The Vision Council Continues Free "On the Road Sales Coach" Training

The Vision Council Continues Free "On the Road Sales Coach" Training

The Vision Council Encourages Winter Sports Lovers to Wear Proper UV Protection

Alexandria, VA (February 25, 2010) - The Vision Council is pleased to announce that it will continue to offer its free sales training sessions for members in 2010. The quarterly “On the Road Sales Coach” sessions are conducted as topic-specific conference calls which are supported by tools and resources for sales professionals to stay on top of their game.

Based on attendee feedback and the high demand for the program, The Vision Council will introduce several changes and additions for 2010. The calls will be conducted as 1/2 hour power sessions to reduce sales professionals’ time commitment without sacrificing quality of content and new guest coaches will be added to offer diverse viewpoints and share best practices.

Expanded resources will also be posted on The Vision Council’s Web site, including a Coaches Corner feature, a Q&A section, polling, supporting documents and archives of prior sessions. In addition, customized programs/topics will be available on request.

“In 2009, over 650 participants took advantage of the ‘On the Road Sales Coach’ program,” said Rene Soltis, The Vision Council director of training and education. “We are excited to bring back this program in 2010 to share this invaluable training opportunity with our members.”

The 2010 “On the Road Sales Coach” sessions include:

  • Wednesday, March 3: Prospecting and Qualifying:
  • Wednesday, June 2: “Expanding Current Customer Business
  • Wednesday, September 1: “Chameleon Sales Techniques”
  • Wednesday, December 1: ”Eliminating and Overcoming Objections”

The sessions will be held at 8:00 a.m. EST and 11:00 a.m. EST to allow sales professionals on both the east and west coasts to participate before they begin their day. The training is led by industry experts and serves as an open forum for sales professionals to brainstorm and share best practices.

To register for the free sales training courses, please contact Amber Robinson, member services coordinator, at (703) 740-1094 or arobinson@thevisioncouncil.org. An agenda and dial-in/web information will be provided upon registration.

Serving as the global voice for vision care products and services, The Vision Council represents the manufacturers and suppliers of the optical industry. We position our members to be successful in a competitive marketplace through education, advocacy, consumer outreach, strategic relationship building and industry forums.

||Vision Council Member News||New Format; Topics Introduced in 2010 5863|Eyewear and Eye Care Promotion Planned for Consumers and Media Surrounding International Vision Expo|

Alexandria, VA (March 3, 2010) – With International Vision Expo East as a backdrop, The Vision Council has planned several initiatives surrounding the show to educate consumers and the media about the latest eyewear fashion trends, as well as advances in eye care and eyewear technology.

“Each year, when International Vision Expo comes to New York City, it generates buzz about eyewear and eye care,” said Ed Greene, CEO of The Vision Council. “We plan to capitalize on that buzz with unique programs designed to engage both consumers and media.”

During the week of International Vision Expo East, The Vision Council has planned the following:

  • Eyecessorize Event at Grand Central Terminal: Held in Vanderbilt Hall in Grand Central Terminal on Wednesday, March 17 from 9:00 am – 1:00 pm, The Vision Council will host an event for consumers asking them, “How Do You Eyecessorize?” The event will utilize models to show consumers that eyewear can portray different aspects of one’s personality. Consumers will take a survey to enter to win a pair of sunglasses and a product  showcase will highlight the latest trends using products submitted by The Vision Council members. Media will be invited to the event kick-off and will be pitched with survey information gathered at the event.
  • Taxi TV: On Thursday, March 18 through Saturday, March 20, 6,700 taxi cabs affiliated with ABC will run a segment on the latest trends in eyewear. The segment, “Kat’s Minute,” featuring fashion expert Katlean DeMonarchy, will include runway footage of eyewear and interviews with eyewear designers and celebrities.
  • Press Event at International Vision Expo: In conjunction with International Vision Expo, The Vision Council will host its annual press event for editors from health and fashion media outlets. Showcasing products from exhibitors, fashion editors will see the latest in eyewear trends while health editors will follow “Eyes through the Seasons” where they will hear about various vision-related issues and vision care products related to each season.

While the press event at International Vision Expo East is designed for members of the media only, all members of the optical industry are invited to the Eyecessorize event at Grand Central Station and are encouraged to keep an eye out for the Taxi TV segment as they travel around New York City.

For more information on The Vision Council’s consumer outreach, please contact Susan Martonik, The Vision Council senior manager of public relations, at (703) 740-2248 or at smartonik@thevisioncouncil.org.

Serving as the global voice for vision care products and services, The Vision Council represents the manufacturers and suppliers of the optical industry. We position our members to be successful in a competitive marketplace through education, advocacy, consumer outreach, strategic relationship building and industry forums.

||Vision Council Member News|| 5879|The Vision Council to Host Summer Sales Camp|

Alexandria, VA (May 6, 2010) – The Vision Council is pleased to present a new training event, “Summer Sales Camp” which will be held in Alexandria, VA on June 17-18, 2010. An extension of the “On the Road Sales Coach” program which has trained over 600 sales professionals, the “Summer Sales Camp” is a mini-camp designed for sales people from all segments of the optical industry who want to enhance their sales skills and increase their earning capacity.

Presented by well-known optical trainers, Mike Karlsrud, M.ED, ABOC and Rene Soltis, FNAO, ABOC and senior director of meetings and education for The Vision Council, this day and a half program will focus on the principles of “selling by design”™ including tips, tools and techniques to:

  • Understand the overall sales process from qualifying to closing
  • Dissect the psychology of sales – why people buy and how you tap into that emotion
  • Manage the No: strategies for overcoming objection

“We know from our ‘On the Road Sales Coach’ conference calls that sales professionals are continually looking for ways to polish their skills,” said Soltis. “The interactive format of the ‘Summer Sales Camp’ will give the participants an opportunity to discuss and develop new techniques in an engaging and supportive environment before heading out to the field.”

Due to the hands-on nature of this program, space will be available on a first come basis. Please visit www.thevisioncouncil.org/summersalescamp to view the agenda and to reserve your spot. An early bird rate of $299 is available when registering before June 4; registration will be $349 after that date. The registration fee includes meeting materials, daily snacks, continental breakfast and lunch on Friday. The “Summer Sales Camp” is available to members of The Vision Council only.

For more information, please contact Amber Robinson, membership coordinator for The Vision Council, at (703) 740-1094 or at arobinson@thevisioncouncil.org.

Serving as the global voice for vision care products and services, The Vision Council represents the manufacturers and suppliers of the optical industry. We position our members to be successful in a competitive marketplace through education, advocacy, consumer outreach, strategic relationship building and industry forums.

||Vision Council Member News|| 5860|Changes Made to ANSI Z80.1 Standard for Prescription Spectacle Lenses|

Alexandria, VA (July 13, 2010) – The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) earlier this month approved a series of updates to the Z80.1 standard for prescription spectacle lenses. Overseen by the Z80 Accredited Standards Committee (ASC) for Ophthalmic Optics, which consists of 18 voting organizations and more than 100 experts, these changes are designed to increase the durability and quality of lenses.

The Z80.1 standard serves as a guideline for both eye care professionals with in-house processing and optical laboratories to follow prior to the delivery of finished eyewear to the patient. It applies to the processing of all prescription ophthalmic spectacle lenses in edged or assembled form. Relevant optical specifications and tolerances of this standard also apply to uncut lenses supplied by an optical laboratory to be used in filling a specific prescription.

The revised Z80.1 standard includes updates to:

  • Measurement of transmission power: In 1995, Z80.1 adopted the ISO method to measure specified power which is based on the meridian of highest power. The 2010 Z80.1 revision reverts to the sphere and cylinder method without a change in tolerances.
  • Use of compensated power: The use of compensated power for the as-worn position was expanded to include both distance power and add power. The power tolerances are applied to the compensated values and not to the prescribed prescription.
  • Lens durability: Lens durability requirements were added from two new ISO standards – specifications and test methods for anti-reflective coatings from ISO 8980-4 and minimum requirements for spectacle lens surfaces claimed to be abrasion resistant from ISO 8989-5.
  • Lens abrasion resistance: The new requirement for lens abrasion resistance applies only if the lens supplier claims it. The requirement is that the lens resists abrasion at least as well as uncoated hard plastic (CR-39) as determined by a rubbing test.
  • AR coating: The new AR coating requirements assess durability by subjecting the lens to mechanical rubbing, high humidity and UV radiation. After the sequence, the lenses are inspected to determine if delamination of the AR coating has occurred. The maximum reflectance of an AR coated surface was also changed to 2.5 percent.

“The changes to the Z80.1 standard are significant to the optical community. For one, lens power measurement is now done using the method most familiar to labs and ECPs as the ISO international method is no longer used,” said The Vision Council’s Ken Wood, secretariat for ASC Z80. “The other additions covering lens abrasion resistance and AR durability are the first such requirements in the US market and establish a minimum level of performance that can protect both the patient and the ECP by barring poor performing products.”

The 2010 ANSI Z80.1 standard for prescription spectacle lenses can be purchased at www.webstore.ansi.org. This standard does not apply to products covered by American National Standard Requirements for Nonprescription Sunglasses and Fashion Eyewear, ANSI Z80.3-2008.

For more information on the changes to the Z80.1 standard, please contact Amber Robinson, The Vision Council manager of member and technical programs, at (703) 740-1094 or at arobinson@thevisioncouncil.org.

Serving as the global voice for vision care products and services, The Vision Council represents the manufacturers and suppliers of the optical industry. We position our members to be successful in a competitive marketplace through education, advocacy, consumer outreach, strategic relationship building and industry forums.

||Vision Council Member News|| 5858|Avatar Producer Tapped as Keynote Speaker for 2011 Executive Summit|

Alexandria, VA (August 11, 2010) – The Vision Council is pleased to announce that Jon Landau,  co-producer of the 3D blockbuster Avatar, will serve as the keynote speaker for the organization’s 2011 Executive Summit. The Summit will be held January 26-28, 2011 at the Ritz Carlton in South Beach, Fla.

In 2009, Landau, with James Cameron, co-produced Avatar, the highest grossing film of all time and winner of three Academy Awards. Landau also produced the hit movie Titanic, among others, and served as executive vice president of feature film production at Twentieth Century Fox.

As an internationally recognized expert on 3D, Landau will share his unique insight and perspective on the past, present and future of the technology. At the Summit he will discuss the exploding evolution and revolution of 3D technology as well as the plethora of research and development and competing technologies. In addition, Landau will address the affect 3D will have on the entire optical industry, in particular where the profit centers will be and what format has the best opportunity to dominate.

“Currently, 3D is a hot topic for both the general public and the optical industry,” said Mike Hundert, chair of The Vision Council’s Program Committee, which plans the content for the Executive Summit. “There is a flurry of R&D on the topic in our industry that makes Jon’s perspective highly relevant to the entire optical community.” Hundert added “In planning the Executive Summit, we aim to secure speakers that can take a current issue or business topic and offer insight into how it affects us as optical manufacturers. Jon Landau will help demystify 3D for us and illuminate the opportunities ahead.”

As the premier optical industry event, the Executive Summit focuses on the challenges, initiatives and accomplishments of our industry, all of which help set the stage for The Vision Council's direction for 2011 and beyond. A complete agenda for the Executive Summit will be available this fall.

For more information about the Executive Summit, please contact Rene Soltis, senior director of meetings and education for The Vision Council, at rsoltis@thevisioncouncil.org.

Serving as the global voice for vision care products and services, The Vision Council represents the manufacturers and suppliers of the optical industry. We position our members to be successful in a competitive marketplace through education, advocacy, consumer outreach, strategic relationship building and industry forums.

||Vision Council Member News|| 5853|ANSI Z80.5 Standard for Prescription Spectacle Frames Updated|

Alexandria, VA (September 16, 2010) –  In response to consumer concern regarding health risks of frame materials, the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) last month approved and published an update to the Z80.5 requirement for spectacle frames.

The standard specifies that special attention shall be given to substances which are allergenic, carcinogenic, mutagenic or toxic to reproduction. In addition, new materials not previously used in spectacle frames must be evaluated for biocompatibility before being used.

“Over the past years we’ve seen an increased level of concern regarding the materials, such as lead-based paint, used in the design and manufacture of ophthalmic frames,” said The Vision Council’s Ken Wood, secretariat for ASC Z80. “The update to the Z80.5 standard shows a proactive approach from the optical industry to ensure the health and safety of the end users, the consumers.”

The ANSI Z80.5 standard is overseen by the Z80 Accredited Standards Committee (ASC) for Ophthalmic Optics, which consists of 18 voting organizations and more than 100 experts. The update to the Z80.5 standard for prescription spectacle frames can be purchased at www.webstore.ansi.org.

For more information on the changes to the Z80.5 standard, please contact Amber Robinson, The Vision Council manager of member and technical programs, at (703) 740-1094 or at arobinson@thevisioncouncil.org.

Serving as the global voice for vision care products and services, The Vision Council represents the manufacturers and suppliers of the optical industry. We position our members to be successful in a competitive marketplace through education, advocacy, consumer outreach, strategic relationship building and industry forums.

||Vision Council Member News|| 5854|The Vision Council Sponsors Business Building Continuing Education for ECPs|

Alexandria, VA (September 17, 2010) – To help eye care professionals grow their businesses, The Vision Council is pleased to offer continuing education courses at International Vision Expo West, held October 7-9, 2010, at the Sands Expo and Convention Center in Las Vegas. The courses, sponsored by several divisions and committees of The Vision Council, provide tips and resources for eye care professionals to expand their practice base and increase efficiency.

“It’s important for all businesses to look for ways to grow,” said Ed Greene, The Vision Council CEO. “By exploring new revenue options and refining their sales approach, eye care professionals can generate new business and increase sales.”

Continuing education courses cover a variety of topics from adding low vision services offerings to one’s practice to how to present the latest anti-reflective lens technologies.

Courses are sponsored by The Vision Council’s Lens and Low Vision Divisions. They include:

  • The Prescribing and Selling System for AR Lenses (Course 14-104-S)
    Wednesday, October 6; 5:00 pm – 6:00 pm
  • The Economics of Primary Low Vision Care (Course 21-304-S)
    Thursday, October 7; 8:30 am – 9:30 am
  • Demystifying Low Vision:  A Guide for Examination and Prescribing (Course 22-304-S)
    Thursday, October 7; 9:45 am – 11:45 am
  • 10 Tools and Tips to Growing Your Low Vision Practice (Course 23-304-S)
    Thursday, October 7; 2:45 pm – 3:45 pm
  • A Systems Approach for Prescribing and Dispensing (Course 23-205-S)
    Thursday, October 7; 2:45 pm – 3:45 pm
  • Low Vision Case Management: Overcoming Patient Objections (Course 24-304-S)
    Thursday, October 7; 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm

To register for International Vision Expo West, please visit www.visionexpowest.com. For further information, please contact Rene Soltis, The Vision Council senior director of meetings education, at rsoltis@thevisioncouncil.org or at (703) 740-1096.

Serving as the global voice for vision care products and services, The Vision Council represents the manufacturers and suppliers of the optical industry. We position our members to be successful in a competitive marketplace through education, advocacy, consumer outreach, strategic relationship building and industry forums.

||Vision Council Member News|| 5855|Attention Frame Buyers: Gain Valuable Business Skills at International Vision Expo West|

Alexandria, VA (September 17, 2010) – The Vision Council’s Eyewear and Accessories Division is pleased to present the Frame Buyer’s Certificate program at International Vision Expo West, held October 7-9, 2010, at the Sands Expo and Convention Center in Las Vegas. The program, delivered in conjunction with Eyecare Business, is designed to help eye care professionals maximize dispensary profit potential.

The Frame Buyer’s Certificate program offers 16 hours of continuing education dealing specifically with inventory management and teaches participants turnkey processes to select, manage, monitor, promote and benchmark their frame inventory. To receive a Frame Buyer’s Certificate, conferees must complete eight hours of inventory management focused curriculum.

“I found all the courses very, very interesting and extremely helpful for purchasing frames, said Joyce Cerveny, frame buyer for Parker Vision Specialists in Parker, CO. “My office has definitely profited from all that knowledge.”

Courses in the Frame Buyer’s Certificate program include:

  • Frame Selection and Fitting Workshop (Course 22-507-V)
    Thursday, October 7; 9:45 am – 11:45 am
  • How to Create and Implement a Successful Frame Buying Strategy (Course 22-104-S )
    Thursday, October 7; 9:45 am – 11:45 am
  • Working with Exotic Frame Materials (Course 23-704-V)
    Thursday, October 7; 2:45 pm – 3:45 pm
  • A Contemporary Look at Frame Manufacturing Materials and Designs (Course 24-104-S)
    Thursday, October 7; 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm
  • Vendor Selection and Evaluation (Course 32-104-S)
    Friday, October 8; 10:45 am – 11:45 am
  • Frame Buying Fundamentals (Course 33-706-V)
    Friday, October 8; 2:45 pm – 4:45 pm
  • Retail 101 (Course 34-104-S)
    Friday, October 8; 5:00 pm – 6:00 pm
  • How to Judge a Quality Frame (Course 34-704-V )
    Friday, October 8; 5:00 pm – 6:00 pm
  • Eyewear Pricing (Course 41-706-V)
    Saturday, October 9; 8:30 am – 9:30 am
  • Benchmarking Your Optical Dispensary (Course 42-507-V)
    Saturday, October 9; 9:45 am – 11:45 am
  • Sunwear Sales Strategies from Top Retailers (Course 44-302-S)
    Saturday, October 9; 3:00 pm – 4:00 pm

To register for courses in the Frame Buyer’s Certificate program, visit www.visionexpowest.com. For further information, please contact Rene Soltis, The Vision Council senior director of meetings and education, at rsoltis@thevisioncouncil.org or at (703) 740-1096.

Serving as the global voice for vision care products and services, The Vision Council represents the manufacturers and suppliers of the optical industry. We position our members to be successful in a competitive marketplace through education, advocacy, consumer outreach, strategic relationship building and industry forums.

||Vision Council Member News|| 5818|The Vision Council Relocates|

Alexandria, VA (September 20, 2010) – Last week, The Vision Council began occupancy at a new office located at 225 Reinekers Lane, Ste. 700, Alexandria, Virginia 22314.

The new office space contains a large, modern conference room that will be utilized for committee and taskforce meetings, as well as training sessions for members. The first meeting held in this new space occurred on September 16 as 22 participants gathered for the Marketing and Communications Committee’s annual planning meeting.

“The new office and conference room provided ample space for our meeting and overall there was a very warm and inviting feeling about the new space,” said Grady Lenski, chair of the Marketing and Communications Committee.

The conference room is available to members interested in hosting meetings in the Washington DC area. Members traveling to Washington DC are also welcome to work out of The Vision Council’s guest office during their trip.

Maintaining the office’s close proximity to Washington DC offers The Vision Council and its members convenient access to government and association partners. The office is located just minutes from Capitol Hill and Ronald Reagan National Airport.

“Being in Old Town Alexandria is a prime location for The Vision Council as a trade association,” said Ed Greene, CEO of The Vision Council. “We invite all of our members to visit the office when they are in the Washington, DC area.”

Serving as the global voice for vision care products and services, The Vision Council represents the manufacturers and suppliers of the optical industry. We position our members to be successful in a competitive marketplace through education, advocacy, consumer outreach, strategic relationship building and industry forums.

||Vision Council Member News||Meeting Space, DC Access Available for Members 5864|New Online Optical Product Code Manager Now Available|

Alexandria, VA (October 13, 2010) – The Vision Council is pleased to announce the release of its new online Optical Product Code Manager, which sells and distributes optical product codes to lens manufacturers and laboratories. By automating this process, manufacturers will be able to request and obtain optical product codes online, as well as process payment directly through the site.

Optical product codes are unique, optical-specific codes and machine-readable symbols that are assigned to lens products. The codes identify both product and manufacturer, and can be used to produce bar codes for use with scanner-equipped data entry devices. Using the codes allows for simpler and more accurate product identification during lens processing.

“We moved to an automated system to be more efficient and keep up with the demand as companies become more technologically advanced and need more optical product codes,” said Greg Chavez, The Vision Council’s vice president of member services. “We anticipate a smooth transition from the manual optical product code order forms to the automated forms.”

The optical product code system has been in place for over 35 years. In 2001, the Optical Product Code Council merged with The Vision Council, which has run the program since then.

For more information about the new online Optical Product Code Manager, please contact Lisa Wright, The Vision Council database manager, at lwright@thevisioncouncil.org.

Serving as the global voice for vision care products and services, The Vision Council represents the manufacturers and suppliers of the optical industry. We position our members to be successful in a competitive marketplace through education, advocacy, consumer outreach, strategic relationship building and industry forums.

||Vision Council Member News|| 5865|Registration Opens for 2011 Executive Summit|

Alexandria, VA (November 1, 2010) – Registration for The Vision Council’s 2011 Executive Summit, the premier optical industry event for CEOs and senior management, opens today. The meeting, held January 26-28 at the Ritz Carlton, South Beach, offers a one-of-a-kind opportunity to network with fellow thought leaders, share ideas and get a clear picture of the industry and where it is headed.

The program for the Executive Summit includes a keynote address by Jon Landau, co-producer of Avatar and winner of three Academy Awards.  Landau will discuss the past, present and future of 3D technology, as well as profit centers for 3D in the optical industry. To cover the hot-topic of the economy, Todd Buchholtz, former White House economic policy director, will share his keen insight on the state of the domestic and global economy.

The 2011 program will also feature special breakouts and roundtables on topics such as the impact and influence of social media, transformational leadership and employee vs. independent sales force structure, as well as an interactive panel discussion on the future of eyewear distribution channels. In addition, the return of the cabana chats will offer attendees a more intimate opportunity to pick the brains of Summit speakers.

“This year’s Executive Summit will focus on the hot topics in the optical industry right now, from 3D to social media to distribution channels,” said Ed Greene, CEO of The Vision Council. “With an engaging format in a city that’s full of energy, we’re really looking forward to a productive meeting.”

To register for the Executive Summit, visit www.thevisioncouncil.org/executivesummit. For more information, please contact Rene Soltis, senior director of meetings and education for The Vision Council, at rsoltis@thevisioncouncil.org.

Serving as the global voice for vision care products and services, The Vision Council represents the manufacturers and suppliers of the optical industry. We position our members to be successful in a competitive marketplace through education, advocacy, consumer outreach, strategic relationship building and industry forums.

||Vision Council Member News|| 5872|Summertime Brings Increased Risk for Eye Injuries at Home|

Alexandria, VA (June 29, 2010) - Summer is one of the busiest times of year for home improvements yet many Americans fail to take the proper precautions to protect their eyes from potential harm. Today, The Vision Council announced the release of a new issue brief, Eye Safety At-a-Glance Protecting Your Vision at Home, about the importance of protecting their eyes when working around the house or in the yard. The effort is in conjunction with the Home Safety Council.

According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, nearly 1.5 million eye injuries in the United States occur annually in the home. Despite the fact that 90 percent of these injuries could be prevented by using protective eyewear, a recent survey by the American Optometric Association showed that only 35 percent of people wear protective eyewear at home.

Eye injuries at home are more common than people may think, with more than 50 percent of all eye injuries occurring in and around the home, said Ed Greene, CEO of The Vision Council. Surveys show that few people wear protective eyewear at home that is why The Vision Council has partnered with the Home Safety Council to create this informative booklet.

The nonprofit Home Safety Council, an organization focused on preventing injury at home, reminds consumers that preventing eye injuries begins with basic safety practices. Many common household items like cleaners, garden tools and power tools pose a risk to the eyes if not used safely, said Meri-K Appy, president of the Home Safety Council. Keeping safety glasses handy, and making it a habit to use them, can be the difference between successfully completing a project and a trip to the emergency room.

Eye injuries in the home can be prevented by taking the following steps.

  • Keep a pair or two of protective glasses around the house in places that will remind you to wear them, for example on your workbench or in the shed near your gardening and lawn equipment. Protective eyewear can be purchased at hardware stores and building centers or in your local eye care providers' office.
  • Remind family members to put on safety glasses when starting a project. It is especially important to model this behavior in front of children so they learn to use eye protection.
  • Always read the labels on solvents, chemicals and cleaners carefully. Never mix products.
  • Maintain your tools and equipment in good working condition.
  • Check the lawn for debris that could potentially become projectiles before starting yard work.
  • Make sure your protective eyewear is lightweight, comfortable to wear and won't impede your work. You may consider getting prescription safety glasses for frequent use.
  • Look for protective eyewear that is approved by the American National Standards Institute. These will have Z-87 stamped on the frames and means the lenses have passed a special safety test.
  • Ensure that safety glasses are made of polycarbonate, a strong shatterproof plastic and should be 3mm thick. A plastic or polycarbonate frame will reduce the risk of injury from the frames themselves.

To view or download a copy of The Vision Council's Eye Safety At-a-Glance: Protecting Your Vision at Home issue brief, please visit www.thevisioncouncil.org/consumers.

For more information on vision protection in the home, please contact Maureen Beddis at (703) 740-9496 or mbeddis@thevisioncouncil.org; or Starla Stiles at (202) 745-5065 or sstiles@gymr.com.

Serving as the global voice for vision care products and services, The Vision Council represents the manufacturers and suppliers of the optical industry. We position our members to be successful in a competitive marketplace through education, advocacy, consumer outreach, strategic relationship building and industry forums.

The Home Safety Council (HSC) is the only national non-profit organization solely dedicated to preventing home related injuries that result in nearly 20,000 deaths and 21 million medical visits on average each year. Through national programs, partnerships and the support of volunteers, HSC educates people of all ages to be safer in and around their homes. The Home Safety Council is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization.

||Vision Council Member News||Vision and Home Safety Experts Release New Issue Brief on Best Practices for Protecting Eyes at Home 5873|Vision and Sports Safety Experts Release New Issue Brief on Best Practices for Protecting Eyes for Student Athletes|

Alexandria, VA (August 12, 2010) - Each year, approximately 200,000 eye injuries related to sports occur among children. Ninety percent of these incidents, however, could be prevented through the use of protective sports eyewear. As children head back to school and back onto the sports field this fall, The Vision Council urges parents to make sure their children have the right equipment to keep their vision safe with the release of a new issue brief, Eye Safety At-a-Glance Protecting Your Child's Vision in Sports.

When parents help their kids gear up for back-to-school it is important that they make sure their children also have the proper eye safety equipment to participate in sports, said Ed Greene, CEO of The Vision Council. Many parents do not realize how much damage a stray ball, puck or bat can do if it hits the eye. That is why The Vision Council has partnered with the National Association for Sport and Physical Education (NASPE) to create this issue brief.

Eye injuries represent the leading cause of blindness in children and most eye injuries among kids aged 11-14 occur while playing sports. Children's sports eye injuries can range from abrasions of the cornea and bruises of the lid to internal eye injuries, such as retinal detachments and internal bleeding. Nearly 43 percent of sports-related eye injuries involve children under the age of 15, and boys between the ages of 11 and 15 are up to five times more likely to sustain eye injuries requiring hospital treatment than girls of the same age.

Protective eyewear is recommended for use in every sport especially for children who regularly wear glasses or contacts for vision correction. Studies show that protective eyewear does not hinder the player's sight, and some athletes even play better because they are less afraid of getting injured or hit in the eye.

NASPE, an organization dedicated to increasing support for high quality physical education, sport and physical activity programs, reminds consumers that preventing sports-related eye injuries begins with basic safety practices. Sports equipment should always include proper eye protection which can save players from an injury, said Dr. Lynn Couturier, chair of the Physical Education Department at SUNY Cortland and president of NASPE. Teaching kids to utilize and take care of their sport and physical activity equipment and safety gear can ensure safety habits that will protect them for a lifetime.

Sports-related eye injuries can be prevented by taking the following steps.

  • Be sure that all children wear protective sports eyewear, regardless of whether or not they wear eyeglasses or contacts.
  • All sports protective eyewear should meet the impact standards of the American Standards for Testing and Materials (ASTM). An eye doctor can make sure that glasses and or goggles are fitted properly. There are also a wide range of polycarbonate face masks and guards that can be attached to helmets or worn by themselves.
  • Everyday fashion eyewear is not held to the same protective standards as products labeled as protective eyewear for sport use. The lens in a child's regular eyeglasses could easily pop out and puncture or cut the eye. A frame mangled from impact could also injure the eyes and ocular region of the face.
  • Lenses should be made from polycarbonate materials as they provide the highest level of impact protection; they can withstand a ball or other projectile travelling at 90-miles per hour.
  • Just because a sport requires a helmet or face guard, it doesn't mean that your child's eyes are protected from injuries. They are still exposed to danger from sports equipment or an opponent's fingers penetrating the openings of a face mask.
  • Protective eyewear can be purchased at sporting goods stores as well as at an eye care professionals' offices.

To view or download a copy of The Vision Council's Eye Safety At-a-Glance: Protecting Your Child's Vision in Sports issue brief, please visit www.thevisioncouncil.org/consumers.

For more information on children's vision protection in sports, please contact Maureen Beddis at (703) 740-9496 or mbeddis@thevisioncouncil.org; or Starla Stiles at (202) 745-5065 or sstiles@gymr.com.

Serving as the global voice for vision care products and services, The Vision Council represents the manufacturers and suppliers of the optical industry. We position our members to be successful in a competitive marketplace through education, advocacy, consumer outreach, strategic relationship building and industry forums.

The preeminent national authority on physical education and a recognized leader in sport and physical activity, the National Association for Sport and Physical Education (NASPE) is a non-profit professional membership association that sets the standard for practice in physical education and sport. NASPE's 15,000 members include: K-12 physical education teachers, coaches, athletic directors, athletic trainers, sport management professionals, researchers, and college/university faculty who prepare physical activity professionals. The mission of NASPE is to enhance knowledge, improve professional practice, and increase support for high quality physical education, sport and physical activity programs. It is the largest of the five national associations that make the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation & Dance (AAHPERD).

 

||Vision Council Member News|| 5875|Uncorrected Vision Errors Cause Unseen Threat to Holiday Roadways|

Washington, DC (August 26, 2010) - More than 11 million Americans have an uncorrected vision problem impairing their ability to drive and causing unforeseen dangers on the road. As Labor Day weekend approaches The Vision Council encourages drivers to have their vision checked before hitting the road.

Eighty five percent of the information needed for safe driving is visual and given the high incidence of uncorrected vision problems among adults, as well as the nation's aging population, road safety is a significant concern nationwide, said Ed Greene, CEO of The Vision Council. The good news is that this problem has an easy answer. With regular vision care, drivers can prevent poor eye sight from putting themselves and their loved ones at risk on the road.

All aspects of healthy vision, including visual acuity, depth perception and night vision, are critical to driving performance. Visual acuity, or the ability to the see clearly at distances near and far, allows drivers to recognize road signs, highway markings and vehicles entering the roadway. Depth perception helps drivers gauge the distance between road features and other motorists. Additionally, persons driving at night have less light to help illuminate the roadways and must rely on headlights and street lights.

We rely almost entirely on our eyes to drive, especially our peripheral vision, depth perception and focusing skills, said Ed Greene, CEO of The Vision Council. It's important for drivers to have their eyes examined to help detect problems before they put themselves or someone else at risk.

To improve driver safety during this Labor Day weekend, The Vision Council offers the following tips for enhancing vision:

  • Receive regular eye exams by an eye care professional to ensure that your eyes stay healthy and your prescription remains current.
  • Always wear your prescription eyewear and make sure that your eyeglasses are clean. Cleaning lenses regularly helps to remove dirt and fingerprints that can interfere with vision, especially at night.
  • Wear anti-reflective lenses to eliminate lens glare. Anti-reflective lenses act to improve vision by increasing the amount of light that reaches the eye and by reducing harmful glare due to reflections off the back surfaces of lenses.
  • Take breaks when driving long distances. Allowing eyes to relax after intense focus can help reduce eye strain and fatigue.
  • Use sunglasses with UV protection when appropriate.
  • Keep headlights, taillights and windshield (both inside and outside) clean.

For more information about vision and safe driving, please contact Maureen Beddis at (703) 740-9496 or mbeddis@thevisioncouncil.org; or Starla Stiles at (202) 745-5065 or sstiles@gymr.com.

Serving as the global voice for vision care products and services, The Vision Council represents the manufacturers and suppliers of the optical industry. We position our members to be successful in a competitive marketplace through education, advocacy, consumer outreach, strategic relationship building and industry forums.

 

||Vision Council Member News||The Vision Council Urges Driver Safety for Labor Day Travel 5874|Flex Spending Helps Families Protect Vision, Prevent Problems|

Alexandria, VA (November 4, 2010) - It's time to use-or-lose this year's flex spending dollars. For those who lack vision insurance or have benefits that don't cover all the costs associated with an eye exam, using funds in a flexible spending account (FSA) makes maintaining healthy vision more affordable. Flex spending accounts require that contributions be spent in the year they are made, so the end of the year is the perfect time to catch up on vision exams or consider updating or replacing dated eyewear.

Because they are exempt from federal, state and payroll taxes, FSAs can cut out-of-pocket medical expenses, including those spent on vision care, by as much as 30 percent. But each year nearly 80 percent of Americans eligible for FSAs fail to use them.

Unfortunately, money woes may cause some people to forego preventive health care, said Ed Greene, CEO of The Vision Council. But skipping a regular eye exam or eyeglass replacement won't pay off, especially if it means FSA money is left on the table.

Vision disorders are the second most prevalent health problem in the country, affecting more than 120 million people, so the effect of postponing or avoiding eye care because of the cost - which 40 percent of Americans report doing - could be dangerous. Many vision-threatening conditions have no early warning signs and eye exams can also detect other serious health problems including diabetes and hypertension.

In addition to recommending regular eye exams, The Vision Council offers these tips for enhancing vision and eye safety across the lifespan:

  • Lenses with an anti-reflective coating reduce glare for driving at night or working on a computer.
  • Lenses made from a high-index plastic reduce weight and thickness for those with strong prescriptions.
  • Polycarbonate lenses are impact-resistant, making them a smart choice for children and active adults.
  • Photochromic and polarized lenses which reduce glare and provide UV protection for sports and outdoor enthusiasts.
  • Computer lenses magnify objects from an intermediate distance to prevent the headaches and light sensitivity associated with long hours spent staring at a monitor.
  • Progressive lenses offer clear vision at all distances without a noticeable transition or tell-tale lines.

Now is also the time to plan next year's FSA contributions. As people make their health care decisions for 2011, we urge them to make protecting their families' vision and preventing any problems part of the calculation, added Greene. We remind people to anticipate vision care needs, such as exams, eyeglasses and UV protection, when they decide how much to set aside next year.

To learn more about the best ways to keep eyes healthy and safe, please contact Maureen Beddis at (703) 740-9496 or mbeddis@thevisioncouncil.org; or Starla Stiles at (202) 745-5065 or sstiles@gymr.com.

Serving as the global voice for vision care products and services, The Vision Council represents the manufacturers and suppliers of the optical industry. We position our members to be successful in a competitive marketplace through education, advocacy, consumer outreach, strategic relationship building and industry forums.

 

||Vision Council Member News||Vision experts urge consumers to make the most of their health care spending 5876|Winter Sun's UV Rays Can Damage Eyes|

Alexandria, VA (November 29, 2010) - As winter gets underway, many Americans stop wearing sunglasses and proper ultra-violet (UV) protection. However, for the countless Americans who participate in winter's outdoor activities, there is still a glaring need to protect the eyes and the skin around them from overexposure to harmful UV radiation.

In fact, some winter conditions heighten susceptibility to UV damage, particularly for those engaged in high-altitude sports or sports that involve snow or ice. Fresh snow reflects nearly 80 percent of UV radiation, and UV rays can bounce back off of frozen water, doubling exposure. Under clear skies, altitude increases exposure to UV radiation-by an intensity of 16 percent for every 1,000 meters above sea level.

The Vision Council wants people to be aware of the potential for UV damage from participating in outdoor winter sports, said Ed Greene, CEO of the Vision Council. Cooler temperatures don't mean that it's time to put away your UV protection. Shielding the eyes from the sun in winter is just as important as doing it at any other time of year.

Overexposure to UV radiation can lead to cataracts and macular degeneration, two of the leading causes of vision loss among older Americans. Snow blindness, with symptoms such as redness, puffiness around the eyes, burning, watering and sensitivity to light, is also a danger.

Winter activities in which there is an increased UV-exposure risk include: skiing, sledding, outdoor ice hockey and figure skating, mountain climbing, snowshoeing, snowboarding and snowmobiling. Anyone participating in outdoor activities in winter can protect their eyes by wearing appropriate UV protection which includes:

  • Sunglasses
  • Sport goggles
  • Over-Rx sunglasses designed to be worn over prescription eyeglasses
  • Sun-clips that can be snapped on to a pair of eyeglasses
  • Photochromic lenses which darken to a sunglass lens as you move from the indoors out, providing a convenient way to defend eyes
  • Polycarbonate lenses for eyewear which offer UV protection as well as impact-resistance

It is important for people to keep in mind that, regardless of the season, the longer they are out in the sun, the more UV radiation they receive, said Greene. This includes participating in winter sports as well as outdoor spectator events such as football. Anytime an individual is outdoors they should limit winter UV exposure by wearing appropriate UV protection.

For more information please visit www.thevisioncouncil.org/sunglasses or contact Maureen Beddis at (703) 740-9496 or mbeddis@thevisioncouncil.org; or Starla Stiles at (202) 745-5065 or sstiles@gymr.com.

Serving as the global voice for vision care products and services, The Vision Council represents the manufacturers and suppliers of the optical industry. We position our members to be successful in a competitive marketplace through education, advocacy, consumer outreach, strategic relationship building and industry forums.