AR: CUTTING THROUGH THE CONFUSION

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NIGHT ALERT ZEISS PureCoat Plus
CUSTOM COATING SUPER Surpass ECP AR from Seiko
NO-GLARE LENSES Essilor’s Crizal PreVencia
SCRATCH-RESISTANT HOYA’s Super Hi Vision EX3

Many patients still don’t understand what AR treatment is and what it can do.

Over the years, I’ve read quite a bit about AR treatments and I’ve discussed this lens add-on with a lot of ECPs. I’ve formed my own opinion about AR treatments and I’ve heard a lot about it from colleagues and manufacturers so I thought it was time to find out what patients really thought about it. To do this, I asked a dozen AR lens wearers their points of view. The results were illuminating.

From my interviews, it’s clear that there are some issues regarding AR treatments that have been mishandled, misunderstood, or not presented properly by ECPs. This leaves some patients unhappy. Since the optical community feels these treatments are a wonderful addition to lenses, why is there such a disconnect with patients?

PATIENT PERCEPTION
First of all, many patients don’t understand exactly what an AR treatment is and what it does. For example, there is some confusion about the words used to describe it to patients. Some ECPs call it “anti-glare” coating, and for many patients that means some reduction in light. Some confuse anti-glare with photochromic lenses. Other patients remember when AR treatments were hard to keep clean (and some treatments still on the market are hard to clean!). Patients see many different price points for AR from vision insurance plans, online sellers, and private practitioners, and they don’t understand how the differences can justify the additional cost. This indicates that ECPs need to better inform patients of the differences in AR treatments. Some AR buyers indicated that this treatment was too expensive, even though they understood the value of it visually. Others accepted the cost because they saw the value of the product.

PREMIUM AR TREATMENTS CAN

• Transmit over 99% of incident light
• Eliminate lens surface reflections from computer screens, overhead lighting, lights at night, etc.
• Improve night vision and low light vision
• Be durable
• Ward off oils, fingerprints, and liquids
• Repel particles from adhering to lenses
• Be easy to clean and maintain
• Sometimes have HEV/UV absorbing properties

HIGHLY FUNCTIONAL
Even with all this discontentment and confusion, many patients can be very pleased with their AR treatments. They find them highly functional and a welcome addition to their lenses. However, nearly all of the patients surveyed found AR treatment to be pricey. It’s interesting to note that most of those surveyed were not concerned about UV/HEV blue light protection even though the technology has become widely available.

Even after years of attempting to introduce AR treatments to patients, it seems the optical industry, and its professionals, still have a number of issues to resolve in order to make AR treatment a universal lens option.

POPULAR AR LENS TREATMENTS

Carl Zeiss………………….Vision ZEISS PureCoat PLUS
Essilor………………………Crizal PreVencia™
HOYA……………………….Super Hi Vision EX3™
Seiko……………………….SUPER Surpass ECP AR
Signet………………………Armorlite Kodak CleAR™

Sharon Leonard is a licensed optician and contact lens practitioner in the Syracuse, NY, area.

WHERE TO FIND IT:

Carl Zeiss Vision, Inc. 800-358-8258 • zeiss.com/lenses

Essilor of America, Inc. 800-542-5668 • essilorusa.com

HOYA Vision Care, North America 877-528-1939 • hoyavision.com

Seiko Optical Products of America, Inc. 800-235-5367 • seikoeyewear.com

Signet Armorlite, Inc. 800-950-5367 • signetarmorlite.com

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