I know you know the one about the 800-pound gorilla in the room… but… did you notice that hairy beast is wearing glasses… bought… on… line?

You’ve been down this threat-strewn road before. One time the weight tip was even in the title a la 1-800-CONTACTS. And then there was the whole miracle of LASIK. Fashion and style saved more than a few butts in the CL situation since eyewear has become quite the hot BRAND accessory for women and… men? Well, men basically hate touching their eyeballs. As for LASIK, even though there’s not much in the way of bloody eyeballs when it comes to a laser procedure, there is still the misconception that there COULD be blood and, let’s face facts that down the road glasses are STILL on the agenda.

But… ordering eyewear online and securing Rx lenses with those frames via sneakily secured PDs: THAT’s a giant threat. That gorilla is breathing right down your back (and my back), and that breath is a salivating reality that ain’t going away.

What are you doing about it? Are you discussing it online or in face-to-face forums with your colleagues? Are you turning away consumers coming in asking for their PDs? Are you just confident you can survive the perceived menace in the same way you sidestepped managed care by resorting to dispensing luxury eyewear exclusively? Are you mad? Angry? Is that wrath directed at your patients? Consumers? The press? The news? Any media that gives any online eyewear entrepreneur exposure?

I don’t want to be discouraging but even though I have some of those same reactions,  most of it is wasted energy. And no matter what your role here is as you read this (dispenser, retailer, frame vendor, lens vendor, lens manufacturer, frame manufacturer, O, O, O, 20/20 editor or publisher, educator, optical organizationator, etc.!) you need a plan, and the time is ripe to act on that plan… NOW.

What am I doing? Right now I’m just exercising my role as a messenger. I need to take action as well. Some of those actions might surprise you and, hopefully, some will assist you.

Altering the scenario Dylan voiced years ago—There’s something going on Mr. O and you DO know what it is. Best I can tell you is to turn that threat into an advantage. It might mean dating that gorilla. It might mean slapping that ape right in the face, knocking off THOSE specs. But be warned: DO something.

James J. Spina