If someone were to ask your professional opinion on the perfect lens to enhance with a photochromic, you wouldn’t be alone or incorrect in responding, “progressive, bifocal, or single vision.” With all the benefits of light-reactive lenses, they’re a natural fit for everyday eyewear options. But, there’s another lens type that’s so perfectly suited for a light-reactive enhancement, it’s surprising more eye care professionals don’t utilize it as a fantastic second-pair recommendation.
Safety glasses aren’t the first thing – or even the last thing – many patients think about during their annual trip to the eye doc. But, there is perhaps no lens type that’s more applicable – or beneficial – to every person who walks through your doors. And there is perhaps no enhancement that extends the benefits of a safety lens more than a photochromic.
According to Prevent Blindness, thousands of eye accidents happen each year and 90% of them could have been prevented with the use of appropriate safety eyewear*. And it’s not just job sites or industrial facilities where these incidents take place. In fact, the home is, “the source of the fastest-growing number of eye injuries.”
Thousands of eye accidents happen each year and 90% of them could have been prevented with the use of appropriate safety eyewear."
The Need is Larger than You May Think
On the surface, contractors, mechanics, and industrial workers may seem like the only candidates for a safety lens. But when you dig a little deeper and get to know your patients a little more, their need for eye protection quickly surfaces. The lawyer who spends his weekends woodworking, the teacher who sculpts from home, and the stay-at-home parent who can’t stay off their bike on the weekend, are all in need of protective eyewear. Patients who spend time in the following environments could all benefit from a safety-specific pair of glasses:
The lawyer who spends his weekends woodworking, the teacher who sculpts from home, and the stay-at-home parent who can’t stay off their bike on the weekend, are all in need of protective eyewear."
Why is A Light-Reactive Lens a Good Safety Companion?
Photochromics are a great fit for safety glasses for a number of reasons; four in particular stand out:
They provide clear vision - even while dark.
Indoors, light-reactive lenses remain clear like a standard pair of prescription lenses and help cut down on glare from overhead lighting.
Outside in the sun, they darken to cut glare for clearer, comfortable viewing. Some people will argue that light-reactive lenses don't get as dark as a sunglasses, and this is true. However, a darkened photochromic provides the same amount of UV protection (100%), dramatically cuts glare outdoors, and offers a unique, near-clear view looking out that a pair of dark, prescription suns can’t match. Often, the view is so clear, wearers don’t realize their lenses have darkened.
A darkened photochromic provides the same amount of UV protection (100%), dramatically cuts glare outdoors, and offers a unique, near-clear view looking out that a pair of dark, prescription suns can’t match."
They help overcome forgetfulness.
Because light-reactive lenses conveniently darken in bright conditions and fade back indoors and in heavily shaded areas, a person doesn’t have to take them off and remember to put them back on when going in and out of different light conditions.
They accommodate almost any environment.
From a construction site to a bike lane, to a kitchen to a shop floor and even to a driver’s seat, photochromics provide amazing versatility, and therefore benefits, in practically any environment where eye safety would be required or encouraged.
They improve efficiency while working.
Everyone from professional contractors to part-time DIYers benefit from a lens that not only keeps up with them in changing light conditions (indoor, outdoor, shade, sunlight), but also provides the ability to see clearly without skipping a beat. And when you add in the fact that an ultra-fast, light-reactive lens like SunSync Elite changes from dark to clear in seconds, you’re taking that efficiency to a whole new level.
Photochromics provide amazing versatility, and therefore benefits, in practically any environment where eye safety would be required or encouraged."
3 Tips for Identifying Ideal Candidates
To make the following tips easier, you might need to undertake a little DIY project of your own. If you don’t already have one, add a section or a couple questions to your patient questionnaire to determine each person’s work environment, hobbies, and athletic endeavors. If you don’t have a patient questionnaire, we strongly recommend creating one, but in the meantime, you can simply ask your patients for this information in person.
While a light-reactive safety lens could logically serve a purpose for almost any patient, there are few patient types that will be much more likely to use a pair of safety glasses, and therefore, more open to adding them to their optical arsenal. Here are a few tips to help identify them:
2. Get to Know Your Pros on the Go
Several professions where eye safety is imperative require traveling throughout the day. So, enhancing a safety lens with an extra reactive photochromic, like SunSync Drive XT, offers the added benefit of in-car activation. A few examples of patients who could use a lens pairing like this include:
3. Recommend ‘PEDs” (Performance Enhancing Defense) for Athletes
As previously stated, more than 25,000 people seek treatment for sports-related eye injuries each year, and once again, most could be prevented with proper protection*. Whether they get their kicks by kicking, running, cycling, or skating, your athletic patients are commonly in situations where they need eye protection.
Please remember that certain sports require specific types of eye protection with safety-grade certification (ASTM F803). Here’s a link to a guide on recommended eye protection by sport.
When you combine the convenience, comfort, clarity, and protection this lens-enhancement package provides, it’s easy to see how adding light-reactive technology to safety lenses can be an easy decision for patients and a simple, second-pair recommendation for you.
Do you recommend safety glasses as a second pair? Share your dispensing tips in the comments section below.
Looking for more dispensing tips? Read "The Optician's Ultimate Guide to Standard Photochromics," or "The Optician's Ultimate Guide to Extra Reactive Photochromics."
*“Preventing Eye Injuries.” Prevent Blindness - https://www.preventblindness.org/preventing-eye-injuries
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