Springfield, NJ (800) 672-1096 / Xtreme AR™ is a registered trademark of 21st Century Optics.



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

Educating and Training the American Optician,

Part III

PRACTICE STYLES have changed over the years. 20 years ago, most Opticians had a goal of becoming independent practitioners. It was unethical for physicians to sell eyeglasses, and the relationship that developed between the Ophthalmologist 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 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 many diseases once the realm only of the physician. This article will continue our discussion of education and training for Opticians in the United States, and hopefully provide some insight into what we may become in the future if changes are not made, and quickly. The Spectacle Peddler 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 will be the personnel needs for the future and how will those needs be met? In the opinion of this author, one of the major issues is the regulation of the practice of Opticianry in various jurisdictions across the country. Licensure/Certification Requirements for Opticians in the U.S. Twenty-two states require a specific state license to practice Opticianry. One other state (Texas) recognizes national board certification as a voluntary state registration, but does not require it to practice (American Board of Opticianry, 2002). The remaining states have little or no restrictions placed on the dispensing of prescription eyeglasses to the public. Pass rates on state and national boards vary according to training and education of those taking the exams (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 Continued on page 24




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increase in the qualifying level of education and/or experience for licensure. Should an increase in educational requirements for Opticians be considered by the profession? Opticians of the future may work under the supervision and direction of an Ophthalmologist or an Optometrist, but will they view us as merely high-priced technicians that can be eliminated? Furthermore, if Opticians only work under the supervision and direction of other professionals, should additional education be required prior to sitting for state board or national certification examinations, or are those examinations even necessary to serve the public as an Optician? Obviously, this question can only be answered by Opticians and other eye care professionals in the states where it is an issue. The Definition of “Optician” 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 the Optician of tomorrow will be doing professionally. These questions also underlie the problems facing Opticians today. 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. This is important because some of the new technology available for Opticians, such as advanced refraction systems, require additional levels of training to safely operate them. These systems allow the technician in the eye care professional’s office to accurately perform refractions to develop a prescription for spectacles or contact lenses, and may be something we can effectively utilize. Some Opticians are currently using advanced refraction systems in their practice; however, it is not known how their education and training differs from that of other Opticians that are not using these systems. Opticianry’s Role Another key problem which has not been studied or addressed by the profession 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 an Ophthalmologist’s or an Optometrist’s office or expand their current scope of practice. However, Ophthalmologists and 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. Some feel they will either 24 | EYECAREPROFESSIONAL | JULY 2009

advance into new areas of activity or be reduced to a paraprofessional under the supervision of an Ophthalmologist or an Optometrist. As addressed earlier in this article, 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 optical 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. Redefining the Profession To adequately understand the role that Opticians may fill in the future, a clear picture of the profession as it currently exists must be presented. The profession is currently ill defined due to the varied role Opticians play in different regions of the country. In many states, Opticians are licensed health care providers with the right to fit contact lenses and other visual appliances. Those states require an examination, state licensure and varied levels of education and training. On the other hand, many states require no training at all. For example, Nebraska has no licensing requirements, but the author’s home state of North Carolina has an extensive 2-day examination (North Carolina State Board of Opticians, 2002). This disparity causes obvious problems in defining a future role, but the emergence of new technology could provide a measurement for what the profession feels will be the level of education and training needed to safely and efficiently practice in the future. This new technology may expand the need for better-trained practitioners or, on the other hand, eliminate the need for them completely. The technology may be good enough that technicians trained at a very basic level could do the tasks that Opticians do today. Where we go as a profession, and how we get there is something the profession as a whole must determine through focused, strategic planning, and effective leadership that can provide the vision we so desperately need. The purpose of this article is to continue our discussion on education and training. This author feels that only through increasing our education will be reach our full potential. Others have done it, as was addressed last month. Why can’t we? More next month. ■



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Optical Safety Paul Berman, OD, FAAO

Let’s Protect our Children’s Eyes All of our patients trust us to tell them what to do. This is particularly true for your patients. We need to discuss eye protection. YE INJURIES are the greatest risk to our young patients for loss of vision. Twenty-seven percent of eye injuries occur during sports and recreation. This number increases to 40% for children ages 11-14. The good news is that 90% of these eye injuries are preventable according to Prevent Blindness America. That is why it is so important to discuss protective sports eyewear with all of our young patients.


According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), over 50% of all children are involved in organized sports. Most of these sports involve body contact, bats and balls, which put the eye at risk. For children ages 0 to 14, baseball is the most common cause of eye injuries. This switches to basketball for children 15 to 24. Eye injuries are quickly increasing in soccer. Also, eye injuries in sports are not related to expertise. Almost all groups that are involved in child safety and eye care recommend the utilization of protective sports eyewear. They include the American Optometric Association, The American Academy of Ophthalmology, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Public Health Association, Safe Kids, Prevent Blindness America and the National Eye Institute. The National Eye Institute felt so strongly about this that they included the increased use of protective sports eyewear as one of their ten vision objectives in Healthy People 2010 - Objective 28.9. It is, therefore, clear that sports eye safety is a public health issue that could prevent the needless loss of sight. The State of New Jersey also felt the need to protect children’s eyes in their state. So much so that they passed a bill to mandate protective sports eyewear for particular sports organized by schools and in their communities. They have basically outlawed the use of street eyewear on the playing fields of New Jersey. Florida has recently passed a resolution to encourage coaches, schools and parents to have children in their State protect their eyes during sports.


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Protective sports eyewear now has a spokesperson Amar’e Stoudemire, a NBA All-Star who plays for the Phoenix Suns. Amar’e had experienced an eye injury in training camp and then wore protective sports eyewear for several weeks. Unfortunately, he stopped wearing them and reinjured his eye which ended his season and jeopardized his career. At the recent Vision Summit, organized by the Better Vision Institute, Amar’e spoke about his commitment to wearing protective sports eyewear and stated that he will also urge others to wear them too so that they do not experience the near tragedy that happened to him. Interestingly, the Vision Service Plan conducted a study and found that 48% of the time young people take off their glasses to play sports. Obviously without their glasses they do not see as well and are then more likely to suffer an eye injury. Another fact is that when someone does wear their regular glasses, the injuries are more severe as there is another object that can go into the eye. So what can you do? It is actually quite simple. Just follow the three I’s to protect your patients’ eyes: Inquire, Inform, Introduce. Inquire: you should ask all patients, but particularly your young patients, if they play sports. This question can be asked on your intake form, which could be filled out online or in the office. Your technician can ask it in the pre-test room, which is what I do in my office, or the doctor can ask the question. The doctor should also follow up with more in-depth questions, such as, “How serious are you about sports? Which sports? What posi-



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tion do you play? Are you on a town team or a traveling team?” This is also an excellent way to build rapport. After you determine that they play sports, that leads to the next question, “How do they see when they play?” If they do not wear contacts, they either play with their glasses or take them off. Obviously either answer leads to a discussion about protective sports eyewear and contacts. The next step is to Inform. Discuss the risks involved with wearing glasses while playing sports and discuss the risks of their particular sport. Prevent Blindness America has a chart that can be helpful. I also point out that every 13 minutes someone experiences an eye injury of the severity that it requires a trip to the emergency room. The final step is to Introduce. Create a Sports Eye Injury Prevention Center in your office. There is signage available and sports paraphernalia that could easily create an attractive area in your dispensary. Your optician or optical staff can then discuss the best sports protective eyewear for their sport, of course, with polycarbonate lenses. As sports are played inside and outside, we often suggest photochromic or Transitions™ lenses. I also suggest writing two prescriptions – one for street eyewear and the other for protective sports eyewear. Another activity that is quite helpful is to have an office meeting on this topic and educate your staff. There is also more information available at You can also reach out to teams, coaches and schools about this important public health message. In addition, documenting your recommendation to wear protective sports eyewear in your patient’s chart is important. It will protect you, your practice and your family, as one in twelve families who experience a sports related eye injury will look into legal action. When we and our children play sports, we wear protective gear – elbow pads, shin guards, shoulder pads, etc. but most of us do not wear or even suggest to our patients to wear protective sports eyewear. I ask you the simple question, which is more tragic, a bruised shin or a visually impaired eye? So it is easy. We don’t often think about it, but the most important thing we can discuss with our young patients is eye protection. So follow the three I’s so you do not have to see your patient after they have suffered an eye injury. Let your office decrease sports eye injuries in your community. ■

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Managing Optician Anthony Record, ABO/NCLE, RDO

Survey Says! GREAT MINDS THINK ALIKE. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Somewhere between those two aphorisms lies the inspiration for this article. Years before Billy Joel released his album, The Bridge, this amateur/hobbyist songwriter wrote a song which contained the lyric, “...the memory of what lies ahead.”

MAGINE MY SURPRISE and delight when one of Billy’s songs on the album (This Is the Time) contained the lyric, “...the memory of days to come.” Pretty cool. When I worked full time on the front lines of Opticianry, I used to approach some things like a mad scientist. I would even conduct my own patient surveys. At one point I had asked over 200 parents what they most looked for, and what was most important to them in deciding what eyewear to choose for their children. At one point I had compiled a list of seven things. In order, here they are:


1. Quality/Durability of the Frame (46%) 2. Warranty of Frame (12%) 3. Child’s Preference (12%) 4. Overall Safety (9%) 5. Price/Value (8%) 6. Designer/Brand Recognition (8%) 7. Optician/Salesperson’s Ability to Relate to Their Child (5%)

Imagine my surprise and delight when, a few years later, one of our industry journals published a survey entitled “Which of the Following Would You Consider Most Important in Your Decision to Purchase Your Child’s Eyewear?” Here are their results: 1. Quality of Frame (60%) 2. Child’s Preference (17%) 3. Price (7%) 4. Optician’s Reputation (7%) 5. Don’t Know (5%) 6. Brand Name (2%) 7. Style/Color (1%) 8. Product Ad (1%) Wow! Once again, pretty cool. Interestingly, not one of the parents I questioned said, “I don’t know.” They all managed to articulate something. Let’s look at the results of these surveys and delve into how an Eye Care Professional can use this information to more effectively communicate to the parents of juvenile patients – to be more persuasive when it comes to the products that are recommended, and to avoid giving offense or pause to the child – and the parents too. Obviously the quality, durability, and warranty of the frame all are of paramount importance. On this point, both surveys agree. There are many considerations here. A plastic or zyl frame may be considered; no nose pads to lose. On the other hand, it is a challenge to find a perfectly fitting bridge – most kids’ bridges have yet to develop. While Opticians know they are almost a standard feature, parents usually insist on spring hinges. Here again, unless the frame is high quality, a spring hinge is just one more thing that can break. What to do? Continued on page 30

Photo: Courtesy of Transitions Optical, Inc.



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I always lead with a strong suggestion for the purchase of a Marchon Flexon® or a frame made of similar “memory metal” material. Using first-person language (I have always found that kids do best with...or, my kids always did best with...) I demonstrate the flexibility of these frames by twisting the front and wrapping the temple around my finger while speaking to mom or dad. I quickly follow up by sharing with the adults the two other highly convincing selling points: First, I explain that the frame material will never tarnish or turn green. Unlike cheaper materials that are simply nickel plated or composite materials, the titanium and/or stainless steel materials will hold up well when it comes to the dirt and sweat that children will inevitably bring to the equation. Second, I take the time to explain the differences between the frame warranties, if applicable.

“Johnny...if you had to wear one of these, which would you want? I agree...that frame you chose looks a lot cooler than the others. Good job!” That’s usually enough to seal the deal. And speaking of the frame warranty, it seems to me that this demographic – kids – is one that the Optician ought to seriously rethink for the practice’s warranty policy. Even if your practice only offers a 90-day warranty (which seems to be the norm these days), why not extend it to a year – or more – for kids? After all, most wholesale frame companies extend that to the ECP. In my experience, whether it’s a $3 frame or a $90 frame, if the defective frame is returned to the distributor, a new frame is sent, or a credit issued. This presents a tremendous opportunity to offer extended peace-of-mind to a parent who may be a bit wary of spending too much money on children’s eyewear. I have heard stories from several Opticians, who are quick to point out the “Classic Abuser” – the kid who goes through 4 or 5 frames in a year’s time. I have a couple of those annoying stories too, but can assure you they are few and far between. And so what? Based on the frame company policy just discussed, those kids are nothing more than a small annoyance. And remember, every time you replace or repair that kid’s broken frame, that mom or dad is singing your praises to whoever will listen! The child’s preference ranked high in both surveys, so never underestimate winning over the whippersnapper. If a parent 30 | EYECAREPROFESSIONAL | JULY 2009

gets the impression that his or her kid really likes the suggested frame, they are usually more acquiescent to the sale. This is, I have found, even more true the younger the patient is. Why? Generally, a child’s unwillingness to wear eyeglasses at all is directly proportional to their youth. By the time they have reached pre-teen age, they are used to and reconciled to wearing eyeglasses. That is not necessarily so with the very young. One approach to tapping into this phenomenon is to pick two or three (no more) frames from your display, and pose this or a similar question directly to the youngster: “Johnny...if you had to wear one of these, which would you want? I agree...that frame you chose looks a lot cooler than the others. Good job!” Although curiously absent from the journal’s survey, I found that nearly ten percent of my parents were concerned with the overall safety of their child’s eyewear. Of course, this means we have to turn our attention away from the frame and focus for a moment on the lenses. These days, that means polycarbonate or Trivex® – mandatory for the minor patient’s lenses. Here again, an old saying carries the day: A picture is worth a thousand words. Give the kid a hammer and a polycarbonate lens and let him or her go to town. Of course if you do that you have to make sure at the time of delivery you remind the child that you had only done that to show how strong the lenses are and not to give the kid something fun to do with his friends. Show the boy how although the lens did not break, it was dinged and scratched. You may be smiling here, but trust me...they’ll do it if you don’t adequately warn them! Both surveys found that the next concern was price and value. How you position and price your children’s eyewear is up to you, and you should think it through. But don’t get too distracted by this or the remaining factors – they are low on the totem pole of concerns. Check around. What is your competition charging? How does their warranty policies compare to yours? How should you position your practice? Information is power. Be able to accurately and honestly describe how and why your policies are superior to other optical retailers in your area and you will have the advantage here. The last few items on our lists are obviously the least important: brand recognition, designer names, and product ads. I find that interesting, especially in that some dispensaries seem to stress designer names above all else. The other item that was absent from their list but mentioned by five percent of my customers was the ECP’s ability to relate to the child. If you have kids of your own, you will have a keen advantage with this one. If not, just be yourself. Do not pander, talk down to, or act in a patronizing fashion when speaking to kids. On the other hand, do not ignore the child and talk to his or her parents like the child wasn’t even present. If you do anything like that you will tend to unintentionally alienate the child...and the parent. ■



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Fusion Eyewear, Inc.

Last month refractive surgery firm LCA-Vision promoted David Thomas, formerly the company’s senior vice president of operations, to chief operating officer. In addition, Rhonda Sebastian rejoined LCA-Vision as senior VP of David Thomas human resources, replacing Stephen Jones, who left the company. Thomas’s responsibilities include leading LCA-Vision’s marketing activities and managed care programs, as well as overseeing its national call center.

Fusion Eyewear has named Darin Nathan to the new position of Executive Vice President. Prior to joining Fusion, Nathan served as Director of Sales for Sama Eyewear. During his tenure, he managed all sales related activity, which included all account executives in North America and all distributors worldwide.

Practical Systems, Inc. PSI has announced J.C. Wilkerson as their new Technical Sales Manager in the Northeastern U.S. He will represent PSI’s line of supplies and equipment for surfacing and finishing labs. J.C. is an optical industry veteran with over 23 years J.C. Wilkerson experience in lab management, lens processing system sales, technical services and product management. He most recently was a Lab and Order Fulfillment Center Director for a large optical laboratory.

Nidek Founder Hideo Ozawa Passes Away Hideo Ozawa, the founder and chairman of the board of Nidek Co., Ltd. passed away on June 16, 2009, at a hospital in Gamagori, Japan. He was 79 years old. In 1971, Ozawa led six people to found Nidek in Gamagori, Japan. His goal Hideo Ozawa was to link optics and electronics. The company’s first big success came in 1973 when it developed the first Xenon photocoagulator in Japan. In 1982, Nidek introduced the first auto-refractor. He received the prestigious “Order of the Rising Sun” award from the emperor of Japan in 2004.



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Month can get excited about. Marchon Flexon for Kids is a brand that many parents don’t know about until they come in and see for themselves just how strong a frame can be. With these and others we offer a wide selection of hip brand name products. What we don’t do is compromise durability for namesake as performance is what is remembered long after the thrill of the name has worn off. How does the increase in Ophthalmologist dispensing affect your practice?

Anne M. Lystne, Pediatric Optician, General Manager A Child’s View, Inc., Huntington Beach, CA

What lens materials do you generally dispense to children? We mainly use polycarbonate lenses for rimmed frames and for drill mounts we often use Trivex®. Polycarbonate lenses are thinner and lighter than the plastic (CR-39) lenses many of us grew up using. They also have the added benefits of inherent UV protection and are up to 10 times more shatter resistant than CR-39. This added safety is what makes this product so valuable for use with children. What issues do you face when fitting children? At A Child’s View we specialize in infants to teens, so we are often dealing with children during the most crucial period of their visual lives. Parents arriving in our office with their baby, toddler or preschooler and a newly written prescription have lots of questions and fears. On numerous occasions I have been told that they learned more about what’s going on with their child’s vision in my office than they did at the doctor’s office. With a fuller understanding of what the glasses will do and why the child needs them now, the parent is far more motivated to obtain compliance from their child. The owner of A Child’s View, Katheryn DabbsSchramm is currently in the process of publishing what will basically be a handbook to help parents who are in the midst of this very situation. How do you deal with brand conscious children/parents? So many children today are aware of brand names that it can really make wearing glasses easier than the parent may have hoped! Barbie and Converse have been a mainstay for years now. Shrek is a new line that has recently come out with very durable, stylish frames that even the young ones 34 | EYECAREPROFESSIONAL | JULY 2009

We have seen a decline in foot traffic and direct referrals since some of our local doctor’s have been offering eyewear in their offices. But we also see the return of many clients who have purchased a pair of eyeglasses from their doctor’s dispensary out of convenience or a feeling of obligation. They often opt to come back to A Child’s View because of the wide selection, the over 22 years of experience working with children and the service we offer. I believe that’s what sets us apart because that’s what I’m told time and again. What advice do you give parents to help them maintain their children’s eyewear? Two hands on and two hands off is our mantra. I tell both parent and child that the glasses need to be maintained on a regular basis. This comes as news to many people. If they are not in the correct position on the face, the child will not receive the full benefits of the Rx. We have a regular schedule for adjustments that we encourage them to follow for maximum benefit and minimum heartache. We give them advice on how to keep track of them. Parents are heartened to know there is nothing they can do to their glasses that we can’t undo with the exception of losing them. How do the glasses stay on when the child is young or has special fitting needs? Once the parent is satisfied that the child needs to wear them, the next issue is how to keep them on. We customize each pair of glasses to the individual. Most kids under the age of five get comfort cables fitted specifically for them. We don’t order a cabled pair of glasses and hope for a good fit because where the manufacturer places the cable – 90% of the time does not correlate to the child’s ears. To solve this problem we have our own ready supply of comfort cables that can be adapted to almost any frame in the store, metal or plastic. We have fit children with one or both ears missing, with one side of the head much larger than the other, with no cartilage in their nose, with severe deformities of the skull and many other difficult situations. The answer is always “yes” when people ask if we can fit their child. ■



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Second Glance Elmer Friedman, OD

Photo Courtesy of Transitions Optical, Inc.

I KEEP REMINDING the kids that come through our office how lucky they are. When I start off with, “Why, when I was your age...” I always notice a pained expression that crosses their cherubic faces. Times have changed from an examination that consisted only of, “Is this better or is this better?” to a comprehensive vision analysis that takes about an hour of testing and explanations; not to mention the fact that eyewear for kids has evolved from the simple 36 eye oval metal frame to an array of styles, colors and special designs suited for kids today. The kids today want more. They understand what brand names mean in their peer group and they are familiar with the hottest names in the market. Of course, the spectacle case must bear the imprint of an impressive brand as well. This frenzy for modern, designer styles is part of the booming kids market for everything, including clothing, fast food, electronic gadgetry and toys. Advertising that spearheads the kid market has risen

exponentially in the last few years. They seek the newest fashion in clothes and toys. This desire now includes the best looking glasses on the market. It has been estimated that money spent on our kids from ages four and older reaches more than $150 billion each year. In most cases, it’s the parents that are purchasing the glasses but the kids who are pressing for what they want. Advertisers and manufacturers are recognizing that our kids represent a huge financial power. They are experts in wheedling, needling, whining and pestering until they achieve what they want. Our eye care leaders feel that it is a good idea to convince parents that the youngsters should have an important say in picking out their own frame. Some studies and reports say that if parents force a child to wear their selection, odds are that the glasses will soon end up lost or never worn. The youngest group of children have become fashion conscious and as eye care professionals we must be aware of this. Parents are interested in the practicality of a frame choice. They are interested in durability, price and good fitting, but the kids only recognize the brand names. They are accustomed to dealing with brand names in clothes and other items and they want to experience the same in their spectacles. Continued on page 38




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A Boston College economist states that logos are recognized as early as 18 months of age. Brand addictions can be established as early as age two. There is an awkward age between nine and twelve years of age when the kids are not sure if they are teens or still preteens. This is when brand importance helps them to feel assured that they have arrived. They are struggling to fit in and deal with strong social influences at that time and brands help them to do that. Parents are often inconvenienced by the fact that kids are wearing high-end brand name eyewear. Experts, however, feel that the anxiety and self consciousness that come with wearing new glasses can be overcome by the feeling of self confidence and acceptance by their peers. Many optical dispensaries like the idea of a separate area for the kids. It is suggested that the opticians not go too far since they will alienate their adult patients. Avoid the possibility of kids who may disturb other shoppers. Highlight the children’s area with a few unusual frames to let parents know that a special interest for kids is available. Store decor with appealing decoration can help pique curiosity and draw the kid and the parents to the special area. This helps to relieve some of the tension caused by a child’s first pair of glasses. The child will often admit that their choice of a frame depended on influence by a relative, classmate, neighbor or friend.. Kids want to fit in and not be singled out. They may desire contact lenses because certain peers have them. It is recommended that if we insert a pair of lenses and allow them to make the decision, then maybe they will get glasses presently and postpone contacts for a later date or age. Parents do not want to pay a lot of money for glasses that will be abused and outgrown within a year. But the way they spend their money belies this statement. They will purchase only the best for their kids in the realm of toys and amusing gadgets. The fact is that these items often are used infrequently and end up gathering dust in some forsaken part of the house. It starts to make sense to the parent that the money would be spent more wisely on glasses that are worn every day. A TV/DVD Player costs about $179.99 for ages 5-7 years. A Barbie Dream House for ages 8-11 years cost $119.99. A Razor Pocket Mod Betty costs $199.99 for ages 12-14 years. This is further proof that parents want to give kids what they want. For those children engaged in sports activities, protective eyewear is a necessity. Many states have laws that require kids to wear corrective lenses with goggles or shields as protection. If parents can be taught to wear protective eyewear for their sports activities it can serve as an example for the children to follow. Parents should be advised that protective glasses should also be used in cases of kids who are wearing contact lenses. The eye is corrected but not protected with only contact lenses in place. Our offices should have ample photos available picturing famous athletes and celebrities who wear protective 38 | EYECAREPROFESSIONAL | JULY 2009

goggles for sports and sunwear. We must make every effort to prove to the suspicious kid that eye glasses and goggles can be “cool.” The labs are entrusted with handling challenges of kid’s frames and lenses. Small eye sizes and patterns are made more difficult by tracing problems and blocking. Exceptionally small sizes may need to be hand finished and beveled. Customization of kid’s frames may be required regarding temple lengths and nose pad adjustments. Hypo-allergenic coatings have also been used in cases that apply. Prescribing for kids can require an armory of ideas when it comes to multifocal lenses. There are flattop segs that measure 28 or 35 mm. The professional fitter may also utilize the round or a blended seg. Even trifocals may be used on occasion as well as PAL lenses. Doctors say that very young patients being fitted with a PAL lens may experience some difficulty in adapting to that design. However, many parents prefer the PAL way for their youngsters since the no line cosmetic appearance helps the child to avoid sarcastic comments from some of his/her peers. Many doctors will not order a PAL lens until the child is nine or ten years old. Other doctors, who are more conservative, will not prescribe a PAL lens until the patients have reached their teens. Additional help is afforded if the patient has already been adapted to a flattop seg. An important challenge is presented when finding the right frame for the lenses. It must be large enough to achieve a good distance and reading area yet small enough to fit the patient’s cosmetic requirements. Caution should be exercised to protect the patient’s lifestyle, eye health and refractive correction. Advise and help the parents prepare the child for the eye exam. While schools conduct vision screening programs for ages four years and up, it cannot be a substitute for a professional vision analysis. Don’t be surprised that a first exam finds the kid’s parents more apprehensive than the little patient. Unfortunately, this discomfort is sensed by the child and may have a negative reaction affecting the validity of the exam results. Sometimes doctors are happy to cooperate with parents and encourage the child to take a tour of the offices prior to exam time. If the child is permitted to touch some of the apparatus and instruments, it would add relaxation when the exam takes place. Parents no longer need worry that the child may give incorrect answers to the doctor’s questions. Optometrists and ophthalmologists have a plethora of objective methods to obtain proper results. The addition of computerized instruments guarantees almost fool proof, accurate findings. Today’s eye care professionals are well trained and parental confidence is well founded in the handling of their child’s vision problems. ■



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It’s time to start thinking about...

For those of you who don’t think that kid’s eyewear is something worth pursuing, how about this. From, you can pick up the Children’s and Teen Retail Report Card 2007: Annual and Back to School Shopping Consumer Behaviors and Attitudes for the low, low cost of $3,750.00 or Marketing to Kids and Tweens – US for a measly $3,995.00. In them you’ll find that kids and tweens have about $51 billion in spending power and what makes them choose one retailer over another. Kids under 3 years old represent $20 billion of that very significant number. WCCO-TV in St. Paul, Minnesota visited 3, 4 and 5 year-olds at a local day care center and showed them flash cards of corporate logos. The tots recognized the Target bulls-eye, the McDonalds’s M, SpongeBob SquarePants and Continued on page 40

Collection from RE M

Beginning in mid-July, every retailer in America is going to begin courting those pint-sized dollars. Like it or not, you must have a plan to keep your voice separate from the others.

The Barbie™ Eyewear

When everyone else is planning vacations, we’re planning our Back-To-School strategy.


Back to School!



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OPTOGENICS we make eyeglasses

Dora the Explorer. They didn’t know the Nike swoosh, but they knew it was shoes and soccer. They recognized Starbucks, KFC, Pizza Hut and Pepsi. According to

SAME DAY SERVICE 50% of Rx’s IN TODAY, SHIPPED TODAY! $3 Off Invoice for AR e-Rx’s $2 Off Invoice e-Rx=No AR placed on 24/7 extra e-order $$ Good through Dec. 31st Open New Account & Trial log-in username: “optouser” password: “loveit” OPTOGENICS = In House ARs: AR24 & AR15

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FAST TRACK = an OPTOGENICS Exclusive PAL Remakes Shipped at NO CHARGE NO Credits to wait for NO Lenses & Documentation to Ship NO EOM Statements to Reconcile for Credits Result = YOUR CASH FLOW IMPROVES OPTOGENICS Cares about your Bottom Line See Pricelist for Policy & Procedure Details

UPS morning and Saturday Delivery VSP, VBA, VCP approved lab, Free customized UPS labels & free pick-up

Rx’s sent to us UPS arrive 7:30am Next Day Tel: 800-678-4225 • Fax: 800-343-3925


American children, 12 to 17 will ask their parents for products they have seen advertised an average of NINE times until the parents give in. More than 10% of 12 to 13 year olds admit to asking parents more than 50 (FIFTY!) times for products they have seen advertised. According to Ann Hulbert, a leading expert on branding, 80% of all global brands now deploy a “tween strategy.” Still don’t think you need a Kid’s strategy? Check out They are in the business of linking product brands with schools and parents through event planning with your local PTA/PTO. The only thing these organizations can’t do is reach out and touch your patient base with the level of trust and confidence you have created. A well thought out Back-To-School promotion educates your patients on the need for yearly eye exams and the impact that good vision has on learning. It also assures your patients that the eyewear you provide is the finest quality and durability. If you haven’t included children in your preferred patient base or designated a children’s area in your dispensary, you’ve got some work to do and fast! Use your own kids and your staff ’s children as a built-in focus group. Find out what they like, what’s hot and hip AND what’s not! Order frames and POP now, so that it’s in place before your mailer is out. If you are going to offer packages, determine what they will contain and how they will be priced. Do some footwork. Visit the guidance and health offices in local schools and leave them with information on children’s vision and sports vision. Let them know you’re available for questions, concerns and referrals. Offer yourself or another staff member as a speaker for both parent and faculty meetings. Among the more popular promotions are percentage off second pair sales, discounts on sports eyewear and discounts on contact lenses and supplies. You might consider a “family” discount when the entire family is examined and purchases eyewear and/or contact lenses. Time’s a-wasting! School may be out now, but it will be in again, sooner than you can blink! ■ Judy Canty, ABO/NCLE



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KIDS’ Accessory Line from California Accessories

California Accessories’ “ANIMAL CRACKERS” are cute animal characters that add fun to these bright colorful cases. Cases come in lavender, green, yellow, pink, turquoise and red.

KIDS’ Accessory Line from Astucci Astucci introduces the AS104 Cosmic clamshell case, which has a funky psychedelic pattern in an array of vibrant colors featuring magnetic closure and complimentary interior. For the Tweens, Astucci offers the CT8 lovely wristlet. The Lightweight soft Nylon pouch is designed in vibrant heart patterns, featuring a front zip pocket and detachable wristlet.

KIDS’ Accessory Line from Hilco When it comes to protecting your children’s eyewear, Hilco has it covered. The KIDS’ product line offers; fun eyewear cleaning kits that includes stickers, eyewear holders featuring bright colors, and frames in styles they will love. Now, Hilco made it even easier, by introducing an eyewear hard case collection for kids. They are available in four different cool colors and are very affordable.




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5:01 PM

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Last Look Jim Magay, RDO

Too Cool for School Expo) the one with the cooler logo always wins. What’s cool? That is the big question. With websites, blogs, and magazines of the print variety exploring the subject worldwide, you’d think there might be a consensus. Vogue says one thing, “W” quite another. So what’s an ECP to do?

The next-door neighbor to my Optical shop years ago happened to be a shoe store and as these things go we started swapping glasses for shoes. Our kids were young and Stride Rite was all the rage, so for quite a few years that’s what they got for sneakers. And then Kid’s marketing took over – Nike with its trademarked swoosh meant that the lowly Stride Rites were no longer cool and we regretfully ended our wonderful arrangement with the shoe guy. I still remember the family argu..., er discussions about superficial values. Well, translate that to Kid’s frames today – the brand is the thing. Forget that most kid’s frames are practically identical – (exceptions – J.F.REY’s new line of Kids and some of the very creative collections from Europe up in the Galleria at Vision 50 | EYECAREPROFESSIONAL | JULY 2009

Walk through the aisles of Vision Expo and you get a sense of how big branding is and how crucial it is to your success, particularly with the younger, more attuned set. But obviously no small ECP can buy everything. One thing to remember is that there are two or three audiences you must buy for: the child, his parents, and the child’s peers. Kids tend to be conservative and afraid of truly innovative styles. Mom may want little Fiona to wear something cutting edge, but Fiona is thinking ahead to showing up in school with hysterically laughing classmates – Ah yes, kids can be cruel! Branding and cool names definitely are age specific – My granddaughters (3 and 5) think SpongeBob, Dora, and anything Disney Princess related is the cutting edge. Some of my little boy customers in the same age range love Scooby Doo or anything with a clip-on or Transitions® lenses! Move up an age bracket or two and Barbie, Koodles, Lilly Pulitzer, Shrek, Juicy Girls, Nine West Kids, Chesterfield Kids and Carrera for Kids become more popular. Tweens, well, Versace, Gucci, Chloe, and all the rest of the famous fashion house brands come into play. At that point kid’s conversations with parental units must run like, “Well, if you want that $350 frame you’d better get a job – ‘cause I’m not paying for it!” What do you think is cool for tweens? I’m going to have to wait till my munchkins get older and tell me – then I’ll share that info with you. ■ Jim Magay



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Zyon shown with removeable side shields attached

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EyeCare Professional - July 2009 Issue  

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

EyeCare Professional - July 2009 Issue  

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