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The Growing Ortho-K and Scleral Contact Lens Market and Smart Ways to Sell Them

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Gas permeable (GP) contacts are rigid lenses that comprise about 10 percent of the contact lens market. While the market for corneal lenses is declining, the demand for scleral and ortho-k lenses is rising. According to ABB Optical Group, there was a 31.2 percent increase in dollar sales of scleral lenses and a 29.7 percent increase in dollar sales of ortho-k lenses from 2016 to 2017.

The large scleral lens stays put for irregular corneas (keratoconus). Ortho-k lenses temporarily reshape the cornea (usually overnight) to correct myopia and are popular for kids. Luckily, a patient is more likely to get a GP lens fitted by a prescribing doctor than take that Rx elsewhere.


Art Optical

Scleral: Ampleye (4-curve design), SoClear (a corneal scleral design) and Rose K2 XL (a corneal scleral design). Ortho-K: Distribute Paragon CRT lenses and manufacture custom ortho-K lenses per practitioner specification, as well as DreamLens.

(800) 253-9364 artoptical.com


X-Cel Specialty Contacts (A Walman Company)

Atlantis Scleral (including a multifocal design) Ortho-k: An authorized lab for both Paragon CRT and Euclid’s Emerald lenses. They also manufacture several ortho-k lenses designed by ECPs.

(800) 241-9312 xcelspecialtycontacts.com

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Valley Contax

Custom Stable Prime, Custom Stable Elite, Custom Stable Aurora scleral lenses.

(800) 547-8815 valleycontax.com


Bausch + Lomb Specialty Vision Products

Zenlens Ortho K: sells Boston materials in many designs and has FDA approval for Vision Shaping Treatment.

(800) 323-0000 bausch.com


ABB Optical Group

Dyna Semi-Scleral, Dyna Scleral, Infinity Scleral 14.5 to 18.2, Menicon Rose K2 XL Scleral, Paragon ICD 14.5 mini lenses, Paragon ICD 16.5 lenses, Paragon ICD Toric Scleral, Paragon ICD Flex Scleral. Ortho-K: Euclid Emerald, Paragon CRT, Paragon CRT Dual Axis Paragon CRT Diagnostic Dispensing System.

(800) 772-3911 abboptical.com

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Paragon Vision Sciences (A CooperVision Company)

Paragon CRT (orthokeratology) and ICD FlexFit (scleral).

(800) 528-8279 paragonvision.com


SynergEyes

SynergEyes VS Scleral Lens

(877) 733-2012 synergeyes.com


Smart Ways to Sell Scleral and Ortho-k Contact Lenses to Your Patients

Andrew Biondo Kirkwood Eye, St. Louis, Missouri

Scleral lenses have advantages over other modalities and check all the boxes when it comes to vision, comfort and ocular health. Sclerals are great for treating dry eye symptoms by providing better hydration than other contacts. They are becoming more cost equivalent to daily disposables too. Once I fit patients with sclerals, we typically encourage them to do yearly replacements. I use ortho-k lenses predominantly on children because they assist with vision correction and myopia control. Ortho-k lenses can help stabilize a child’s vision and prevent it from getting worse during their growing years. My youngest patient is a six-year-old right up to an 18-year-old who may be a candidate for LASIK surgery. I use a myopia calculator from Brien Holden Vision Institute to determine how a child’s myopia will progress without correction. I show it to their parents to encourage them to buy ortho-k lenses. My advice to anyone selling these types of lenses is to provide proper education. We offer brochures and printouts to increase capture rates on scleral lens fittings. Our patients then do further research online and get excited by reading testimonials. I’ve tried about 12 designs but my go-to lens is the Atlantis Scleral from X-Cel 90 percent of the time. For ortho-k, I use X-Cel’s Emerald Lens by Euclid. I find them to be the most efficient in terms of fitting.

 

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Jeffrey Sonsino The Contact Lens Center at Optique, Nashville, TN

I allow my patients to choose their strategies after an extensive conversation and education of the risks, benefits and features.  I spend around 20 minutes with new consults talking about their options. I am a problem solver. I present many options to patients including corneal GPs, hybrid lenses, and scleral lenses. If the patient chooses sclerals, then I apply my expertise to maximize their outcome.

 

Carol Gilhawley is a contributing writer for INVISION.

Better Vision

Retinal Cameras Are More Efficient, More Effective and Less Expensive Than Ever Before

The latest models available and smart ways to use the latest technology.

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TRADITIONALLY, RETINAL CAMERAS were a large expense and pupils needed to be dilated to capture detailed images of the retina. However, in the past five years, high quality, non-mydriatic cameras that do not require dilation have come on the market costing a fraction of the price. There are also hand-held, wireless options and technology continues to improve. For example, D-EYE is building an artificial intelligence platform to help assess if a patient has a specific disease. Its goal is to provide a mass screening platform using their system and access to an approved database, to deliver an “assessment” (not a diagnosis) of the exam results for specific diseases so the patient can progress to the next level of care.

Hill-Rom Welch Allyn

Hill-Rom Welch Allyn RetinaVue 100 Imager

(800) 535-6663, welchallyn.com

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Topcon Medical Systems

TRC-NW400 fully automated, non-mydriatic retinal camera

(800) 223-1130, topconmedical.com

Coburn Technologies

SK-650 Retinal Camera

(800) 262-8761, coburntechnologies.com

Marco

Marco’s AFC-330 Automated Fundus Camera, SK-650 Retinal Camera

(800) 874-5274, marco.com

Canon USA

Canon CR-2 PLUS AF Digital Non-Mydriatic Retinal Camera

(800) 652-2666, usa.canon.com

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D-EYE

D-EYE Retinal Imaging System

(401) 473-6323, d-eyecare.com

Smart Ways To Use Retinal Cameras

Dr. William Goldstein, Laser Eye Care Center, Shelby Township, MI

I use D-EYE’s fundus camera to document the optic nerve in patients who have glaucoma or suspected glaucoma. I started to use D-EYE three years ago. It’s an attachment for the iPhone that has a lens you pop on when you need it. I used to have a camera mounted to a slit lamp in one exam room. Now I travel from room to room to take pictures and this has improved efficiency. I add the picture to the patient’s record and bill insurance for the office visit in addition to the procedure code for taking the picture. The only disadvantage to the D-EYE system is that its field of view of the retina is small.

Dr. Edward Chaum, Vanderbilt Eye Institute, Nashville, TN

This country needs to make it a scalable paradigm to effectively and efficiently screen patients for evidence of vision threatening eye disease in a primary care setting. There are 30 million diabetics in this country but only about half of them are seen by an eyecare professional. It is estimated that the number of diabetics will grow to 100 million within the next 20 years. Finding people and treating them early is critical. Most get seen by a primary care physician or endocrinologist but many need a second level of care and they’re falling through the cracks. Since the cost of a retinal camera has come down, spending about $5,000 to buy one is not a significant burden. Welch-Allyn’s RetinaVue device helps with eye care compliance among diabetic patients who might not otherwise get a retinal exam with a specialist in a timely manner.

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Better Vision

Lenses Finally Get the Visual Sales Aid They Need

Why tell patients the lenses benefits when several companies now allow you to show them.

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SALES APPS FOR lenses come in many forms, whether a filter on a popular social media site or a freestanding lens display kit. In January, both Essilor and ZEISS came out with new lens apps. Essilor’s LenSelect helps ECPs demonstrate premium lenses to their patients. ZEISS’ interactive lens demo display comes with an iPad, new app and demo lenses . The app makes recommendations based on the patient’s answers and then texts or emails the practice before an exam. Purple Go is finding some success with its lens pricing app for optical retailers. Jeremy Huff, co-founder and CEO, said: “Opticians close sales twice as fast when using Purple Go’s lens pricing worksheet.” Whatever app your lens manufacturer suggests, they all aim to help you sell more lens options.

Signet Armorlite

Kodak lens ids (intelligent dispensing software)

(800) 759-4630 | signetarmorlite.com

Essilor

LenSelect dispensing app

(214) 496-4000 | essilorusa.com

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Zeiss

Interactive lens demo display

(866) 596-5467, www.zeiss.com/lenses

Transitions

Snapchat filter for ECPs that allows patients to virtually try on different frame styles with Transitions Light Intelligent Lenses.

(800) 533-2081 | transitions.com

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Purple Go

(415) 712-1325 | purplego.co/optical

BluTech

The Lens Display Kit to compare BluTech Ultra indoor lens and BluTech polarized polycarbonate lens.

(800) 258- 5902 | blutechlenses.com

Smart Ways To Sell Lenses Using Sales Apps

Venus Sosa, Sears Optical, Miami, FL

The Transitions SnapChat filter is a very creative way to appeal to the younger generation. I think for a long time there was this idea that only the older generation used Transitions lenses but I love the way the attitude is changing. The filter is a smart way to market Transitions lenses and attract people from all walks of life. Using technology and a very popular social media app, it has added a hip and interactive spin to the lenses. In addition to showing our patients how to use it, the SnapChat filter is a fun way to also involve my friends and family. I can introduce them to Transitions in a unique way, by including them in the video with me. It’s great that the filter changes sceneries, background music and even the frames and lenses that appear on our faces.

Dr. Amy Tran, Looksie Optometry, San Francisco, CA

We are one of the first beta test sites for Purple Go. I was doing a lot of paperwork and lens options were low. Using the Purple Go app on an iPad over the past 20 months, we can continually offer customized progressives, high index, Trivex and digital lenses all with top-of-the-line AR coatings. We use Purple Go as a tool to review lens options with our patients while taking their insurance and co-pays into consideration. We select their insurance from a drop-down menu to show patients their out-of-pocket expenses. It streamlines the conversation; side by side on the screen they can see how much their co-pay is along with the price for each lens option such as: type, material, treatment, sun protection and photochromic. We then review these costs with them on the screen.

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Better Vision

In-House Finishing ‘Edges’ Out Profit

While reducing turnaround time and errors for happier patients.

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FINISHING JOBS IN-HOUSE can be a real bonus for many eyecare professionals. Even though there’s an initial upfront cost to buying a machine, savings can be realized soon thereafter. According to The Vision Council, about 53 percent of all ECP locations have some type of finishing equipment on-site with a further 20 percent owning a surfacing system. There are certainly many efficient and reliable machines to choose from since most manufacturers include retail edgers in their line of lens finishing systems.

 

Luneau Technology USA

Briot Perception 2, Briot Attitude, WECO E.3/2

(800) 729-1959, luneautech.com

 

Optek International

E1000-GP Edger, FD-80 Tracer, LS-82 Blocker, DM-1000 Lens Drill, Dia E1000-E920

(727) 522-2301, optekinternational.com

 

MEI System

EzFit No Block

(630) 521 8588 | meisystem.com

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Essilor Instruments USA

Pro-E 700 edging system, KAPPA, Special Edition edger

(855) 393-4647 | essilorinstrumentsusa.com

 

National Optronics

17Ex Edger, QM-X3

(800) 800-1550 | nationaloptronics.com

 

Santinelli International

Me 1200, Lex 1200, LEXCE, Le 1200, Le 700

(800) 644-3343 | santinelli.com

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Coburn Technologies

Excelon HPE-410, Exxpert HPE 8000X, HPE-810

(800) 262-8761 | coburntechnologies.com

 

Smart Ways To Sell In-House Edging

Penn Moody, OD, MOODY EYES, INDIANAPOLIS, IN

In 2011, we decided to add an edging lab for better control over expenses and quality. At Vision Expo we chose the DIA from Optek. We’ve been very pleased with this choice. The vertical orientation allows the pressure on the lens to be adjusted during edging. We purchased a second DIA in 2017. We now process over 80 percent of our glasses, which has added substantially to our profitability and patient satisfaction.

Wendy Salle, SALLE OPTICIANS, ATLANTA, GA

We’ve been edging in-house for the past 30 years. I had to put in a second machine this year because of the volume. We’re up to about 25 jobs a day on two Santinelli machines, the Me1200 and the LEXCE. We do a lot of custom rimless work which can take an inordinate amount of time. But, it’s hard to find a lab that does good finish work and it’s a no-brainer for me to do it in-house. I don’t look at cost savings but I do look at being able to have ultimate control over our products.

Ronald Garbatini, ROYAL VISION ASSOCIATES NEW HAVEN, CT

We were spending between $8,000-$10,000 a month in lab bills before we got the Briot Attitude in 2016. Now we’ve cut that in half. Even though it’s an expensive machine, it’s paid for itself already. We edge about 30-50 jobs a day through this machine: everything from poly to plastic, high index, single vision, progressives to flat top bifocals. Patients like that we do jobs in-house, especially if they use private insurance.

 

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