PULL THE TRIGGER ON BALLISTIC EYEWEAR

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Offering high-velocity eyewear can bring new opportunities to your practice.

Specialized eye protection for the armed services, police, and other government personnel has taken a “ballistic” leap in sales in the last few years. Whether for use in military situations, civilian purposes, or recreational pursuits, eyewear for safety in extreme situations has great appeal. Amidst all this popularity, the question arises: Is the average ECP making this eyewear category available? I spoke to a few ECPs to find who’s carrying it, and how.

Specialized eye protection for the armed services, police, and other government personnel has taken a “ballistic” leap in sales in the last few years. Whether for use in military situations, civilian purposes, or recreational pursuits, eyewear for safety in extreme situations has great appeal. Amidst all this popularity, the question arises: Is the average ECP making this eyewear category available? I spoke to a few ECPs to find who’s carrying it, and how.

STRAIGHT SHOOTING
Tiffany Tarbe, an optician at Eye Care of CNY in Syracuse, NY, says, “We have seen many more requests for this type of protective eyewear. Most come from military personnel, as we have several military bases in the area. There is a military plan for supplying these safety glasses, but sometimes the supply line gets jammed and they come to us. Sometimes they want this level of protection but their job description doesn’t require it, according to military specifications. If they don’t need Authorized Protective Eyewear List (APEL)-labeled glasses, we can do it.

“Our most popular model is the Titmus XW06E (UVEX Sports Division of Swix Intl.). We have many patients who are hunters, are involved in sport shooting like trap or skeet, or enjoy range target shooting and like this eyewear. We also get requests from motorcyclists who are concerned about road hazards. We also use some Oakley, Inc. and Rudy Project North America frames. They have lots of options, including Rx inserts and interchangeable lenses, as well as dust and wind protection. I like Rudy Project’s Genetyk and Rydon.”

ALWAYS ON TARGET
Kira Connally, the owner of Spectacles West in Weatherford, TX notes, “For shooters with no prescription, we sell a lot of the Rudy Project Shooting Kit because the five interchangeable lens pairs it comes with let shooters see their best in pretty much all lighting conditions, especially where more contrast is helpful. We also sell Wiley X, Inc. and Rudy Project safety and ballistic-rated eyewear in plano and prescription, and we do custom lenses using our own lab’s products.

“We probably do more Wiley X than anything else,” Connally asserts. “We have a lot of oilfield workers in our area, and they need to wear protective eyewear on the drilling sites. The local Harley-Davidson dealership refers clients who need prescription riding glasses to us. We love when target shooters come to us. It’s fun thinking up custom solutions for them, like a yellow-tinted, sideways-mounted FT-28 in only one lens for a pro shooter or the perfect orange/amber tint for people who shoot clay targets.”


AIM FOR SAFETY
Larry Riolo, owner of Davis Optical in Rome, NY states, “We have a lot of military personnel in the area. Most of the deployed ones receive their eyewear directly from the manufacturer through military channels. That requires a military eye exam, purchase order, etc. However, many other non-deployed military personnel—who are not eligible for this category of eyewear—still want it. We use Wiley X, specifically the Talon series which offers an Rx insert, as well as total wraparound protection. It also meets GL-PD 10-12 standards and exceeds the military PRF-31013 ballistic standard. This is a major area for hunters, and they like this eyewear too. It protects from shell casing ‘blow back.’ I’ve also had interest from bikers, snowmobilers, and police officers. I recommend this type of eyewear to anyone who demonstrates a need for extra protection.”

For some patients, “going ballistic” is more than an expression, it’s an eyewear necessity. These ECPs carry these products; do you?

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

WHERE TO FIND IT:
Oakley, Inc. 800-733-6255 • oakley.com
Rudy Project North America 888-860-7597 • rudyprojectusa.com
UVEX Sports Division of Swix Intl
800-882-5450 • uvex-sports.us
Wiley X, Inc. 800-776-7842 • wileyx.com

 

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