ErgoPractice News June 2016

Not All Loupes Are Created Equal

ErgoPractice News – June 2016
By Jin Chang PhD

Inexpensive Loupes May Be the Most Expensive Loupes One Can Buy!

Over the past several years the number of companies providing inexpensive loupes either online or at trade shows has skyrocketed. For decades before this, the number of loupe companies have been relatively small and the cost of loupes relatively comparable.

One explanation could be a sudden invention which made producing quality loupes much easier. This isn’t the case. Making well aligned, quality loupes with good optics still requires a great amount of knowledge, expertise, sophisticated tools, and investment.

What changed is globalization. Companies can coordinate with overseas suppliers who can build and ship crates of inexpensive loupe products to push into local markets.

Who wouldn’t want a quality loupe for half the price? When experienced at a trade show, inexpensive loupes may seem fine for the few moments they’re tested.

Next page: Dr. DeBonis and Dr. Mikol-Doering share their experience with inexpensive loupes. In their opinions, there is no comparison. If you’re paying half as much for loupes, you’re receiving less than half the quality!

Is your colleague or coworker settling for lower quality loupes? They may not realize compromising their loupes may result in compromising their work and working posture. Ask your colleague, “What are your work and your long-term health worth?” And if your work is impacted by your colleagues, you may wish to ask them right away!

Some red flags about inexpensive loupe companies include: no local representative to help you in case of any issues. They do not build the loupes to your custom working distance, instead, they give you an “off-the-shelf” loupe. If they feel at all unsteady, this will eventually lead to visual issues. And if they feel heavy during the demonstration, they will certainly feel heavier after a long day.

In conclusion, the quality of your work and your career depends on the quality of your tools. We urge all clinicians to make investments to get the most out of their daily work and long-term career. Please forward this newsletter along to anyone who may be comprising comfort and their work.

Exploring the Inexpensive Option

I am a head and neck surgeon. To have a better vision of the laryngeal nerves and the parathyroid glands. I decided to buy a SurgiTel magnifier loupes (3.5x) at least 15 years ago. They fell down and its support was broken.

I decided to replace them and buy new ones at the Clinical Congress (2014). I bought cheaper ones. They didn’t work as properly as the previous ones, so I keep using [the SurgiTel Loupes] (I fixed them the best I could).

Finally, I decided to buy, even if they were more expensive, new SurgiTel loupes.
To take home: talking about technology, many times what looks cheaper, ends up being more expensive.

Upgrading from Online Loupes

I decided to try an inexpensive version that I found online. Initially, I was happy with the magnification and lighting coming from the loupes. But they were heavy and uncomfortable. I had to make modifications to keep them on my head without slipping.

The inexpensive loupes worked for about 12 months before the wires and other small parts became loose. The light was failing and I knew I would need to make a decision: purchase another online pair, or invest in higher quality loupes.

When I tried on the sample pair of SurgiTel loupes, I immediately noticed how comfortable and lightweight they were. The field of view was much larger and the LED light was very bright and clear. I was definitely sold on making the investment and it has been the best decision I ever made.