When ECPs talk about eyewear, they almost always focus on Rx eyewear. That’s not surprising since that’s the main focus of their training-correcting the sight of those who have compromised vision. What’s surprising is how many people in the U.S. wear glasses. According to The Vision Council, about 75% of Americans (aged 18 and older) use some form of vision correction (or protection), which includes prescription eyeglasses and contact lenses, as well as over-the-counter readers and plano sunglasses. That’s a huge portion of the public, but even so, there are still a lot of people who don’t wear any eyewear at all. This begs the question, “Shouldn’t everyone wear some form of eyewear?”
You may think that sounds a bit ridiculous, but it’s actually a very credible statement and an even more credible objective. I bet you’re committed to protecting your patients’ eyes by providing UV-absorbing lenses. That’s great, but since you only prescribe eyewear for people who need Rx lenses, those who have “0.00D OU” on the refractor won’t get this protection. Also, the people who don’t have a refractive error that don’t come in for an eye examination won’t get that protection. Let’s assume you’re a huge advocate for avoiding eye injuries. Your “0.00D OU” patients won’t get those Trivex‘ material, Tribrid, or polycarbonate lenses because they didn’t need corrective eyewear, neither will the folks who don’t get a regular eye exam.
Research is presenting us with new vision concerns. For example, high-energy blue light has been indicated as a factor in retinal damage due to the average American’s exposure to LED devices like smartphones, flat screen TVs, tablets, computer screens, and other electronic goods they’ve become addicted to. The way to overcome this problem is to prescribe lenses that mitigate blue light, but those who aren’t prescribed eyewear won’t have that opportunity, neither will those who don’t have an exam.
I could go on with examples but you get the point: Eyewear is for everyone. Why? Because there are so many more reasons why people should be wearing them other than not seeing clearly. How about near- vision environment lenses that aid vision in an office setting? No Rx required. How about plano sports eyewear for protection while playing baseball, basketball, etc.? How about a pair of shades? How about a pair of over-the-counter readers for the presbyopic emmetrope to use in a restaurant, while reading in bed, or sewing? Try this exercise and watch how long your list becomes.