By Linda Conlin
Merriam-Webster defines demonstration as “an act, process, or means of demonstrating to the intelligence; conclusive evidence: proof.” Even the most intractable skeptics can believe what they see. As eyecare practitioners (ECPs), however, we spend a great deal of time talking to our patients about what they can’t see—in particular, UV light. When we talk about clear lenses that attenuate invisible UV radiation (UVR), it can sound counterintuitive.
Fortunately, most patients understand the reality of UV light, especially when it comes to using sunscreen. And many are coming to understand the impact of UVR on their eyes and vision. Still, our duty as patient educators faces another challenge. For years, patients have been told that their polycarbonate and photochromic lenses protect their eyes from UVR. We now know, however, that isn’t completely true. The current American National Standards Institute/International Organization for Standardization (ANSI/ISO) standard for a material to qualify for “100 percent UV protection” is attenuation up to 380 nm. But when you consider that UVR is light energy that ranges from 100 to 400 nm on the electromagnetic (EM) spectrum, that 100 percent protection claim is misleading. Now ECPs must explain to patients the gap in the UV protection they thought they had. Certainly, it would be easier not just to tell, but to show and tell, when we explain invisible protection against invisible light.
Here’s where the ZEISS C-UVProtect device comes in. For the C-UVProtect, ZEISS Vision partnered with Voxelight, LLC, maker of the Sunscreenr UV Camera, to develop a new handheld tablet that incorporates unique AI facial analysis algorithms and a new indoor light technology to recognize whether a person’s eyeglasses are not adequately protecting their eyes and skin from UV. The 8-inch tablet uses UV light and a special UV sensitive camera to show the difference in UV protection between the UV400 nm protection levels of UVProtect lenses versus polycarbonate, for example, at just UV380 nm. While wearing glasses, patients look at themselves on the C-UVProtect screen. If their eyeglass lenses appear clear or slightly dark, UV protection is incomplete. Full UV protection is indicated only when the lenses appear as dark as sunglasses. What a unique way to engage with patients about UV protection for their eyes by showing them the gap in UV protection in their current lenses!
When patients understand that they are missing protection from 40 percent of solar UVR exposure on Earth’s surface, the gap between 380 nm and 400 nm, they will want that protection. According to the ZEISS Research Consumer UV Study released in January 2019, “Of over 2,200 U.S. consumers, 98 percent said they would be upset if their eyecare providers did not offer them full UV protection. Eighty-four percent would stop using their current eye doctor if they were not provided with lenses that offer full UV protection up to 400 nm.” Those results tell us that our patients want the best technology available for eye protection. With the C-UVProtect, we can use technology to demonstrate to their intelligence that we offer state-of-the-art technology. Not only does ZEISS identify the need for expanded UV protection, but they also offer the solution. ZEISS lenses with UVProtect Technology move beyond today’s standards to a higher level of UV protection, which allows clear ZEISS lenses to block harmful UV rays up to 400 nm. This is the same standard of UV protection premium sunglasses provide.
According to Valentina Candeloro, Mood Media marketing director, Mood International, in their 2019 Global Research Report, Elevating the Customer Experience – The Impact of Sensory Marketing, “The demands and preferences of consumers, will drive the in-store experience to improve, delight, amaze and showcase the complete personality and essence of a brand. Sensorial marketing efforts drive elevated Customer Experiences. And elevated Customer Experiences drive success.” The C-UVProtect provides a sensory experience patients will remember, as it provides proof of what we tell them about UV protection with a WOW factor to amaze them. Seeing is believing.
You can demonstrate to your patients that you are at the forefront of UV protection technology by providing them with evidence they can see for themselves with the C-UVProtect available from ZEISS. You can also learn more about the device and the UVProtect technology in all ZEISS clear plastic lenses that block UV wavelengths up to UV400. Go to our free CE “Making the Invisible Visible,” sponsored by ZEISS at 2020mag.com/ce.