A Vibrant Future
Acuvue 2 Colours contact lenses can light the way for patient growth.
BY MITCHELL J. FINK, O.D., F.A.A.O., AND AMANDA B. FINK, O.D.
With more natural-looking colors and greater comfort in a range of new and improved brands, demand for color contact lenses is rising. Research conducted by the Vistakon Division of Johnson & Johnson Vision Care showed that approximately 25 million vision-corrected patients are interested in color contact lenses. And prescription contact lens wearers aren't alone: According to a 2000 Gallup study, 13 million non-vision-corrected consumers are interested in them as well.
With a total market of 38 million consumers, sales of color contact lenses seem poised for a major boom -- and eyecare professionals have a great opportunity to cultivate and respond to this interest.
Who, when, wear
Younger women have consistently favored color contact lenses but teenagers of both genders present an outstanding growth opportunity for two reasons:
1. Teens' active lifestyles motivate them to diversely express themselves.
2. Both teens and their parents enjoy the ease and safety of the frequent replacement schedules.
Consider the growth potential among these demographic groups:
- Men traditionally don't have the options of cosmetics, jewelry and hairstyles choices that women do. This makes eye color a natural option for self expression.
- Older patients can also benefit from color lenses. The tinting enables wearers to see the lenses more easily for better handling and care.
Getting an eye full
Choices abound for color lenses, and some key features make wearers happier than ever with Acuvue 2
Colours. For example:
- Pupil size is larger than on other opaque lenses.
- There's an extra layer over the coloring lens to make the lens more comfortable.
- Acuvue 2 lenses, whether visibility-tinted or in shades of color, provide protective UV-blocking.
- The new spectrum of colors (gray, honey, green and blue opaque lenses and green, blue and aqua enhancers) are added incentive for potential wearers seeking to change eye color altogether or to complement their existing shade.
Tips to remember
The growth in the color lens market gives patients more and better choices and offers you new ways to grow your practice. How?
- You can offer current wearers the opportunity to buy additional color lenses, convert completely to color lenses or try a new array of colors, brands and technologies.
- Recruit new wearers and get them to choose color lenses by suggesting the idea at the beginning of an exam. We offer patients a free trial pair and teach our staffers about the lenses, encouraging them to wear the lenses in the office.
- Use in-office displays and other point-of-purchase collateral materials. We've also had success with mailing newsletters and postcards before appointments to prompt patient inquiries.
It's also helpful to incorporate special offers from companies that supply sales tools to reduce the time patients spend selecting lens colors and provide patient take-home and direct-mail materials to explain the benefits of color lenses in greater detail.
- Steering patients toward color lenses can make them happier with their eyewear and also make for a more profitable practice.
Looking at a bright future
We spend a significant amount of time making certain that the lenses fit properly and helping patients select the right colors. The ongoing campaigns to raise awareness of the importance of annual eye exams have also strengthened both our practice and our relationships with our patients.
The future looks bright for color lenses. With increased patient education, assistance from the eyecare community and so many quality products available, we can look forward to a healthy growth spurt in the coming years.
DR. FINK, FORMER CONTACT LENS PRACTICE PROFESSOR AT THE PENNSYLVANIA COLLEGE OF OPTOMETRY, HAS BEEN IN PRIVATE PRACTICE FOR ALMOST 35 YEARS. HE CURRENTLY PRACTICES AT EYE SITE EYE CARE CENTER, PC, IN WILLINGBORO, N.J., WHERE HIS DAUGHTER, DR. AMANDA FINK, JOINED HIM 4-AND-A-HALF YEARS AGO.
Optometric Management, Issue: October 2002