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The Latest in Low Vision Aids to Increase Independence

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The national eye institute estimates that by 2050 the number of people with visual impairment and blindness in the U.S. will double to 8 million. Low vision can result from a number of causes and can lead to depression in patients who struggle to read, write, watch TV, see distant objects or enjoy their hobbies. Often ophthalmologists will refer patients to low vision optometrists. These ECPs work with the patient to choose a device that allows them to perform routine daily activities and regain some lost independence. There are many aids to choose from including illuminated magnifiers, special tinted lenses for contrast, portable video magnifiers or wearable technology based on magnification. Now there’s even artificial computer vision programs that can verbalize information to a patient.  


Enhanced Vision

Mojo electronic monocular

(888) 811-3161 | enhancedvision.com 


1655 1 Touch small
Eschenbach

Visolux Digital XL FHD portable video magnifier with interactive touch screen, speech output and camera.

(800) 487-5389 | eschenbach.com


Ocutech

VES Falcon autofocus bioptic telescope

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(800) 326-6460 | ocutech.com 


OrCam Technologies

MyEye 2 artificial vision device

(800) 713-3741 | orcam.com 


HIMS

GoVision PRO HD video magnifier

(888) 520-4467 | hims-inc.com 


Smart Ways to Sell Low Vision Aids

Dr. Tom Porter ST. LOUIS UNIVERSITY, ST. LOUIS, MO

Over my career, I estimate I’ve seen 35,000 low vision patients. Prior to a visit with me, I ask patients to make a note of what they can’t do and what they want to do with their current level of vision. I call these notes their visual goals. My clinical exam then addresses the power of the low vision aid they’ll need by looking at the duration of the task at hand and the level of working distance required to complete it. I view all low vision aids as tools and sometimes patients need to use multiple aids to solve the problem. I use virtually every manufacturer’s brand for one application or another. We still use a lot of illuminated hand-held and stand magnifiers, small video magnifiers, telescopic low vision aids that are hand-held or spectacle mounted and tinted lenses either as a slipover or custom prescription.

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Dr. Bryan Wolynski GLASSES ON FIRST, NEW YORK CITY

Every low vision patient is different and assisted technology is personal to that individual. After I get a referral from an ophthalmologist, I carry out a five-minute phone call with the patient. I want them to understand what low vision is all about and advise them not to get their hopes up too high. Many of them are depressed because their vision isn’t what it used to be. Once I explain what I can do for them, I find that sets us up for success. I carry out a goal-oriented exam where history taking is important and I concentrate on their goals. Do they want to read a newspaper, an email, or a book? I give them a packet that explains that the cost of these devices can range from $100s to $1,000s of dollars. Medicare should cover the cost but it doesn’t, so patients pay for themselves. I carry a range of daily living aids from high-powered magnification glasses to telescopes to head-worn devices. My favorites are Ocutech’s bioptics and OrCam’s wearable technology.

Carol Gilhawley is a contributing writer for INVISION.

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Better Vision

Ways to Protect Kids’ Eyes While Playing Sports

And smart ways to get their parents on board.

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IT’S ESTIMATED THAT 80 percent of eye damage occurs before 18 from exposure to solar UV radiation. As children play games, it’s necessary to protect their eyes from the sun and sport injuries. ECPs need to educate parents about the importance of protective eyewear for kids when participating in sports. For maximum protection and performance, Rx lenses ­— polycarbonate is preferred — can be inserted into a variety of sport-specific styles in a variety of youth sizes.

Wiley X

The Wiley X Youth Force line offers Rx-able eyewear for all types of sports.

(800) 776-7842, wileyx.com

Puma

Puma Junior Eyewear line.

(844) 790-9165, kering.com

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Oakley

The Rx Frogskins XS is especially engineered for young faces.

(800) 403-7449, oakley.com

Julbo

Little Heroes children’s line of Rx-able polarized lenses.

(800) 651-0833, julbousa.com

Nike Vision

The Nike Legend S, an 8-base sport wrap sunglass made with Max Optics.

(800) 645-1300, nikevision.com

Liberty Sport

The Sport Shift frame or goggle in the Patriot Collection has an RS 2.0 lens with FogBlok coating.

(800) 444-5010, libertysport.com

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Polaroid

Polaroid Kids sunglasses with polarized lenses for ages 4-12.

(800) 631-1188, safilo.com

Hilco

Rx-able swim goggle.

(800) 955-6544, hilcovision.com

Under Armour

The UA youth sunglasses with sport-specific Tuned technology designed specifically for baseball and golf.

(516) 576-9100, underarmour.com

Smart Ways To Sell Sports Eyewear to Kids

Audrey Nelson, VisionQuest Eyecare, Greenwood & Indianapolis, IN

We offer a range of sports sunglasses from Oakley’s youth line, sports goggles from Rec Specs and prescription swim goggles from Hilco. The most important thing our doctors discuss with patients is safety. For those kids needing active sunwear with or without prescription, the Oakley Prizm lenses are great. Only about 10 percent of kids who come into our practices wear a sport-specific goggle or eyewear so I think more education is needed for parents to understand that their children should have safety eyewear when playing sports. It also protects their children’s eyes from the sun.

Dr. Samuel Teske, The Eye Doctors New Tampa, Tampa, FL

We’re based in an area that is growing rapidly with a lot of young families moving in and getting their children involved in sports. I first make sure parents understand the importance of eye protection, especially in sports. The mother is generally the decision maker so I talk to her first to ensure she’s on board. I ask her “What sports are your kids playing?” “How active is the sport?” Depending on how aggressive the sport is, I determine if the child will need protective eyewear. Baseball, for example, is an active sport with a high rate of injury. I usually concentrate on those children who already have a prescription and choose ideal safety eyewear that can help prevent injury. I usually prescribe Rec Specs from Liberty Sport, which have an in-built shock absorber. I always pair them with a polycarbonate lens due to its shatter resistance and I like to prescribe Transitions lenses too.

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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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