Through My Lens

As a journalist who covers the optical industry, I get emails every day from manufacturers, labs and eyecare professionals. However, it’s quite rare for me to get an email from a consumer. Naturally I was quite curious when a message popped up in my in-box recently from a woman in Arizona. She explained she had just purchased a pair of glasses with a premium brand of anti-reflective lenses. Her dispenser gave her a lens cleaner and special cloth, but no instruction as to how to use them or clean the cloth. She asked if I had any information about the care of this lens so that it will last as long as possible.

“I have had problems in the past with lens coatings and they have scratched easily,” she wrote. “I want to avoid that with these glasses.”

I find it amazing that this woman would go to the trouble to locate an optical journalist to answer such a basic question and not ask the dispenser who sold her the glasses. After all, the dispenser had already sold her a premium brand of AR lenses and presumably a nice frame to put them in. It would only have taken a couple of minutes for the dispenser to advise her how to care for her new lenses, ensuring that she would get full value and satisfaction from her purchase. Instead, this customer experienced a communications breakdown that could easily sour her on AR. If she has a bad experience with her lenses, she might conclude that they are too hard to care for and might never buy them again. (Forget about the fact that lens manufacturers and labs have spent millions of dollars making AR easier to clean and wear.) Or she might conclude that her dispenser is a dud and buy her next pair of glasses somewhere else.

I forwarded the woman’s message to the manufacturer of the lens. The product manager responded to her with detailed lens care instructions and the woman later wrote back to thank me. Another happy customer!
Dispensers shouldn’t assume patients know how to wear and care for their lenses. Even patients who have worn AR or other premium lenses before often need a refresher on their lens care routine. It certainly can’t hurt.

—Andrew Karp
Group Editor, Lenses and Technology