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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.

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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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Better Vision

3 Eyecare Pros on Bundling Lens Packages for Easier Sales

Frame companies partner with lens manufacturers to offer combined product.

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WHEN IT COMES to bundling services, the telecommunications companies have it down to a fine art. Bundling phone, Internet and TV can save consumers a lot of money. That principle is becoming more common in the optical industry. Some frame companies have partnered with lens manufacturers to offer combined product while others promote a lens and premium lens features option.

Essilor has its Ultimate Lens Package which offers packaged lens features for single vision and presbyopic patients. Tifosi Optics, with its lightweight durable frames, is pairing them with HOYA Rx lenses. If beauty is in the eye of the beholder then some of these bundled packages could look very attractive to your patients.

EyeOs Premium Readers

SmartRx complete prescription eyewear package with aspheric or digital single vision lenses, as well as 100 percent backside digital progressive lenses. All SmartRx eyewear packages come with premium AR.

(800) 625-1880, eyeoseyewear.com


Shamir

The Shamir Autograph III: For Work – Shamir WorkSpace, and Play – Shamir Attitude III Fashion.

(877) 514-8330 shamirlens.com


Tifosi/Hoya

Advanced Sun Packages feature a Coppertone polarized lens and can be purchased in SingleVision iQ lenses or in the HOYALUX Array progressive lenses. Tifosi’s Marzen Tortoise frame with HOYALUX Array Brown lenses.

Tifosi Optics (866) 310-0996 tifosioptics.com

HOYA (800)818-4692, hoyaoptics.com


Essilor

The Ultimate Lens Package includes Eyezen+, Crizal Sapphire 360° UV and Transitions Signature VII for single vision patients and Varilux X Series, Crizal Sapphire 360° UV and Transitions Signature VII for presbyopic.

(800)377-4567, essilorusa.com

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Smart Ways to Sell Bundled Lenses

Dr. Rahim KanjiModern Eyes Optometry, Virginia Beach, VA 

Patient satisfaction is the highest we’ve ever had with any Essilor product with the Ultimate Lens Package and its current incentive. A majority of our patients have some form of medical vision insurance which discounts the cost of the first set of lenses and a portion or all of the frame. They get the second set of lenses of equal or lesser value at no charge and are responsible for the retail price of the second frame. In my 13 years of private practice this is the first time I have seen a promotion of this caliber directly from a manufacturer. In the exam room I say to my patients, “there’s a manufacturer’s promotion going on right now where they’re giving away a second set of lenses at no charge to you. It’s a deal of a lifetime and may not be offered again, so I highly recommend you take advantage of it.” The beauty is there’s a progressive lens and a single vision lens option. Both come with a smart blue filter, Crizal coating and Transitions. A majority of our patients take advantage of the polarized Xperio UV sunglass lenses for their complimentary second set of lenses. Before now, while many patients valued the importance of polarized sunglasses, very few actually purchased them until the Ultimate Lens Package came out in September. Our optical staff has been overwhelmed with multiple pairs sales and in the first few months of the promotion we sold more ophthalmic suns than we did the entire year leading up to the promotion. Many of our patients have also referred their friends, family members and co-workers to our office for the promotion too.

Sarah BocashEyelook Optical, Portsmouth, NH

Offering EyeOs’ SmartRx total frame and lenses package is a new avenue for us. We have always offered ZEISS lenses but previously when patients bought an EyeOs frame with a ZEISS CR39 lens with AR coating it cost them about $325.  For the past few months we’ve been offering EyeOs ophthalmic quality frames with very good quality lenses in a complete frame and lenses package that costs $159+ for single vision and $269+ for digital PAL. We’re aiming the total package at Millennials who want convenience and quality products at an affordable price. We can create a customer relationship with them by giving them better quality than they would get online and by having our optician fit them. I also love to use SmartRx as a second and third pair option when price becomes an issue. We’re a high-end boutique and this deal has opened the door for us to offer a quality product at a good price. It’s a product we’re comfortable standing behind.

Dr. Cindy Seemann Design Vision Optical, Wauwatosa, WI 

Tifosi is a new sunglass line for us. We carry other sun lines with RX but they are more expensive. With the Advanced Sun Package, Tifosi fits a great price point and we love the option of having the HOYA lab do the RX lenses. Tifosi has the frames and HOYA has the lenses — brands that are very well recognized in the active sports market.

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Better Vision

The Growing Daily Disposable Opportunity and Smart Ways to Sell Them

Plus 6 of the newest products on the market.

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Daily contact lens use continues to rise. According to the Vision Council’s June 2018 VisionWatch Contact Lens Report, 5.7 million of the 41.8 million contact lens wearers in the U.S. wear daily contacts. This figure has increased from 5.4 million in June 2017. Dr. Susan Resnick, a New York-based contact lens specialist, believes the greatest opportunities for growth lie in prescribing daily multifocal designs to the presbyopic population and in offering them as the standard in care to children.

CooperVision

clariti 1 day, MyDay, and Proclear 1 day

(800) 341-2020 | coopervision.com/practitioner
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Johnson & Johnson Vision

1-Day Acuvue Moist and Acuvue Oasys 1-Day with HydraLuxe Technology

(800) 874-5278 | jnjvisionpro.com

Menicon

Miru 1-Day

(800) 636-4266 | meniconamerica.com

Bausch + Lomb

SofLens, Biotrue ONEday, Biotrue ONEday Multifocal for Presbyopia, Biotrue ONEday for Astigmatism

(800) 828-9030 | biotrueonedaylenses.com
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Alcon

Dailies Total1, Dailies AquaComfort Plus. Both are available in a multifocal and Dailies AquaComfort Plus comes in toric.

(800) 875-3001 | alcon.com

Visioneering Technologies

NaturalVue Multifocal with Plus Power, NaturalVue Sphere with Hyaluronic Acid.

(844) 884-5367 | vtivision.com

Smart Ways To Sell Daily Contacts

Dr. Susan Resnick, Farkas, Kassalow, Resnick & Associates, New York City

We believe dailies are the best solution long-term; we use a three-pronged approach to convince patients to wear them. First, dailies are the safest modality for cleanliness, allergies and comfort. So, we fit our patients in them unless they can’t wear them. For new patients, we tell them 75 percent of our patients wear dailies. Two, for established contact lens patients, we ask if they’re happy with their vision, comfort upon insertion and how many hours they wear them. Three, convenience is the hook for most patients, along with the medical benefits. Once we explain that we’re prescribing a daily disposable, we take a proactive stance and cost becomes secondary. I believe we still have a lot of opportunity to recapture and present dailies to the presbyopic population and children.

 

Dr. Brett O’connor, Pullen Eye Care, Jacksonville, Fl

We fit most patients in daily disposables and are confident prescribing them. We believe they’re the best choice for anyone with significant risk of corneal inflammation or infection. They are the most compliant modality and patients find them the most comfortable and convenient. My go-to “workhorse” is NaturalVue Sphere which has a unique wetting agent. If a patient has ocular surface disease or dryness I prescribe Dailies Total1 or Acuvue Oasys. After doing an exam, one of our managers will help patients understand how to maximize their vision benefits, manufacturer’s rebates and incentives so they can order an annual supply. We re-evaluate our prices routinely against our nearest competitor, Walgreens. We know their prices and adjust ours accordingly. With an online ordering portal and free shipping, we’re well positioned to compete on service.

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