Martin Wells: A Giant in Its Time – By Neil Forbes*

In this Blog we look back at some of the iconic history of our industry –

Spectacle-frame manufacturer Martin Wells Pty Ltd was established in 1954 by Eric Hurst, originally from Czechoslovakia, and Dino Zingarelli, originally from Italy, with Sidney Sinclair, formerly from England, as chairman of the company. Annotation 2020-05-14 085708

Eric Hurst was a great salesman, Dino Zingarelli a technical whizz and Sidney Sinclair a hard-nosed businessman, who was a joint founder of men’s-suit manufacturer Anthony Squires. They made a powerful team.

The company was located at St Marys, a far-western suburb of Sydney, in what was formerly a group of factories that were part of a large complex where ammunition was manufactured and stored during World War II.

The reason for selecting those premises was the plastic material used then for the manufacture of spectacle frames was cellulose nitrate, which was highly flammable. The material was later changed to cellulose acetate.

The concept was that if there was a fire, the ‘blast’ in a storage building some way from the manufacturing facility, would go up through the relatively weak structure of the roof because the walls were very thick and capable of resisting the blast…

There was a major setback early on when the factory was burnt to the ground; however, there was a benefit in the form of the not-so-young plant being replaced under insurance policies.

At the time Martin Wells was founded, the frame-manufacturing industry in Australia was not renowned as a leader, with basic frames, limited colour selections and traditional overseas suppliers, having recovered from the war. Messrs Hurst and Zingarelli, who had come here after the war to work for a local manufacturer, soon saw their opportunity.

Before long, they had opened for business, quickly gaining recognition among wholesalers and practitioners for what their business was producing; the company had distributors in each state, competing against each other, often with the same styles.

MW Womens1

In those pre-Trade-Practices-Act days, disregarding ex-wholesale prices set by the manufacturer to practices was frowned upon, with the threat of being sacked as a distributor ever-present, but in the case of Martin Wells and other frame manufacturers that was never pursued.

By the time the company listed on the stock exchange, it had built outstanding goodwill and the listing was a success.

Part of the reason for that was the addition of marcasite stones to its plastic frames, which gained considerable publicity, then ‘anodised’ frames, consisting of a plastic front with anodised aluminium sides and brow pieces in almost any combination of colour and engraving, with finishes that others could not match.

Over time, the company produced some big sellers, including Super Ambassador, Envoy, 727, 747 and Mustang for gents and Amorette, Spellbound and a host of others for ladies.

In 1968, the company bought its largest wholesale distributor in Australia, Optical Products, followed soon after by its United Kingdom distributor, M Bender Northern, in Newcastle-upon-Tyne. Later the company bought its distributor in the United States, which turned out to be an expensive mistake.

Apart from its substantial prescription-lens business, Optical Products brought to the table the Rodenstock agency, which from then on was tenuous, given that the new owner of OPs was a rival frame manufacturer.

Meantime the company’s export business continued to grow, reaching just over 50 per cent of total ex-factory sales and covering over 50 countries, with markets in Asia and South Africa being particularly successful.

As a measure of its export success, Martin Wells won a Hoover Award for its efforts, written up as ‘Beating the Giants’, which set out its strategies and tactics to take on European manufacturers. Three export awards were won in later years.

All was well until the advent of sudden and substantial demand for metal frames, commencing in the early 1970s.

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Martin Wells tried to resist that, but the tide had turned and the plastic frames that had been popular after World War II were suddenly largely on the way out, and metal frames were in!

That was a turning point for the company, which attempted to resist the advent of metal frames, but before long realised it had to become a metal-frame manufacturer too or continue to lose market share to overseas manufacturers, particularly those in Europe. It did that.

Curiously, later on its metal-manufacturing plant was sold to smaller, rival company Engelhardt in Adelaide, which eventually closed it down and concentrated on importing components and assembling them.

Viewing the success of branded sunglasses, Martin Wells joined the fray, launching its Passport sunglasses brand in 1969, however it did not invest sufficient marketing funds to seriously take on market leaders Polaroid and Sunoroid and eventually the Passport brand was sold to another company.

By the mid-1980s, the whole Martin Wells group had been sold to the Adelaide Steamship consortium, which in turn on-sold it to the Hancock & Gore organisation (now HGL), which in turn on-sold the Martin Wells name to Diane and Mike Quaife’s OPs Optical Products.

The name has now been sold to Van Staveren Eyewear, based in Victoria.

Martin Wells was a giant in its time; no doubt about that. At its peak, it employed 620 staff at its St Marys facility.

*Neil Forbes was marketing manager at Martin Wells from 1967 to 1975, before becoming editor of Insight for just over 40 years – from 1975 to 2016.

Article supplied by John Van Staveren from VS Eyewear Australia click here for website

Top Tips for Selling Sunglasses

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Opening

Welcome the customer into the store with a non-business related opening line, for example, What brings you into the store today?

Establish Customer Needs

Ask open-ended questions to determine what the customer wants as well as why they want it. Open-ended questions begin with Who, What, Why, When and How? They are questions that can’t be answered with a Yes or a No.

Product Selection

Once you have established what the sunglasses are needed for, eg for during or playing golf, offer a style with a specialised driving lens or a specialist golf lens.

Recommend Multiple Pairs

Suggest buying a second pair for a specific lifestyle choice or for the glove box in the car.

Polarised Sunglasses

Recommend polarised sunglasses for activities such as snow sand or water. That is because when normal rays of light bounce off any reflective surface they become disorganised and produce glare. Polarisation filters work like mini Venetian blinds organising chaotic light coming through the lens to eliminate glare and reduce eye fatigue.

Recommend Styles

Recognising the best styles that suit a particular face shape (s) is an important part of the product selection. Explain why certain frames suit better than others.

Demonstrate Product

Show the customer the features and benefits of the product, for example, wrap-around lens reduce the sun damaging the eyes, or UV coating is beneficial because…

Present with Enthusiasm and involve the Customer

Be genuine, the one thing that puts people off is an overzealous salesperson. Enable the customer to try sunglasses on, explain the reasons for the feel and the fit. Gain their trust that you are helping them make the right decision.

Remember people buy off people they like so be aware of a customers body language and if they want your help or they want to be left alone.

Your Optical Professionals – Who’s Who

Definitions of Eye Care Professionals

EYES

OPTOMETRISTS

Optometrists conduct eye and vision examinations, prescribe spectacles and contact lenses and carry out treatment for eye disorders. Optometrists do not perform surgery but may use drugs to treat eye diseases if they are therapeutically qualified. Optometrists must complete a three to five-year university qualification specifically on the eye and its care before they can be registered to practice. Optometrists may also dispense eyewear, such as glasses and contact lenses, from their own practice. An increasing proportion of the work optometrists do relates to eye disease and problems which affect the way in which the eyes work together (binocular vision). Optometrists provide approximately three-quarters of all eye examinations given by eye care professionals in Australia

OPHTHALMOLOGISTS

Ophthalmologists are medical practitioners who concentrate on treating eye disease with drugs and surgery. Although their specialist training is centered in these areas they also prescribe spectacles. There is a considerable degree of overlap in the services optometrists and ophthalmologists provide. Both perform refraction and prescribe spectacles and contact lenses, both are qualified in the detection of eye disease and there is a growing overlap in the treatment of minor ocular disorders. Only ophthalmologists perform major eye surgery and treat serious eye disease.

OPTICAL DISPENSERS

Optical dispensers interpret optical prescriptions and fit and service optical appliances such as spectacle frames and lenses. They advise on, fit and supply the most appropriate spectacles after taking account of each patient’s visual, lifestyle and vocational needs. Qualified dispensers have completed a Certificate IV in Optical Dispensing from TAFE or a Registered Training Organisation. An optical dispenser works as part of the eye care team in the optical practice alongside the eyecare practitioners who issue the optical prescription. Behind the scenes optical dispensers are often employed in optical laboratories of large practices and by the lens companies who grind and manufacture lenses.

ORTHOPTISTS

Orthoptists are university qualified eye health professionals who care for patients with eye disorders. Orthoptists specialise in a variety of areas including (but not limited to): Children’s vision, Eye movement disorder, Low vision care / Rehabilitation, Cataract care, Retinal disorders, Neurological vision disorders, Clinical Research and education. Orthoptists work in a range of settings, including hospitals, private practices, low vision and rehabilitation settings, community health areas, clinical research centres, universities and within the ophthalmic sales industry. Orthoptists may work independently, in conjunction with ophthalmologists or in a variety of multidisciplinary teams.

How to choose an optometrist:

Do things look a little fuzzy these days?

Has your family got a history of an eye disease like glaucoma or macular degeneration?

If no, there are many eye conditions to watch for and while some are more common with age, others can occur at any age. Comprehensive eye examinations, at regular intervals, starting from childhood, ensure that most eye conditions can be prevented or corrected. Eye examinations can also be an important tool for determining your overall health.

So it’s time to see an optometrist.

If you’ve never been before, choosing one can be tricky. There are several kinds of eye care professionals who specialize in different things but the optometrist is the best starting point. Choosing an optometrist to maintain a lifetime of good vision is an important health decision. Statistics say most people choose their optometrist based on convenience but that should not be the only factor you consider.

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HOW TO CHOOSE THE RIGHT OPTOMETRIST

  1. Think of everyone you know that wears glasses – they will all have been for an eye exam. Ask them about their experience and about the solution provided whether glasses, contact lenses or further investigations. Ask them if they are completely satisfied with any spectacles prescribed.
  2. Optometrists use a test to determine the appropriate lens power needed to compensate for any refractive error (error in focusing of light by the eye). Ask what refractive tests they offer, as new technology can reveal more about your eyes to create better vision.
  3.  Ask how long the optometrist consultation will last – if it is 20 minutes or less- you need to decide how comprehensive that eye exam could be – your eyes are not only the window to your soul but also your general health
  4. Some Optometrists use advanced technology to understand your vision condition more deeply than a standard eye test Inquire what extra services the practice can offer, whether you will receive an immediate report and if they charge extra for these services. Conditions such as impending strokes and brain aneurisms have been picked up by these extra tests at routine consultations so consider it money well spent.
  5. Find out what you will be charged for an eye Some optometrist bulk bill Medicare cardholders meaning there are no out of pocket expenses for the eye test. Just because an optometrist charges more than the rebatable amount doesn’t mean you shouldn’t go there. Whilst we all want to save our pennies unless you are really strapped for cash, paying above the Medicare schedule fee could be the best money you ever spend.
  6. When inquiring about services, ask what types of lenses the practice offers as all lenses are not created equal. The lens choice can make a big difference in the quality of your visual experience. Ideal vision can only be achieved if the lenses are customised for the way you wear them.

Q: Why do glasses cost so much?

A: Actually, if you analyze cost-per-wear, glasses are one of the least expensive things you own! Remember, most people wear their glasses every day, all day, and rely on them to be able to get around safely and read comfortably. Much like mobile phones, jeans, runners and even TVs, there is a wide variety of price points and quality to choose from. Stylish frames are available for every budget but lenses should be chosen for the best optical solution.

The TRUTH about Blue Light

One of the most frequently talked about topics in the eyewear industry is currently blue light and blue light blocking lenses.

This article focuses on blue light and the products being offered which have been designed to reduce exposure. Although the sun is the main source of blue light, the mounting concerns about exposure to it, particularly HEV (High Energy Visible Light) are largely due to society’s increasing use of smartphones, tablets and computer screens, all of which emit HEV light.

These potentially harmful high-energy visible rays also are emitted by modern LED light bulbs and other high-efficiency Indoor lighting.  Blue light from the sun can damage the retina and at-risk groups should be protected including those with a family history of AMD, smokers, and people who are obese.

Young concentrated man using laptop computer at home indoors at night looking at laptop white screen. Hacker

So What is Blue Light?

Firstly, there is no standard definition of “blue light” but this description may help:

Visible light consists of a spectrum of individual light rays, each with its own colour and energy level.  This energy is determined by the wavelength of the individual light rays. The shorter the wavelength, the more energy a specific light ray has, and vice versa. Wavelengths are specified in tiny units of length called nanometers (nm). Blue light is that portion of the visible light spectrum that has more energy than any other rays of visible light. In fact, the highest energy (shortest wavelength) blue light rays have nearly as much energy as invisible UV rays that have been shown to be damaging to the eyes.

Blue light (like all types of visible light) can penetrate deeper into the eye than invisible UV rays. In other words, the cornea and lens of the eye are exposed to UV, but these rays pretty much stop there. Blue light, on the other hand, can pass through both the cornea and lens and reach the light-sensitive retina in the back of the eye. Because of its high energy and ability to penetrate deep into the eye, blue light has the potential to cause unwanted changes in the retina over time.

In fact, some researchers believe too much exposure to blue light over the course of a person’s lifetime may increase the risk of conditions like macular degeneration. In particular, light on the high-energy end of the blue light spectrum (sometimes referred to as “violet-blue” light)—appears to have the greatest potential for causing retina damage. Also, not all wavelengths of visible light come to a perfect focus inside the eye. In particular, short-wavelength blue light tends to be slightly defocused compared with other visible light.
This can create a violet-blue “blur circle” that contributes to a phenomenon called chromatic aberration.

Chromatic aberration especially affects visual quality and comfort when viewing print on computer screens and other digital displays, and is believed to be a factor in eye strain that’s common among users of these devices.

Exhausted young businesswoman holding eyeglasses and looking at desktop computer screen

The Good News About Blue Light

Some blue light—particularly visible rays on the lower-energy end of the blue light spectrum—actually are good for you! The proper amount and timing of exposure to blue light with wavelengths ranging from 460 nm to 500 nm are very important for regulating our biological clock (circadian rhythm) which influences our sleep/wake cycle and general wellbeing. Exposure to this lower-energy blue light during the day releases hormones that help us feel alert and focused. But too much exposure to these rays later in the evening can suppress hormones that help us achieve restful sleep—resulting in drowsiness and lack of focus during the following day from blue light-induced sleep disturbances.

So How Much Digital Screen Time Do Australians Consume?

Prior to the first release of the Apple iPhone in 2007, the world had no cause to consider digital devices a necessity. Statistical data shows that the use of smartphones in Australia reached over 16.5 million users in 2017 with a projected 19.27 million users expected by 2022. In 2017 adults spent an average of 5.5 hours per day on their digital devices, 3.14 hours of which were on mobile devices. 94% of Australian teenagers, 67% of primary school-aged students and 36% of pre-schoolers have their own mobile screen-based device.  Australian children average 4.6 hours a weekday and 4.5 hours on a weekend day on their screens. For parents the average reported daily use on a weekday is 5.8 hours and 5.3 on a weekend day – with the average total weekly usage of 39.4 hours.

Blue Light Filtration

Currently, there are no studies that definitively link blue light exposure with the development of macular degeneration or other serious eye diseases. However, given the growing body of laboratory research that shows blue light can cause damage to ocular tissues, there is legitimate concern about the potential risks posed by cumulative exposure to the high levels of blue light contained in sunlight. Also, there is reasonable concern that additional exposure to significant levels of blue light from digital devices — in addition to increasing the risk of eye strain related to chromatic aberration and the potential for circadian rhythm alteration — may pose incremental risks to eye health, and that it may take several decades before we fully understand the seriousness of these risks. In light of current research on the effects (and potential effects) of blue light on the eye, the following guidelines may help – subject of course to the opinion of the
Eye Care Professional.

Sunglasses. Sunglasses. SUNGLASSES!

With so much talk these days about the potential risks that digital devices pose to the eyes, it’s easy to forget that the sun is BY FAR a more potent source of blue light exposure for most people. Common sense blue light filtration begins with quality sunglasses that significantly reduce the transmittance of HEV blue light.

Children 

Given that kids spend significant time in sunlight outdoors and are using digital devices earlier and more extensively than ever before, today’s young children will have a greater cumulative lifetime exposure to HEV blue light than their older siblings or their parents. For this reason, and given the current lack of strong clinical evidence regarding potential long-term effects of decades of increased blue light exposure, it seems prudent to get blue light filtration for all children. In particular, sunglasses or photochromic lenses should be worn outdoors to reduce daily HEV blue light exposure from sunlight.

Consider photochromic lenses 

Light-sensitive photochromic lenses are the most convenient and affordable way to ensure patients have clear and comfortable vision in all light conditions. Modern photochromic lenses can filter up to twice as much HEV blue light than standard clear plastic or polycarbonate lenses indoors and more than 80 per cent blue light outdoors.

High-risk People

Lenses that filter blue light for people with a higher-than-normal risk of macular degeneration may be prescribed depending on the professional opinion of the eye care practitioner. These high-risk individuals may include people with a family history of AMD and those who spend long hours outdoors or using computers and other digital devices. People who have undergone cataract surgery also may be more susceptible to blue light hazards, depending on the light absorptive characteristics of the intraocular lens (IOL) used during their procedure.

Want to know more?

It is important to get to know what products are available to optimise your vision. Talk to your optometrist to find out more.

 

This article has been compiled by Finola Carey ODMA CEO with assistance from Ulli Hentschel – Hoya Lens Australia.

 

REFERENCES

John G Lawrenson  Christopher C Hull  Laura E Downie The effect of blue light blocking spectacle lenses on visual performance, macular health and the sleep-wake cycle: a systematic review of the literature Ophthalmic and Physiological Optics, 2017 https://doi.org/10.1111/opo.12406

Tsz Wing Leung, Roger Wing-hong Li, Chea-su Kee. Blue-Light Filtering Spectacle Lenses: Optical and Clinical Performances PLoS One 2017; 12(1): e0169114. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0169114 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5207664/ 

Blue-light filtering intraocular lenses (IOLs) for protecting macular health (Protocol) i Copyright © 2015 The Cochrane Collaboration. Published by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. https://minerva-access.unimelb.edu.au/handle/11343/58390?show=full. 

Lisa A. Ostrin, Kaleb S. Abbott, Hope M. Queener. Attenuation of short wavelengths alters sleep and the ipRGC pupil response. Ophthalmic and Physiological Optics, 2017; 37 (4): 440 DOI: 10.1111/opo.12385

 

E-Commerce is Growing

E-commerce is growing and consumer behaviour is changing – globally. This makes a sensitive item such as glasses, a worthy topic to discuss in relation to e-commerce.

In America – over the last five years, there was industry growth of almost 4.5% in the online eyeglasses and contact lens sales segment. This has resulted in a revenue of more than $1 billion in 2019. At the same time, online businesses have grown by more than 4.5%. The number of people who are employed has grown by 6.5%.

There are currently more than 1500 businesses providing eyeglasses online. onlinepic1

Good News –

Online sales of prescription glasses in Australia is small. According to statistics, approximately 4 to 8% of all prescription glasses are obtained online.

A large study found about half the online glasses had the wrong prescription or other problems. The consumer watchdog in the UK said 27% of glasses ordered from nine online stores failed quality tests.

Bad News –

Increasing numbers of people are now becoming aware of online savings.

However –

The industry still has time to combat this trend – it still will happen to some degree, but we need to minimise it.

What can your business do NOW to minimise online optical purchases?

Have a strong online presence

  • People will search online first, so ensure your web site, social media, Google AdWords, SEO are regularly updated.
  • Ensure Social Media and Web Site are cohesive.
  • Advertise on Social Media in your catchment area regularly.
  • Have your own online shop – if you can’t sell online you need the strong online presence to entice them to your store
  • Or can you align yourself with an online store? Team up and work with your suppliers?

Steve-Martin-QuoteBe Competitive

  • People can and will search online, even while in your store, for cheaper prices elsewhere – ensure your frame prices are competitive, can you price match?
  • If your prices are not competitive, your staff need to be able to point out the differences and reasons quickly. ie multifocal lenses, build, coatings and scratch resistance, fake frames online…
  • Offer payment plans
  • What is your turn around time? Can you beat an online store?
  • Offer services online stores can’t match – ie style advice, in-store technology, eye testing
  • Can you give them their prescription if they ask but not the pupillary distance
  • Offer breakage repair service or guarantees

optical2Customer Service

  • Ensure your staff are well trained and friendly – customer service is the key
  • Hard sell doesn’t work, but the art of selling does – your staff need to know and be versed in the differences
  • By shopping online customers don’t get to try the glasses on or have someone help them in person – style advice, budget advice, pricing options additional services UV, scratch resistance, polarised etc.
  • After-sales service – an online shop doesn’t do that
  • Remind customers that as Optometrists you are trained, medical professionals
  • Regular eye checks are important and you don’t know if your eyes are changing unless you visit your Optometrist – like your Doctor

Australia wins bid for World Congress of Optometry in 2021

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The World Council of Optometry (WCO) is set to announce that the 4th World Council Congress of Optometry will be held in Melbourne, Australia in 2021.

The winning competitive global tender was put together by Optometry Victoria South Australia (OV/SA) and the Optical Distributors and Manufacturers Association of Australia (ODMA).

The WCO will run alongside the highly successful Australian clinical conference and trade show O=MEGA21 from 2 to 4 September 2021 in Melbourne, Australia.

Scott Mundle, the outgoing President of the World Council of Optometry, will confirm the partnership at a ceremony at the 3rd WCO in Orlando, Florida, on 26 October.

‘I’m delighted that the WCO is heading Down Under,’ said Mr Mundle. ‘We had a very strong international field of contenders wanting to host the 4th WCO, and the Melbourne bid was quite outstanding. I have no doubt that the Australians have the experience, infrastructure and professionalism to deliver an outstanding event.’

OV/SA President Elise Pocknee-Clem said: ‘It’s an honour to have been chosen to host the 4th WCO. Early September is a great time to visit, get high-quality continuing education, and see how optometry is practiced in Australia and the Asia Pacific region. It will be a tremendous opportunity for our members to come together, share ideas, and make international connections.

‘Melbourne is a wonderful place to bring family and friends. We encourage you to discover the hidden gems of the city, and to spend some time travelling in Australia – one of the most beautiful, safest, and friendliest countries on Earth.’

The Chairman of ODMA, Robert Sparkes, said: ‘O=MEGA21 is the largest and most credentialed clinical conference and trade show in the Southern Hemisphere for optometry and the ophthalmic optics community.

‘It has always been our plan to expand the reach of our new O=MEGA offering, and make it a truly regional event. We are excited about collaborating with the World Council of Optometry and hosting the WCO during O=MEGA’s second stellar conference.’

OV/SA is part of the professional association for optometrists in Australia. It is committed to delivering quality, practical, cutting-edge education for optometrists. ODMA is the leading industry body, and operates the largest eyecare and eyewear show in Australia.

In July 2019 OV/SA and ODMA joined forces to welcome more than 3500 visitors to its first-ever combined event, O=MEGA19.

The World Council of Optometry facilitates the development of optometry around the world and supports optometrists to promote eye health and vision care as a human right, through advocacy, education, policy development and humanitarian outreach.

O=MEGA21 / 4th World Congress of Optometry is presented by ODMA and Optometry Victoria South Australia from 2 to 4 September 2021 at Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre.

 

Media enquiries:

Pete Haydon, CEO – OV/SA +61 (0) 428 650 254

Finola Carey, CEO – ODMA +61 (0) 416 007 919

Susan Cooper, Interim Managing Director – WCO +1 314 983 4106

 

10 signs your child might need glasses

Be aware of possible signs of a vision problem to give your child the best chance of reaching their full potential. 61836845_875783309447396_6647993875329712128_n

Look out for:
1. Lots of squinting or trouble recognising people or things in the distance
2. Frequent blinking or eye rubbing.
3. Using a finger to guide the eyes while reading.
4. Slipping grades.
5. Head tilting.
6. Eyes don’t line up or one or both eyes wander.
7. Complaints of headaches.
8. Sensitivity to light.
9. Closing one eye to read or watch TV.
10. Avoiding using a computer because it hurts their eyes.

Visit your local independent Optometrist for a full evaluation

O=MEGA19 Post Show Report

fb omega - CopyThe Australian optical industry’s largest education, eyecare and eyewear event was well represented across all key segments. The trade show hosted a total of 130 exhibitors offering a range of products and services.
Popular features on the show floor were the Awards of Excellence presentation shortlisting the very best in fashion, innovation and technology, Live Window Dressing & Window Dressing Competition and the Bausch & Lomb Knowledge Centre.
New benchmarks were set by many exhibitors with regards to stand design and the event has a very optimistic future
.

We have compiled a post-show report with all the stats and facts just click  – omega19 post show report to read it

Are you worried you are being upsold with all of the upgrades when choosing glasses?

When you are choosing glasses, specific lenses and coatings are a must but are not mandatory as it can depend on your lifestyle, how you use and wear your glasses. When your Optometrist offers them to you, you can rest assured this is not a scam as these coatings make a significant difference in the physics of light and how light actually interacts with your glasses and your eyes. OrganizationalHealth-TonyRichards-DecisionMaking

These upgrades can make a real difference for your vision, whether it’s transition lenses, anti-glare coatings, or another high-tech feature.

We have compiled an easy to understand explanation about each type of option so you can decide before you buy it these are of value to you.

High Index lenses

If you have a strong prescription and therefore need thick glasses, high index glasses are thinner and more comfortable. Think about the old fashioned “coke bottle” glasses, these are now a thing of the past with thinner lenses that feel comfortable, don’t weigh down your on face or limit your frame choices.

Anti-Scratch

No matter how well you look after your glasses, scratches are typical, so for the longevity of your glasses anti-scratch is a must,

UV Eye Protection

The risk of eye damage from the sun increases as we get older, so it is crucial that we limit the amount of sun into our eyes as possible. Most UV coated lenses offered by your Optometrist can block up to 99% of harmful UV rays. However, if you wear prescription glasses, be sure to ask your optometrist about the level of UV protection they provide.

The Cancer Council states:

  • “The Australian/New Zealand Standard for sunglasses and fashion spectacles does not cover either tinted or clear prescription glasses. However, some tinted or clear prescription lenses may provide protection from UV radiation. Certain lens materials and coatings provide UV protection. Lenses that darken when exposed to sunlight provide additional comfort by reducing glare but do not necessarily filter out more UV radiation. Prescription glasses used for sun protection should be close-fitting and wraparound to provide maximum protection.”

Anti-Reflective

Today’s advanced anti-reflective coatings can virtually eliminate the reflection of light from eyeglass lenses, allowing 99.5 per cent of available light to pass through the lenses and enter the eye for good vision.  

Anti-Reflective coating allows your eyes to be more visible to others, and it also helps reduce reflections at night time with lights from cars, street lights etc. Reflections become very annoying, so this is a must-have, primarily if you work on computers. Anti-reflective glasses also are more attractive, so you can look your best in all lighting conditions.

 Transition Lenses

If you don’t like carrying around multiple pairs of prescription glasses, i.e. one pair of sunnies, one pair of standard spectacles. Transition glasses may be an option for you. Transition lenses are an all-in-one option that eliminates the need for separate glasses and sunglasses, and they provide 100% UV protection. More modern transition lenses also include blue light protection.

 Multi-Focal lenses

As our eyes age, there is a greater need for multifocal glasses. Multi-focal (also called progressive) lenses correct both short and long-sighted vision, usually in the 40+ age group. You don’t necessarily need multifocal lenses, but you could end up with reading glasses, vision glasses and sunglasses, so multifocal glasses limits the load.

The key is to talk with an optometrist about your lifestyle so that you receive the right glasses for you. While add ons aren’t always a necessity, often they will give you more longevity out of your glasses and lenses, plus take better care of your eyes.

 

 

References

https://wiki.cancer.org.au/policy/Position_statement_-_Eye_protection