I recently attended a seminar, hosted by Transitions and Shamir, here in San Diego. My goal was to become more up to date on all the latest technology! Even though I get all the press releases and updates from the lens companies, read the trades etc. l never feel I have a full grasp of all the lens options and how they are best optimized. I can’t imagine how overwhelming it can be for those of you dispensing the lenses let alone the optical consumer. But I find I absorb more information when I see and hear it rather than just reading about it which is probably true for most of us so this was a good opportunity to improve my lens knowledge!
I talked to some of the attendees (there were about 150) and everyone was keen to learn more about Shamir’s newest progressive lens design, Autograph III.
The Shamir part of the presentation was titled “Real World Vision” with the purpose of educating attendees on how visual images vary between presbyopic myopes and hyperopes and how new the lens design/technology and the correct fitting procedures can provide better vision.
The Transitions presentation reviewed the range of its photochromic lens products and summarized the differences very succinctly between the major three – Transitions VI, Transitions® XTRActive® and Transitions® Vantage™.
Attending this event really brought home to me how important it is to ask questions and find out about the optical consumers’ needs and priorities as there are a lot of options and the technology is available to fill those needs but very few consumers know that! It is a challenge to communicate that information in consumer friendly language and at the same time fight the “eyeglasses cost too much mentality” that prevails.
Correct fitting and measurements are even more important and I think that is where there is opportunity to communicate with the consumer. The process of taking these measurements and discussing the patient’s specific needs is the perfect time to make a recommendation. According to a Transitions consumer survey 71% of patients want a lens recommendation from their OD but only a third are getting it. Then of course if the ECP is also wearing the same or similar lens designs and treatments, it brings credibility to the recommendation. Cathy and I sample as many as we can so that when we write about the products we have some personal experience to share.
I don’t think the average optical consumer can absorb all the technical info or even wants to know it but patients do want their ECP to know it! Attending educational seminars and presentations is a great way to learn more about the products available, try them out for yourself and hone those communication skills!