Offering a Different Colored Contact Lens Option
BY C. STEPHEN JOHNSON, OD, FAAO
In-office tinting of soft contact lenses is a practice management tool that not enough practitioners employ. I have custom tinted soft contact lenses for my patients for many years. The added value that this service provides has contributed to my practice's growth.
We custom tint soft contact lenses for sports, cosmetic, visibility and theatrical needs. Patients who have worn soft lenses in the past are routinely surprised when I ask them what color lenses they want. I have high myope, hyperope and astigmatic patients who could not enjoy tinted contact lenses in the past. They often say, "I was told that my lenses aren't available with a tint." To that I reply, "We can custom tint your lenses here in our office."
Contact lenses are better than eyeglasses for sports, especially those that require superb hand-eye coordination. Patients are even more pleased when we add a custom sport tint to lenses, which may improve visual performance during sports activities.
Troy Glaus, Anaheim Angels and World Series MVP, says that before using the Softchrome Yellow Sport Tint he had trouble seeing spin on a baseball. He says that the yellow-tinted lenses help him pick up the breaking pitch.
Damon Minor from the San Francisco Giants and baseball legend Mark McGwire also support the Softchrome Yellow Sport Tint. Both say that it helps reduce glare and makes the baseball look crisper and sharper.
Cosmetic Soft Lens Tinting
Many of my contact lens patients wear disposable soft lenses. Some of these lenses are not available in different colors. I simply ask these patients, "How many pairs can I tint for you?" They are always surprised and pleased. We often tint a box for each eye in different colors so they can try different cosmetic looks.
The Softchrome In-Office Tinting System offers several varying tinting patterns to accommodate different tinting needs. Solid tints are available in diameters of 11.5mm, 10.5mm, 9.0mm, 7.0mm, 5.0mm, 4.0mm and 3.0mm. The tinting system also offers combinations of patterns and sizes with a clear pupil, including an 11.5mm diameter tinted area with 4.5mm clear pupil, 10.5mm tinted/6.0mm clear pupil, 10.5mm tinted/4.5mm clear pupil and 10.5mm tinted/2.5mm clear pupil.
In addition, the system offers four specialty patterns: Cat's Eye, Flower, Starburst and Texas Star. When you combine these tinting cylinders with the wide range of available colors (amber, aqua, black, blue, brown, green, red, sky blue and yellow), you can see why in-office tinting covers almost all of our needs for tinting transparent soft contact lenses at an affordable cost to our patients.
In-office tinting is affordable, simple and requires less than five minutes of "hand-on" time. The cost to practitioners is less than $1.00 per pair, while the average price that I charge patients per pair ranges from $10 for disposable lenses to $20 to $30 for torics, bifocals and high plus or minus lenses.
Patient satisfaction, patient referrals and patient retention are three of the biggest assets that the SoftChrome In-Office Tinting System provides. The technology is fun, and patients love it!
Dr. Johnson has a private practice in San Ramon, CA, that specializes in refractive surgery, contact lenses and sports vision. He is the founder and president of SoftChrome Inc.