When it comes to putting their children into eyewear, parents tend to worry first about safety, then about optical properties and finally, price, often in that order. While most eyecare practitioners can confidently prescribe polycarbonate to their youngest patients, those who have discovered Trivex, a proprietary material made by PPG Industries (available in lenses from Younger Optics, Hoya Vision Care, Excelite and Shamir Insight), say it represents an attractive option.
The ECPs we spoke to found Trivex a strong upgrade replacement for polycarbonate lenses. Trivex lenses are as impact resistant and lightweight as polycarbonate, and are also thinner in certain prescriptions. With a 1.53 refractive index, Trivex works well in a wide range of prescriptions and presents both good acuity and optics for patients as well as no color aberrations when compared to polycarbonate due to its higher Abbe value. The material is also well-suited for ECPs working with three-piece mounts and those who do in-house lab work.
Mark Tegenkamp, owner of Tegenkamp Optical Superstores (with two locations in Pensacola, Fla.
||and one in Mobile, Ala.) learned about Trivex from Younger and now only offers polycarbonate in children’s eyewear if parents balk at the price.
“It’s a phenomenal product,” says Tegenkamp. “We’ve had unprecedented success with it. When it comes to optics, you can’t beat Trivex. The only reason the market hasn’t swung over [to Trivex] is the price factor.”
Optical chains have educated the public about polycarbonate, “so that’s what they ask for,” notes Tegenkamp. “As independents, we can aggressively market something faster than chains can,” he continues. “We have to offer something they cannot find at LensCrafters. Anytime you can create exclusivity with your product, it eliminates competition. Independents have to market themselves to be more exclusive because you cannot compete with the chains’ price level, but you can create a niche in your marketplace.” Tegenkamp adds most parents are easily upsold to Trivex, which he sells at $69 more per pair.
About 80 to 90 percent of Nicki Harrison’s child patients are in