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Tips and Products for Boosting Your Rx Sunwear Sales

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With summer just around the corner and blinding sunshine on its way, your patients may start to hum Timbuk3’s 1986 song “The Future’s So Bright I Gotta Wear Shades.”  According to The Vision Council, 6.15 million pairs of Rx sun lenses were sold in the U.S in 2016, representing 7.4 percent of all Rx lenses sold, and an increase of 1.2 percent over 2015. About 43 percent of those lenses were sold through independent ECPs. There is thus clearly room for independent optometrists to make marketing improvements to boost their Rx sunglass sales. 


Gannet sunglasses from Costa

Gannet shiny sea lavender crystal frame with grey 580 polycarbonate lenses. Costa

(800) 447-3700 costadelmar.com


Cali sunglasses from Kaenon

Modern black Cali frame with SR-91 proprietary lenses in G12 and Glare 86 polarizing filter. Kaenon

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(866) 523-6661, kaenon.com 


Hunt sunglass frame from SPY

Hunt sunglass frame with Happy grey-green lenses. SPY

(855) 655-8980, spyoptic.com 


Xperio UV lens from Essilor

Xperio UV lens in a copper color. Essilor

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(800) 377-4567, essilorusa.com 


CrossRange frame from Oakley

CrossRange frame with PRIZM lens. Oakley

(800) 403-7449, oakley.com


Lowdown sunglasses from Smith Optics

Lowdown sunglasses with ChromaPop lenses. Smith Optics

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(888) 206-2995, smithoptics.com


Coppertone lenses from Vison Ease

Coppertone lenses in an O’Neill frame. Vision Ease

(800) 328-3449, visionease.com


Smart Ways to Sell Rx Sun Lenses

Tyler Andersen 
SportRx, San Diego, CA

“We’re a little unique because in the past four years we’ve primarily become an e-commerce dealer. About 95 percent of our orders come over the phone or our chat system. As a result, we carry over 40 brands. Whatever sport it is, we have something available. We determine the needs of customers based on their daily or preferred use of the eyewear they wish to order. If they’re not looking for an activity-specific pair, I recommend a good polarized lens with a mirror to reduce ambient glare and offer the best all-around protection. Kaenon has a polarizing filter for its lens material that is amazing. Oakley, too, is one of our top providers with its sport-specific lenses and a black iridium polarized lens that is a good all-around lens. If we don’t have specific agreements in place with frame manufacturers then we determine what lab to use based on our customers’ needs.”


Dr. Kirk Smick
Clayton Eye Center, Morrow, GA

“Seven years ago, we had a Luxottica rep do a sunwear presentation. It was very revealing. We had a nice sunglass display at the back of our optical. We learned we needed to put it up front. We re-arranged it and it made a big difference. We also changed our messaging when scheduling appointments. Now we encourage patients to bring all their optical devices with them, including sunglasses. A lot don’t have a prescription in their sunglasses but this plants the seed that perhaps they should.

“Now, each of our nine ODs suggest prescription sunglasses to patients during their exams.

“Many of them have insurance that helps toward the purchase of new glasses. When patients come in for their annuals and don’t need a new prescription, we recommend they use their insurance to get sunglasses. It almost becomes an every other year thing to do.

“We saw a sales increase of 20 to 25 percent from these changes.

“Some patients can’t afford a second pair, so we do a high percentage of Transitions, too.”


This article originally appeared in the May 2017 edition of INVISION.

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Safilo’s “American Eyes” Video Celebrates Elasta and Emozioni starring ECPs Peter Tacia and Heidi Dancer

For the third year in a row, Safilo has looked to trusted eyecare professionals to star in its American Eyes campaign for its Elasta and Emozioni collections.Their latest testimonials are from Peter Tacia, O.D. and Heidi Dancer, optician, of Alma, MI, talking about two best-selling collections: Elasta and Emozioni.

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Better Vision

Golf Lenses Guaranteed to Be a Hole in One

8 options that address the three factors patients want in their golf glasses.

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THREE FACTORS USUALLY come into play when patients are looking to buy golf glasses: “Their lenses to make a difference on the tee, to see their scorecard, and to track their ball down the fairway,” says Rob Curry at True Focus Eye Care in Port Richey, FL. As a result, lens makers provide ECPs with a number of options.

Liberty Sport

Switch H-wall Frames that come with interchangeable lenses in a two lens kit with a specific golf tint.

(800) 444-5010, libertysport.com

Oakley

The Oakley Prizm Dark Golf lens

(800) 403-7449, oakley.com

ImageWear

Callaway frame with fully Rx-able lens.

(800) 414-7656, walman.com

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Under Armour

The UA Tuned Golf lens features a proprietary tint formula for heightened contrast in bright conditions.

(516) 576-9100, eyeking.com

Scheyden Eyewear

Golf-specific CIA (Confidence in Action) sunglasses with fixed gear titanium frame and high definition dye-infused LT16 polyamide lens.

(800) 851-2758, scheyden.com

Maui Jim

Golf line with PolarizedPlus2 lenses, Guardrails polarized aviator sunglasses (shown).

(888) 666-5905, mauijim.com

Tifosi Optics

Swick sunglasses with Enliven Golf lens or an Rx option of golf/tennis tint.

(877) 530-0815, tifosioptics.com

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Shamir

Shamir Golf lens

(877) 514-8330, shamirlens.com

Smart Ways To Sell Golf Lenses

Tom Harrigan, J.C. Reiss Optician, Morristown, NJ

Our go-to golf lens is a Maui Jim sunglass lens. We’re a small independent optical that opened 127 years ago and I find Maui Jim helps level the playing field by doing everything for us. Being a golfer myself, I like certain lens colors for golf so I recommend a brown or a rose-colored lens which helps read the greens better than a flat, gray lens. Generally, sunglasses double as the patient’s golf lenses unless they want to buy a second pair, say, a dark gray lens for fishing. When patients come in we ask them about their hobbies. This opens the conversation to talking about golf and, since I know the game myself, I discuss my recommendations with them. In addition to selling Maui Jim for golf, we also sell some Liberty Sport Switch frames with golf-tinted lenses.

Rob Curry, True Focus Eye Care, Port Richey, FL

Our two doctors are golfers and have photos of themselves playing in their exam rooms, so golf often comes up in conversation with our patients. Most of our golfers want to be able to track the ball from the tee to where it lands on the green so they will buy a distance prescription and/or bifocal lens. We use the Tifosi frame and lens package more than any other. Its new Enliven Golf lens comes standard in the frame (in plano) and if the patient wants an RX they can get it in the GT tint (golf/tennis). We personally tested it on the course and the results were overwhelming. It’s a non-polarized, color enhancing, green lens that allows you to read the cut of the greens more clearly and vividly than any other golf lens.

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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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