Transitions use two processing techniques to make Transitions Signature VII lenses which provide 100% UV protection.
Many people can use photochromics like Vision-Ease’s Life Rx most of the time so they don’t have to juggle back and forth between two pairs of eyeglasses.
Most photochromic lenses, like Signet Armorlite’s PhotoViews, are designed as clear lens replacements.
Zeiss’ PhotoFusion lenses are available in polycarbonate so they meet industrial safety standards for impact resistance.

By delving into what their patients’ needs are, ECPs will be in a better position to sell them photochromic lenses.

Plastic photochromic lenses have taken quantum leaps in technology since their beginnings in the ’90s. They can provide patients with impressive benefits but ECPs need to be aware of their advantages in order to recommend them to their patients. A good way to talk about the benefits of photochromics is to focus on the “hot button” issues that pique a patient’s interest.

Recommend photochromic lenses by mentioning issues you know the patient can identify with and will want to buy. It’s a simple case of providing solutions to problems. As old-fashioned as it sounds, lifestyle dispensing and the features-and-benefits discussion are useful when discussing photochromics.


At the dispensing table, you’re the expert so saying something unclear, inaccurate, or incomplete, can be disastrous. Also, you want to present your recommendations in the best possible way so saying the right things about the product or service you’re recommending is vital. To do this, it’s important to remember that patients don’t care about features, they care about benefits. Consequently, craft your recommendations so that you address the hot button issues of photochromic lenses with snappy phrases that get the point across and create interest or excitement in the patient. Marketing folks call this, “Sell the sizzle, not the steak!”

So the question is: “What are the hot button issues and what should you say about them?” Most people view eyewear as a medical necessity. That means they wear it because they need to, even if it’s fashionable too. One way to ensure they appreciate their eyewear is to make it as comfortable as possible. That’s what photochromics do for clear lenses-they provide comfort that clear lenses cannot. As lighting conditions change, the color density of photochromic lenses responds, providing just the right tint in any lighting situation. Eyewear buyers value comfort highly so discussing comfort with them should be on the top of your hot button list.

You could ask them: “Is your vision comfortable in all lighting conditions? Do you experience discomfort or squinting as you step outside wearing your clear lenses? Do you feel your sun lenses are inadequate when lighting conditions change outdoors?” These inquiries are the kind of probing questions you might ask a patient to get to the “comfort” hot button issue. A positive response or a question for clarification is exactly what you’re after. These are an invitation to discuss how photochromics make lenses more comfortable in a variety of ways.

Most photochromic lenses like Corning Ophthalmic’s SunSensors, Signet Armorlite Inc.’s PhotoViews, Vision-Ease Lens’ LifeRx, Transitions Optical Inc.’s Transitions Signature™ VII, and Carl Zeiss Vision Inc.’s PhotoFusion are designed as clear lens replacements (although there are now some that have been developed for sun lens purposes like Rudy Project North America’s ImpactX and Younger Optics’ Transitions Drivewear).

Many people find they can use their photochromics most of the time so they don’t have to juggle back and forth between two pairs of eyeglasses. This is a huge benefit. We hear patients say: “It’s so convenient to go shopping at the outdoor mall and not have to switch between my clear eyeglasses and sunglasses. My photochromic lenses are so convenient.” and “Sometimes I don’t have the purse space to take two pairs of eyeglasses with me so I take my photochromatic eyeglasses.”

How do you hit this hot button issue? Try these. “Ms. O’Donohue, do you sometimes find it inconvenient to carry two pairs of eyeglasses? How would you like to carry only one pair most of the time? How would you like to get rid of that tinted clip-on you wear over your clear lenses outdoors?”

Protection falls into two categories: physical protection and potential light damage. Most ECPs are very concerned about UV protection, and today’s photochromics offer complete protection from both UVA and UVB rays. Some photochromics also offer blue light filtering, and we’re learning that blue light is emitted from certain handheld devices such as smartphones, tablets, and other portable electronics as well as from the sun and some artificial light sources. Protection from potential harmful light is important because over time it can cause retinal disorders.

We all forget our sunglasses sometimes but with photochromics your eyes are still protected even in low sunlight conditions. Photochromics are available to address almost every lighting situation including photochromics that are polarized, designed for driving, and photochromics that get extra dark tailored to more light sensitive patients. Your patients have more options than ever so keep them fully informed about all the choices. Corning also offers glass photochromics in selected tints for some medical applications including macular degeneration.

Want to reach your patient’s concern for their medical well-being? Try these. “Mr. Jamieson, did you know that UV light can trigger cataracts, macular degeneration, and other retinal disorders in the long run? Did you know that UV light is harmful to your eyes? Did you know that smartphones, tablets, laptop computers, flat-screen televisions, and other devices with electronic displays emit blue light that’s been shown to be harmful to your eyes?”

ECPs don’t have to worry about the safety and protection that photochromic lenses provide because they’re available in Trivex material and polycarbonate. Both of these materials provide impact resistance to industrial level ANSI Z87.1 standards, which means your patient’s eyes will be protected to the highest level recognized by our industry. While this is important for all eyeglass wearers, it’s especially important for children’s eyewear because they are often involved in aggressive play and other activities. Properly fitted eyewear also provides a high degree of protection from particles blown through the air like dust and other debris.

Tap into your patient’s concerns about eye protection with these: “Ms. Cohen, are you concerned about protecting your eyes from a potential eye injury? Did you know that we offer photochromic lenses made from materials that meet national industrial safety standards?” Or this: “Mr. Mendoza, we use only the most impact-resistant lenses for children’s eyewear. Let’s go with the polycarbonate or Trivex material photochromic lenses for little Juan’s new eyeglasses, OK?”

Hitting your patients’ hot button issues makes recommending and selling photochromic lenses (and any other product) easy. That’s because you’ll be discussing the issues they are concerned about, not ones you might find appealing. With the right questioning and clear answers, you’ll see your photochromic average sales rise.

Brian Boddy is a second-generation optician/owner of Acoma Optical stores in Santa Fe, NM.

Ed De Gennaro is Director, Professional Content of First Vision Media Group.

Carl Zeiss Vision Inc.
Corning Ophthalmic
Rudy Project North America
Signet Armorlite, Inc.
Transitions Optical, Inc.
Vision-Ease Lens
Younger Optics



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