Light-reactive lenses deliver perhaps the most widespread range of benefits of any lens or enhancement available. From the convenience factor to the visual benefits to the peace of mind of UV and blue light defense, these lenses are a perfect choice for most any patient. But, as is the case in the great balancing act of daily life, there is almost always a yin to the yang.
When it comes to light-reactive lenses, the yang is found in certain external factors that can influence their performance.
Does this mean they’re not a good recommendation? Absolutely not. In fact, some of these factors yield positive results. What it means is that it’s best to discuss these factors with your patients and set realistic expectations for performance.
And speaking of realistic expectations, it’s important to remind patients that these impacts are more the exception than the rule. They’re generally infrequent and short-lived. But bringing awareness to them helps your patients understand why their lenses may experience a temporary change in performance, which helps to preempt patient concerns, improve patient experience, and avoid frustrated phone calls down the road.
In this post, we’ll take a look at 12 factors that influence light-reactive lens performance, how they impact performance, and tips for discussing them with your patients.
How to address it with patients: Remind patients that we’re talking about extreme temperatures here. If you’re in an area that exceeds the 100-degree mark or dips below freezing, give your patients an idea of what to expect. Certain light-reactive lenses do offer better temperature stability to provide more reliable performance in areas where temperature swings are common.
How to address it with patients: Explain that this is a good thing. When in bright environments with sustained exposure to reflected UV (at a lake, by the pool, on the beach, or in the snow), a fully activated lens is exactly what you want.
How to address it with patients: If a patient wants a light-reactive lens but drives a car with tinted windows, your best bet would be to recommend a light-reactive lens as their primary pair and a pair of prescription suns for behind the wheel. If a patient has lightly tinted windows and would like to try an extra-active, remind them that they can try SunSync Drive XT risk-free for a year. If they’re not satisfied they can return them within 12 months for a replacement pair of clear prescription lenses at no charge.
How to address it with patients: Explain that untreated windows aren’t very common these days, but if their lenses start darkening at a window-side restaurant table, or in their corner office with a view, this is the reason. If they’re considering extra-active, light-reactive lenses for the car, remind them that untreated windows will enhance in-car performance by allowing a larger dose of UV light into the vehicle.
How to address it with patients: This is another environmental factor that can be beneficial. A person is going to want their lenses nice and dark during the brightest times of the day, and slightly lighter during times of reduced lighting for visibility. That’s a benefit sunglasses can’t offer.
How to address it with patients: Remind patients in extremely hot or cold climates how temperature affects performance during specific seasons. For those in very hot climates, fade-back speed is actually enhanced, so use that as a positive point in your discussion.
How to address it with patients: Simply set the expectation that facing away from the sun for extended period can result in lighter lenses. Since most of us change direction constantly, this would only be a realistic drawback for someone like a semi-truck driver who may face one direction for hours on end.
How to address it with patients: Some people do wear hats on a daily basis, so explain that a lens that won’t fully darken could be a result of a wide-brimmed hat or cap.
How to address it with patients: Similar to the time of day consideration, a less-tinted lens during darker, overcast weather can improve visibility. Again, this is a benefit that standard sunglasses can’t provide.
How to address it with patients: This isn’t going to be a deal-breaker for most patients since they get new lenses each year. For those who like to stretch their dollar (and lens life), there are certain light-reactive lenses like SunSync Elite that retain their performance better over longer period.
How to address it with patients: UV bulbs are commonly used in hospitals or food prep areas where germ-control is a necessity. If you’re sitting across from a surgeon, a butcher, or anyone else in an environment where sharp tools are commonplace and completely clear lenses are imperative, a light-reactive lens wouldn’t be their best primary pair. Recommending a standard prescription lens with a light-reactive lens as a second pair, or recommending a primary light-reactive pair with a task-oriented second pair would be wise with patients like these.
How to address it with patients: Providing extra darkness and 100% UV protection is a great benefit for people who live or retreat up in the mountains. On the flipside, remind patients that fade-back speed can be slowed during cold winter months. SunSync Elite’s a perfect option for mountain men and women, as it still delivers faster fade-back speed – even in colder climates.
Today’s patients have limitless sources of information at their fingertips, and their first step when considering a purchase is usually to comb through reviews, ratings, and readily available research. Transparency is more important than ever. It’s best to approach each patient as though they’ve already discovered these facts for themselves and serve up the information as a reminder. It’ll make their experience in the dispensary feel like less of an upsell, and more like an informative, sincere effort to ensure their satisfaction. That goes a long way when deciding who they visit this time next year.
How do you address impacts to light-reactive lens performance with patients? Tell us in the comments section below.
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