Article Date: 7/1/2008

A Drive For Optimal Vision
dispensing strategies

A Drive For Optimal Vision

Sunwear combines photochromic and polarization technology.


Jim, a 40-something successful business owner, enjoys weekends water skiing in Lake Havasu and fishing on The Colorado River.

During his routine exam, he asked me why he couldn't see his fish hook to tie the line. Also, he reported that his plano, polarized sunglasses were "Too dark in some conditions, such as at dusk, and not dark enough in others, such as in super-bright sunlight, especially on those road trips to the "River."

I explained to Jim that he'd developed presbyopia and recommended he replace his plano, polarized sunglasses with DriveWear progressive lenses, from Younger Optics.

Two technologies

The DriveWear lens is exclusively a daytime lens designed for driving, though can benefit patients in other activities, such as fishing, as it's capable of reacting to lighting conditions both inside and outside the car. The lens, which is available in single vision, flat-top (FT)-28 bifocal and progressive designs and now in polycarbonate material, combines Transitions Optical's photochromic technology and Younger Optics' NuPolar polarizing technology.

The photochromic technology, initiated by both ultra-violet (UV) and visible light, changes into three distinct colors:

Green/yellow. This occurs in low-light and overcast conditions, such as rain or fog. The end result: improved contrast and a reduction of scattered blue light, allowing more of the yellow light to penetrate the lens for maximum foveal sensitivity. This, in turn, provides the most useable acuity, given the limited light.

Copper. This occurs in regular daylight conditions behind the windshield, again reducing the blue light to decrease glare and allow less light overall to penetrate the lens for improved comfort. Copper enables the penetration of the red light and secondary green light to facilitate traffic and brake-light recognition.

DriveWear Benefits

• Transitions Optical's photochromic technology adjusts to different lighting conditions, even behind a car's windshield.
• Younger Optics NuPolar polarizer blocks blinding glare in all lighting conditions
• Provides 100% UV protection
• Improves contrast
• Available from any wholesale lab

Dark, reddish-brown. This occurs in excess light (bright light, full-sun) outdoor conditions, selectively enabling more green light to penetrate the lens to enhance the outdoor experience, while preventing the sun's rays from overpowering and oversaturating the eye.

DriveWear lenses block 100% UV A and UV B light in all three colors. The company's NuPolar polarizing technology reduces glare in all lighting conditions. Also, this technology allows for the same level of polarization in high contrast, light-tint conditions, such as those in the green/yellow state.

The technology combination result: Improved driving safety, reduced glare and improved eye health through the elimination of UV exposure in all daytime lighting conditions.

Dispensing tips

I've discovered that DriveWear can play a large role in making one's dispensary thrive because a large majority of patients in optometric practices often drive. The key to dispensing these lenses: Educate your patients on the benefits of DriveWear by:

  1. Asking whether they've ever had trouble seeing, due to lighting conditions, when driving. (Most patients will reply "yes.")
  2. Explaining how the varying lighting conditions affect one's ability to drive.
  3. Telling them there's a new sun lens specifically designed for driving that works to ensure variable lighting conditions aren't an issue, making this activity safer.
  4. Describing how the features of the lens (photochromic and polarization technology) can specifically benefit them. For instance, if the patient is elderly and says his reaction time has slowed, explain how Drive Wear can improve his ability to see brake lights to help compensate for his decreased reaction time.
  5. Explaining that these lenses aren't exclusively for driving, but for other outdoor activities, such as golf.

DriveWear lenses have been profitable in my practice, not only as a premium add-on, but also as a practice builder. I believe that this is due, in part, to the fact that the lens represents new technology. And, when we, as practitioners, offer our patients new technology, it reinforces to them that we, not the other neighborhood O.D., have the ability to provide the best and most up-to-date care. This, in turn, builds patient satisfaction, loyalty and referrals.

Wisely, Jim — my 40-something patient — took my advice, and he's a very satisfied patient. In fact, he's already referred two friends who had similar complaints. I understand his enthusiasm. I had the same positive experience with my own DriveWear lenses. Why not take them for a test drive yourself? OM


Optometric Management, Issue: July 2008