This post was created in partnership with Essilor, a proud supporter of CovalentCareers and new graduate optometrists. 😎
As you continuously strive to find ways to grow your optometry practice, you’re probably in the mindset of offering the newest and latest technology to patients. I admit, in my early years, I found myself simply telling patients if they had a change or not, then walking them down to the optical and telling my optician or staff, “We need to get new progressive lenses.”
This was not good enough.
It was a disservice to the patient and the practice. By communicating with your patients and offering the newest in lens technology, you can separate yourself from the average clinician and practice. One way I have been growing my optometry practice is by utilizing the Essilor Ultimate Lens Package™, and I’ll share with you how I use it and talk about it with patients.
What is the Essilor Ultimate Lens Package?
The Essilor Ultimate Lens Package combines the most advanced lens technologies available from Essilor into a single lens. It consists of Varilux®, Crizal®, and Eyezen™+ lens technologies, along with the proven performance and protection of Transitions® lenses, giving patients a critical boost in vision, clarity and protection, while making dispensing a breeze for eyecare professionals.
The Essilor Ultimate Lens Package includes:
- Varilux®X Series™ (for progressive lens wearers) or Eyezen+ (for single vision lens wearers)
- Crizal Sapphire®360° UV
- Transitions®Signature® VII
- Varilux X Series: a progressive lens that maximizes the range of sharp vision needed at arm’s length – provided by Xtend™ Technology
- Eyezen+: lens designs 0, 1, 2 and 3, provide sharp, comfortable vision for every single vision age group while reducing exposure to Harmful Blue Light.
- Crizal Sapphire 360° UV: designed with Multi-Angular Technology™ to reduce reflections from all directions for less distracting glare, better aesthetics, and safer nighttime driving.
- Transitions Signature VII lenses: block 100 percent of UV rays and reduce exposure to Harmful Blue Light both indoors (at least 20 percent) and outdoors (over 85 percent). The new Transitions® Signature® lenses style colors are also an option for single vision wearers of the Essilor Ultimate Lens Package.
How I talk about the Essilor Ultimate Lens Package and prescribe it to a presbyopic patient:
It has become extremely easy to talk to patients about Essilor’s impressive lens technologies. Think of yourself as the patient for a moment.
Which of the following do you think would be more effective?
“Ms. Jones, you have a change in your prescription today, so you need new glasses. Anti-reflective coating is important, and so are lenses that change colors when you step outside.”
“Ms. Jones, I think we can address many of the problems you were telling me about when you first came in with a new set of lenses. There’s been quite a lot of development in lens technology since your last prescription, and I think that upgrading to the Varilux X Series lens, which is a specific type of progressive lens, will really help you see more comfortably when you’re working on the computer throughout the day. We are going to also make sure your lenses have Crizal Sapphire 360° UV, which is a special lens treatment to help you with that glare you get from the computer screen and when driving at night.
This will give you UV protection, and will also keep your lenses looking crisp and clean. Finally, I think Transitions lenses, those lenses that turn from light to dark indoors and out will not only keep your eyes safe against UV light when you move from your vehicle to the store and back to your busy life, but will also reduce your exposure to Harmful Blue Light which we talked about during your exam.”
Pretty easy choice, right?
How I talk to single vision patients about the single vision Essilor Ultimate Lens Package:
When I have a single vision wearer in my chair, part of the conversation around anti-reflective coating and Transitions lenses is similar to the example above, but includes something like this:
“John, how many hours a day would you say you spend on the computer? How many screens do you work in front of? Do you also spend time looking at your cellphone throughout the day and when you go home? Actually, let’s make this a bit easier: why don’t you just tell me how much time a day you DO NOT spend looking at a screen? Maybe just when you’re sleeping!”
This inevitably leads to a chuckle, and often a conversation around digital eyestrain and the demands we are placing on our eyes.
“It’s a problem, so here’s what I’m going to do. I’ll prescribe you the Eyezen+ lens, which is going to help your eyes relax when you are looking at all those screens all day long, and it’ll also help reduce your exposure to Harmful Blue Light.”
This leads to a discussion around Harmful Blue Light with the patient, which also preps them for a discussion around Transitions lenses.
We know how important doctor driven dispensing is, not only for patient experience but also for you if you want to grow your optometry practice. If you don’t explain to the patient why you are prescribing what you are, and furthermore, if your staff cannot reiterate it, then why would a patient take your recommendation seriously? It is our job to make sure patients know the difference between the many lens options out there.
How I talk about insurance plans:
You hear this all the time. “Is that covered by my insurance?” One of the great things about the Essilor Ultimate Lens Package is how it facilitates and encourages patients to “trade up” to premium lenses.
Here is how I approach this topic:
Before the handoff:
“Ms. Jones, I see that you have X vision insurance. This is a great insurance for you as they provide you with some good benefits towards the lenses that I prescribed to you today. I’ll make sure that Stephanie, our optician, goes over these benefits with you, and helps you understand what your insurance is contributing towards your lenses, and will be able to answer any questions you may have.”
At the handoff:
“Hi Stephanie, will you please help Ms. Jones get started and select a frame? Ms. Jones works on the computer all day, 8 to 10 hours in front of the screen. She’s having some eyestrain at the end of the day, and has found it particularly hard to see clearly and consistently at the computer and within arm’s reach. Her add power did go up, and I want her to have a lens that can really help her in that specific working zone, so I’m prescribing her the Varilux X Series lens. We’ve discussed some of the benefits already, but I’d like you to review a few more things with her. You’ll also see she has X vision insurance with some good coverage. Ms. Jones, Stephanie will be able to answer any questions you may have about the lenses.”
The optician reaffirms the conversation and recommendation for a third time. The patient has now heard the recommendations three times before leaving the exam room!
Our opticians also do a great job of chatting with the patient on the way down to the optical and know to say, “Ms. Jones, were you looking to stay in a similar style of frames, or could I interest you in trying something a little different?”
My staff knows not to ask, “Ms. Jones, would you like to look at glasses today?” We just told the patient they need new glasses. To then ask if the patient wants new glasses indicates that we potentially do not know what we are talking about, or that we do not care if the patient actually gets glasses or not!
How to talk about Transitions lenses to someone for the first time:
The concept of Transitions lenses might be totally foreign to some patients. You should be prepared to talk about the lenses and educate patients on why they are important, and why they are a great lens option.
I did not get my first pair of Transitions lenses until a year ago, and now, I couldn’t imagine going without them. Maybe you’ve had a similar experience. If so, this is the perfect experience to share with the patient!
Here is exactly what I say:
“John, it looks like you’ve never had Transitions lenses, the lenses that turn from light to dark outside. The technology in these lenses is really impressive, and these types of lenses are really important when it comes to protecting the eyes from ultraviolet light and reducing your exposure to Harmful Blue Light. There is a lot of research now investigating Harmful Blue Light and the potential effects on the eyes and body, and we want to stay on the forefront by reducing exposure when we can. I recently got a pair of Transitions lenses myself, and I absolute love them.”
As I said before, I usually will talk a bit about blue light during the exam especially when conversation around screen time surfaces, so the patient is prepped for this conversation later on down the line.
How to grow your optometry practice with second pair sales.
There is no question that second pair sales can provide a massive boost to your optical and practice. Essilor’s Ultimate Offer is a great way to do this and can provide you with a slam dunk selling point.
With the Ultimate Offer, patients who purchase the Essilor Ultimate Lens Package and a second pair of frames receive a set of qualifying lenses for free!
Note: Practices must enroll in the Ultimate Offer and Terms and Conditions apply.
This is a fantastic way to teach patients and reinforce the idea that having more than just one pair of glasses is so important.
Think about it this way.
How many of our patients have 12+ pair of shoes, but only one pair of glasses?
This is a great example to use, and gives you the chance to educate patients on the benefits of having a full-time pair of glasses, a backup pair of glasses, and/or a pair of prescription sunglasses. If your patient is primarily a contact lens wearer, as we all know, they still need a pair of glasses, and can benefit from a quality pair of plano sunglasses. We do patients a disservice when we are not offering something, even when they have not had an Rx change, they wear mostly contact lenses, or they don’t wear any glasses.
With the release of the new Transitions Signature lenses style colors and Transitions® XTRActive® style mirrors, now is as good a time as ever to prescribe Essilor’s Ultimate Lens Package. You can utilize the Ultimate Offer to attract those single vision patients who want to create a unique and personalized look with frames and lenses while enjoying all of the benefits Transitions lenses offers.
Note: Transitions Signature lenses style colors are only available with the single vision Essilor Ultimate Lens Package and Transitions XTRActive style mirrors are only available on select progressive lenses and all qualifying single vision lenses as a bonus pair.
The Essilor Ultimate Lens Package has been a fantastic way to help my patients understand the need for prescription sunglasses as well. Many of my patients have elected to have their second pair of glasses be a sunglass Rx. The Essilor Ultimate Lens Package has been a great way to get a pair of polarized lenses in the hands of patients.
How I talk to patients about prescription sunglasses:
“Ms. Smith, growing up I thought that sunglasses were just a fashion accessory. However, we know that wearing sunglasses may help slow cataract progression and is important in preventing other eye conditions. Everyone who has a pair of glasses should also have a pair of prescription sunglasses. I have several pairs myself! As soon as I get behind the wheel of my car, the regular glasses come off and the prescription sunglasses go on. I guarantee you will find your vision crisper and clearer, especially in bright sunlight or when that sun reflects off of the snow.”
Knowing that sunglasses may in fact prevent damage to their eyes, I find many patients are more than willing and even open to trying on sunglasses. They often elect this option with the Ultimate Offer.
With the Essilor Ultimate Lens Package, not only are you providing patients with a service and an experience, you are giving them something that truly benefits them. You’re allowing them to experience premium lenses, and you are giving yourself a chance to grow your optometry practice in the process.
 Arnault E, Barrau C, Nanteau C, Gondouin P, Bigot K, et al. (2013). Phototoxic Action Spectrum on a Retinal Pigment Epithelium Model of Age-Related Macular Degeneration Exposed to Sunlight Normalized Conditions. PLoS ONE 8(8): e71398. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0071398 (August 23, 2013). Identified Harmful Blue Light through in vitro experiment on swine retinal cells, where the most toxic wavelengths are high energy visible light falling between 415-455nm on the light spectrum (blue-violet light).