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VV JUNE 2020

Vision Now magazine

We are pleased to provide Slip Lamp Breath Shields* to our eye care professionals who are seeing emergency patients at this time

To register your practice request, please contact alcon.professionalać˜€airs@alcon.com *The breath shield is not a medical device, nor indicated to block transmission of viral pathogens, to reduce risk of disease infection, or to prevent any disease. Users should continue to implement infection prevention measures such as regular cleaning and use of personal protective equipment (PPE).

14418 Š 2020 Alcon Inc. IE-VC-2000016

VisionXtra™ – designed to make your life easier. VisionXtra is the patient registration scheme from CooperVision that is designed to make your life easier. It’s simple and free to register patients, can work alongside your own monthly payment plan service and offers benefits such as direct to patient delivery and the ability to create and release ‘trigger patient orders’ giving you more flexibility. Discover the difference VisionXtra can make to your practice.

Help you keep contact lens revenue in your practice

A FREE, simple way to manage your patients Direct-to-patient home deliveries1 with contact lenses and solutions together in one convenient pack The ability to create and release ‘trigger patient orders’ giving you more flexibility 100% credit on product returns2 Hassle-free returns process.

For more information, visit coopervision.co.uk/VisionXtra, call 0870 9000 0553 or speak to your CooperVision Business Development Manager. 1. Direct to patient orders will be subject to a standard freight charge. 2. To claim a credit you will need to do so within 90 days of the invoice date. We reserve the right to request for product to be sent back to us. If we do decide to ask for product back we will do so within 10 working days of receiving a credit request form. 3. Calls cost 2p per minute plus your phone company’s access charge.

Help provide a convenient and costeffective way to ensure that your patients get the lenses they need





Vision Now magazine is published by Peekay Publishing Ltd for The PK National Eyecare Group Ltd, the UK’s largest purchasing group for independent opticians.

17 25

News 4 7 9 11 13

New CET consultation launched Contact lens first for Mark’ennovy Online shop that cuts in practices ABDO sets up Covid-19 exit group Covid-19 sight loss survey results

Editor’s comment Ordinarily, my inbox would be full of press releases about exciting new products and services, upcoming CET events, optical conferences and the occasional press invitation. These days, I’m more likely to be hearing about the launch of a new range of face shields and hand sanitisers from the very same manufacturers and suppliers.

14 An independent view Pulling together

15 Developing thoughts Easing into a new future

16 Nutrition and eye health We need to talk about nutrition

18 Education Learning during lockdown

20 Promotional feature Safe, efficient, accurate refraction solutions

22 Business matters Why you should care about glare

24 Style spotlight Personal statements: distinctive opticals

26 Suppliers’ directory

As practices prepare to resume face-to-face routine eyecare, optical companies up and down the country are rising to the occasion by adding personal protective equipment (PPE) to their portfolios. From Bondeye’s wall-mounted hand sanitisers to Eyespace’s safety goggles and Go Eyewear’s N95 face masks, NEG’s preferred suppliers have got you covered. And it’s not just PPE that suppliers are focused on supporting practices with, it’s how to minimise future interactions with patients without losing revenue. Directto-home schemes are the obvious answer to this, so make sure to investigate all the options that could replace non-essential collections of frames and contact lenses. And why not take a look at Positive Impact’s new online dry eye product shop where the practice is kept strictly in the sales loop. We’re covering as many of these initiatives as possible via Vision Now and NEG’s LinkedIn and Twitter feeds – so do stay tuned. June and July will be exceptionally busy months for practices preparing to reopen – and so as your attention is diverted to the challenging tasks at hand, we will be taking a break next month. The plan is to return in August with a digital-only issue before coming back to print in September. Until then, stay safe and keep in touch. Nicky Collinson


Nicky Collinson BA (Hons) nicola.collinson@nationaleyecare.co.uk

Editorial PA

Sally Spicer s.spicer@nationaleyecare.co.uk

Fashion Editor

Joan Grady jgparischats@wanadoo.fr

Business Editor Phillip Mullins FBDO p.mullins@nationaleyecare.co.uk Design and Production

Rosslyn Argent BA (Hons)


Michael C Wheeler FCOptom DipCLP FSMC FAAO

Editor The Editor welcomes letters, articles and other contributions for publication in the magazine and reserves the right to amend them. Any such contribution, whether it bears the author’s name, initials or pseudonym, is accepted on the understanding that its author is responsible for the opinions expressed in it and that its publication does not imply that such opinions are those of The PK National Eyecare Group Ltd. Articles submitted for publication should be original, unpublished work and are accepted on the basis that they will not be published in any other journal. Acceptance of material for publication is not a guarantee that it will be included in any particular issue. Copyright © 2020 for Peekay Publishing Ltd. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, including photocopying and recording, without the written permission of the publishers. Such written permission should also be obtained before any part of this publication is stored in a retrieval system of any nature.

@PK_NEG VISION NOW is published by Peekay Publishing Ltd for The PK National Eyecare Group Limited, Clermont House, Cranbrook, Kent TN17 3DN VISION NOW is printed by P&P Litho Ltd, Ashford, Middlesex TW15 1AB

Vision Now JUNE 2020




NEG Business Club

General Optical Council

New campaign launched


Leonia Milliner

The General Optical Council (GOC) is inviting responses to its latest CET scheme consultation by 20 August. The proposals are based on feedback from its 2018 public consultation: ‘Fit for the future: a lifelong learning review’, which had shown a “strong appetite for change in five key areas which the new consultation will address”. The proposals include: replacing current competencies so that they are more flexible; allowing optometrists and dispensing opticians more control over their learning and development and the ability to tailor it; and changing the name of the scheme from CET to continuing professional development (CPD). Leonie Milliner, GOC director of education, commented: “The Covid-19 pandemic has also highlighted the importance of having a highly skilled and flexible workforce, which is able to work effectively as part of multidisciplinary teams across the healthcare sector. We must therefore ensure that our scheme is agile and able to support an optical workforce which is likely to see many more changes in the coming years.” Consultation feedback will then be considered, with a view to implementing the changes at the beginning of the next CET cycle in January 2022. Take part via the GOC’s online consultation hub.


Vision Now JUNE 2020

The NEG Business Club has launched its latest campaign – ‘It’s time for some one-to-one’. Available as a 30-second animated video, conventional print and electronic media, the video can be tailored to feature members’ practice logo and phone number at the end, and is delivered in HD square format optimised for social media. Every penny of the proceeds from each sale will fund a sight test and a pair of glasses for a homeless person in partnership with Vision Care for Homeless People. Log into the NEG Business Club to access this and other campaigns and resources.

Optometric Fees Negotiating Committee

As dental practices in England prepare to commence opening from Monday 8 June for face-to-face care, subject to having the necessary infection control measures and PPE in place, the Optometric Fees Negotiating Committee (OFNC) is continuing to work urgently with NHS England to agree appropriate arrangements for optical practices to provide more face-to-face care as soon as possible.

of the necessary changes in the way care is delivered can be mitigated.

The OFNC stated: “As with dentistry, the need for infection control and social distancing will reduce the number of patients that practices can safely see face-to-face. The OFNC notes that the current temporary financial arrangements for dentistry are to be maintained initially and is similarly discussing with NHS England how the financial impact on optical practices

“In the meantime, optical practices remain open to provide an inevitably widening scope of essential care as described in the OFNC statement issued on 27 May. We urge those practices that are open to continue to meet their patients’ evolving needs for essential care, and we encourage all practices to continue to prepare for a wider resumption of face-to-face care in the near future.”


Working on face-to-face care resumption


Alcon is continuing to support independent practice teams with CET via the Alcon Academy – offering virtual peer discussion sessions worth three CET points each. Topics include: ‘Is everyone comfortable?’; ‘Improving contact lens wearer compliance to reduce risk/dropout and complaints’; ‘Presbyopia and contact lenses’; and ‘Understanding the DEWS II approach to dry eye disease identification’. To book an individual or practice session, email alcon.professionalaffairs.com with ‘Online CET’ in the heading. The company is also

CET session on patient retention

offering short training seminars for patientfacing team members, which can be watched via its YouTube channel: ‘How to gain new wearers’ and ‘Retaining your contact lens wearers’.

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Essilor’s Vision-R 800

Essilor is offering several key pieces of optical equipment on a six-month deferred payment scheme to help practitioners conduct eye examinations, lens measurements and eye health screenings, while respecting social distancing requirements. Tim Precious, managing director at Essilor, said: “The pandemic could shift the way we conduct eye examinations forever, as we’re told by the government to prepare for another year of some form of social distancing. “In light of this, many practices have been putting measures in place to minimise social contact between patients and staff and another way to achieve this is to consider adopting new advances in technology, which can be operated at a two-metre distance. While patients and ECPS are worried about the risk of contracting Covid19 and navigating ‘a new normal’, using equipment that can be operated at a distance will help put everyone’s minds at rest by limiting unnecessary contact and decreasing close-up exposure time.”


World-first for new lens

Contact lens manufacturer Mark’ennovy has launched a new product that it’s describing as “the world’s first daily contact lens combining both a Class 1 UV filter and selective blue light blocking”. Called IndiGO, the lens is designed to protect the eye from UVB, UVA and blue-violet light, originating from the sun, ambient LED lighting and digital devices. It offers a solution to patients who are exposed to digital devices in their day-to-day life. “Manufactured with Mark’ennovy’s patented micro-precision technology, IndiGO not only provides myopic and hyperopic patients with protection from UV and blue-violet light, but also stable vision and excellent all-day comfort,” said the company. “Mark’ennovy is dedicated to innovation and a forward-thinking approach towards the evolution of the contact lens industry.”


Go Eyewear


Eyespace has launched a collection of facial personal protective equipment (PPE), which conforms to CE EN:166 and ANSI.Z87 standards and is supplied through ISO 9001, FDA registered and EU 2016/42 audited factories. Items are available to support those across the optical industry as well as key workers and businesses that need trusted safety equipment. The collection encompasses full face shields, safety glasses and protective goggles, which all comply with the most rigorous government regulations, protecting against potential contamination by respiratory droplets/ secretions, bodily fluids and harmful chemical splashes.

Bright and light: Bulget Kids

This season’s Bulget Kids collection from Go Eyewear, designed for youngsters aged from eight to 14 years, combines eye-catching crystalline and opaque colours thus giving it a young and urban look. The collection enables children to wear the same shapes as their parents, reinforcing the brand’s image as “a complete range for the family”. Made using lightweight materials, the sunglasses line is offered with polarised lenses, providing complete protection against glare, and ensuring optimum visual comfort. There are six new optical styles and three sunglasses, all available in four colours. * When placing orders across Go Eyewear’s brands, customers can receive a choice of several gifts, including N95 masks, a portable UV sanitising bar, or a Sanitiser Machine that eliminates the cornoavirus from spectacles. Details can be obtained from your Go Eyewear agent. Vision Now JUNE 2020


We are here, helping your prac琀ce “Direct to Px” repair returns 24hr Despatch by Royal Mail Immediate account registra琀on



Heidelberg Engineering

10 Positive Impact

Cutting in the middle man

Professor John Nolan

Heidelberg Engineering has presented Professor John Nolan with its Xtreme Research Award 2020. Based at the Waterford Institute of Technology in Ireland, Professor Nolan is one of the world’s leading researchers to have contributed to the establishment of a comprehensive and objective evaluation of the macular pigment profile. He was awarded the prize for his research related to macular pigment for vision health and function, as well as for his recent work on how to use macular pigment as a biomarker for brain nutrition and its connection to cognitive function and Alzheimer’s disease. Professor Nolan said: “It is a tremendous honour for me to accept this award from Heidelberg Engineering, which is a result of over two decades of work studying this nutritional pigment in the eye. I am most grateful to my team for their continued commitment to our research questions, and this award is a true reflection of their achievements. Science is only as good as its measurements, and thankfully we now have access to gold standard technology such as the Heidelberg Engineering Spectralis.”


Positive Impact (PI) has launched a direct ordering hub for HydraMed dry eye products at www.hydramed.shop, allowing patients to buy online without cutting the practice out of the sale. When ordering, the patient enters a unique code provided by their practitioner to gain access to special offers and free delivery. The code also acts as a unique identifier for the practice, ensuring it receives reimbursement for the sale. PI marketing and professional services director, Nick Atkins, said: “I am excited about this website, as it turns the conventional stock-in-trade model on its head. It allows the patient to order their supplies 24/7, whilst the practice generates revenue just as if they had sold the product themselves, without ever buying the stock.” PI managing director, Maxine Green, added: “Our model ensures that we don’t cut out the middle man who has recommended HydraMed to their patient. It also means the patient isn’t forced to either travel to the practice or, for convenience, resort to purchasing elsewhere.”

11 CooperVision A new literature analysis published in Ophthalmic & Physiological Optics, the peer-reviewed journal of the College of Optometrists, is offering a comprehensive analysis of evidence-based information to help practitioners manage myopia. Written by Dr Mark Bullimore and Dr Kathryn Richdale, ‘Myopia control 2020: where are we and where are we heading?’, presents a range of critically evaluated safety and efficacy considerations for behavioural, optical and pharmaceutical myopia management pathways. Supported by an educational grant from CooperVision, the paper is available via open access at https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/opo.12686. Dr Kathryn Richdale “Management of an individual child should be underpinned by the evidence-based literature and clinicians must stay alert for ongoing myopia research,” the authors state. “[This] will undoubtedly result in the evolution of the standard of care for the myopic and pre-myopic child.”

British Contact Lens Association

The chief executive of the British Contact Lens Association (BCLA) has reiterated that contact lenses are safe to wear during the Covid-19 pandemic. Luke Stevens-Burt said: “There is simply no evidence to date that contact lenses should be avoided by healthy individuals, or that contact lens wearers are more at risk of developing

Covid-19 symptoms compared to those wearing spectacles. Additionally, there is currently no evidence to suggest any correlation between the usage of contact lenses and the spread of Covid-19.” The BCLA has produced clear guidelines for both eyecare practitioners and the general

public to ensure contact lens wearers continue to follow good hygiene practices and keep themselves safe from any potential infection, as they should do at all times. Two factsheets detailing advice for the wearing of contact lenses during the pandemic can be downloaded at http://ow.ly/7uE650zH0b6 Vision Now JUNE 2020



r a f w o h t u o b a t o n It’s h g i h w o h t u b , l l a f you . e c n u o you b We will be sharing weekly tools and tips to get you back to break even and beyond, as fast as possible.

Go to practicebuilding.co.uk/neg and get ready to bounce!


Association of British Dispensing Opticians

Jo Holmes

The Association of British Dispensing Opticians (ABDO) has established a new working group to discuss the exit phase

from the Covid-19 lockdown and beyond. Led by ABDO president, Jo Holmes, the group will provide members with guidance and recommendations on protocol during the exit phase, and when practices open again to provide routine eyecare. It has already worked through major and minor issues including the patient journey, practice structure, the personal protective equipment (PPE) that will be required in the immediate exit phase and what PPE will be necessary moving forward. It has also looked closely at guidance on adaptations that members can make to their practices to allow for social distancing, disinfection and sterilisation and equipment in between patients, as well as ideas on how to structure appointment systems for example providing specific days for shielded groups. ABDO head of policy, Debbie McGill, commented: “We hope to release guidance and recommendations on exit phase protocols imminently, depending on the updated government and public health advice.”

14 Nystagmus Network It’s Nystagmus Awareness Day on Saturday 20 June and the charity Nystagmus Network (NN) is running a ‘How amazing are you?’ campaign, sharing stories of adults and children who have achieved great things despite living with nystagmus. There is also a ‘View from my window’ photo competition to be judge by acclaimed photographer, David Katz, who also has the condition. The charity will also be launching a new publication on the day, Nystagmus Is, available free from its online shop. NN’s information and development manager, Sue Ricketts, said: “Holding a national and international Nystagmus Awareness Day serves as a reminder to everyone that the nystagmus community is here and their voices need to be heard.” Find out more about the campaign and how to support any affected patients at Nystagmus Network

16 CooperVision CooperVision director of professional services, Mark Draper, has written to customers to apologise for contact lens supply constraints caused by the Covid-19 pandemic – and to announce that MyDay sphere and MyDay toric revenue and diagnostic lenses are now available to order without restriction. Any limits on supply, including monthly volume allocations, have been removed. Mark stated: “As you start to plan for store re-opening, fit sets for MyDay sphere and MyDay toric will be available on request via your business development manager from July.” Volume restrictions remain in place for

15 Norville

Protection on the frontline

Good vision, alongside full protection from inhalation during cauterisation, was the challenge for a leading consultant dermatologist and Mohs surgeon in treating patients who might be infected with Covid-19. Consultant Bav Shergill had tried reading spectacles under a diving mask but the seal was not complete and he feared inhaling some of the fumes. Contacting his local optical practice in Hove, independent optometrist Sophie Taylor-West explained: “I was keen to help Dr Shergill carry on with his life-saving work...so I approached Norville to see if they could help. We always use them for the weird and wonderful jobs.” Norville sales director, Paul Willis, suggested the Norville Res1 breathing apparatus insert, which would provide effective vision and maintain the mask’s seal. He said: “I have had a lot of experience with this kind of safety eyewear in the past so had a good idea of how to approach the challenge. We made up an insert with an intermediate working distance lens, plus an anti-fog coating, which seems to be doing the trick.” Sophie was delighted, saying: “They arrived the next day and seem perfect for the job.”

some non-optical outlets – and the company is encouraging customers to also make use of its direct-to-patient delivery service, VisionXtra. In other news from the company, Doug Bairner has been appointed as country manager for the UK and Ireland replacing predecessor Debbie Olive, who has been promoted to senior vice president for Europe. Doug, who joins from the fastmoving consumer goods sector, said: “The current situation is highlighting that contact lens subscriptions are the financial bedrock of UK optical retail, and yet the category still has huge growth potential. Many wearers describe the moment they’re fitted with contact lenses as life-changing – and we

Doug Bairner

want to help eyecare practitioners to deliver even more of these experiences for their patients, and in a way that works for their in-practice operations and their bottom line.” Vision Now JUNE 2020


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NEWS 17 Eyespace

19 Fight for Sight

Urgent research appeal launched

A survey by eye research charity Fight for Sight has found that people with sight loss fear their sight will further deteriorate during the Covid-19 pandemic, as they struggle to access treatment. Seventy-three per cent of respondents said their access to treatment had worsened, with cancelled surgeries and cancelled injections for agerelated macular degeneration. Hemlock in blonde tortoiseshell

The new Eco Conscious eyewear collection from Eyespace is made up of 18 styles for men and women in an exclusive bio-based acetate. Model Hemlock (pictured) is a retro-infused men’s round eye model in size 49-20-145; C1 is iconic black while C2 is a blonde tortoiseshell. Completely renewable and sustainable, bio-based acetate is non-toxic and retains the premium colours and textures of standard acetates. To enhance this collection’s sustainability, and as part of Eyespace’s ‘planet pledge’, each Eco Conscious frame is provided with optical grade biodegradable demo lenses and plasticfree FSC-certified packaging, which is fully recyclable and biodegradable. Eyespace has also partnered with the charity, One Tree Planted, a non-profit organisation dedicated to helping reforestation in the fight against climate change, and will plant a tree for every Eco Conscious order placed.

18 De Rigo tackling Covid-19 in the Veneto region of Italy by donating 10,000 pairs of prescription sunglasses or frames. The initiative runs from 1 June to 3 July to coincide with the progressive easing of emergency measures, and the eyewear will be available via participating optical practices.

Encouraging a safe return to ‘normal’

De Rigo is showing its appreciation for frontline medical and paramedical workers

“This initiative sets out, not only to offer our collective thanks and encouragement to such deserving people, but also to encourage the safe return to everyday life in towns and shops,” said Barbara De Rigo, marketing director of the De Rigo house brands. The initiative follows a donation of 100,000 Euros to a local health and social care facility in Belluno that’s researching the spread of Covid-19 in the region.

Four in 10 said they were concerned their eyesight had, or would further deteriorate as a result. Two in five respondents with significant sight loss also reported finding it difficult to follow social distancing rules, while more than half said their access to food and other products had become worse – exacerbated by the fact that blind and partially sighted people are not classed as a ‘vulnerable group’. The chief executive of Fight for Sight, Sherine Krause, said: “Our survey shows that people with sight loss are particularly affected by the pandemic, which is having a huge impact on their wellbeing and has the potential to cause long-term damage to their sight. To address this, the government must develop a plan that addresses the immediate need of people with eye conditions, so they don’t become blind because of lockdown and social distancing measures. “Additionally, we’re calling on the government to urgently update its advice to retailers on social distancing measures to ensure the needs of people with poor vision are not excluded. In the longer term, we must continue to fund research for new, more efficient treatments and cures for the leading causes of blindness and sight loss, to help ease the pressure on our NHS,” added Sherine. The charity has launched an urgent appeal to help researchers cover the costs of delays to projects and returning to the lab to get eye research back on track. Support the appeal at www.fightforsight.org.uk Vision Now JUNE 2020


NEWS 20 Charmant Charmant Europe is offering its customers a free graphic design service to support them during the Covid-19 crisis. The company has created various communications templates, such as displays, posters and stickers, that can be used free of charge. As an additional service, customers can personalise the materials, for example, by inserting a practice logo, adjusting layout size, or including individual hygiene rules. The company Covid-19 collateral support will provide layouts ready for use, and can arrange the production of bespoke elements at cost. Details can be found in the log-in area of the company’s website, or via the sales team.

21 Silhouette Members with an interest in eco-eyewear might like a browse through Neubau Eyewear’s new Sustainability Guide, which provides a comprehensive insight into the brand’s eco credentials. Although just 0.5 per cent of worldwide plastics are made from plant-based sources, Neubau (a brand of Austrian manufacturer Silhouette) has used a bio-based polymer as the primary material in its eyewear production since 2017. Derived from the oil of castor beans, a natural and renewable source, Neubau has created its own material called NaturalPX, 65 per cent of which is made up of this oil.

Processes and products with accountability

As reported last month, Neubau has launched a 100 per cent bio-based sunglasses range, Cote du Soleil, alongside a brand new material – Natural3D. Whilst also using the oil extracted from castor oil beans, Neubau’s new frames are created using a 3D printing process. Using a highpowered laser, layers upon layers of powder from the castor oil are printed, forming the solid structure of the frames. This allows Neubau to produce frames waste-free, leaving a small ecological footprint. Find out more by downloading the guide at https://we.tl/t-7kvrM3KbEH

22 Association of Optometrists The Association of Optometrists (AOP) has launched a new AOP Infection control and prevention certificate to give members and patients confidence and reassurance when practices open. Registrants can also earn one CET point on successful completion. In the pre-recorded lecture, AOP clinical director, Dr Peter Hampson, explains how to protect staff and patients, looking at how the virus is spread and how to control this. After successfully completing a set of MCQs, members can download a certificate from MyAOP/CET, which can be personalised for display. The certificate is available to take on the Optometry Today website.


Vision Now JUNE 2020

AN INDEPENDENT VIEW Pulling together By now we hope that all independents have had sight of the AIO Post-Covid-19 Manifesto and taken the opportunity to feed back on its contents. For once this is not only about independent practice, but rather the future of the optical profession. As Scotland and Wales move forward with progressive national strategies for long-term eye health care, with community optometry playing a key and vital role in the provision of primary eye health care services, in England we continue to operate with a postcode lottery. The GOS system is defunct and needs a complete revamp. Eye health care needs to be administered nationally not locally and a clear long-term plan for community optometry to provide primary care services working alongside ophthalmology and hospital eye departments put in place. This is what the AIO Post-Covid-19 Manifesto is all about. As online sales of eyewear continues to gather momentum, the multiples face a long-term challenge to the retail business model and a number of them have clearly stated their aim to expand their clinical offering. It is for this reason that the AIO has invited them to discuss the manifesto, alongside the regulatory and representative bodies. It is not about trying to marginalise the past efforts of the Optometric Fees Negotiating Committee or the Optical Confederation, but rather an attempt to unify an historically divergent sector behind a single message to NHS England and the government. The AIO is not looking for plaudits, but for a new future for both optometrists and dispensing opticians – and the practices and businesses that they run. If change cannot be achieved against the backdrop of the coronavirus crisis, there has to be a question over whether it ever will be. Read the AIO Post-Covid 19 Manifesto on the AIO website


Developing thoughts This month, Phil Mullins explores opportunities for economic recovery as lockdown begins to ease

Easing into a new future While it is widely accepted that the battle to bring an end to the coronavirus pandemic will be impossible without a vaccine, the coming months should see us moving towards a reopening of business. Things will be far from normal though – and we will need to walk a fine tightrope between keeping safe and regenerating a working economy. Initially things will be very different – with practices having to erect screens, staff wearing PPE and only one or two patients being allowed into the practice at a time. This obviously creates many issues, not least a financial one. So how do we adjust to maximise our income from far fewer patients? Firstly, drop-ins will completely disappear; patients won’t just be able to drop in for an adjustment or repair. Even collections will have to be by appointment only. These appointments will have to be slotted in whilst one patient is in the consulting room, thus keeping them apart. One thing is for certain: there will be a much greater need for engaging communication with patients outside the practice. For example, you could use SpecCare’s repairs-to-home service, enabling patients to receive their repaired frames at home. You may look at taking a lot more measurements when dispensing a frame, so you can pre-adjust and then post them to the patient rather than the patient having to arrange a collection appointment. There are also plenty of options for having patients’ contact lenses delivered to them direct from the manufacturer. The main point of all of this, of course, is to have fewer patients coming in to the practice. This obviously goes against the grain but it will provide patients with the reassurance that you have their safety foremost in your mind – as well as your staff’s. To further reassure your patients, you should inform them about the steps you are taking

Let patients virtually try on frames with FittingBox

to ensure they remain safe. Why not have your staff complete the e-learning course from Xact, which provides an accredited certificate showing they have been trained in Covid-19 compliance. You can then share this accreditation with your patients. You might also want to get posters and social media images made up with bullet points saying what you are doing and why. You could display them on your website, in the practice and in any recall letters that you send. Above everything else, patients will need to feel safe.

LONG-TERM FIXTURES Many of the actions you take in the next few weeks will probably be short-lived; only time will tell. But there will be things you put in place for the long term. Much of this will revolve around technology and how we use it in practice. Is it time for the trial frame to go in the bin for good? Modern wireless phoropter heads, autorefractors, OCTs and fundus cameras can all be used either remotely or behind shielding. Importantly, they can be easily cleaned between patients. Many practices were already embracing such technology and so the current situation will just speed

up their adoption. Make sure your practice isn’t trailing behind. New technology won’t be just confined to the consulting room; spectacle dispensing will also embrace new ideas. Software such as FittingBox allows patients to virtually try frames on, both via your website and in the practice. This enables you to reduce your stock holding, whilst making it easier to keep display frames clean and sterile. It also means you can offer a much wider choice of product which, in turn, could increase sales. Or you might go with a 3D printed range, where you scan the patient and then display the options for them – therefore eliminating the stock frame and the collection appointment. And as this would be a bespoke service, you could charge a premium. A win-win all around. Obviously, I can’t cover every opportunity for economic recovery in this short article; I haven’t even mentioned websites, e-commerce, tele-optometry or social media engagement – all of which will become the norm for the modern practice. But hopefully I might have kick-started your thinking process or added something to your existing thoughts around returning to work post lockdown. Vision Now JUNE 2020



We need to talk about nutrition Steph Moore explores how you can empower your patients when it comes to nutrition for eye health Prevention is always better than cure

A proactive approach to nutrition and eye health can make a big difference, both to patient care and for your business. Traditionally, conversations around diet and lifestyle have not been a primary role for an eyecare professional. They can also be deemed difficult to start, time-consuming or maybe even non-essential. This article shares approaches that can help you to refine your approach to eye health conversations, and therefore give your patients the best advice. Two million people in the UK are already living with poor vision. By 2050, the number of people living with cataracts and glaucoma will double, while macular degeneration will almost triple (Pezullo et al, 2018). With this in mind, and the ever-increasing strain on the NHS, conversations about how to maintain vision and care for ageing eyes are both clinically and economically important.

This can also be a key consideration for a successful practice, from both a financial perspective and for building trusted, longterm relationships with your patients.

IMPROVING KNOWLEDGE AND UPTAKE When a group of 126 ECPs (Nutritional Advice in Optometry Survey, 2019) were asked if they took a nutritional supplement for themselves, 52 per cent replied yes. However, when the question was asked about recommending a supplement for eye health to their patients, only 22 per cent replied that they would recommend such a supplement to most patients. So, what more can be done to give patients the best possible advice when it comes to protecting their eyesight in the long term? We talk to Jean Oldbury, optometrist at Oldbury and Cruickshank in Macclesfield, and Leanda Beynon, a dispensing optician working at Nixon and Shaw Opticians in Wiltshire. Both take a very proactive approach to offering lifestyle and nutrition advice to their patients. Jean started to offer lifestyle and nutrition advice because she felt it was “a duty of care as an optometrist to give advice about a healthy lifestyle, and include advice on nutrition, especially if the optometrist is aware of any risk factors, including family history of age-related macular degeneration [AMD] or smoking.” Leanda takes a holistic approach to her patients’ eye health. She says: “I feel passionately that it should be part of the dispensing process for dispensing opticians; we can offer so much more than spectacle sales. Talking to the patient about their eye health can be included in the hand-over, or when the dispensing optician is discussing the needs of the patient.”

Take a tailored approach with each patient


Vision Now JUNE 2020

Leanda also finds that moving the conversation onto risk factors can be a good

pathway into discussion about what patients can do to support their own eye health. Research has shown that giving patients a number that is a measure of their health status can greatly improve the likelihood of actually making changes to diet and lifestyle – and being compliant with those changes (Margolis et al, 2013 and Chen et al, 2019). “Optical coherence tomography [OCT] allows us to explore patients’ eye health in more depth, and to show any changes happening over time to structures such as the macula,” Leanda explains. “It also presents us with the opportunity to discuss signs of conditions such as AMD, but also to advise patients on how to maintain healthy vision when no symptoms are present.” Jean finds that “while having an OCT scan, the patient is more tuned in to what the OCT results may tell us. So whilst having a scan can be a ‘conversation’ piece, again, it’s also another way to keep healthy and live longer. Plus, it’s also something to drop in when talking about the advantages of having OCT and its results.” Leanda keeps it simple and takes the time to demonstrate to patients the risks without the use of OCT. She explains: “I use the Thea nutritional questionnaire to demonstrate to the patient their risk and follow this with a conversation with knowledge of nutrition and supplements.” She adds: “Having confidence in the product you are recommending is invaluable.” A common objection to recommending a nutritional supplement is the perception that the evidence is weak for their use. However, the evidence is actually strong around key nutrients that have been shown to support eye health, and therefore any product recommendation should include carotenoids (lutein and zeaxanthin), zinc,

NUTRITION AND EYE HEALTH vitamin D, omega three fatty acids and antioxidants such as vitamin E or resveratrol. Nutrients such as selenium and copper are also often added to supplements to complement the vitamin E and zinc components, respectively.

WHERE, AND HOW, TO BEGIN A good place to start introducing nutritional eye health supplements to your practice is to consider what is important to the patient. A supplement is most effective when patients remember to take it every day – a once-a-day formula is an advantage there. When patients do take it, it needs to be palatable and easy to swallow. Finally, consider a product with quality ingredients, with a formulation specifically for all aspects of eye health. So how does the advice change when recommending to patients who meet one or more of the eye health risk factors, but do not have moderate AMD and therefore an AREDS formulation is not necessarily required? These two patient groups can have different sets of needs. While supplement and lifestyle information can be adapted for each, Leanda explains that taking the time to explain to AMD patients that the condition can be hereditary is particularly important to her, as well as advice on how to access further help, should they need it. Leanda goes on to say: “The goal of prevention is always better than cure, and although there are no certainties, a wellinformed patient can make their own choices. This also builds loyalty to the practice through reputation.” Leanda recommends Thea’s Nutrof Total as an eye health supplement. “It is great for all-round eye health, including smokers, for whom it’s safe to use.” She adds: “Introducing the idea of supplements goes hand in hand with discussions about eye health management, and quite naturally follows on. I often talk to patients about the large amount of a food type they would have to eat to get the same benefit as a supplement.” Jean also keeps the messaging simple for her patients, including advice that keeping yourself healthy means enjoying a longer,

Nutrof Total is “great for all-round eye health”

The whole team can be involved with nutrition conversations

healthier life. “An easy way to do that,” she says, “is with nutritional supplements, rather than having to eat so much curly kale.”

OVERCOMING PATIENT OBJECTIONS Patient objection can be a common occurrence when opening up the conversation about nutrition, and in particular supplements. These are often valid questions and taking the time to answer these concerns are key to patients fully understanding the importance of your recommendation. The most common push back is about the cost to the patient. Simple responses from, “Can you put a price on your eyesight?”, the quality of the ingredients, to breaking down the cost of the supplement per day (for example, Nutrof Total works out at 50p per day to the patient) will often sway their views and help them to understand the value of what you are recommending. Another objection is often: “I eat a healthy balanced diet anyway, can I not get what I need through that?” To counter this, emphasis can be put on levels of lutein and zeaxanthin that the macula requires. Five-and-a-half portions of broccoli, 71 eggs or 83 carrots per day is really not achievable in any diet, so a little extra help is needed to protect our eyes in the long run. On this, Leanda adds: “I often give patients some literature to take away and have a read at home, and follow up with a phone call after a few days. Don’t be pushy, build confidence and rapport.” In the same way that the whole team will be involved in conversations about OCT, presbyopia and sunglasses, lifestyle and nutrition is an equally important topic to have the whole team involved in. As has

been shown, nutrition is a topic that patients often have lots of questions about, and are willing to have a conversation about, so the whole team being confident on advice and products is key to a good customer relationship. Nutrition and lifestyle advice have not traditionally been considered a problem for optometry. However, the profession is perfectly placed to be able to offer sound, scientifically backed advice and products to help protect your patients’ eyesight in the long run. Leanda concludes: “Thirty-two years ago, when I first qualified as a dispensing optician, there were no supplements, no nutritional advice or discussions about dry eye or AMD. Our knowledge and understanding have increased considerably over the years, and we owe it to our patients to offer the best service, advice, and products that we can. “Thirty-two years ago, it was a rare, or nonexisting conversation, now it should be commonplace. Eye health and supplements are an important part of the modern practice. My advice would be to embrace this, learn something new and offer more for your patients.” With thanks to Leanda Beynon and Jean Oldbury for their valuable knowledge and insight. For further information on nutrition, training or copies of the nutritional questionnaire, please contact your Thea area sales manager, or call 01782 381698 or email marc.smith@theapharma.com Steph Moore BSc is an area sales representative for Thea Pharmaceuticals. Vision Now JUNE 2020



Learning during lockdown In this article, Pauline Bradford explains how the CooperVision Learning Academy is supporting online skill building during isolation

Learning Academy project manager, Pauline Bradford

With many optical practices forced to unexpectedly close their doors due to Covid-19, CooperVision recently took the decision to bring forward the launch date of its new eLearning platform, the CooperVision Learning Academy, to support members of the contact lens profession during this time. With an unprecedented opportunity to reflect on business and plan for the future, there has never been a better time for practitioners and staff to invest in building their skills and knowledge.

ACCESS FOR ALL, ANY TIME The free-to-access site, available at academy.coopervision.co.uk, hosts a variety of online training courses aimed at developing the communication, clinical and technical skills of clinical and retail staff in optical practices across the UK and Ireland. Providing open access for all, the content is available to members of the profession who are not customers of CooperVision at the moment or who don’t have access to their account number from home. Locums and students are also able to access the site, in addition to employed practitioners and business owners. The Learning Academy initially launched with eight different training topics to reflect the best retail practice, latest clinical knowledge, and clinical practice across the contact lens profession. Training topics included: the selection of the right contact lenses for your customers; communication tips; contact lens prescribing and aftercare; and improvement of the customer experience in business. The major benefit of online learning is that it can be accessed by most devices, with or without sound, 24 hours a day, seven days


Vision Now JUNE 2020

Professor James Wolffsohn kicked off the series

a week to help inform and develop knowledge at a time that suits the user. Each module only takes around 10 minutes to complete, allowing training to fit perfectly into anyone’s busy schedule. Users are simply required to create a learning account to help track progress as they work through the modules on each course. Covid-19 is having a significant impact on the profession right now. It’s always important to develop professionally and even more so now, to put this unexpected spare time to good use to improve and learn new skills along with boosting staff morale. We’re pleased that we can offer access to valuable training content to the wider optical community.

staff. When an online account is created, users can select their role in order to be shown the appropriate modules. As well as giving users a refresher on their contact lens knowledge, they can also review the way contact lenses are communicated within the practice setting in order to make the most of the business opportunity they present. Many practitioners have recently become more aware of the true value of their contact lens business by receiving an income that continues even when the doors are closed. Hopefully when doors are able to be reopened, this will help practices get back into a strong and sustainable business position whilst at the same time meeting the needs of more patients.

SELF-ISOLATION? SELF-EDUCATION Whilst the current situation is an unnerving period of change for everyone, time away from the daily routine is also an opportunity for self development, to improve expertise and focus on the future. The platform is designed to help upskill the whole practice team and, therefore, features modules designed for both clinical and non-clinical

INTERACTIVE TRAINING A major benefit of the site is the ability to take part in interactive webinars covering both CET-accredited sessions and retail business topics. Targeted at eyecare professionals, business owners and support staff, the sessions aim to support professional development through covering

EDUCATION a range of subjects and speakers from both inside and outside the optical profession and industry. Since launch, the Learning Academy has welcomed more than 7,000 attendees to its webinars with independent optometrists representing the majority of attendees, and more than 1,000 registrations for the Learning Academy content. Professor James Wolffsohn, professor of optometry at Aston University, presented the first CET webinar entitled, ‘Covid-19 and contact lenses. What eyecare professionals should know’, with more than 2,000 registrations and an excellent attendance rate of 75 per cent. Indie Grewal, British Contact Lens Association (BCLA) president elect, optometrist and independent practice owner, followed with his CET webinar, ‘First steps in myopia management’. In the most recent CET webinar, ‘Are we listening carefully?’, professional services consultant and CLO, Samantha Armstrong, focused on the importance of effective communications with patients surrounding contact lens wear. The webinar series continued with a business session featuring independent practice owner and past BCLA president, Brian Tompkins, entitled, ‘The future of contact lens practice after Covid19. How to ensure resilience in optical retailing’. Importantly, this session also featured Dr Helen Eng, Dr Helen Eng shared her a practitioner experience of exiting lockdown from Hong Kong, sharing her experience in optical practice coming out of lockdown.

Academy platform, and all future webinar recordings will be available as soon as possible after each event, with CETaccreditation where relevant. Like the eLearning site itself, the launch of the webinar service was expedited by CooperVision in order to provide additional support to practitioners and their support staff during the temporary closure of practices. Optometrist and head of professional services, Krupa Patel, commented: “It’s great to be able to offer richer and even more interactive content to ECPs and support staff during these unprecedented times. The interest and attendance for our live-streamed webinars to date has been outstanding, and I am thrilled that CooperVision UK and Ireland is able to support at this time. I am pleased to announce that online education will continue, and I hope we will be joined by many more eyecare professionals over the weeks to come.”

TAILORED ADVICE FOR MYOPIA MANAGEMENT In addition to the online training courses and scheduled webinars, users of the eLearning platform can also book one-toone sessions with Indie Grewal or Wendy Sethi, who are on hand to offer invaluable advice on myopia management and how to provide this service to patients. Six-person peer discussion workshops on myopia management are also on offer for three CET points. These CET-accredited workshops are planned for Wednesdays and Thursdays and can be booked via the Learning Academy.

CONTACT LENS EDUCATION MOVING FORWARDS When looking to the future, our plans for the Learning Academy are evolving in order to adapt to the constant changes happening, offering more practical advice to support customers as they look to reopen in the new circumstances. Details of our next webinar are available now along

This was shortly followed by a CET session entitled, ‘Kids in contacts’, with clinical expert and CLO, Wendy Sethi. When asked about the benefits of the Learning Academy, Wendy said: “During this challenging time it’s great to have a training platform to reach so many practitioners, engaging them in aspects of optics that there isn’t always time to think about when clinics are busy.” Live recordings of all these webinars are now available on the CooperVision Learning

Online delivery will be key going forwards

with a selection of online, discussion-based CET sessions which are ready to book through the Learning Academy. We have also partnered with the Association of Optometrists to further expand our CET range, and future events will be published on the Learning Academy site as more speakers are confirmed. Krupa said: “We’re committed to developing the Learning Academy to be a valuable ongoing tool that flexibly caters to the needs of all users. Feedback is really important to us so if anyone has thoughts on topics they would be interested in seeing covered, or speakers they would like to hear from, then please reach out to us via the site. “Online delivery is a key driver for CooperVision’s education strategy going forwards and we are already exploring different topics and session formats,” Krupa continued. “One example of this is our launch of online peer discussion and discussion workshops over the coming weeks. Through the use of virtual breakout rooms, we will be able to deliver a discussion-based, interactive CET event from the comfort of your own home. “It’s really exciting. The past few weeks have been challenging for many reasons, but it has brought an opportunity for many to focus on their development and build new skills. We’re very proud to be able to offer this educational support to our professional colleagues now and also in the future.” To access the CooperVision Learning Academy’s free online education for you and your colleagues, and to sign up for future webinars, visit https://academy.coopervision.co.uk

Myopia management is also being covered

Pauline Bradford FBDO CL FBCLA is professional services consultant and Learning Academy Project Manager at CooperVision UK. Vision Now JUNE 2020



Safe, efficient, accurate refraction solutions LET’S NAVIGATE THE ‘NEW NORMAL’ TOGETHER...

When you develop a recovery plan, you will need to find ways to speed up the patient journey to make up for the added cleaning required between patients and the use of personal protective equipment (PPE).

VX 120 Summary screen

You will be required, and your patients will expect you, to implement some form of personal distancing between patients and staff. Visionix solutions combine modalities that are remote-ready, which will increase patient throughput and empower you to perform complete exams distant from the patient. Luneau Technology offers a number of solutions that provide patient and staff safety, whilst giving efficient cost-effective refraction options. Wireless tablet operation allows you to perform refraction at a safe distance from the patient, which might be two metres away, next door or from a different consulting room.

Anterior chamber angle

Visionix VX120

Tablet PC

MID-RANGE WAVEFRONT ARK – VX120+ The VX120+ offers: • Fully automated, one-touch, high-end auto refraction and keratometry • Day and night refraction (aberrometry) • Tonometry with corrected intraocular pressures (IOPs) • Pachymetry showing an image of the anterior chamber (including angle measurement, corneal thickness, kappa angle and white to white) • Cataract screening and monitoring (including an LOC scale) • Top-end topography for orthokeratology and other specialist contact lens fitting

NEW: Now comes with a tablet for safe distancing pre-screening... TOP-RANGE WAVEFRONT ARK – VX120+ DRY EYE The VX120+ Dry Eye offers all of features from the VX120+ plus: • Tear break-up time • Tear meniscus value and HD camera for meibomian gland/lid analysis • Efron Grading Scale for diagnosing, monitoring and follow-up • Can be run as a separate program for dry eye clinic only Efron Classification

Dry eye summary screen


Vision Now JUNE 2020

EYE REFRACT: GAME-CHANGING REFRACTION Eye Refract is the only refraction system on the market that offers a full objective (via an accurate wavefront examination) and subjective refraction, using a binocular driven duel aberrometry system in less than five minutes. It offers: • Patient and staff safety/efficiencies • Tablet driven so refraction from two metres or more is not an issue (the whole exam from start to finish can be driven from the tablet) • Any member of staff can drive the system providing a great way to save on locum costs and extra optom resource • Use as part of pre-screen or install on refraction unit

PROMOTIONAL FEATURE EYE REFRACT V2: NEW SOFTWARE Software improvements to Eye Refract in version two offer: • K measurement for soft lenses – no need for old ARK anymore • Improved initial binocular wavefront exam now able to give a reading even on the most difficult of eyes • Improved algorithm for subjective tests to speed the exam up and be more accurate • Auto pupil focus • More automated near vision test • Two options for space: standard long form (3/6m) with a wall chart, or space-saving short form

Short form set up 1m sq.

NEW – THE VX65 AUTOMATED DIGITAL PHOROPTER The VX65 is the only cable-free phoropter on the market today. Using a tablet, this three-in-one versatile new product offers an easy transition from trial frames or manual phoropter through its intuitive tablet layouts.

Patient and staff safety Wireless tablet operation allows you to perform refraction at a safe distance, and shows the patient that you have adapted to the new way of undertaking eye examinations. To add to the safety element, the VX65 also comes fitted with a safety breathshield as standard.

Binocular wavefront objective measurement

Near vision test – adaptable length

Versatile three-in-one device The VX65 is a phoropter that adapts to the way you work. It’s ideal for multi-skilled practices, enabling the practitioner to switch between digital manual phoropter and auto-phoropter mode any time. You can also control the entire refraction process with either the tablet, or an optional ergonomic control panel.

Three bundle options The three bundle options include either a non-polarised or polarised chart for wall mounting, and a versatile short form chart and table for smaller spaces. Packaged prices are available.


Standard Room Set Up

What will the patient journey look post Covid-19? We have tried to highlight how Luneau Technology Solutions can help improve and change to the ‘new normal’. We are focusing on pre-screening and refraction using our range of multi diagnostic products. Our aim is to provide a cost-effective and safe solution for the practitioner and staff leading to a smooth and safe journey for the patient. We feel that less time spent on fewer pieces of equipment, giving more results, will be key. Also, less time spent with the patient overall will help minimise risk and support being able to see more patients.

NEW: Low Start Scheme

The VX65, fitted with a safety Optional control panel breath shield as standard (not included)

Visionix products are multi-result platforms, created to save you time. They are simple to use at an affordable price. Luneau Technology is committed to ensuring that NEG members receive favourable commercial terms – whether that be on price or with finance support, or a combination of both. Therefore, we are delighted to launch our new Low Start Scheme to help support your investment in technology to get your practices up and running. You will pay just £15 per month for six months prior to starting the term. Add this to the fact that we believe we offer the lowest top-end phoropter and chart bundle price in the market, Luneau is here to help you move your business forward. For further details, contact Mike Riley, business development director, by emailing m.riley@luneautech.com • www.luneautech.co.uk

Near vision and auto phoropter interface shown

Vision Now JUNE 2020



Why you should care about glare By Julian Wiles At best, glare disrupts clear vision

Put simply, glare is too much light for the eye to comfortably process, either directly from a light source or indirectly from a surface reflection. The dictionary definition of glare is “harsh” or “uncomfortably bright” light. Glare occurs in two ways: too much light, and when the luminance range is too large. The International Commission on Illumination (CIE) defines glare as: “Visual conditions in which there is excessive contrast or an inappropriate distribution of light sources that disturbs the observer or limits the ability to distinguish details and objects”. The CIE adopted the unified glare rating (UGR) as a quantitative measure of glare in a given environment in 1987. At best, glare interferes with (disrupts) clear vision. At its worst, glare can cause permanent blindness or considerable pain, albeit temporary. You’ve experienced it many times and so have almost all of your patients.

UNDERSTANDING THE THEORY Good science has a theory eager to be proven wrong, so we can make better science, and is delighted to be proven right, because then we have a useful insight. Reality doesn’t care whether or not we believe in it, but it’s more useful for all of us when we understand it. The facts and the scientific, peer-reviewed papers are too numerous to credit here. YouTube or an internet search will deliver plenty of opportunities to learn and understand the science. The following two links may provide good a starting point. The first video is from someone who has spent their entire professional life studying the last few seconds of peoples’ lives. He investigates road traffic fatalities. The second link demonstrates how two leading Canadian optometry associations explain glare at night. You’ll have your own thoughts – and


Vision Now JUNE 2020

because no-one has a monopoly on good ideas, yours might be better. 1. Deadly sun glare: traffic, safety & crash expert reveals potential dangers of driving 2. Be aware and drive away the glare

Recovery or re-adaption are both age related, and defined as the time taken for the eyes to adjust to ‘normal’. Visual performance remains impaired during recovery – and recovery times take longer for people with glaucoma.

So, why is the science important for your business? Your patients don’t care about the science of the human visual system and light. They simply want to see clearly. Your job is to make the complex science simple to understand and lay the foundations to build a new, profitable and sustainable revenue stream. This is perfectly aligned with your core competencies. Glare is a perfectly natural (and a potentially dangerous) phenomenon. Glare is omnipresent. Polarised lenses are designed and built to solve this problem. The market leader has a polarising efficiency of 99.5 per cent. Judge everything else by that standard and you won’t go far wrong. Show patients how you solve their problem. Make it easy and convenient for them to buy – and don’t be surprised when they do.

Understanding glare is the first step to (potentially) doubling your dispensing rates without seeing one new patient. It makes good financial sense to sell more to those who already enjoy your trust. If you sold prescription sunwear to everyone you saw in the next 12 months, based just on clinical need, what effect would that have on your bottom line? If you are not achieving this, you may need a new routine. Finding new patients is expensive and time-consuming. Make it easy for yourself. Look to your database: the answers about what to do next lie within.

EFFECTS OF GLARE Photobiological damage and clinical conditions are beyond the scope of this article, but if you have seen post-operative cataract patients, contact lens wearers, retinitis pigmentosa sufferers, patients with age-related macular degeneration or anyone who is light sensitive either naturally or as a result of medication, you can make a start here. You already know all about the adverse effects of over exposure to UV. Disability glare is a reduction in visibility, visual acuity and/or contrast caused by direct or reflected light scatter in the eye. Discomfort glare is annoying or painful. Anyone who has ‘squinted’ will understand what you mean. The De Boer Scale (1967) – rating glare from one (unbearable) to nine (just noticeable) – is also worth a look.

YOUR NEW ROUTINE Influence and successful recommendations tend to work like this: first you get to know and understand the people you are talking to – and those who you would like to become patients. Then you can say something that is true (the science). Patients will nod their agreement because it is true. Your job is to keep them nodding and smiling all the way to the till. Remember: you are not ‘selling a second pair of spectacles’, you are recommending lenses as part of your overall eye health message. It’s your professional duty to inform and protect. People have the right to ignore your advice. You won’t win them all over. Ask the right questions skilfully, listen, make it easy to understand, demonstrate the benefits, and offer multiple choices to make it easy to buy. Explain to patients that indoor lighting is around 400 lumens, while a sunny day in the shade is usually between 1000-4000

BUSINESS MATTERS lumens and is generally considered to be comfortable. Beyond 4000 lumens, they will experience discomforting, disabling or blinding glare. Concrete motorways are somewhere between 6000-8000 lumens. The beach/ski slopes will be somewhere between 10,000-12,000 lumens. High altitude snowfields are generally 12,000+. Wearing a peaked cap helps, but can only go so far. Outline the eye health benefits and reap the business opportunities. Vision is not the only sense you need, but is undoubtedly the main source of information necessary for driving. You can’t avoid what you can’t see – be that people, vehicles or other hazards. If fixation takes 0.25 seconds and reaction time (breaking) takes 0.25 seconds, you can work out the distance travelled if you know your speed. At 20mph, you’ll travel 14ft, at 30mph you’ll cover 22ft, at 40mph it’ll be 30ft, at 50mph you’ll travel 36ft, at 60mph you’ll cover 44ft and at 70mph you’ll travel 51ft (17 yards or 15.5m). Road traffic incidents don’t happen in mph, they happen in feet/metres per second. It’s the difference between an impact or no impact, injury or no injury – and maybe life or death.

FROM SCIENCE TO SALES In a 2018 market research study of more than 1,000 drivers from the UK, Germany and Spain, conducted by Elke Dobisch Marketforschung of Munich, Germany, more than half of drivers surveyed said they encountered a variety of vision issues when driving. Each respondent was asked what they considered to be the most common causes of vision impairment experienced while driving. Half claimed these eight issues, in order of importance, were top in their mind: • Glare from the sun • Glare from oncoming cars • Irritation by reflections on wet roads • General sight problems at night • Irritation caused by cars following you • Eye fatigue • Glare from traffic lights, signposts and signposts seen too late What’s striking is the high percentage of those who accept such problems and don’t not seek any remedies. In fact, research has shown that more than 40 per cent of people have never spoken to others – including eyecare professionals – about their vision problems experienced when driving. And we haven’t even discussed prescription

Wet roads and night glare impair drivers

sunwear, lenses for outdoor hobbies, sports vision and UV protection yet. So, where does your premium lens sale actually start? Is it via social media? Your website? If so, are you answering all the questions patients might reasonably ask about glare? Can they buy plano polarised sunwear now? Are you giving talks and raising awareness in the local community? Will people make the connection between your website and your communications and the practice window? Or does your work start in the waiting room, the test room or at the dispensing desk? Until Apple’s patent on adjustable tinted car windscreens and windows hits the market, it’s down to you to protect people’s vision. As we are fond of saying: “You only have one pair of eyes”. One thing is certain: the later you leave it, the harder it becomes. Miss any of these opportunities and you negatively impact your profitability.

• • • •

• • •

But don’t worry. Single vision, bifocal, trifocal, occupational, enhanced reading and varifocal lenses are all available. Many lenses are available in 76mm and 80mm diameters, a wide range of colours and materials, including Trivex. Digital surfacing means that all single vision materials are available as progressive lenses. The larger diameters are for wrap designs and Trivex is ideal for rimless and semi-rimless mounts.

CHECKLIST FOR PROFITABILITY So, how do you start generating a new profitable and sustainable revenue stream? Here’s a checklist to get you started: • Tell people about polarised lenses • Use the free resources available to you • Make the economic business case and appoint a ‘polarised lens expert’ • Develop your own light management

• •

story so you can seamlessly move between photochromic, DriveWear, gradient polarised and polarised photochromic options easily (see last month’s article) Explain your new strategy to all the staff and explain the reason behind it Develop all-year-round sales potential to almost everyone Identify information, communication and educational opportunities At the handover, aim for lens-led dispensing. Budgets are crucial and as they have just come out of a clinical environment, discussing lenses simply makes sense. It’ll act as a natural bridge; a logical sequence between the clinical and the retail experience. People will feel more involved in the process Ask lifestyle questions skilfully and listen carefully to the answers Understand all the features and turn them into benefits Show them the benefits: use a glare demonstrator Get your pricing policy sorted: make it simple to understand Polarised lenses are generally less expensive than photochromic lenses. The public don’t know this, nor do they understand why this should be. So set your prices at the higher level and let the patient decide on the basis of recommendation and wants/needs

With all this in mind, why not return to your practice database and prepare for new, profitable and sustainable revenue streams – led by premium lenses providing eye health benefits. Julian Wiles BA (Hons) is the founder and owner of Performance Lenses, and country manager UK and Ireland for Younger Optics. Vision Now JUNE 2020



Personal statements

Distinctive opticals

By Joan Grady

This is a time for optical frame wearers to celebrate. Choices abound with trendsetting shapes, materials and colours. Optical frames offer unparalleled diversity with chic aviators, retro and vintage styles, slender metal designs, 3D innovations and luxury accents – plus beautiful expressions in acetate, metal and titanium. A multi-faceted palette includes pretty pastels, essences of the natural world and vivid explorations.

Lite Spirit model 2924 by Silhouette

Blackfin One: minimalist titanium purity in Anfield

women and square and rectangular for men – in eye-catching colours. Bright and subtle shades for women include flattering tones of Indigo Blue alongside soft Champagne Jungle. Cedar Wood Brown and Wild Moss Green for men are strong and cultured.

CONTEMPORARY CONSTRUCTION Technical advances have unleashed immense potential for experimental frame designs, and 3D printing in particular has brought amazing possibilities to eyewear. The layerby-layer technique has revolutionised how frames are made, while providing a cool, light and comfortable product. Sven Götti at Götti Switzerland spent several years researching the prospects for 3D designs, and the results are striking: streamlined designs constructed in Götti’s own Zurich factory. The company has won numerous awards for its finely crafted, thoroughly contemporary styles in a variety of materials. Austrian brand Silhouette has launched its Lite Spirit collection in slim SPX for men and women with classic shapes – round for

when creating frames. Jeremy Tarian’s passion is ceramics – a childhood hobby that has resurfaced in his adult life and in his frame designs. As a born and bred Parisian, inspiration is also derived from the famous quarters that make up Paris, interwoven with both social and cultural history. Jeremy’s latest collection includes shapely silhouettes with frame model Martel an outstanding example. This curvaceous model in a refreshing green edged with cream is handcrafted in the Jura region of France. Italian craftsmanship is at the core of Blackfin, and the new optical Blackfin One frames in titanium feature bold profiles and sleek aesthetics. The designs are classic and charismatic with minimalist purity and unwavering technology. Model Anfield exudes femininity with oval rims in colourations of pink with brown, magenta with violet, and brown with gold.

Unisex style with Stepper SI-60194

Aviator shapes are superbly flattering and the latest interpretation from Stepper is slim and slick, with a smart double bridge. Constructed in titanium, the frame is a bountiful mix of strength and flexibility – whilst being hypoallergenic and extremely lightweight.

Since 1879, Erkers has been masterfully connected to beautiful eyewear. Based in St Louis, Missouri, the frames possess a rich history – including making the goggles that Charles Lindbergh wore on his landmark flight to Paris. Each season, Erkers highlights an icon that relates to its 141-year heritage. Currently being celebrated is the legendary jazz musician Miles Davis, who was born and raised in the St Louis area. Erkers eyewear is continually evolving, as

CHARISMATIC STYLE Eyewear designers frequently have personal links with other metiers that contribute to their individual proclamations

Palm in Colorado Slate: 3D streamlined technique by Götti Switzerland


Vision Now JUNE 2020

Parisian inspiration: Martel by Jeremy Tarian

Engagingly beautiful eyewear since 1879: Busch in Smoke Crystal by Erkers


Shimmering radiance: Rose et le Rêve by Anna-Karin Karlsson

Falvin, created exquisite jewellery before she launched her splendid eyewear designs with Falvin Eyewear in 2015. Her understanding of jewellery infiltrates her beautifully-defined frames crafted in premium materials, with timeless and beguiling style.

Timeless silhouette: Spencer in Whiskey by Salt Optics

the company develops innovative concepts to craft its engagingly beautiful eyewear.

RETRO RHAPSODY Retro, vintage, heritage; frames based on styles worn a century ago, are intricately refashioned with the best of all worlds – the timelessness of retro, encapsulated into designs with high-tech performance and supreme comfort. The continuing appeal of round frames is further enhanced with designs that understand the real-life wearer, and suit many face shapes. High lustre Japanese acetate is emblematic of Salt Optics’ round optical design with its contemporary good looks and timeless silhouette. Model Spencer has the clean lines that are ideal for professional life, yet rallies smartly for casual wear too. The Salt Optics creed is one of authenticity, highest quality Japanese acetate, and colourations connected to nature. The renowned Danish Skagen Painters with their fabulous composition of colours and light

Enduring vintage shape: retro classic style A7104A by Rodenstock

inspired Fleye Copenhagen’s Nordic Light collection. Model Elinor from the Signature range captures a fashion-forward attitude of artistic expression with the frame’s extravagant round shape. Colours with character and depth reflect nature’s sceneries. German precision and engineering excellence prevail in the Retro Classic designs by Rodenstock. The time-honoured silhouette in style A7104A is a confirmation of the enduring demand for vintage shapes, reinvented for contemporary eyewear fans.

LUXURY ELEMENTS Graceful, striking, elegant and sophisticated, eyewear for more formal occasions is acknowledged in designs that flow with ease and beauty. Danish designer, Birgitte

Beguiling aviator and beautifully crafted: Uranus by Falvin Eyewear

Artistic expressions: Elinor from the Signature collection by Fleye Copenhagen

“For 2020, Falvin’s introductions provide an inspired new take on sophisticated must-have eyewear for contemporary design lovers,” says Birgitte. She notes that the aviator shape has star quality and is the statement silhouette often featured in movies. “I am fascinated by the unisex aspect of this particular shape, which is both challenging as well as thrilling to develop,” she reveals. Anna-Karin Karlsson has always believed that eyewear should be an individual statement, which she expresses with designs that radiate dash and confidence. The Swedish awardwinning designer also knows that many woman love luxury, and perhaps a touch of extravagance. Rose et le Rêve is a gorgeous, undeniably feminine design offset with a shimmering panther studded with Swarovski crystals reclining decorously on the rim. Charmant celebrates the 10th anniversary of its significant and stunning Line Art Collection this year. The striking designs are inspired by the soaring harmony and enduring spirit of music, and the airy compositions flourish with style, comfort, and functionality. Vivace is anaesthetically outstanding with a delicate laser-cut floral motif in Charmant’s Excellence Titan and beta titanium. Inspiring and prodigious optical selections from international designers and companies are a bonus for independent opticians, with the opportunity to offer stylish and beautifully crafted collections for a unique personal statement.

Airy composition: Vivace from Line Art by Charmant Vision Now JUNE 2020




Preferred Suppliers’ Directory

Preferred Suppliers are suppliers who, by prior arrangement, offer members of the PK National Eyecare Group preferential terms. For full details and terms offered to the membership, please call 01580 713698 Directory listings are available free of charge to all preferred suppliers, with a larger listing available to Vision Now Advertisers. To make changes to the directory listings, please call Sally Spicer on 01580 713698 or email s.spicer@nationaleyecare.co.uk





Tel: 0371 376 0017 Fax: 0871 351 1005

Tel: 0121 7723888 Fax: 0808 2801865

Tel: 01604 646216 Fax: 01604 790366

Tel: 0800 9178270


sales@bondeyeoptical.co.uk www.bondeyeoptical.co.uk

orders@davidthomas.com www.davidthomas.com


DE RIGO UK LTD Tel: 01923 249491

sales@assopt.co.uk www.associatedoptical.com

OPTICAL CENTRE SUPPLIES LTD Tel: 01923 239267 Fax: 01923 253951


sales@centrostyle.com www.centrostyle.com

Tel: 02920 362 136 Fax: 02920 362 137


info@atlanticoptical.co.uk www.atlanticoptical.co.uk

Tel: 020 8992 9222 Fax: 020 8896 0287


sales@charmant.co.uk www.charmant.co.uk

Tel: 01628 605433 Fax: 01628 665077

Tel: 0800 056 5569



Tel: 0151 426 3907 Fax: 0151 426 9340

info.uk@derigo.com www.derigo.com www.my.derigo.com

HEIDELBERG ENGINEERING Tel: 01442 502 330 Fax: 01442 242 386 www.HeidelbergEngineering.co.uk



Tel: 0116 251 8936 Fax: 0116 262 4205

Tel: 01388 420420 Fax: 01388 810101

info@henrybeaumont.com www.henrybeaumont.com

dunelm@dunelmoptical.co.uk www.dunelmoptical.co.uk

ESSILOR Tel: 01454 281281 Fax: 01454 281282

HILCO EUROPE Tel: 0800 591150 info@hilco.co.uk www.hilco.co.uk



sales@continental-eyewear.co.uk www.continental-eyewear.com




Tel: 01527 870550 Fax: 01527 837012

Tel: 0845 330 0984 Fax: 0845 330 0977

Tel: 01438 740823

Tel: 0870 9000 055

info@eyespace-eyewear.co.uk www.eyespace-eyewear.co.uk

Tel: 020 8781 2900 www.bausch.co.uk


sales@bibonline.co.uk www.bibonline.co.uk

Alcon are pleased to o昀er free delivery of contact lenses to all frontline key workers*

enquiries@hoya.co.uk orders@hoya.co.uk www.hoya.co.uk



A refreshing perspective To help you enhance your contact lens practice, CooperVision offers an extensive product range designed to meet the needs of even more of your patients.

For more information 0870 9000 055* www.coopervision.co.uk

*Calls cost 2p per minute plus your phone company’s access charge. 14406 © 2020 Alcon Inc.


Vision Now JUNE 2020

T 01527 870550 eyespace-eyewear.co.uk

01580 713698



Tel: 0121 585 6565 Fax: 0121 585 0954




Tel: 01332 295001 Fax: 01332 295158

Tel: 01884 266130

Tel: 01865 714620

sales@pro-optic.com www.pro-optic.co.uk

info@tgsports.co.uk www.sunwise.co.uk


orders@midoptic.com www.midoptic.com



Tel: 02920 883009 Fax: 02920 889798

Tel: 01424 850620 Fax: 01424 850650

LenstecCC@lenstec.co.uk www.lenstecopticalgroup.co.uk

info@no7contactlenses.com www.no7contactlenses.com



Tel: 07780 338656 franchising@lloydsbanking.com www.lloydsbank.com/business

LOUIS STONE OPTICAL LTD Tel: 029 2073 5293 Fax: 029 2073 1446 info@louisstone.co.uk www.louisstone.co.uk

LUNEAU TECHNOLOGY UK/IRELAND – VISIONIX Tel: 07383 555659 infouk@luneautech.com www.luneautech.co.uk


Tel: 0845 313 0233 sales@optinetuk.com www.optinetuk.com

ORANGE EYEWEAR Tel: 0161 773 5555 Fax: 0161 773 5544 info@orange-eyewear.co.uk www.orange-eyewear.co.uk

PENNINE OPTICAL Tel: 02920 857122 Fax: 02920 920480 sales@pennineoptical.co.uk www.pennineoptical.co.uk



Tel: 01279 653785 Fax: 01279 658308

RawdonCC@rawdonoptical.co.uk www.lenstecopticalgroup.co.uk

TantCC@tantlabs.com www.lenstecopticalgroup.co.uk


Tel: 01452 510321

Tel: 024 7601 0103 dean@retailexperiencedesign.co.uk www.retailexperiencedesign.co.uk

RODENSTOCK Tel: 01474 325555 sales@rodenstock.co.uk www.rodenstock.co.uk

SEIKO OPTICAL UK Tel: 01452 610033 Fax: 01452 638250 orders@seiko-optical.co.uk info@seiko-optical.co.uk www.seiko-optical.co.uk

SILHOUETTE UK LTD Tel: 020 8987 8899 Fax: 020 8987 2430

Tel: 0808 165 8555

Tel: 01536 529696 Fax: 01536 310033



office@uk.silhouette.com www.silhouette.com



Tel: 0800 72 2020

Tel: 08446 696907



sales@positiveimpact.co.uk www.positiveimpact.co.uk



Tel: 01132 883094 Fax: 01132 883095

Tel: 01392 460806 info@speccareservices.co.uk www.speccareservices.co.uk

THE NORVILLE GROUP LTD sales@norville.co.uk www.norville.co.uk

THEA PHARMACEUTICALS Tel: 0845 521 1290 Fax: 01782 717 944 www.thea-pharmaceuticals.co.uk

THREE SIXTY Tel: 01686 627595 Fax: 01696 610015 Kieran@calotherm.co.uk www.calotherm.co.uk

ULTRAVISION Tel: 01525 381112 Fax: 01525 370091 info@ultravision.co.uk www.ultravision.co.uk

WEBPOST Tel: 0800 074 2425 annie.mackervoy@webpost.com www.webpost.com


Tel: 0800 3280610 Fax: 0800 3280649



Tel: 01698 574 655

Tel: 0115 989 9772

Tel: 01732 375975

mkservices@markennovy.com www.markennovy.com

andy@practicebuilding.co.uk www.practicebuilding.co.uk

sales@stepper.co.uk www.stepper.co.uk

IMcGleish@xact.uk.com www.xact.uk.com


Suppliers’ directory


Open your eyes to



Love Your OCT. Guaranteed.


Andrew Davies F.B.D.O UK Country Manager +44 (0) 7583 076 132 a.davies@michael-pachleitner-group.com

0845 3130233 sales@optinetuk.com


Vision Now JUNE 2020


Advanced Practice Management Software

Fashion’s always evolving So is our software Intuitive dashboards, intelligent reports and individual staff permissions. Optinet FLEX keeps your business at the cutting edge.

For further information and to book your no obligation, in practice demonstration, please call 0845 3130233 or email sales@optinetuk.com

0845 3130233 sales@optinetuk.com www.optinetuk.com

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Vision Now June 2020  

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