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Thread: UV Awareness Among Consumers

  1. #1
    Forever Liz's Dad Steve Machol's Avatar
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    UV Awareness Among Consumers

    As mentioned in the October 21 news release NEW SURVEY REVEALS CONSUMERS UNAWARE OF UV'S DANGERS TO THEIR EYES, it was noted that while 79 percent of respondents knew that extended exposure to the sun can cause skin cancer, only 6 percent knew it can harm the eyes. To aid eyecare professionals in their efforts to educate patients on the need for everyday UV protection, Transitions Optical is focusing heavily on eye health in 2003. (See TRANSITIONS OPTICAL FOCUSES ON 2003 EYE HEALTH EDUCATIONAL CAMPAIGN AT VISION EXPO EAST.)

    According to Transitions they will be reaching out to consumers through a national advertising campaign (Post 11/21) and a new in-office video (Post 2/12) with a message about the need for everyday convenience and 100 percent UVA and UVB protection with lenses that adjust to all lighting conditions. The company is also offering valuable information to eyecare professionals through a new "Partners in Education" program (Post 2/12), which offers education modules on several topics including a a clinical focus on the need to protect the eyes from UV light and the implications for everyday eyewear.

    The question to OptiBoarders is this:

    How do you feel about the low consumer awareness of the need to protect the eyes from UV, and how do you address this issue in your own business?


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  2. #2
    Cape Codger OptiBoard Gold Supporter hcjilson's Avatar
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    Thats pretty astounding!

    I find that in my office, consumers are very aware of the harmful effects of UV. But my office has a reasonably knowledgeable customer base. Most of the early work on the harmful effects of UV on the eye, was done at Woods Hole Oceanagraphic on Cape Cod. I was invited to a meeting at Mass Eye and Ear where a paper was delivered on UV (Sept 1979).The upshot was that UV protection should be specified on the Rx for all distance Rx's.

    I also remember Dr Herb Werthiem's excellent pamphlet.... What you don't see can blind you! at about the same time. I think most practitioners today spend the time to inform their customers which is why I find those numbers astounding. Again, we are only seeing the Eyeglass wearing public, and the survey may have been from the general public.

    The unfortunate thing is that when you suggest UV coating, the customer thinks you are trying to oversell them. I don't think that its an accident that many "premium" lens products Filter out UV. All general purpose lenses should regardless of the material from which they are made.

    Thats what makes Transitions so easy to sell.They come with a UV inhinbitor, and scratch coating. You are getting a lens that already has 40 dollars of extra's.

    hj
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  3. #3
    Bad address email on file John R's Avatar
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    Arrow UK side

    Well i would say over here that there is very low awareness to the damage UV might do to our eyes.
    This is due i guess to the reverent bodies not providing any guidance to the public on this matter. They also need to temper any information given that regular spectacle wearers are well protected so as to avoid the hard sell of "You need them lenses UV coated" as we all know that lenses provide very high UV protection any way.

  4. #4
    Master OptiBoarder Joann Raytar's Avatar
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    Re: UK side

    John R said:
    They also need to temper any information given that regular spectacle wearers are well protected so as to avoid the hard sell of "You need them lenses UV coated" as we all know that lenses provide very high UV protection any way.
    True John, but the news release mentioned an important point.

    "'While today’s patients are savvy consumers, the research findings clearly suggest that eyecare professionals can fill a void in eye health awareness by educating their patients about UV and recommending eyewear with everyday year-round protection,” said Denis Fisk, director of global education, Transitions Optical. “Patients know that they need to protect their skin, now we need to broaden protection to the eyes as well.'”

    Years ago, folks would slather on sunscreen only at the beach while sunbathing in the summer. Today, we realize that any time we spend outdoors exposes our bodies to UV damage. Perhaps a contact lens wearer spending the day at an outdoor flee market or at a family picnic would be better off wearing UV protective eyeglass lenses for their outing.

  5. #5
    OptiBoardaholic
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    Australians have been educated about the effects of UV for quite some time. We have had campaigns such as Slip Slop Slap (slip on a shirt, slop on some sunscreen and slap on a hat). We are also closer to the hole in the ozone layer and and have a warm sunny climate. YET, if the same survey were carried out in Australia it would probably yield similar results.

    Also, we have mandatory standards for off-the-rack sunglasses but no mandatory requirements for prescription sunglasses. This is something of an anomaly in our legal system.

    With regard to what to do. I don't know how we deal with the large numbers of people who don't see an ophthalmic practitioner, but those fortunate to visit one of us can easily be informed. I don't agree with the concern about 'overselling'. I don't think that any professional should withhold information for feer of being seen in this light. Ophthalmic lens manufacturers provide a lot of support and advice in this area and I have seen an excellent kit from Transitions down here (actually it was given to me in New zealand) which provides a lot of useful advice on how to recommend their product.

    Regards
    David

  6. #6
    Cape Codger OptiBoard Gold Supporter hcjilson's Avatar
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    With the effort that Transitions....

    Gooday David,
    With the effort that Transitions is putting into consumer education beginning this month (over here at least) we are going to start seeing people come in and ask for them. That should ease the problem of overselling.

    SLIP SLOP SLAP!.....I LOVE IT!
    best from harry j
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