Are You Overlooking this Safe Bet for Second Pair Success?


If someone were to ask your professional opinion on the perfect lens to enhance with a photochromic, you wouldn’t be alone or incorrect in responding, “progressive, bifocal, or single vision.” With all the benefits of light-reactive lenses, they’re a natural fit for everyday eyewear options. But, there’s another lens type that’s so perfectly suited for a light-reactive enhancement, it’s surprising more eye care professionals don’t utilize it as a fantastic second-pair recommendation.

Safety glasses aren’t the first thing – or even the last thing – many patients think about during their annual trip to the eye doc. But, there is perhaps no lens type that’s more applicable – or beneficial – to every person who walks through your doors. And there is perhaps no enhancement that extends the benefits of a safety lens more than a photochromic.

According to Prevent Blindness, thousands of eye accidents happen each year and 90% of them could have been prevented with the use of appropriate safety eyewear*. And it’s not just job sites or industrial facilities where these incidents take place. In fact, the home is, “the source of the fastest-growing number of eye injuries.

"Thousands of eye accidents happen each year and 90% of them could have been prevented with the use of appropriate safety eyewear."

The Need is Larger than You May Think

On the surface, contractors, mechanics, and industrial workers may seem like the only candidates for a safety lens. But when you dig a little deeper and get to know your patients a little more, their need for eye protection quickly surfaces. The lawyer who spends his weekends woodworking, the teacher who sculpts from home, and the stay-at-home parent who can’t stay off their bike on the weekend, are all in need of protective eyewear. Patients who spend time in the following environments could all benefit from a safety-specific pair of glasses:

  • At work – More than 2,000 people injure their eyes at work every day. Of the total work-related injuries, 10-20% will cause temporary or permanent vision loss. And experts believe proper eye protection could have lessened the severity or possibly prevented 90% of eye injuries in accidents*.
  • Around the House – A staggering 125,000 eye injuries per year involve common household products. And just as in the workplace, 90% of them could be prevented by a combination of understanding, safe practices, and proper eye protection*.
  • On the court, field, or trail – More than 25,000 people encounter sports-related eye injuries annually. Proper eye protection while playing, hiking, running or riding could be the difference between the glory of victory and the agony of eye damage*.

Why is A Light-Reactive Lens a Good Safety Companion?

They provide clear vision - even while dark. 
Indoors, light-reactive lenses remain clear like a standard pair of prescription lenses and help cut down on glare from overhead lighting.

Outside in the sun, they darken to cut glare for clearer, comfortable viewing. Some people will argue that light-reactive lenses don't get as dark as a sunglasses, and this is true. However, a darkened photochromic provides the same amount of UV protection (100%), dramatically cuts glare outdoors, and offers a unique, near-clear view looking out that a pair of dark, prescription suns can’t match. Often, the view is so clear, wearers don’t realize their lenses have darkened.

They help overcome forgetfulness.
Because light-reactive lenses conveniently darken in bright conditions and fade back indoors and in heavily shaded areas, a person doesn’t have to take them off and remember to put them back on when going in and out of different light conditions.

They accommodate almost any environment.
From a construction site to a bike lane, to a kitchen to a shop floor and even to a driver’s seat, photochromics provide amazing versatility, and therefore benefits, in practically any environment where eye safety would be required or encouraged.

They improve efficiency while working.
Everyone from professional contractors to part-time DIYers benefit from a lens that not only keeps up with them in changing light conditions (indoor, outdoor, shade, sunlight), but also provides the ability to see clearly without skipping a beat.  And when you add in the fact that an ultra-fast, light-reactive lens like SunSync Elite changes from dark to clear in seconds, you’re taking that efficiency to a whole new level.

3 Tips for Identifying Ideal Candidates

To make the following tips easier, you might need to undertake a little DIY project of your own. If you don’t already have one, add a section or a couple questions to your patient questionnaire to determine each person’s work environment, hobbies, and athletic endeavors. If you don’t have a patient questionnaire, we strongly recommend creating one, but in the meantime, you can simply ask your patients for this information in person.

While a light-reactive safety lens could logically serve a purpose for almost any patient, there are few patient types that will be much more likely to use a pair of safety glasses, and therefore, more open to adding them to their optical arsenal. Here are a few tips to help identify them:

1. Be “D-I-Wise” 
More and more people (men and women) are opting to tackle projects by themselves for either budgetary reasons or personal gratification. From painting to plumbing to pruning, these do-it-yourselfers often find themselves in situations where debris or chemicals can wind up in an eye. This is the kind of personal information you’d be more likely to unearth with a questionnaire or direct question since most patients won’t see the need to volunteer their affinity for creating, restoring, renovating, or remodeling with their eye care provider.

2. Get to Know Your Pros on the Go
Several professions where eye safety is imperative require traveling throughout the day. So, enhancing a safety lens with an extra reactive photochromic, like SunSync Drive XT, offers the added benefit of in-car activation. A few examples of patients who could use a lens pairing like this include:

  • Foremen or Site Managers – Both positions can require moving from site to site to check progress or meet with inspectors throughout the day.
  • Inspectors – The daily life of an inspector is a mobile one. Driving from one job to another without having to swap out glasses means less chance of loss or breakage and no chance of forgetting to put their safety glasses on at the site.
  • Independent Contractors and Handymen – Many pros make their living bouncing from small job to small job throughout the day. The more they do, the more they make. So, offering them any way to make their day more efficient is a huge advantage.

3. Recommend ‘PEDs” (Performance Enhancing Defense) for Athletes
As previously stated, more than 25,000 people seek treatment for sports-related eye injuries each year, and once again, most could be prevented with proper protection*.  Whether they get their kicks by kicking, running, cycling, or skating, your athletic patients are commonly in situations where they need eye protection.  

  • Cycling and Running - Road cyclists and runners are at risk of rocks, sticks, and even nuts and bolts kicking up from car tires and hitting them in the face. Those who prefer the trail to the tarmac often run a gauntlet of branches, twigs, and rocks. A light-reactive safety lens combined with a photochromic not only helps deflect foreign objects, but also enhances contrast and clarity so they can see hazards before it’s too late.
  • Ball Sports – While many people don’t think of basketballs or soccer balls as optical hazards due ​to their size, they overlook the flailing extremities common in both sports. Elbows and fingernails can easily lead to scratched corneas or blunt trauma.  Adding the benefits of a photochromic to a safety lens for these sports helps cut glare from sun or overhead lighting, protects against UV outdoors, and enhances visual performance indoors and out.
  • Skateboarding, Skating, or BMX – Parents are generally vigilant about helmets and knee or elbow pads for their little Tony Hawks in training, but for some reason, eye protection isn’t given as much attention. A safety lens that darkens outdoors and returns to clear indoors helps with glare, UV, blue light, and cuts the chances of costly loss or breakage, while shielding the eyes from foreign objects.

When you combine the convenience, comfort, clarity, and protection this lens-enhancement package provides, it’s easy to see how adding light-reactive technology to safety lenses can be an easy decision for patients and a simple, second-pair recommendation for you.

Do you recommend safety glasses as a second pair? Share your dispensing tips in the comments section below.