By Eric M. White, OD
Help patients to protect their eyes when reading in the sun and from computer strain. By prescribing anti-reflective lens treatments and Transitions lenses you add a new revenue stream to your optical shop.
AsODs look for new revenue streams in this uncertain economy, akey opportunity lies inproviding anti-glare lenses for reading and computer use. Prescribing reading and computer lenses with anti-reflective coating or Transitions accounted for over $250,000 in gross revenues in my practice last year, as I charge $100 for single-vision lenses, $130 for progressive Transitions lenses, and $130 for premium anti-reflective lenses. The $250,000 was generated by upselling not just the A/R and Transitions but via sales of the computer eyeglasses themselves. By asking patients if they are having trouble on the computer, and by practicing preventative eyecare, I was able to sell more computer eyeglasses and reading eyeglasses.
Custom Office Eyewear
In addition to standard progressive and anti-glare and Transitions eyewear, personalized eyewear customized to meet the needs of patients who spend long hours in the office are now available.
One such lens is Shamir Autograph II – Office. Shamir Office is an occupational progressive lens designed to provide visual acuity for near and mid-range vision.
Designed in conjunction with patented EyePoint Technology, Shamir Office is designed to provide a wide, clear, near and intermediate vision.
Shamir Office is designed to be more than a computer lens. It is intended to be an occupational lens for anyone who needs edge-to-edge, visibly distortion-free, near and intermediate vision.
Each design corresponds to a Dynamic Power. The Dynamic Power is the amount of power that is subtracted from the total reading prescription. In other words, it is the gradual reduction of power as the eye moves from the reading zone to the intermediate zone.
Conversation Starts in Exam Room
I ask my patients in the exam chair if they ever read books or magazines outside or use an electronic reader or tablet computer outside. I also ask whether they ever check their smartphone while in the sun. Then I ask the key question: “Would you like to take the strain off your eyes when you do this?” If the patient answers in the affirmative, I explain: “That is why I am prescribing Transitions in your computer and reading glasses.”
Address Price Concerns
When patients hesitate to follow my prescription for glare-free reading and computer eyewear, the added cost is the most common reason. I find that if I take the time to address what they get for the added cost (more comfortable eyes in front of a computer and eyes that are protected from the sun while reading outside), they often change their minds and make the investment. I explain that since the lenses will be clear indoors, it is almost like getting two eyeglasses (prescription sunwear and regular eyeglasses) for the price of one.
Reinforce the Message Throughout the Office
I prescribe anti-glare reading and computer eyeglasses from the exam room, repeat my prescription when I show patients opting for personalized lenses our Visioffice system, and repeat the message a third time when I hand them off to the optician. This extra messaging and hand-off takes about three minutes, and shows the patient the importance of protecting their eyes from glare when reading in the sun or working on a computer.
Demonstrate the Difference in Lenses
We have Transitions point of sale materials including the vendor’s UV protection demo kit, which allows patients to try on the lenses to see the difference they make in comfort by protecting from glare. In addition, all of our staff members wear eyeglasses with Transitions, so patients who are skeptical about the importance of protecting their eyes from glare can talk to any one of them for personal testimony.
Educate Patients About Transitions Options
Add the following link featuring information about Transitions products to your practice web site. Or, better yet, bookmark it on hand-held tablets used by your opticians to show patients options available to them that may not be on display in your optical shop. http://en-us.transitions.com/en/experience/default
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Eric M. White, OD, is the owner of Complete Family Vision Care in San Diego, Calif. To contact him: Emwhiteod@aol.com.