Vampire Lenses and Eye Makeup for Halloween

Save 20% on Halloween Contact Lenses at Vision Direct Being a vampire for a night is a lot of fun for Halloween. Along with the right costume and the right makeup, special vampire lenses are essential to pull off the scare. These colored contacts give your Halloween look the perfect finishing touch for a night of spooky fun.

You do need to decide what kind of vampire you want to be before choosing contacts. Vampire lenses come in a whole range of effects. The movie vampire look is easy to replicate with Twilight or New Moon-inspired contacts along with a costume from the movie.

For Halloween night, start with the costume and then move to colored contacts and finally the makeup. Putting on the contacts before the makeup prevents transferring oily or powdery residue on your lenses. If you wear glasses, make sure to get corrective contacts for the night. For first-time lens usage, read some basic lens care and precautions before putting them on. Some simple rules to follow are: wash your hands with mild soap before handling the lenses. Use lens solution to rinse and store the contacts. Gently slide the lens from the case onto your palm for putting it on. It’s a good idea to put on your costume, contacts and makeup before the Halloween party. This way you can improve on your look and you can gauge your comfort level with the whole costume.

Besides the retro horror movie look, you can also go for a more radical ‘otherworldly’ feel. Vampire lenses in red or scary effects like jagged teeth are perfect. Another idea is sclera lenses that cover the entire eye to give you intense bottomless eyes. You can use eye makeup to draw creepy facial tattoos to match the frightening eyes. Use gel or liquid makeup as loose powder can fall on your contacts causing eye irritation. It’s important to try on your vampire look before the big day so get your contacts well in advance before Halloween.

Remember, you’ll need a prescription from your eye doctor before buying any contact lens. So, update your prescription and go for it. Be that spook that took the Vampire look all the way.

Visiondirect.com has an incredible collection of lens for Halloween, parties or theatrical productions. They’ll even help you schedule an eye exam and offer discounts and rebate on various lenses. To check out it, visit: Visiondirect.com

Halloween Contact Lenses – The Scariest Coolest Part of a Costume

Whether you want to be a spooky vampire or a creepy zombie for Halloween, special theatrical contacts are perfect for completing your costume. Halloween contact lenses are available for all ‘creatures of the night’ so it can be a lot of fun choosing lenses to match your costume. They’re great for completing your costume, going to a Halloween party or for acting in spooky video or play.

 The first step is choosing Halloween contact lenses to complement your outfit. If you’re dressing up as a vampire, there are many types of contacts to choose from. Color-pop lenses in icy blue or emerald green are a striking choice or go for a hair-raising effect with blood-red lenses or stark white ones. For werewolves and were-cats, lenses with elongated pupils are a great choice. These were-animal lenses are available in eye-catching colors like green, yellow or white for a complete transformation on Halloween night.

 Besides lenses for vampires and were-creatures, lens and eye health stores also offer black sclera contacts that cover the whole eye. These lenses are ideal for a dramatic look for Halloween. With these complete blackout lenses, you can transform into a wizard, an otherworld creature or a super villain for the night. Other costume lenses to choose from include baby eye lenses, anime lenses and lenses with illustration like flames or stars. Contact lenses in neon colors are also ideal for donning a spooky avatar for Halloween.

 You’ll need to take the same basic precautions and care as you would with regular lenses while wearing your costume lenses. Wash your hands before handling the lenses to prevent an eye infection. Apply the makeup that is a part of your Halloween costume after putting on the lenses. Choose eye makeup in gel or liquid form and not loose powder so it stays on and doesn’t fall on your lenses after application.

 While buying contacts for Halloween, you’ll need a prescription for them so schedule an appointment before choosing them. These lenses are available both for zero power prescription as well as corrective prescription. Non-corrective lenses are available instantly while it may take some time to ship lenses with prescription. It’s a good idea to choose Halloween contact lenses well before the day so you get them in time and have a chance to try them on before the big day.

 The Internet is a great resource for contact lenses for Halloween. Visiondirect.com has a wide collection of contact lenses for Halloween, theatrical productions or just everyday fun. Shopping from Visiondirect.com also has other advantages like online offers, easy shipping and more.  You’ll also get a chance to read customer reviews before buying to help you make an informed decision. To explore, visit http://www.visiondirect.com Image

I want to wear Contact Lenses but my doctor says I have an astigmatism. What is that anyway?

Astigmatism is a very common vision condition that causes blurred vision mainly due to the way your cornea is shaped. It prevents light from focusing on your retina, causing the images you see to be blurred.

Many people with astigmatism feel that they cannot wear contact lenses because of this and nothing could be farther from the truth. Contact Lens manufacturers make “toric” lenses, which are especially made for people with astigmatism. These soft, disposable lenses have tiny weights in the lens that are shaped to help you focus and see better.

There are many lenses to choose from, depending on your lifestyle. Acuvue has a weekly disposable lens called Acuvue Oasys for Astigmatism that you use daily for 2 weeks and start a new pair when you throw the old ones out.

If you’re not interested in cleaning and disinfecting your lenses daily, you can opt for Focus Dailies Toric. They come in either a 30 day box or a 90 day box for each eye. There is no maintenance with these lenses, you simply throw them out at the end of the day and start a fresh pair every morning.

Speak to your eye care professional on which lenses will work best for your prescription and lifestyle. Most locations will give you a trial pair with your eye exam so you can test the comfort and vision before making a purchase.

Are your lenses as clean as they should be?

A recent study in the December 2011 Journal of Optometry and Vision Science has shown that while 85% of contact lens wearers believe they do a good job taking care of their contact lenses, in actuality, less than 2% of them properly care for their lenses. .

Results show that some of the biggest non-compliance issues are:

  • Replacing lenses infrequently and wearing them longer than the recommended time frame
  • Sleeping in their lenses
  • Exposing their lenses to water when showering, swimming or rinsing lenses in tap water
  • Not emptying out their lens case/topping off with solution
  • Changing their lens case infrequently
  • Not properly washing their hands before handling their lenses

Non-compliance can cause issues beyond simple lens discomfort, including conjunctivitis, also known as “pink eye,” getting a sty on the eyelid or more serious compilations such as E-Coli due to the bacteria growing in their lenses and cases.

The study also shows that while most wearers are aware of proper lens care practices, very few actually follow through resulting in 72% of patients experiencing complications with comfort and 19% experiencing some type of infection. .

What can you do to prevent issues?

  • Make sure to wash your hands with warm water and soap before handling your lenses and touching your eye.
  • Wear a fresh pair of lenses at the recommended time, i.e. daily, every two weeks or monthly as suggested by your eye doctor.
  • Remove your lenses before showering or going swimming, or wear proper fitting eye goggles that prevent water from entering the eye.
  • Do not sleep or nap in your lenses.
  • Clean your lenses every night with contact lens solution and use fresh solution in your lens case every night. Don’t use water or top off the solution in your case, mixing old solution with new.
  • Rinse your lenses in solution before inserting them.
  • Rinse your lens case with solution daily and allow it to air dry while not in use.
  • Replace your lens case every few months. Many lens solutions come with a case in the box, so replacing your lens solution is a good time to throw out the old case and start fres

Email Marketing for Eye Care Providers

The nation’s eye care providers provide primary diagnostic screening and corrective lens fitting to millions of people every year. The ways in which these professionals communicate with their clients and market their services is rapidly changing. This post explores how eye care professionals may use email to retain clients and grow their practice. The intent is to introduce the topic and provide the basic information needed to get an email marketing program going.

Why email marketing is important

Email remains the most cost effective and pervasive way to communicate with your customers. Email is tops for customer engagement and retention. Social media has not dimmed the value of email to marketers, in fact all the major social media sites embrace email to communicate, engage and sell to their user base.

Getting Started

To get started with email marketing you need two basic things.

  1. A list of email addresses of your customers with permission to email them
  2. An email service provider to manage your list with the tools to create, segment, send and track your emails.

The second point is the easy one. Obtaining email addresses with the appropriate permissions requires more planning. and thoughtful execution.

Building an ‘Opt-In’ Email Marketing List

A simple way to get started building your permission-based email list is to build the collection of the client’s email address and related marketing permissions into your normal practice protocols. New patient forms are a way to ask for the patient’s email address. There should be two places where the patient may check to specifically opt-in to receive emails from the eye care provider. The first box would be one where the client may choose one or more preferred methods of being contacted by the practice. This will give the practice permission to send normal communications to the user. The second place on the form would additionally ask if the client would like to receive eye care information and special promotions from the practice.

Existing returning patients may also be asked if they would like to be contacted via email. In either case, all emails sent should fulfill a legitimate need for client communication or provide real value to the client in regards to the eye care provider’s expertise and practice areas. It should be noted that email communications are not generally secure so email is not recommended for personally identifiable medical information especially in the context of HIPAA regulations. HIPAA compliance is outside the scope of this post and all communication practices need to evaluated in the context of HIPAA compliancy.

An email service provider will also have an email sign up form that you may use to link from your website to allow clients who visit your site, or your practice’s page on Facebook, to sign up for your email communications.

Selecting an Email Service Provider

Email marketing service providers have become mature in their technologies and services and they are quite reasonably priced. There are self-service to fully managed email marketing service options. Below are links to two low-cost email marketing platforms that you may want to look at. Both have free trials so you can get started and get familiar with their interfaces and reports:

Features of Email Marketing Service Providers

An email marketing platform will help you do several things:

  • Easily import, create and store email lists
  • Create email templates for different types of email messages. Support for HTML and Text formats.
  • Purchase custom email template creation services
  • Create and send an email to a list or multiple lists
  • Segment your email list(s) based on customer type, performance, frequency of communication or other criteria
  • Manage the collection of emails from an email subscription form
  • Manage email bounce and unsubscribe requests so your emails get to people who want them
  • Track the open rate and response rate of emails among other usage statistics
  • Download example email privacy policies that you may customize and add to your website’s privacy policy
  • Utilize tutorials, forums and live support

I hope this brief discussion has helped to demystify email marketing. Email is a proven tool that you can use to engage your clients more than you may be today.

For a more information, I would recommend the book E-mail Marketing for Dummies by John Arnold. This addition to the ‘for Dummies’ series of books has great information in it for the seasoned and novice email marketer alike.

Embedded below is a video of the author, John Arnold, talking about his book and some recent trends in email marketing for small business.

Reputation Management for Eye Care Providers

Independent eye care providers (sometimes known as ECPs) are crucial links in the chain of optical care that we all depend upon. ECPs are on the frontline of screening for optical disease and providing prescriptions for corrective lenses, glasses or contacts.

As with every business, the way consumers find and consume services is rapidly evolving with changes in communications, technology and the Internet. Today, more than ever, the consumer is empowered with innovative tools to research and rate their service providers. It is also important that service providers stay aware of their reputations online and actively participate in the management of them.

‘Word of Internet’ Replacing ‘Word of Mouth’ in Advertising

Online consumer reviews have quickly become similar to family and friends as a trusted source of ‘word of mouth’ recommendations. Econsultancy has reported that 90% of consumers online trust recommendations from people they know; while an amazing 70% trust opinions of unknown users. Nielson Online has reported similar statistics that when making purchase decisions, North American Internet users trust recommendations from people they know and opinions posted by unknown consumers more than advertisements on television, on the radio, in magazines and newspapers, or in other traditional media.

The rise of Google Reviews and Yelp

Relatively recently, Google changed how it displays business reviews. Instead of aggregating third party consumer review data from sources such as Citysearch, Inside Pages, Merchant Circle, Judy’s Book, Yelp, and more, Google has decided to only showcase the Google Places reviews. This decision has greatly increased the importance of Google reviews for all small businesses.

Google also highly ranks consumer reviews from Yelp within it’s general search results. This means that Yelp.com reviews are also very important to the reputation of eye care service providers.

Management of Reviews and Ratings

Both Google Places and Yelp allow and encourage business owners to create accounts, verify and claim their businesses profiles. Below are a list of best practices in managing business reviews within Google Places and on Yelp.com.

  • Create accounts on Google Places and Yelp and claim existing business account profiles or create new ones.
  • Completely fill out business profiles. Include information on business hours, services, locations and promotions. Post photos and/or videos.
  • Review all existing reviews and respond to them regardless of whether they are positive or negative. If an individual negative review appears to violate the review platform’s policies, notify Google or Yelp of the violation so that it may be removed. In the case of Yelp, the review in violation of policy may simply be filtered out of the default search results.
  • Encourge customers to post a review of their experience with your business on Google or Yelp. This may be done via email, or through other normal customer communications. All reviews must be unbiased so the business may not offer any financial incentives to write reviews.

Criteria for removing reviews on Google

Google may remove individual reviews that include any of the following:

  1. Inappropriate content: Reviews that contain or link to unlawful content, or content that violates Google Places content policy. This includes reviews that have plagiarism or are copied from other sites.
  2. Advertising and spam: Reviews that contain advertising or the posting of similar or duplicate reviews. Reviews with links to other websites.
  3. Off-topic reviews: Reviews based on someone else’s experience, or that are not about the specific place in the business profile under review. Reviews that are largely personal rants.
  4. Conflict of interest: Reviews about a competitor or by a competitor. Any review on the behalf of others or any misrepresentation of the reviewers identity or affiliation.

Criteria for removing reviews on Yelp

They may consider removing a review from your search results on Yelp if it violates one of these general content guidelines:

  1. Inappropriate content: Threats, harassment, lewdness, hate speech, and other such content is not allowed.
  2. Conflicts of interest: Customer reviews must be unbiased and objective. Examples of biased reviews would be those of owners, employees, agents or competitors.
  3. Promotional content: Spam or off-topic promotional content and links are not allowed.
  4. Relevance: Reviews must be relevant and appropriate. Rants about a business’s employment practices, political ideologies, or other matters that don’t address the core of the consumer experience are frowned upon.
  5. Privacy: Publishing personal information such as names or photos without permission is not allowed.
  6. Intellectual property: Copied or plagiarized reviews and photos are not allowed.

Links to Google Places and Yelp

Yelp

Google Places

Promote Your Eye Care Practice with Google Places

Local independent eye care providers are the backbone of consumer focused optical care.  Eye care providers (known in the industry as ECPs) provide consumers access to eye care diagnostic screening and prescribe corrective optical contact lenses and glasses. This post discusses how a local ECP may use Google Places to make it easy for desktop and mobile Internet users to connect to their services.

Google Places – the new “Yellow Pages”

According to statistics from Google, 97% of consumers search for local businesses online. Even if the actual number were only half of that, being well presented in Google is as important as the yellow page phone directory used to be. Practically speaking, Google has replaced the yellow pages as the directory of choice for consumers.

Get found with Google Places

Google Places for business is a free local marketing platform from Google. When you sign up with Google Places and add information about your business, Google will display rich detailed information on your business when local users enter location specific searches for your services or search specifically for your practice.

Help your business stand out

With Google Places you may add photos, videos, and offers (coupons and promotions!) and even a virtual tour to show customers why they’ll want to choose your practice over your competitors. You may offer first-time and returning customer promotions and post updates anytime.

Use Google Places to actively manage your reputation

Google allows users to leave reviews on any business with a phone number and address. With Google Places you will be able to ‘claim’ your business… your practice… and actively respond to any negative comments and show good faith in resolving issues. Even better, you may encourage satisfied customers to leave feedback on Google Places for you. Even a few positive reviews go a long way in helping you stand out above your competitors.

Get usage metrics from Google Places

Free reports in Google Places will help you understand what keywords people interested in your business are searching for and where the users are located. This data may help you make decisions on the scope of your services and possible areas for office expansion.

If you haven’t already, should now claim your eye care practice’s record on Google Places. Even if you have an existing Google Places account, it is important to review and update your profile regularly.

Here is the link to Google Places
Google Places Merchant Center

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