We’re proud to announce the launch of UVhp in PolyTrue™ polycarbonate. A GSRx exclusive, UVhp PolyTrue joins UVhp 1.60 and 1.74 to create the broadest range of blue light absorbing materials available in the market today.
UVhp lens materials are embedded with blue light absorbers that provide the highest level of protection from harmful blue light while remaining virtually clear:
PolyTrue™: Way beyond ordinary poly
Manufactured using a unique, patented process, PolyTrue™ outperforms ordinary polycarbonate in all the key areas:
More and more patients are demanding blue light protection for themselves and their children, so you need options to meet every need. With UVhp and PrevaBlue AR, GSRx is proud to offer you the broadest range of blue light solutions in the market.
A Cautionary Note on Blue Light
Recently Boots Opticians, a UK retail chain, was fined 40,000 pounds by the UK General Opticians Council for making misleading claims about blue light. According to Vision Monday, “The complaints challenged two claims made by Boots: that the blue light from LED TV’s, smartphones, sunlight and energy-saving light bulbs cause damage to retinal cells over time; that Boots Protect Plus Blue lenses protect against blue light from these sources.”
Does this mean that the claims lens companies are making about Blue Light Hazard and the efficacy of their blue light products is bogus? Not at all. It just means that there is a certain amount of exaggeration going on, most likely from the suppliers’ marketing departments. Let’s have a quick look at some recent studies to see what we know and don’t know about blue light.
It has been known for some time that blue light is toxic to the retina, (though a connection to AMD is still controversial) and standards for blue light exposure have been established by some regulatory bodies. The issue is whether indoor sources of HEV like LED screens can cause this harm. And the answer appears to be no.
According to A UK study compared long-term exposure to energy saving bulbs and LED screens to established exposure limits, and concluded that “under even extreme long-term viewing conditions, none of the assessed sources suggested cause for concern for public health.” One study is hardly definitive, but it’s important to avoid blanket statements that indoor blue light sources can cause harm.
Multiple sources have shown a correlation between digital screen usage and sleep disorders in adolescents. A review and meta-analysis of 20 studies involving over 125,000 children aged 6 to 19 found that “bedtime access to and use of a media device were significantly associated with the following: inadequate sleep quantity, poor sleep quality, and excessive daytime sleepiness.”
A study of almost 10,000 adolescents aged 16-19 conducted in Norway concluded that “extensive use of these devices was significantly and positively associated with SOL (sleep onset latency) and sleep deficiency, with an inverse dose–response relationship between sleep duration and media use.” This study found a correlation, not just with device use at bedtime, but with cumulative exposure over the course of a day. The authors listed “bright light exposure” as one possible cause.
Suppressed melatonin levels may have more serious consequences than morning grumpiness in teenage kids. Some studies have indicated a link to cancer, heart disease, diabetes and obesity.
Digital Eye Strain
Blue light appears to be a significant contributor to Digital Eye Strain. According to Gary Heitling, OD, Senior Editor of allaboutvision.com, “Because short-wavelength, high energy blue light scatters more easily than other visible light, it is not as easily focused. When you're looking at computer screens and other digital devices that emit significant amounts of blue light, this unfocused visual "noise" reduces contrast and can contribute to digital eye strain.”
Effectiveness of Blue Light Filters
In addition to alleging that blue light from man-made sources could damage retinal cells, Boots was fined for claiming that their blue-light products could protect the eye against such damage. Logically, if the threat can’t be proved, protection against the threat can’t be proved either. However, blue light blocking AR and blue-filter lens materials clearly have beneficial effects for wearers who use digital devices. According to Adam Gordon, O.D., clinical associate professor at the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Optometry, “Products created to block out blue light minimize eyestrain when using computers and digital devices, but have not been tested or shown to prevent any type of eye disease.”
While some lens suppliers and ECPs are likely overstating both the extent of the indoor blue-light problem and the effectiveness of the solutions available, there is really no need to. Patients are experiencing discomfort daily from blue-light exposure, both in the form of digital eye strain and sleep issues (and the latter may have longer-term health implications.) Current blue light solutions, like PrevaBlue® and UVhp™ from GSRx, are effective in addressing these problems.
 O’Hagan, M Khazova and LLA Price, Low-energy light bulbs, computers, tablets and the blue light hazard. Eye (2016) 1-4. www.nature.com/eye
 B Carter, P Rees, L Hale et al, Association Between Portable Screen-Based Media Device Access or Use and Sleep Outcomes: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. Jama Pediatrics, December 2016 http://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamapediatrics/article-abstract/2571467
 M Hysing, S Pallesen, K Stormark, R Jakobsen, A Lundervold, B Sivertsen, Sleep and use of electronic devices in adolescence: results from a large population-based study. BMJ Journals, January 2015. http://bmjopen.bmj.com/content/5/1/e006748
 Harvard Health Letter, Blue Light Has a Dark Side. http://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/blue-light-has-a-dark-side
 G Heitling, Blue Light: It’s Both Bad and Good for You. All About Vision. http://www.allaboutvision.com/cvs/blue-light.htm
 A Rohan, Debunking Digital Eyestrain and Blue Light Myths. UAB News, April 25, 2016. https://uab.edu/news/youcanuse/item/7258-debunking-digital-eyestrain-and-blue-light-myths
Here in Arizona every day is sunglasses day, but National Sunglasses Day is June 27th. This is a great time to remind you that GSRx has a complete line of polarized lenses, tints and flash mirrors -- at the most competitive price points in the industry.
Sunglasses are almost always a second pair sale, and at our prices you can sell more – while maintaining or increasing your profits. It’s the best deal under the sun!
See our full sunwear line >
Do you use a lab that offers you 50% off a customer’s second pair? If so, it’s obviously a good deal – compared to paying full price for both, that is. But how good of a deal is it really?
If the first pair and the second pair are the same price, you’ve gotten a 25% discount on the total purchase, allowing you to give the patient a second-pair discount, book some extra profit, or some combination of the two. But consider this: on average, only about 10% of patients buy a second pair at the same time as their primary pair. Even if your second pair rate capture rate is double that, the 50% discount on second pairs only amounts to 5% of your total lab bill, minus whatever second-pair discount you offer the patients. While a 50% discount always has a large perceived value, in this case the impact to your bottom line is much, much smaller.
Nonetheless, a discount is a discount. But at GSRx, we offer state-of-the-art lens and coating technology, and it’s always 40-50% off a typical lab bill. (We have lots of customers who will attest to those savings; look here if you want to read what they’ve said. Since our product are equivalent to (or better than0 any lab’s premium offering, this means that you’re getting up to a 50% discount on every pair. That gives you a lot more flexibility to make eyewear (including second pairs) more affordable for your patients, while maintaining or increasing your profitability.
We love the fact that we can offer you the best in optics for what it should cost. But we also love the fact that the perceived and actual value of our offering is the same. That kind of honesty helps our Marketing department sleep better at night. And saving $5,000 per month on your lab bill might help you sleep better, too.
CVS opened five optical locations in 2015 as a pilot program. They apparently liked what they saw, because they have announced that they plan to open 19 further opticals this year, with locations in Illinois, Maryland, New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania. While VSP was involved in the pilot program, none of the new locations will be in the VSP network, according to a VSP spokesperson.
If there’s any good news here, it’s that there are a lot of people who believe in the long-term viability of brick-and-mortar optical. Like Walgreen’s, which is also experimenting with optical, CVS is run by very smart people. They think in terms of revenue per square foot, and they wouldn’t commit in-store real estate to an optical department if they weren’t pretty sure they’d get a good return.
The bad news is that everybody seems to want a slice of the optical pie. And there’s really no way to make that pie bigger except through population growth, so new optical customers for CVS have to come from somebody else’s optical.
We don’t talk about this stuff just to be gloomy – we talk about it because it’s important to be open about where the market’s going, because that’s the only to be prepared for what happens next. Ultimately, the only way you can keep patients from being lured away from your optical to offer an affordable alternative that meets the high performance standards you insist on for your patients’ vision.
For a limited time, Essilor is offering interest-free financing to qualifying patients to further “the company’s interest in driving more patients to independent eyecare.” They say their surveys show that 43% of patients are interested in the program. (Surveys also consistently show that 40% of consumers are interested in buying photochromic lenses, but less than 20% actually do.)
But what does this program really tell consumers about the cost of premium, branded eyewear? That it’s in the category of products and services (including cars and braces) that you can’t afford to pay for up front. In a time when eyewear is so widely available for a low price, does that really drive business to you? And if this financing allows your supplier to collect your patients’ contact information, how does that benefit you?
While a financing may be beneficial in certain cases, it is not a long-term solution. The solution is to provide you with premium-quality, high-technology eyewear for what the premium brands should be charging you, which is about 40-50% less than you’re paying. That allows you to offer your patients the best for a price they can afford without taking out a loan, which will keep more of them in your optical while maintaining your profitability. And that’s why we're here!
We love polycarbonate for its impact resistance and light weight, but we also know its weaknesses: reduced optical quality compared to other materials and a tendency to crack and chip. But poly doesn’t have to be that way, which is why we’re proud to offer PolyTrue on our entire epik™ lens series.
The difference between PolyTrue and ordinary poly is not so much in the material itself (it’s still poly), as in the way the lenses are made. The injection-molding process used for ordinary poly creates internal stresses in the material that can create birefringence (the “oil slick” effect). PolyTrue is made using a new process (ECM-9™) that virtually eliminates stress distortion and birefringence.This process also increases the integrity of the lens, which drastically reduces the likelihood of chipping and cracking and makes PolyTrue an option for drill-mounts.
But wait – there’s more! PolyTrue lenses use an advanced aspheric/atoric design that is up to 14% thinner and and 27% lighter than standard polycarbonate. If you’re dispensing polycarbonate lenses (and we bet you are), give your patients the best with Polytrue.
Last week the Essilor Board of Directors took steps to finalize its merger with Luxottica through some business stuff that kept a bunch of European lawyers busy. This stuff included transferring nearly all the company’s shareholdings and activities to a subsidiary that will be renamed Essilor International. Meanwhile, the holding company for the Del Vecchio family, which controls Luxottica, transferred its shares to Essilor International. The merged company will be listed on the Euronext Paris exchange under the descriptive but unimaginative name EssilorLuxottica. The Board of Directors for the new company was also named.
Essilor has announced that more merger-related business stuff is in the works. You can read all the details here if that sort of thing appeals to you.
We’re excited to announce that Trivex lens material is now available for all epik lenses, as well as GSRx finished and stock single vision.
Trivex offers some great advantages for both adults and kids. It is the only material other than polycarbonate that has passed both the FDA Impact Resistance Test (at 1mm center thickness) and the High Velocity Impact Test, and meets ANSI Z87.1 '89 standards.
The drawback of polycarbonate has always been optical quality: with an Abbe value of 29, it has the highest chromatic aberration of any common eyeglass lens material. Trivex, however, has an Abbe value of 45, making it superior both to poly and all higher-index lens materials.
Trivex’s refractive index is significantly lower than poly’s (1.53 vs.1.58), so an increase in lens thickness may be noticeable with stronger Rx’s. But Trivex’s specific gravity of 1.11 makes it the lightest lens material available today.
According to PPG, the manufacturer of Trivex, patients with prescriptions of -3.00 to +3.00 will get the greatest benefit from Trivex. And the superior optics and high impact-resistance makes it perfect for kids.
Trivex is available with Transitions® and is fully compatible with INFINITY and INFINITY CLEAR non-glare coatings.
According to Vision Monday, “Essilor is abandoning traditional methods of developing and designing products in favor of an innovative, customer-driven approach.”
The former approach, based on “technique and know how, physical and chemical properties, engineering and optical design” has been replaced by a focus on “consumer segments,” which consist of “kids and teens” between ages 0 and 18; “young adults” aged 19 to 44 year-old; “midlife” people ages 44 to 64, “seniors” who are 65 years old and older, and “NextGen” consumers who lack easy access to eyewear and eyecare. The first fruits of this new design approach will be launched later this year.
Like other lens providers, GSRx already has lens designs tailored for each of these segments: SV and epik FFSV (kids and teens), epik DRV (young adults), and epik progressives (“midlife” people and “seniors,” aka presbyopes.) These products cost you about half the price of big-brand lenses. So it’s fair to ask why you’re paying so much more for branded products: to fund true innovation that helps your patients, or marketing that helps their brand?
Read the full story here. Read CEO Dave Jochims’ comments on the Essilor Luxottica merger here.