Back in the 1940s, Rosser Reeves of the advertising giant Ted Bates & Company coined the phrase Unique Selling Proposition (USP). To this day, a USP is one of the cornerstones in marketing strategies for products, services and brands.
When it comes to multicoated lenses there are two major USPs, or Unique Prescribing Propositions (UPPs). These are optical performance and cosmesis.
Premium multi-coated lenses may be more expensive than your average lens, but they offer features and benefits that go well beyond the reduced reflections provided by standard antireflection lens coatings.
Not only do they reduce lens reflections, they improve eye contact and cosmetic appearance, and make wearing glasses a more comfortable and enjoyable experience.
For most patients the advantages of easy clean and smear free coatings inherent in premium multicoat lenses are readily appreciated
I for one, am sold on the advantages. You see, I am pretty rough with my frames and lenses, and it’s important that they’re robust and easy to clean. I usually replace my lenses within two or three years and because I only choose premium multicoats, they are typically still in reasonable condition. Unless of course I have scratched them in the workshop, walked into a tree branch, or spattered them with hot metal off a grindstone. Wear your safety glasses! I hear you say. Mostly I do.
For most patients the advantages of easy clean and smear free coatings inherent in premium multicoat lenses are readily appreciated. As are robustness, durability and scratch resistance.
Perhaps less easy to explain, but equally as valuable, are premium features like UV protection, multilayered anti-reflection coatings, hard coating, an antistatic layer and selective blue light blocking.
When talking about the USPs of premium multicoats, it’s a good idea to educate your patients about the sophisticated manufacturing process required to generate these lenses. Few would realise that they consist of multiple layers of vacuum coatings, applied and measured in tolerances of nanometres, in super clean facilities with very pure water and air supplies.
You could also remind them – particularly the older or more sceptical ones – that unlike some earlier generations of lens coatings, modern premium multicoatings are less prone to coating failure and crazing. Many manufacturers offer improved and extended warranties with their premium lens coatings, which adds peace of mind and could be considered another USP…
Preferred supplier arrangements mean many practitioners now buy the bulk of their lenses from one lens company. That makes it important to keep up with your suppliers’ ever evolving lens portfolio and related features. It’s also useful to be aware of other suppliers’ offerings, in case a specific need or issue arises that cannot be met by your regular lens provider.
‘Blue bloom’ was one issue that became apparent during the COVID-19 lockdown. Some people wearing spectacles while presenting webinars, attending online meetings or enjoying video chats, had their eyes almost obliterated by blue reflections off the lenses. The cause? Blue light emitted by computer screens and devices was being reflected off the front surface of their blue blocking lenses.
I was one of these spectacle wearers. I received a few screen shots from colleagues showing me the effect and telling me what brand of lenses I must have been wearing. They were right.
To avoid this, it may be better to have a pair prescribed without a blue blocker. Or lenses that block blue light within the lens matrix, via a blue filter, rather than a lens that reflects blue light off the lens surface… Another good reason to discuss multiple pairs of spectacles for specific uses.
It’s not only digital users who will enjoy the advantages of premium multicoated lenses. They will provide benefits for most of our patients.
Truck drivers, for example, will benefit from maximised light transmission on long overnight drives. People who want to enhance eye contact will appreciate the lack of reflections.
People wearing high refractive index lenses will also enjoy the enhanced light transmission and reduction in unsightly ‘power rings’, otherwise known as the ‘Coke bottle’ effect. Presenters on stage and screen, architects, zoo keepers, office workers and gamers – in fact people from all walks of life and occupations – are ideal candidates who, quite simply, want to look better and see better.
DEMONSTRATE THE DIFFERENCE
Fortunately, most practitioners are on board with prescribing premium coatings. There are however, some who do not discuss or recommend coatings. They are doing themselves and their patients a disservice.
To demonstrate the difference a premium multicoated lens will make, simply have sample specs on hand. One pair with premium multicoated lenses, the other with standard uncoated lenses.
This is often all that’s needed to convince a sceptical spectacle patient.
Let your patients be the judge.
Premium Lens Coatings
Hoya Diamond Finish
Hoya Diamond Finish is a hard coating with long-lasting, anti-reflective, scratch resistant, water, dirt and dust repellent properties that together provide spectacle lens wearers with extra comfort and relaxed, clear vision.
Hoya Diamond Finish also comes with BlueControl and UV Control, two of Hoya’s other premium coatings. BlueControl neutralises blue light emitted by digital screens to prevent eyestrain and fatigue, reduces glare and improves contrast. UV Control prevents UV rays from ageing and damaging the eyes and protects against UV-related eye disorders and diseases.
Hoya’s EnRoute driving lens has an exclusive Glare Filter Coating that combines the properties of a high definition treatment similar to Diamond Finish and an anti-reflective coating.
Glare Filter noticeably reduces glare by cutting high-energy visible light from 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.
Contact: Hoya (AUS) (02) 9698 1577
JP Optical 21 Ray
The JP Optical 21 Ray is a unique coating formula that blocks up to 99% of UV light, 50% of blue light in the 400nm – 440nm range and 55% of near infrared light in the 780nm – 1400nm range.
The coating helps limit overexposure to near infrared red light (780nm – 1400nm) which can lead to retina burns and depigmentation, as well as swelling and hyperaemia/ inflammation of the iris.
The 21 Ray coating also resists smudges and scratches and repels water and dust.
Contact: JP Optical (AUS) 0414 585 487
Rodenstock X-tra Clean Finish
The X-tra Clean Finish from Rodenstock features a smooth surface that allows for dirt to be easily removed without leaving any streaks or residue on the lens. The finish is made up of extremely flexible molecular chains that are responsible for the water- and oil-repellent properties.
An independent market research study found that, among 40 to 70-year-old wearers, 100% perceived their lenses to be residue free after cleaning. 93% stated that the X-tra Clean Finish was easier to clean than their current lenses.
Contact: Rodenstock (AUS) (02) 9748 0988
Shamir Glacier Plus Range
The Shamir Glacier Plus premium lens coating range helps to maintain eye and general health for a range of visual lifestyle needs.
This specialised lens coating prevents the back surface of the lens fogging up, making it effective for sports and activities where safety glasses are required, and while wearing surgical or safety face masks.
Glacier Plus UV
Glacier Plus UV provides patients with extra UV protection that prevents the harmful rays from being reflected into the eyes. It is a durable, comfortable, antistatic and hydrophobic multicoated lens that is also scratch and smudge resistant.
Glacier Sun UV
This anti-reflective multicoating is perfect for prescription sunglasses and provides maximum protection and visual comfort for a range of lifestyles.
Glacier Achromatic UV
This improved anti-reflection, durable and scratch resistant coating provides patients with bloom free lenses. The hydrophobic, oleo-phobic and antistatic features keep lenses clean and provide vision clarity.
Contact: Shamir (AUS) 1300 553 465
TechShield Blue delivers targeted blue light reduction in an advanced lens coating, so your patients can work, play and connect with confidence. Along with delivering all the benefits of an anti-reflective coating, TechShield Blue targets blue light wavelengths associated with digital eye strain, reducing exposure by as much as 85% at its peak.
The coating works to combat digital eye strain, enhance visual performance and reduce front and backside reflectance. It is also scratch resistant and repels dirt, oil and water.
Backed by a two-year warranty, TechShield Blue is available in single vision 1.50 stock and select grind lens designs.
Contact: VSP Optics Account Manager
DuraVision Platinum UV
Zeiss DuraVision Platinum UV is a blue rest reflex coating that is more transparent and helps the wearer look more natural. To achieve this, the blue reflectance reduces luminous reflection on the back surface of the lens for more comfortable, clearer vision. Because the blue reflectance lies outside the peak sensitivity range of the eye, more light is able to enter the eye, reducing stress and eye strain.
An integrated system of coating layers, densely packed using ion-assisted deposition, results in a lens surface that is three times harder than the previous generation of hard anti-reflective coated plastic Zeiss lenses and 35% harder than anti-reflective coated glass Zeiss lenses. Industry standard testing by Colts gave DuraVision Platinum UV a Bayer ration of >10, recognising it to be 35% more scratch resistant than glass lenses.
Contact: Zeiss Account Manager
Essilor Crizal Sapphire UV
Essilor states that its Crizal Sapphire UV is the first anti-reflection coating designed to reduce reflections, caused by natural and artificial light, that fall on the lens from the front, back and sides. The anti-reflection coating, which accounts for light at up to a 45° angle of gaze, provides patients with clearer vision from all angles. Side-on reflections are reduced by 30% and front on by 20%, allowing enhanced visual comfort for the wearer.
Crizal Sapphire UV is rated E-SPF 35* for optimal UV protection and is endorsed by Cancer Council Australia. This lens is also available with Smart Blue Filter in grind lenses for ultimate protection from UV and blue light.
Contact: Essilor Account Manager
*E-SPF indicates how much more protection a lens gives against UV compared to no lens at all i.e. Crizal Sapphire UV offers 35x more protection, except index 1.5 index which has an E-SPF of 10.
OSA Neva Max Blue UV
Cleaning lenses with regular antireflection coatings generates an electrostatic charge on the surface of the lens that attracts dust which can contribute to fine scratching on the lens.
OSA’s complete Neva coatings range now includes an anti-static coating. These coatings attract up to seven times less dust than their non-anti-static counterparts, ensuring lenses take less time to clean and stay cleaner for longer, plus they remain scratch free for longer too.
Neva Max Blue UV offers wearers an E-SPF rating of 35*, the top level of back surface UV protection, plus high level blue light filtering while maintaining a pale blue bloom. Research results show that the Neva Blue Light Filter Coating improves contrast by reflecting and cutting blue light by 18% (400 – 500nm), which may help to reduce eye strain.
Neva Max Blue UV multicoat outperforms standard coatings in abrasion, smudge and delamination resistance.
Contact: OSA account manager
* E-SPF indicates how much more protection against UV a lens gives compared to no lens at all i.e. Neva Max Blue UV offers 35x more protection, except index 1.5 index which has an E-SPF of 10.
Transitions Light Intelligent Lenses
All Transitions lenses filter blue light, helping to protect eyes when using digital devices, in front of screens or outdoors where the sun emits over 100 times more blue light than devices.
Transitions lenses intelligently adapt to changing light conditions, optimising the amount of light the eyes receive for more effortless sight, and helping to reduce eye fatigue and strain. Outdoors, Transitions reduces the sun’s glare, providing the right amount of tint to optimise vision while blocking 100% UV rays.
All Transitions lenses – new Transitions Signature GEN 8, Transitions XTRActive and Transitions Vantage – filter blue light, block 100% UV and reduce glare outdoors. For those wanting extra protection, Transitions XTRActive offers even more blue light filtering indoors and outdoors, protects from harsh indoor lighting with a hint of protective tint, is darker outdoors and even darkens in the car.
Contact: Transitions (AUS) 08 8238 3257
Opticare’s Blue Guardian lens with Skeye multicoat enhances vision while delivering outstanding anti-reflective performance. Incorporating the latest technology, it produces an extraordinarily hydrophobic and slippery surface that makes it easy to clean. With a blue light blocking agent embedded within the material, this lens effectively helps combat eye strain and blocks the entry of harmful UV rays while enhancing visual performance.
The Blue Guardian Lens with Skeye Multicoat enables all available light to pass through the lens and enter the eye for outstanding vision. Providing up to 99% light transmission, it also gives the wearer better vision at night. With reduced light reflections from the front and back surface, this ‘almost invisible’ lens enhances the wearer’s natural facial features.
Contact: www.opticare.com.au or email [email protected]