Dispensing Photochromic Lenses to Kids (and Parents)

By Rose Harris

An exciting part of this year’s Transitions Academy event was our best practice panel session, featuring the 2015 Innovation Awards finalists. What’s great about the panel format is that attendees are given a chance to ask questions and receive multiple answers and advice from those up on stage.  

One attendee mentioned that her biggest challenge with photochromic lenses is with her pediatric population. She specifically asked, “How have you successfully convinced parents to understand the benefits of Transitions lenses, leading them to purchase the product?”

It’s no secret that parents are the gatekeepers at ultimately deciding which vision solution they will purchase for their child, so it’s important to educate them and get them on board with your recommendation. I once heard that eye care professionals should talk to the child about how they will look in their new eyewear and talk to the parent about lens benefits.

As optical industry professionals, we are all concerned about protecting kids’ eyes, as they are more susceptible to the eye-damaging effects of UV exposure than adults. In fact, the eye of a child under the age of ten allows more than six times the amount of UV light to penetrate than an adult’s eye. In addition to protecting against UV, all Transitions lenses filter harmful blue light everywhere you need it.

If your eye care professional customers are having trouble helping parents understand the benefits of photochromic lenses, they may want to try implementing one of the suggestions below from our panel.

Dr. Neha Amin, Chief Optometrist, Advanced Vision and Achievement Center in Phoenix, Arizona

“We talk about Transitions lenses as SPF for the eyes, essentially. We tell parents, ‘when you send your kids outside to play, you’re going to have them put sunscreen on, and protecting their eyes is just as important. They are young and we want to protect their eyes for the rest of their lives.’ I actually find it a little bit easier to prescribe Transitions for the kids because parents feel like it’s really important to protect their children.”

Rachel Hill, Optician and Owner, Personal Optical in St. Catherines, Ontario

“I find what’s most important is taking the time to educate the parents. Children absorb so much UV before the age of 19 and they’re actually outside three times as much as adults. I then try making a point to parents and say, ‘Look. There is a bit more of an expense to these lenses, however your child has that iPad or that Gameboy and you paid for that. This is the child’s health we’re working with here, and that’s what’s important—your child’s eyes.’”

Katie Darr, Marketing Director, Henry Ford OptimEyes in Detroit, Michigan

“At Henry Ford OptimEyes, we’ve done something a little bit differently. We’ve actually gone out to the pediatric community. We’ve been meeting with pediatricians, educating them on the benefits of Transitions lenses and we actually put them in Transitions lenses. So what’shappening for us, when parents are bringing their kids in for their annual physicals and sports exams, the pediatricians are now talking about needing your annual eye exams and they’re talking about Transitions lenses for us. So they’re now arriving at our office and parents are telling us, ‘I want my kids in Transitions.’”

Dr. James Vann, Owner, VisionArts Eyecare Center in Fulton, Missouri

“It controls light, it controls glare, it protects from blue light—it’s really too easy. You don’t have to sell Transitions lenses by itself because you’re providing a solution that’s packaged as one product. You wouldn’t think about prescribing only part of a glaucoma treatment, you do the whole thing. I see Transitions lenses as the best solution for kids.”

Rose Harris is the associate director of professional relations at Transitions Optical.


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May/June LabTalk 2017