Winning the $3 billion sunwear lottery

January 15, 2006

The sunwear market scored $3 billion in sales during 2005 and will only continue to grow. Shouldn't your patients buy quality sunwear from a knowledgeable eye-care professional like yourself instead of taking their prescriptions—and their money—somewhere else?

Educating the prospect

With sunwear, the doctor must discuss ultraviolet (UV) radiation protection of skin, eyes, and surrounding tissue. All patients need UV radiation protection, especially since 15% of all skin concerns are now in the facial/eye region. All physicians are aware of UV protection of the cornea and the crystalline lens, so convey to the patient that the facial/eye area is a region for protection as well.

Protective measures

I recommend that physicians first try wearing polarized lenses themselves, then offer the option to their patients. You can describe polarized lenses as safety driving lenses. As we all know, there are countless accidents that occur due to sun glare. There are even highways in the United States that post signs warning of the hazards of sun glare. I offer you the "four Cs" of polarized lenses:

Optic sunscreen

In primary glasses, I always recommend Transitions lenses. Transitions automatically adjust to changing light conditions, becoming as dark as a sunglass lens when necessary. They provide convenient protection from several types of glare, including the kind that can seriously diminish vision. In sunlight, mid-light, or indoors, they are ideal for everyday primary lenses.

Your eyes need sun block just like your skin does. Research shows that long-term, unprotected exposure to UVA and UVB radiation can lead to serious eye conditions, such as cataracts and macular degeneration. Transitions lenses help protect your eyes by blocking 100% of those rays. Since 80% of lifetime sun exposure occurs before age 18, the sooner you reduce the risks, the better. Transitions lenses are also available in shatter-resistant materials for added safety, and in four distinctive colors.

Optical experts generally accept grey lenses as being most comfortable, because they allow the eye to perform optimally without fatigue. As generally known, grey is not a color but a neutral. However, grey lenses pass all colors, transmitting them at the same composition as they were before they were filtered, and producing undestroyed color images. They are perfect for all-purpose wear from sunny to overcast conditions.

Day for night

Sunwear worn during the day can help your night vision. Some patients have night myopia and need a prescription for nighttime activities. Good sunwear worn on sunny days can help the patient adapt from day to night vision more easily. A good pair of sunglasses should block enough visible light to protect retinal sensitivity at night. Sunglasses should not be so dark that visual activity is compromised during use. Sunglasses should be fit well and look good so that the patient will want to use them often, which will maximize protection.

Sunwear is bought on emotion as well as function. The consumer must see a selection of quality, name-brand designers of both fashion and function.