STRAIGHT TALK ABOUT SUNWEAR

By Julie Bos
Summer’s here—and you know what that means. For active, sun-loving individuals, the season brings a heightened demand for protective sunwear; and for eye care professionals, it brings a golden opportunity to increase sales with today’s hottest polarized sunwear, specialty and photochromics offerings.
Unfortunately, some ECPs won’t reach their full sales potential this season. Their hopeful efforts may be stunted by either their lack of product knowledge, their misconceptions about today’s lens technologies, or their inability to overcome patients’ sales objections.
Have no fear. We’ve compiled some common questions and misconceptions from ECPs about a wide range of sunwear technologies. Not only can this information help ECPs broaden their own product understanding, it may give them the knowledge and confidence to overcome their patients’ most pressing concerns. Share these questions with your sales teams, so they can provide answers to their ECP accounts.

ECP QUESTION:
“My patients are very interested in the new Transitions Vantage lenses but if they can get variable polarization in an everyday lens, why would they want to invest in a second pair of sunglasses?”

ANSWER:
While Transitions Vantage lenses are the only everyday lenses that polarize, they are not replacements for sunglasses. They’re meant to be worn in place of ordinary, clear lenses. Transitions Vantage lenses are designed to be worn indoors and outdoors, but your patients will still benefit from a pair of sunglasses. How?
Sunglasses, including polarized sunglasses, are specialty eyewear for specific, sustained outdoor use and blinding glare situations—so there’s still an opportunity to grow your multiple-pair sales. Transitions Vantage lenses, like Transitions VI lenses or ordinary clear lenses are not designed to activate behind the windshield. There also not optimized for outdoor activities and sports, whereas performance sunwear products including polarized sunwear does offer these advantages.

A CLOSER LOOK: TRANSITIONS VANTAGE
Transitions Vantage lenses are the first and only lenses designed to both darken and polarize upon UV exposure to deliver noticeably crisper, sharper vision—even in the brightest outdoor glare. Transitions Vantage lenses are not sunglasses; they are everyday photochromic lenses that start out virtually clear and non-polarized indoors. Outdoors, they not only adapt to changing light but also increase polarization as they darken, optimizing the angle at which light reaches the eyes to help control glare and light scatter.

ECP QUESTION:
“When I recommend photochromic lenses to my patients, they’re often concerned that they won’t darken in the car. Is there a photochromic product available that activates behind the car windshield?”

ANSWER:
Remember to remind your patients that everyday photochromic lenses are meant to replace clear lenses, which don’t offer any of the outdoor benefits polarized sun lenses do. However, there are options for photochromic wearers who want that extra darkness in the car.

For those looking for an everyday photochromic that offers superior darkness outdoors in all temperatures and behind the windshield, consider recommending Transitions XTRActive lenses. By sensing and adjusting to visible light—not just UV light—they activate to a level dark enough that most people who have tried them say they get almost as dark as sunglasses when driving in the sun. Indoors, they have a comfortable hint of tint.

Specifically designed for the driving task, Younger Optics offers Drivewear Transitions sun lenses—the first polarized photochromic lens to darken in the car. These lenses combine NuPolar polarization and advanced Transitions photochromic dyes, which respond to both visible light and UV light, easing visual stress and strain while driving. Drivewear Transitions can also serve as a great all-around sun lens for outdoor activities, as well. Introducing your patients to these advanced lens options is a great way to get them more excited about and interested in wearing photochromic lenses.

A CLOSER LOOK: TRANSITIONS XTRACTIVE LENSES AND DRIVEWEAR TRANSITIONS SUN LENSES
Transitions XTRActive lenses—the darkest everyday photochromic lenses available—are a smart choice for patients who spend a lot of time in bright, sunny conditions and who are looking for an adaptive lens that offers superior darkness outdoors in all temperatures. Designed to have a slight tint indoors and activate moderately behind the windshield of a car, Transitions XTRActive lenses still provide the same visual comfort and UV protection as Transitions VI lenses. These lenses are currently available in a range of polycarbonate, 1.50, 1.67, FT-28 and Trivex materials, and in single-vision lenses and some progressive addition lenses.
Drivewear sun lenses are one of the products in the Transitions line of performance sunwear. Offered through Younger Optics, Drivewear lenses are designed specifically to meet the unique visual demands of the driving task. They combine NuPolar polarization and advanced Transitions photochromic dyes, which respond to both visible light and UV light.

ECP QUESTION:
“Some of my patients are very active in sports and outdoor activities. How can I help them get the most out of sunwear?”

ANSWER:
The first step is encouraging patients to view sunwear as an essential piece of their outdoor sports and activity equipment. Not only is UV protection critical, especially for those who spend a lot of time outside, but eyewear that is designed for specific activities can be tremendously beneficial in providing a visual advantage.
Transitions Optical’s line of performance sunwear includes several products designed for specific outdoor sports and activities. For example, Xperio Transitions sun lenses, now available in polycarbonate, are polarized, photochromic prescription sun lenses—ideal for activities like hiking and water activities and sports.

A CLOSER LOOK: XPERIO TRANSITIONS SUN LENSES
These lenses combine the superior polarized technology of Xperio with the unmatched photochromic technology of Transitions Optical for prescription sun lenses that are ideal for a variety of outdoor sports and activities.

ECP QUESTION:
“My patients seem apprehensive about purchasing sunwear. Their common push-backs are price, buying a second pair, or not needing sunwear at all because they aren’t outside a lot. Some mention that they just purchased sunglasses from a drugstore. How can I explain to my patients why UV protection is important and why they need it?”

ANSWER:
UV protection is not just for trips to the beach. UV is everywhere and everyone is at risk. Our eyes are exposed to UV radiation 365 days a year, even on cloudy days. Actually, up to 40 percent of UV exposure occurs when we’re not in full sunlight (and therefore, less likely to wear sunglasses). If these facts help convince your patients that they need sunwear with UV protection, you can then recommend sunwear that features Crizal SunShield, which provides the maximum UV protection (with an Eye-Sun Protection Factor of 50+). With this product, patients will be 50 times more protected from UV radiation than if they weren’t wearing any protection at all. Crizal SunShield is a preventative measure to help protect against premature skin aging around the eye, cataracts and other long-term UV-related diseases and conditions. The initial investment provides long-term protection and is necessary for your entire family.

A CLOSER LOOK: CRIZAL SUNSHIELD
Crizal SunShield is the first no-glare sunglass lens coating providing maximum UV protection with an Eye-Sun Protection Factor (E-SPF) of 50+. It’s also the most protective, scratch-resistant, smudge resistant and easiest to clean sunglass lens coating available.

ECP QUESTION:
“My patients love the indoor clarity and speed of deactivation of their LifeRx lenses but wonder why they don’t seem to get quite as dark in hot temperatures?”

ANSWER:
Transmission levels become a matter of balancing performance, comfort and safety. LifeRx lenses incorporate a dye that optimizes and balances all-weather performance. Photochromics that are solely optimized for hot weather will have severe limitations in other temperatures.
In lower temperatures, some photochromics darken to a point considered unsafe by ANSI and ISO standards, which recommend a minimum 8 percent luminous transmission. What’s more, these lenses fade back at a dangerously slow and cosmetically unappealing rate once indoors. LifeRx is faster deactivating in all temperatures, particularly in cold temps. Faster deactivation provides a greater comfort, convenience and safety to consumers. Furthermore, they’re as clear as a clear lens in their unactivated state so consumers don’t have to deal with unwanted, indoor residual tint.
 
A CLOSER LOOK: LIFERX LIGHT-RESPONSIVE LENSES
LifeRx light-responsive lenses from Vision-Ease adjust to changing light conditions. Indoors, the lenses are crystal clear. Outdoors, the lenses darken based on the amount of UV (light) exposure. The brighter the light, the darker the lens. They’ve become known for their exceptional clarity indoors and fast fadeback. They are available in gray and brown colors and numerous styles including: SFSV, A SFSV, FSV, D28/D35 Bifocals, 7x28 Trifocals and two progressives.

ECP QUESTION:
“My patients are interested in wearing photochromic lenses but are not ready to pay the premium price associated with the main ones currently available on the market.”

ANSWER:
Price is a factor for many budget-conscious consumers. Fortunately, photochromic lenses like PhotoViews from Signet Armorlite come in a variety of lens designs at smart price points, allowing more patients to experience the benefits of photochromic lenses.

A CLOSER LOOK: PHOTOVIEWS PHOTOCHROMIC LENSES
PhotoViews lenses are the perfect choice for price-conscious patients looking for photochromic lenses that offer an incredibly fast fade time and full direct UV protection.

ECP QUESTION:
“Many of my patients think of photochromic lenses as true sun lenses. Therefore, they lose interest when they learn that standard photochromic lenses won’t provide a sun-lens tint inside a car since the windshield blocks most of the UV radiation needed to activate the photochromic tint.”

ANSWER:
In these cases, it’s best to focus on what the product can do, rather than what it can’t. PhotoFusion lenses by ZEISS, for example, automatically provide full solar UV protection and can darken to a true sun-lens tint when the wearer goes outdoors in full sunlight, providing easier adjustment and more comfortable outdoor vision without having to carry a second pair of glasses. It’s still important to have true sunglasses, but they can be kept in the car or wherever they’re needed most.
It’s also worth noting that it may not necessarily be advantageous to have self-tinting lenses that fully activate in the car. For example, if a patient drives from a bright sunny day into a tunnel, no self-tinting lens will deactivate fast enough to give him or her clear vision. If they’re wearing their second-pair sunglasses, they can easily switch to their clear pair; but if they only have self-tinting lenses, they don’t have that luxury.
Finally, if your patients insist on a lens that darkens behind a windshield, you could suggest DriveWear lenses.

A CLOSER LOOK: PHOTOFUSION BY ZEISS
PhotoFusion by ZEISS is a self-tinting (photochromic) lens developed by Carl Zeiss Vision. In high-index and polycarbonate materials, PhotoFusion lenses darken up to 20 percent faster and fade back to clear up to twice as fast as previous photochromic lenses offered by ZEISS.* Additional benefits include:
• 100 percent UV protection
• Excellent tint performance over time
• Color consistency through different light conditions
• Availability on premium ZEISS customized and standard lenses, with an expanded portfolio coming this summer
*Average performance. Performance will vary based on material, temperature and light conditions.

ECP QUESTION:
“My patients don’t understand what makes Kaenon’s polarized lenses different from the brand that they currently wear; so why should they pay more for the product?”

ANSWER:
While most brands use a polycarbonate or glass lens, which may suffer from distortion, a lack of impact resistance and/or a lack of clarity, the Kaenon’s SR-91 polarized lens offers a compromise-free alternative. Even though SR-91 is a non-polycarbonate and non-glass material, it contains the benefits of both: impact-resistance, light weight and distortion-free clarity. Kaenon SR-91 polarized lenses are available in single vision and Freestyle Progressive options in every frame Kaenon offers. So, no matter what brand your patients currently wear, Kaenon and its truly unique lens material will improve their polarized sunglass experience.

A CLOSER LOOK: KAENON SR-91 POLARIZED LENS
Kaenon introduced the SR-91 polarized lens as the answer to all of the shortcomings of existing polarized lenses. Glass is heavy and shatters; CR-39 is brittle and not impact-resistant; and polycarbonate offers a dull view and scratches easily. SR-91 was tested in independent labs and confirmed to be the only polarized lens that offers razor-sharp clarity, impact-resistance and glare-reduction all in one ultra-lightweight and durable lens. So your patients can get all of the good—and none of the bad. The high-performance, patented Kaenon SR-91 polarized lens comes standard in everything Kaenon makes—including prescription sunlenses. SR-91 Rx is available in single-vision and our Freestyle Progressive. And every frame Kaenon makes is Rx-adaptable.

ECP QUESTION:
“My golf-enthusiast patients are intrigued by the new Shamir Golf lens, but think it’s just a regular progressive. How can I encourage them to take a closer look?”

ANSWER:
The best way to overcome this misconception (and potentially score a second-pair sale) is to emphasize the stable mid-zone that’s exclusive to the Shamir Golf lens. Unlike a standard progressive, Shamir Golf provides three distinct vision zones for the golfer: the near zone for the scorecard in the player’s hand, the mid-range zone for the ball at the player’s feet, and the far zone for the green in the distance. Each vision zone is enhanced specifically for the golfer’s needs. In fact, the mid-range zone has been specifically designed for golfers and has proven extremely helpful in improving many golfers’ games. Shamir Golf is also designed to ensure clear peripheral viewing.

A CLOSER LOOK: SHAMIR GOLF LENS
Classified as a sports specialty Freeform design, Shamir Golf is specifically designed for the golf enthusiast. This lens is the ideal solution for golfers who have found that their everyday progressive lenses are not providing optimal vision out on the green. While typical progressives often have distortion near the edge of the lens, Shamir Golf offers patients a clear peripheral viewing area, so players can see the ball clearly at their feet as well as where they want to hit the ball down the fairway. Designed specifically for wrap frames, Shamir Golf has a 19mm fitting height. Shamir Golf provides the player with a more comfortable golfing experience.

A NEW REPORT FROM THE VISION COUNCIL ADDRESSES THE CHALLENGE OF SECOND-PAIR SALES
A newly released survey from The Vision Council found that polarized lens sales are rising. However, more rapid growth is being stymied by the reluctance of eyecare professionals (ECPs) to recommend that their patients purchase a second pair of glasses because they fear their patients may be unwilling to invest the extra cost. ECPs may also fear that patients will take their business to a less expensive retailer, once they learn the higher price associated with polarized lenses. For more information on this white paper, please contact Ashley Danchuk at (703) 740-2251 or adanchuk@thevisioncouncil.org.

CURRENT ISSUE


September/October 2014