Article Date: 9/1/2012

spectacle focus
spectacle focus

Glare Be Gone

Photochromic lens offers added variable polarization.

Corrie Pelc, Contributing Editor

Glare happens to everyone. Maybe you're walking and suddenly sunlight rebounds off the sidewalk in front of you, blinding your vision. Or, maybe you're out fishing and the sun's rays bounce off the water, making it hard for you to see everything around you.

For these reasons, and many more, Kirk Smick, O.D., F.A.A.O., of Clayton Eye Center in Morrow, Ga., has found offering the Transitions Vantage Adaptive Lenses to be a benefit to his patients.

“With any patient, you have to talk about glare — you have to ask the patient if glare is an issue in their life,” he adds. “And if it is, these are magic.”

The Transitions Vantage Adaptive Lenses use a new technology that adapts to UV exposure so that polarization increases when exposed to sunlight and decreases indoors.

Features

The Transitions Vantage Adaptive Lenses are photochromic lenses that offer the added benefit of variable polarization — the polarization increases as the lenses get darker in outdoor light, providing crisp, sharp vision. The lenses use a new technology that adapts to UV exposure, orienting to the angle at which light reaches the eye. So, polarization increases when exposed to sunlight and decreases indoors.

Dr. Smick says the lenses work with all prescriptions, including special prescriptions, such as bifocals. He also says the lenses are available in several materials, including CR39, polycarbonate and 1.67, and believes the range of materials will be expanded in the future.

“I think any practitioner who doesn't make these available to their patients is really missing the boat and not keeping up with new technology…”
— Kirk Smick, O.D., F.A.A.O.

Selling points

Joseph Smay, O.D., of Family Eye Care in New Kensington, Pa., says he started offering the Transitions Vantage Adaptive Lenses to patients when his practice agreed to be a test site for the product. Now carrying the product for almost a year, Dr. Smay says the experience has been positive, and patients appreciate the variable polarization technology. He says his patients find the lenses comfortable, easy-to-wear and virtually clear indoors.

Additionally, Dr. Smay says he is finding all patients are requesting the Transitions Vantage Adaptive Lenses — it's not just for those who enjoy the outdoors. “It's an every day lens, it's not a specialty lens,” he says. “This is a product that everybody is interested in … it's a lens for everybody in the practice.”

To help ensure all staff know the benefits of the Transitions Vantage Adaptive Lenses, Dr. Smick says his optical manager arranged for the brand manager from the laboratory they use to hold an educational luncheon for his practice's staff to ensure they were familiar with the different properties of the lenses.

“Patients ask a lot of questions, so our staff needs to be knowledgeable,” Dr. Smick adds.

Practice benefits

In regard to practice benefits, Dr. Smick says being that these lenses are so new, most insurance carriers have yet to cover them as an option in vision care plans, making them 100% out of pocket for the patient, which he says has increased his bottom line by about 25%.

Dr. Smay says that offering such a new product allows him to differentiate his practice from his competition. “It gives patients the idea that we are on the cutting edge or forefront of technology since we have new things readily available,” he adds.

“It's an every day lens, it's not a specialty lens.”
Joseph Smay, O.D.

Dr. Smick recommends other practices offer the Transitions Vantage Adaptive Lenses, especially those practices that have a large primary care patient base who enjoys a wide range of activities.

“I think any practitioner who doesn't make these available to their patients is really missing the boat and not keeping up with new technology, which is what makes us different from our competitors in many cases,” he says. OM

CORRIE PELC IS A FREELANCE WRITER BASED IN SACRAMENTO, CALIF. SHE HAS WRITTEN FOR BOTH CONSUMER AND TRADE PUBLICATIONS AND IS THE FORMER COMMUNICATIONS MANAGER FOR THE CALIFORNIA OPTOMETRIC ASSOCIATION. E-MAIL HER AT CORRIE.PELC@GMAIL.COM, OR SEND COMMENTS TO OPTOMETRICMANAGEMENT@GMAIL.COM.


Optometric Management, Volume: 47 , Issue: September 2012, page(s): 70 72