This is a sponsored post by Essilor of America, a supporter of NewGradOptometry & new graduate optometrists! 😎
What is the most common chief complaint in your office?
In my office, which has a large demographic of 25-35 year olds, it is eye fatigue and headaches.
Patients are concerned with their jobs and feel computer work is causing damage to their eyes.
Too many emmetropic patients confess,
"My last doctor said I had 20/15 vision, but I have trouble seeing at distance at the end of the day. I feel like my eyes are getting worse."
"I work on the computer all day, and by the end of the day, I feel like my head is going to explode!"
How do you address this complaint?
You could prescribe these patients reading glasses; however, that creates an issue of constantly taking off and on glasses when shifting focus at distance. I find that most of my patients are working in such dynamic environments that require multiple computer monitors at various distances, or giving presentations which pretty much makes reading glasses far too cumbersome to use.
I'm not very fond of putting patients directly into progressive lenses, as that is something that patients oftentimes associate with "old age."
There is the 20-20-20 approach (for every 20 minutes of near work, look at something 20ft away for 20 seconds) where the goal is to relax accommodation and reduce near-point stress, but let's be honest, how many people actually really do that? I find it hard to recommend when I don't do it myself!
You can give the "take frequent breaks" advice, but how many of us have jobs where this is feasible? This is where Eyezen ™ comes in, and has given me a practical option for this patient demographic.
What are Eyezen ™ glasses?
- Eyezen ™ glasses are digital lenses created by Essilor and designed to reduce eye strain.
- They are treated with a high quality anti-glare that filters out harmful blue light rays.
- They can be prescribed for patients who do not need distance correction.
- There are 3 options for near-point help.
- The goal of the Eyezen ™ lens is to educate the millennial on eye strain and bring them into your office for a yearly eye exam.
Who is a good candidate?
- Anyone who spends time on a computer, phone or other digital device.
- Emerging presbyopes who aren’t ready for “BIFOCALS.”
- Patients who are primarily contact lens wearers, but spend hours on the computer daily would be great candidates for the emmetropic combination.
- Patients who perform a lot of near work.
- Patients that complain of tired feeling eyes at the end of the work day.
Science to be discussed with your patients:
Blue Light Protection:
Blue light is part of the visible light spectrum that comes from various sources including the sun, fluorescent lighting, and digital screens. Blue light is known to help regulate our body's sleep cycle; however, there have also been studies suggesting that long term blue light exposure may play a role in ocular disease and eyestrain.
- A study in 2006 called “Age-related maculopathy and the impact of blue light hazard” showed us that blue light is considered 50 to 80 times more efficient in manifesting retinal photoreceptor death than green light.1
Think about how much blue light exposure the average person is subjected to every single day between computers, cellphones, tablet use, and from the sun! Eyezen lenses selectively filter up to 20% of harmful blue light rays.
To find out more about the science behind blue light anti-glare treatments, see our article on Crizal Prevencia.
Accommodation and near point stress:
I usually explain this to patients as lifting weights. When you start lifting weights at the beginning of the workout, it is easy. The longer the session goes on, the more tired your arms become, and oftentimes, your muscles may even be sore after the session. The effect digital devices and computers have on your eyes is very similar.
The more time you spend working on computers and performing near work, the harder the eyes are working which can induce feeling of tired irritated eyes, headaches, neck pain, and general fatigue.
I explain to patients that Eyezen lenses are specially designed and enhanced for different levels of screen usage to keep the eyes comfortable and reduce eyestrain.
I always explain that wearing glasses does not make your vision worse, but makes your eyes work more efficiently. Patients (especially emmetropes) are greatly concerned that if they get glasses their eyes will be more dependent on them.
How do you order Eyezen™ for your patients?
1. Specify add:
- Eyezen 1: 0.4 diopters of add
- Eyezen 2: 0.6 diopters of add
- Eyezen 3: .85 diopters of add
2. Specify lens material
3. Measure fitting height, at least 15 mm is recommended
Things to Know
- Available in Transitions Signature VII ™
- Anti-reflective comes on each lens with a 1-year warranty
- Will be available soon to sell in the office as lens/frame combo for Emmetropes
Our Experience at 4 Eyes with Eyezen ™:
My first order for an Eyezen ™ lens was for a 29 year old patient who had just taken over the roll of "Office Manager" at a medical practice.
She presented with an Rx of: +0.50-0.50x180, and a chief complaint,
"I use the computer all day. My glasses don't help anymore. I feel like my vision has gotten worse. I keep getting headaches."
Her refraction at distance was essentially plano with a small amount of cylinder. I discussed her digital device use with her. She revealed that she works on both desktops and laptops at work. She also uses her phone after leaving the office at night.
Accommodative testing revealed she preferred a +1.00 at near.
I also showed her the near add for both reading and on my computer to make sure it was sufficient for both working distances. Furthermore, we discussed the demand on the eyes at near and the newest in anti-glare treatments with blue light protection.
I ordered her an Eyezen 3™ (0.85 add).
The lens itself has a slight yellow tint and you can see the blue reflections off the back surface.
She picked them up, had her glasses on for about 2 minutes and said her eyes already felt better.
The near component made for easy adaptation. She described how things looked so clear, and how she wanted to wear them full-time.
Note: Essilor recommends the Eyezen 3™ (0.85D) lens for patients over the age of 45, but in this case, I prescribed it based on her NRA/PRA testing.
I will be prescribing Eyezen ™ more frequently in the future. It is a great solution to combat issues from pronounced digital device consumption, and an exceptional practice builder.
My patient already mentioned going back to the office and telling her co-workers.
I tell my millennial patients every day, we do not know the full extent of the effect of digital devices on our eyes, but we are in a generation of preventative care, and we must protect our eyes as science develops.
I do not find costs to be a significant barrier to entry for these lenses. Patients typically have no reservation on investing in a pair of glasses that can not only be worn for reading and working, but full-time if desired, especially after experiencing the benefits of these lenses.
Some providers participate in rebate programs.
If you would like more information on prescribing the Eyezen lens, please visit Essilor's information page here. Your office will have a unique ID that you will have to register with.
Have you prescribed or used the new Eyezen ™ glasses? Please comment on your experience below!
1. Age-related maculopathy and the impact of blue light hazard. Acta Ophthalmol Scand. 2006 Feb;84(1):4-15. Algvere PV1, Marshall J, Seregard S. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16445433