Having “The Talk”… about blue light that is.
Half. That’s how many ECPs participating in a the 2017 Market Trends Report for Eyecare Business said now offer “blue light” lenses to patients. That’s up from 41% a year earlier. As a result, 53% of those surveyed say their sale of DES and blue light eyewear is up year over year. So, how do ECPs address the subject of blue light with families? To find out, The Vitamin See talks to researchers and ECPs about the what, how, and why they discuss the connection, especially to families and children.
Tip: Don’t stop with eyewear when it comes to blue light. Include screen covers, night cell phone setting, etc., in the conversation.
- KIDS + PARENTS. Every parent needs to hear from you that, as first reported in Acta Ophthalmologica, the lenses of children’s eyes are transparent to all wavelengths, hence the need for protection. It helps that Shamir Insight, for example, has expanded the range of its Shamir Blue Zero to include polycarbonate and Trivex.
- SCREENS + SETTINGS. Don’t just stop with eyewear when it comes to blue-light protection, suggests veteran optician Jenean Carlton. “Include screen covers that block blue light wavelengths in the conversation. Likewise, most smartphones and tablets have a night setting that lowers the amount of blue light being emitted from the device.”
- AMD + ANTIOXIDANTS. According to The National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), as far back as 1994, researchers reported a decreased risk of age-related macular degeneration among people with a higher intake of dietary carotenoids and antixoidants.
- NUTRITION + DIET. The problem? Though 10 mg. of lutein and 2 mg. of zeaxanthin are recommended, the average American consumes only .8-1.1 mg. total, according to the American Optometric Association. Hence the need for foods like spinach, kale, broccoli, corn, and/or supplements.
- SAY + TELL. How much to tell, and to which patients. is always a big question. In a roundtable reported by The Vision Impact Institute, participant Bill Harvey, O.D. in Surrey, England, said, “I think the UV message has to be got across absolutely to all patients…the [same] way I think we should be discussing what we know regarding nutrition.”
- THE ASK. “My office is in a high-tech area, so we have a lot of computer users,” explains Eric White. O.D., owner of Complete Family Vision Care in San Diego. “We also ask the patients if they’re ever on the phone outside. It’s about asking and telling.”
When you talk to families, do you bring up the importance of nutrition and diet in the vision care conversation? If so, how does it affect your practice? Tell us and share in the Facebook conversation here.