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eSight Eyewear Launches #eSightTogether

It provides a place for connectivity, daily virtual events and online resources to better enable people living with visual impairments.

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(PRESS RELEASE) TORONTO – eSight Corporation, the world’s leading vision enhancement platform, announces the launch of #eSightTogether, a place for connection and support during the COVID-19 outbreak. The new program is an online resource not only for eSight users, but the entire low vision community as they learn to navigate through their new aspects of daily living.

The #eSightTogether website contains a list of the most pertinent resources for people with visual impairments to stay informed with COVID-19 and access useful tools for managing during this stressful time. These tools include carefully curated low vision resources, at-home entertainment, educational materials and apps ideal for social distancing. Most importantly, #eSightTogether provides a sense of community to those living with vision loss and allows them to share their stories and concerns to help uplift one another.

“It’s more important than ever that we provide a trusted resource for our community and that we join forces to cope with this challenging time,” said Robert Vaters, president and CEO of eSight Corporation. “eSight has always put our community first, which is why we’re launching #eSightTogether. It’s our duty to maintain our best-in-class customer service, while going above and beyond to connect with one another. History has shown that during the greatest times of difficulty, we see the best in humanity, and we’re confident that our users will continue this pattern.”

The driving force behind #eSightTogether is to create connections during the pandemic. Therefore, eSight coaches, who also live with visual impairments, will be holding virtual webinars each day from 12:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. Eastern Time to discuss timely topics. While eSight coaches have always been available for virtual assistance, the new webinars will allow all people living with a visual impairment to connect regardless if they are an eSight user or not, and to connect with any low vision individual to help navigate this stressful time. The team recognizes it is a critical time to offer additional services and reach the community far and wide.

eSight is encouraging those affected to use the #eSightTogether hashtag on social media platforms to connect, share stories and work together during this time. The company is monitoring the conversation on social platforms and will also share guidance to those using the hashtag to ensure the community feels engaged and safe.

For more information on how eSight can benefit you or someone you know, visit www.eSightEyewear.com. To view the #eSightTogether website, please visit www.eSightEyewear.com/together.

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MEI Donates 500,000 Euros for Coronavirus Crisis

It has donated to 3 health facilities in Italy.

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(PRESS RELEASE) To face the coronavirus emergency, MEI, which produces lens edging machines, is contributing to the fundraising initiatives launched in the area of its Italian headquarters. Bergamo, Italy, is one of the cities most affected by the COVID-19 outbreak in the world.

MEI, with the support of its not-for-profit MEI Foundation, donated 150,000 euros to the Papa Giovanni XXIII hospital in Bergamo and another 150,000 euros to the Health Protection Agency of Bergamo.

Furthermore, MEI wanted to support research assuring that the path taken by the Italian Mario Negri Institute for Pharmacological Research can help combat the coronavirus emergency. MEI has therefore decided to support the institute with a contribution of 200,000 euros.

“With these donations we wanted to give concrete support to our community and communicate our gratitude to all the healthcare professionals and researchers involved in this emergency. The situation is dramatic, the needs are many, from logistical to instrumental ones,” said Stefano Sonzogni, president of MEI. “Certain that we will win this battle, we hope that the situation will soon return to normal.”

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Prevent Blindness Declares April as Women’s Eye Health and Safety Month

Women have a higher prevalence of many of the major vision problems.

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(PRESS RELEASE) CHICAGO — Because women have higher rates of eye diseases and eye conditions than men, Prevent Blindness, the nation’s oldest non-profit eye health organization, has designated April as Women’s Eye Health and Safety Month. The group provides free information to the public on various eye health topics, including vision issues, possible changes in vision during pregnancy, cosmetic safety and more.

Women have a higher prevalence of many of the major vision problems, including:

  • AMD
  • Cataract
  • Dry Eye
  • Glaucoma
  • Refractive Error

The National Eye Institute states that 26 percent more women aged 12 and older have uncorrected visual impairment due to refractive error compared with men aged 12 and older. And, 14 percent more women aged 40 and older have refractive errors compared with men aged 40 and older. Additionally, women are also more likely to have autoimmune conditions, which often come with visual side effects.

According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, for women, fluctuating hormone levels of estrogen and progesterone can affect the eye’s oil glands, which can lead to dryness. Estrogen can also make the cornea less stiff with more elasticity, which can affect how light travels into the eye. The dryness and the change in refraction can cause blurry vision and can also make wearing contact lenses difficult.

Pregnancy brings an increase in hormones that may cause changes in vision. Women with pre-existing eye conditions, like glaucoma, high blood pressure or diabetes, need to alert their eye doctor that they are pregnant (or planning to become pregnant).

Lastly, women often make the majority of their family’s health care decisions and are often responsible as caregivers for the health care choices of their children, partners, spouse, and aging parents. It is important to remind women to make their own vision and eye health a priority to prevent unnecessary vision loss in the future.

Prevent Blindness recommends steps that should be taken to protect vision and eye health, including:

  • Get regular eye exams
  • Wear UV-blocking sunglasses and a brimmed hat outdoors
  • Learn of any family history of eye disease
  • Use cosmetics safely
  • Use contact lenses safely

OCuSOFT Inc., a privately-held eye and skin care company dedicated to innovation in eyelid hygiene and ocular health, is partnering once again with Prevent Blindness in support of April’s Women’s Eye Health and Safety Month.

“Today, obviously there are significant challenges in maintaining overall health,” said Jeff Todd, president and CEO of Prevent Blindness. “We want to remind women of all ages that there are many ways to protect the gift of sight today so that it can be enjoyed for many years to come.”

For more information on women’s eye health, including fact sheets on eye diseases and eye protection, please visit here or call (800) 331-2020. Prevent Blindness offers a free listing of financial assistance services in English and Spanish here.

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Press Releases

Safilo Supports Customers With a Virtual Education Series

The program is for offices that are closed or on limited schedules due to COVID-19.

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(PRESS RELEASE) Safilo Group, a worldwide leader in the design, manufacturing and distribution of eyewear, kicks off a new virtual education platform this week, offering a series of educational webinars for its customers on various topics to enrich their optical practices while offices are closed or operating on limited schedules due to COVID-19.

Running the full weeks of March 23 and March 30, one new course topic will be taught daily between two and four times each day – with four sessions daily this week and repeated two times daily next week – to accommodate participants in different time zones. The lectures are led by Robin Brush, a Safilo Key Accounts Manager and an ABOC-certified optician with 25 years of optical industry experience. The courses, taught live, are being offered in English and will soon be translated to other languages in the coming weeks to make available to international customers. The courses are also being recorded to make available later for those who missed them. ABO credits are not being issued for any of the online lectures.

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To attend these virtual classes, North American customers can either contact their sales representatives or sign up directly by visiting the home pages of Safilo’s b2b websites: www.mysafilo.com (USA) or www.mysafilocanada.com (Canada). Internationally, Safilo customers can contact their sales rep for sign-up details. The WebEx course topics include: Advanced Eyewear Technology; A Visual Guide to Merchandising, J.O.B.S. Program: Joint Opportunity to Believe in Staying; Multiples Mindset and Optical 411 (full course descriptions can be found on the next page).

To promote the courses, a customer eblast was sent out last Friday to Safilo North America customers which contained the WebEx links needed for course sign-up. Members of Safilo’s North American sales force are also informing customers directly. The courses are additionally being promoted daily on Safilo Group’s global Facebook page.

“During these trying times, we wanted to continue showing our gratitude and support to our customers’ practices by offering courses to enrich their education portfolio. We’ve worked diligently to create a free virtual education platform that will allow anyone within one of our customer’s practices to access the courses, even if their offices are closed temporarily,” said Steve Wright, Safilo North America’s president and chief commercial officer. “The classes were developed initially, with Safilo North America customers in mind, while many are at home this week and practicing social distancing. However, we decided to make the courses available internationally as believe this program can be beneficial to all Safilo customers around the globe,” added Wright.

Course descriptions:

1. Advanced Eyewear Technology:
Learn the anatomy and proper names for eyewear. Details and fitting examples of why different nose pads, bridges, temples and frame fronts are used to make eyewear. Learn about the different materials that eyewear is made from and why different materials are used and benefits to the patients.

2. A Visual Guide to Merchandising:
Define visual merchandising as related to optical; learn how to apply visual merchandising to your optical for brand story telling; learn how the Pantone color of the year influences our world of retail and understanding merchandising secrets and customer behaviors.

3. J.O.B.S. Program: Joint Opportunity to Believe in Staying:
In this course, you will learn how to involve the entire office staff in the process of making the sale. Each department will have defined responsibilities that educate and layer the selling process for the patient. You will also learn the art of seamless transition from patient to retail customer. Interpreting the prescription for lens and frame sales. Multiple pair sales will be your new normal and understanding and defusing sales objections will not be a problem.

4. Multiples Mindset:
Selling multiple pairs is a mindset! How can you expect an optician to sell multiple pairs or sell luxury if they’ve never experienced that personally? In this course, we will dive into the mindset of the optician getting to the bottom of why they don’t sell multiples. Also, we’ll be learning techniques to use as their managers to promote a multiples environment and culture.

5. Optical 411:
In this course, you will understand the importance of being a good steward of the numbers in your optical. Frame return rate and frame turn ratio, why are they critical to the profitability of your business? Inventory management and how to analyze the data. Discover the two best methods for ordering frames to achieve the profitable numbers. Six easy steps to efficient sales rep appointments and tracking your orders and returns.

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