AUG 2014

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Your monthly guide to staff training outside the box

Eyes / Lenses / Fitting Lenses / Free-Form / Frames / Sunwear / Patient Solutions / In-office / Standards

Children's Eyewear


From a professional roundtable event hosted by PPG in partnership with Hoya Vision Care, lenses should be safe, clear and comfortable to wear.

Safe—Children require lenses that significantly exceed the FDA standard. For many practices, they have added Trivex material lenses as an alternative to polycarbonate for impact, UV absorption and clear prescription properties.

Clear—During their first 12 years, visual learning accounts for 80 percent of the learning process. Clear vision is a function of a higher Abbe value; lens design and anti-reflective coatings also contribute to clearer, edge-to-edge vision.

Comfortable—Comfort is a frame and lens combination. Frame bridge design must match the child's nose bridge shape. Lens comfort is also related to final lens weight, which is a function of refractive index, specific gravity, lens size (frame eye size) and lens processing thickness. Trivex material provides a good balance of these factors with a refractive index of 1.53, a specific gravity of 1.11 g/cm3, and the ability to process Trivex lenses to thin centers.

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Brands also influence children and their parent's decisions. For non-contact sports that do not require ASTM-certified frames, the driving force is appeal. Brands make a difference—use them in your practice. Kids will want to wear the glasses that their older siblings like so use junior versions of the popular aviator and Wayfarer styles.

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Using the right brands ensures that kids wear their glasses. That makes for better children's eyewear. Ray-Ban Junior for ages 5 to 12 and Youngster for ages 13 to 21 can make a difference because brands influence wearing decisions.


Here are two scripts you can use to highlight the importance of quality lenses for kids:

"We only use lenses made with Trivex material that provide extreme protection from UV radiation and are impact-resistant while delivering the best in clear vision for your child." Or consider adding glare-free lenses and say, "Because children rely on their vision for learning, it is important that they have the most durable, non-glare lenses. Non-glare lenses can eliminate headaches and tired eyes caused from white boards, computers and classroom lighting."

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Don't be fooled by looks; it's how they wear. Because children's bridges often develop asymmetrically, and their skin is soft and tender, any unequal or unbalanced weight on will cause discomfort. This discomfort WILL cause the child to take their glasses off and become noncompliant.

A young child's bridge is not developed yet, so it is often soft and fleshy. You will likely see impressions left on the nose just from the sheer weight of the glasses alone. As long as the impressions are even and go away shortly after the glasses are off, then they are of no consequence. However, if you notice the marks are deeper or redder on one side or unevenly shaped, then adjustments will be necessary.

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Children who are covered by some type of insurance are more likely to wear more than one form of vision correction, such as Rx eyeglasses and plano sunglasses. Therefore, be sure that every insurance patient is asked about his or her family, i.e., how many kids, when they last had their eyes examined, the importance of glare and UV protection, etc.


Consider two new lens technologies when ordering eyewear for the technology-attached child. First, new lenses for digital eyestrain add a small amount of plus power (0.5D to 0.9D) to the lower portion of the lens. Choose power in concert with the doctor to reduce the demand on accommodation. Next, convert premium AR to one that attenuates short-wavelength blue light. These new AR treatments can be added to any lens and reduce the harmful blue light by about 10 percent. These new coatings meet your scratch, cleaning and durability expectations for children's eyewear.

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