Multicoated spectacle lenses improve the vision experience of wearers yet many eye care professionals ignore or forget to take the opportunity to explain the options to their patients. The advantages of doing so are numerous for both patient and practice.
In previous issues of mivision we’ve looked into the optics and function of multi-layer anti-reflection coatings, better known as multicoated spectacle lenses. There’s no doubt that multicoated lenses provide the benefits of much better cosmesis, improved light transmission, and better vision in varying light conditions. Multicoated lenses usually include a UV blocking layer as well as a hard coat (that renders the lens more scratch resistant than an uncoated lens.)
Premium coatings also usually include easy clean, anti-greasing, and deposit resistant properties, and may include optional ‘digital’ and selective blue blocking layers that block high energy visible light.
THERE’S STILL AN OPPORTUNITY
Although many of us have been prescribing multicoated lenses as a routine for decades, it seems there are still some practitioners and dispensers who do not offer or prescribe such benefits. One just has to look around at spectacle wearers to see how many wear unsightly, regular lenses, with significant reflections. Some of these wearers may have obtained basic, uncoated lenses on a ‘special deal’ from the chains, or elsewhere, and resisted the extra cost when offered ‘add-on’ options like multicoats.
There’s no doubt that multicoated lenses provide the benefits of much better cosmesis, improved light transmission, and better vision in varying light conditions
It also appears that some practitioners simply can’t be bothered offering multicoat options, while others are price sensitive and are wary of trying to compete with the chains. Either way, they are making a mistake.
WHAT’S IN THE PRICE?
As many marketing experts will tell you, we should never judge our patients or make decisions on what we think they can afford or may spend. The badly dressed or unkempt person in your chair could well be a billionaire wanting the very best in eye wear and a high level of visual performance. Even those who are less wellheeled and on tight budgets will often be swayed into value additions like multicoats, provided we explain and demonstrate the benefits. In my experience, some cultures will club together and pool their money so that each month one of them can afford more costly items that they otherwise would not be able to fund.
Although some lens manufacturers offer add on multicoats at unjustifiably high prices, most spectacle lens manufacturers provide many of their lenses ‘off the shelf ’ as stock lenses that already include a multicoat, often for only a few dollars more than a non-coated lens. We can pass this value added benefit on to the patient. Even with a small mark up, it will not make much difference to the final price, thus eliminating ‘cost factors’ from the decision.
For prescriptions that are custom generated, most manufacturers have state of the art coating plants in Australia and New Zealand, or in a matter of days, can obtain multicoated lenses from their laboratories in Europe, Asia, and elsewhere.
However, some labs may not have the meticulous cleaning systems and clean rooms required to obtain top quality coatings that last, leading to premature coating failure. Even the major manufacturers do occasionally have lenses or batches of lenses that undergo coating failure. A few years ago a certain globally respected manufacturer had a series of 1.6 index lenses in which they discovered (in retrospect) that the expansion characteristics of their hard coat, UV coat, and anti-reflection coatings, did not match, causing rapid crazing and peeling of the coatings. Of course most issues were resolved under warranty.
We should treat all our patients as a ‘patient for life’. If you add up what the average patient will spend with you over a lifetime, it is certainly not insignificant
Apart from non-adaption to progressives, nothing irritates a patient more than unsightly lenses caused by coating failure. Some of these spectacle wearers may have damaged or scratched the surfaces through improper care – they may have tried to dry clean dusty lenses with their T-shirt or other cloths and towels. An important step during the dispensing process is to demonstrate proper cleaning of multicoated lenses and provide patients with a cleaning kit comprised of specialised spray cleaner and a microfiber cloth in a small pack. These spray bottles and cloths should ideally be branded with the practice logo and contact details, as should the spectacle case. This will keep your brand front of mind for the wearer and promote your practice to potential new patients. All you need is for someone to admire the crystal clear, reflection free, thin, hi-index lenses in a well-fitted, stylish rimless frame; compare them to their own unsightly lenses and cheap alloy frames… then ask where the amazing glasses came from…
To avoid the hassles of unhappy patients, in the rare event that their lenses suffer coating failure, most manufacturers offer at least a one year guarantee on their coatings while savvy practitioners may offer a two year guarantee, either negotiated with the lab or covering relevant issues themselves. It’s better to keep your patients happy than to lose them to a competitor forever. We should treat all our patients as a ‘patient for life’. If you add up what the average patient will spend with you over a lifetime, it is certainly not insignificant.
Today we should also consider offering so called ‘digital coatings’ and somewhat controversial ‘blue blocking’ lenses, both of which have been written about in past mivision issues. These coatings appeal to many users of computers and digital devices, like smartphones and tablets, as well as people who spend time under LED lights. The blue light emitted by these digital devices and lights may reduce asthenopia and minimise disruption of sleep cycles, and also potentially reduce retinal damage. The jury is still out on the benefits of blue light filters, but if they do no harm while offering potential health benefits, then why wouldn’t we also prescribe this add-on for the majority of our patients?
Check out what’s on offer from our featured suppliers, or contact your lens rep. I’m sure you’ll be surprised at some of the competitively priced options out there, and hopefully you’ll convert more patients to the benefits of multicoated lenses, simply by articulating the offer.
It’s a competitive world out there.
Every little thing adds up.
Help your patients help your bottom line.
Premium Lens Solutions
Glacier Plus UV
Shamir’s Glacier Plus UV lens coating provides patients with a durable, comfortable, antistatic, and hydrophobic multicoated lens, with comprehensive UV protection on both the front and back surface. With a Bayer rating of 19, Shamir claims Glacier Plus UV is one of the most scratch resistant coatings on the market, plus it has improved smudge resistance with upgraded hydrophobic coatings.
These qualities are available on all lenses within Shamir’s Glacier series, which also includes: Glacier Blue-Shield UV (protects the eyes from high energy visible blue light emitted from screens and digital devices); Glacier Achromatic UV (anti-reflection with a bloom free coating) and Glacier Sun UV (a new lens coating especially designed for sunglasses that provides maximum protection and visual comfort).
Contact: Shamir (AUS) 1300 553 465
Crizal Sapphire UV
Crizal Sapphire UV is the latest in antireflection technology. Its multi-angular technology takes into account all angles of light striking from the front, the sides, and the back of the lens for best-in-class transparency. Side-on reflections are reduced 30 per cent and front-on reflections are cut by another 20 per cent.
Crizal Sapphire UV is endorsed by Cancer Council Australia. It cuts the level of reflected back surface UV to give E-SPF 35 on all indices above 1.5. Crizal Sapphire UV lives up to its name with an almost undetectable pale sapphire bloom.
Contact: Essilor Account Manager
VSP Optics’ TechShield Blue is a next generation anti-reflective coating that targets blue light wavelengths associated with digital eye strain, reducing exposure by as much as 85 per cent at its peak.
This anti-reflective coating provides patients with the ability to work, play, and connect with confidence that they’re reducing their exposure to blue light associated with digital eye strain. Now available in single vision 1.50 stock lenses.
Contact: VSP Australia Account Manager
Solitaire Protect Plus 2
Solitaire Protect Plus 2 for general use, Solitaire Protect Sun 2 for sunglass wear, and Solitaire Protect Balance 2 for blue light protection, form the latest family of Rodenstock’s anti-reflection coatings. All reduce back surface UV reflections to help protect eye health, especially in sunglass wear.
Solitaire Protect Balance 2 reduces the overall amount of blue light reaching the eye to help reduce glare and enhance contrast, which improves comfort for digital device users. Hydrophobic, oliophobic, and anti static properties enhance cleanability.
The individual coating layers are compacted together by plasma technology to produce a highly flexible, and therefore scratch resistant coating with good climate resistance. Backed by a three year warranty, the Solitaire 2 family of coatings fits all visual needs.
Contact: Rodenstock (AUS) 02 9748 0988
Hoya Diamond Finish: Independent tests1 proved Hoya Diamond Finish to be the most durable and easiest to clean coating available.
The tests, which simulate real life wearer experience, used a system developed in cooperation with the Lens Advisory Board, an American organisation recognised by the Vision Council Technical Committee.
They showed Hoya Diamond Finish to be over 29 per cent more durable than the second most durable coating tested; the easiest to clean; and the world’s hardest premium coating for scratch resistance.
Available with UV Control, or BlueControl to neutralise blue light from digital screens.
Glare Filter in EnRoute Driving Lens: Hoya’s EnRoute driving lenses have an exclusive glare filter that noticeably reduces glare by cutting high energy visible light from the LED and Xenon headlights of oncoming traffic, streetlights, and on-board equipment. It also significantly minimises distracting reflections while improving contrast and brightness perception in low light conditions.
The contrast-enhancing filter, which is available on EnRoute Pro, greatly improves contrast and colour perception, offering next level glare reduction.
Contact: Hoya Account Manager
- NSL Analytical Services, August 2015
According to Zeiss, DuraVision is one of the hardest, most durable coatings it has developed.
Zeiss DuraVision Platinum coating: offers clear vision, trouble-free cleaning, and added durability. With anti-static technology to prevent the build-up of dust, oleophobic (oil repelling) and super-hydrophobic (water repelling) coatings, lenses are easy to keep clean and stay clean for longer.
Zeiss DuraVision BlueProtect: offers the same superior hardness and ease of cleaning, with added protection from blue light emitted from LEDs, TVs, and computer and tablet screens. Zeiss DuraVision BlueProtect reflects a portion of high energy blue light from artificial sources, for visual comfort and protection.
Contact: Zeiss Account Manager
Bonastar’s blueEase material and coating can block out UV and harmful blue-violet light, while allowing the beneficial blueturquoise light to pass through. blueEase can be prescribed with Bonastar single vision 1.56, 1.60, 1.67, 1.74 stock lenses, and also grind Rx lenses.
Bonastar also supplies hydrophobic multicoat with all index stock lenses and grind Rx lenses. Additionally, Crizal Prevencia, Crizal Easy, and Crizal Forte UV can be ordered through Bonastar. Mirror coatings are available in seven colours, including silver, gold, blue, green, pink, red, and purple. Both tinted and polarised grind Rx lenses can be enhanced with mirror coating.
Contact: Bonastar (AUS) 02 9310 1688