This article was written in partnership with Essilor, a proud supporter of CovalentCareers | Eyecare and new graduate optometrists.
It can be difficult sometimes to prescribe and recommend superior products to patients because of concerns around price. It is easy to stick to lenses and lens options covered by insurance. But are you really doing them a service or looking out for their best interest? We pay more for quality all the time. Why wouldn’t the same apply to eyewear and other visual solutions?
Think about the tools we use on a daily basis. As ODs we are always looking to the industry for advancements in technology that can help us be more accurate, efficient, and meticulous when it comes to treating and managing patients. We are looking for the right tools to help us do our jobs.
While both tools allow you to examine the retina, I think most ODs would prefer an ultra- widefield imaging system to treat and manage disease rather than an ophthalmoscope.
How many patients depend on their glasses to allow them to work comfortably on the computer, on their smartphone, on their tablet, or really in any situation? All of them. They depend on their eyes and vision in order to accomplish everyday tasks. We have a tremendous responsibility and ability to give patients the tools they need to live fully An accurate prescription and quality lenses can meet this critical demand.
When it comes to thinking about some of the best progressive lenses available to patients, many ODs turn to Varilux® lenses to set themselves apart from the competition. It is the number one recommended progressive lens brand by optometrists and opticians*, and for good reason. Varilux® X Series™ lenses provides patients the ability to work at all distances comfortably throughout the day and provides the best in vision without having to move their heads to find "just the right spot."
* Survey conducted in 2018 by an independent third party sponsored by Essilor. Results were reported by independent opticians and optometrists.
Essilor conducted the Varilux Challenge to better understand patient satisfaction and whether or not patients could detect differences in progressive lens options. When patients experience truly natural vision, they seem to know it from the moment they put on their glasses. The feedback is a true testament that patients most definitely can appreciate differences between progressive lens options, want to be given options when it comes to understanding what lenses are available to them, and are willing to pay more for a better visual experience.
When it comes to recommending what you believe are the best progressive lenses, or the best product, service, or treatment for patients in any situation, there are a few common mistakes we should avoid, and a few key things to remember that might help you communicate value in a way patients understand. Many of these lessons were evident in the Varilux Challenge+.
+Participants were compensated for their time. Their thoughts and reactions were captured before any knowledge they were receiving Varilux lenses.
1. Do not think good, is “good enough” and prescribe what you believe is best.
Varilux Challenge: Pat H. – wearing Varilux X for the first time
Varilux Challenge: Marilyn S. – wearing Varilux X for the first time
Read more about Varilux X Series lenses in this article.
2) Do not allow price to influence your recommendations.
Don’t limit yourself to what you think patients are willing to spend, or what is dictated by their vision care plan. Many of us allow ourselves to be restricted by what we think patients are willing to spend, or what might be covered by their vision care plan.
How many of us recommend lenses and even frames based upon what is covered by insurance? How many of us start a patient’s optical experience with, “Mrs. Jones, here is what is covered by your insurance.”
When you fail to at the very least offer patients what you believe will provide them with the best visual experience, you are doing them a massive disservice. Just like any other product or service out there, consumers are willing to pay more for a better experience or a superior product regardless of differences in price. When it comes to eyewear, the same is usually true.
Varilux Challenge: Shari F. – wearing Varilux X for the first time
Learn more about different progressive lens options in this article!
3) Offer your patients the vision they deserve.
Just like you wouldn’t recommend the same pair of frames to every patient, why would you recommend the same standard set of lenses? If you want your patient to look, feel, and see their best, you need to give them the frames and lenses that will facilitate that. Recommending the best progressive lenses that will allow patients to see clearly and comfortably at all distances should be a top priority at all times.
Varilux Challenge: Joe C. – wearing Varilux X for the first time
When patients have the right tools to see clearly and comfortably, it directly impacts their ability to not only get their job done no matter what occupation they may have, but also to enjoy the simple pleasures in life, like reading a book, or watching TV, or engaging in whatever hobbies they might have. What you might think is a “small difference” in quality, can make a massive difference to patients.
Varilux Challenge: Latayna B. – wearing Varilux X for the first time
Seeing clearly should be easy and natural. Seeing should not require unnecessary work, effort, or frustrations. Giving your patients the ability to see like they were used to seeing before presbyopia, easy and naturally, so they can enjoy the simple pleasures in life is the key to giving them the best visual experience. By providing your patients with the best visual experience, not only are you giving them what they deserve, you set yourself apart from the competition which additionally serves to benefit your practice.
Varilux Challenge: Gerald M. – wearing Varilux X for the first time