Personalized Vision for Everyone
Until I dove into the art of opticianry, I had never realized the amount of detailed work and precision that went into crafting a pair of eyeglasses. Growing up, I remember my siblings and friends jumping online, filling out a simple form along with a perfectly symmetrical selfie, then awaiting for their package to arrive in the mail. Between the convenience and bargain, how could anybody beat that?! My question is, to what extent will you sacrifice your eyesight for a bargain?
When I began studying to become an optician, I was surprised at the amount of math, physics, and meticulous measurements needed even for some seemingly basic tasks. It is easy enough to make a simple pair of single vision lenses by taking a quick measurement and copying the patient's prescription to your order form. However, there are countless options to personalize the wearers' eyeglasses to give them far better vision, comfort and style than they could ever get from a non-personalized pair of glasses. I'll give you a few examples based on some basic relatable orders I've done over the years.
One patient resided at her desk job for the majority of the day, as so many people do. She needed a pair of glasses for daily life outside of work, then a specific pair of computer glasses in order to see her mid-range and reading distances (she had always worn a bi-focal and wanted both pairs to be bi-focal). Her desk situation was set up in a unique way with several monitors set slightly below eye level. The catch? If you set the bifocal at the traditional height, when she's looking down at her monitors she will be looking through her reading power instead of her computer section. Sometimes in this situation I may ask if they can either lower their chairs or raise their monitors somehow to compensate, but she used a multi-use desk that allowed her to stand or sit. Solution? Set the bifocal much lower than normal because based on our conversation, we know that she does not need her reading section except on a rare occasion and is used to lifting her chin when she's doing her paperwork. We double checked how her posture would affect the placement of the bifocal, then both agreed with our final measurement for her reading placement. Result? A very happy patient who has extra wide vision of her computer work but also has reading available when needed.
My next example is a pair of glasses that I actually made for my husband. He is nearsighted, typically only wearing his glasses for driving, sports, and movies, but does not need them for reading. However, with his job at T-Mobile he stares at screens for most of the day (9+ hours on some days). We opted for a digital single vision lense with a blue light anti-glare coating, which gives him his best vision and relaxes his eyes when he spends extended amounts of time looking at a screen. We also did a student design lense, which relaxes the power on the bottom portion of the lense so that the user is not looking through so much unneeded prescription while reading. Seeing as though he is mildly nearsighted and he does not wear them around the clock, it is a great option when he needs some relief, and the digital design adds another level of clarity and comfort for his eyes. I have had many people fall in love with the blue light anti-glare coating, whether they are photo editors, programmers, or work in a cell phone store like my husband.
I've also had numerous people mention to me that their previous frames have always irritated their skin or the weight of the frames caused migraines and headaches. More often than not, if you recommend a well fitting titanium frame it will be the most lightweight pair of glasses the person has ever worn as well as being a hypoallergenic material. A well fitting and adjusted titanium frame is my go-to for so many frame issues that people experience. There are many different frame materials, styles and sizes that will greatly improve the experience for the wearer that are always important to discuss with each patient and try on each option. It far exceeds any choice they may have from a nice looking frame found online that best “matches” their face shape and size from a selfie!
Another example is a patient found a frame that she loved but did not like the shape on the top of the frame. Very particular about the flow that it had with the shape of her eyebrows, she passed on the nearly perfect style frame she found in search of something better. After scouring the store we were unable to find anything that best complimented her features like we were looking for. I finally ended up taking the original frame and doing some custom work on it. It was crafted with a quality acetate, which I was able to slowly and carefully heat in order to re-shape the top. When she tried it on, it had the subtle lift in the corners which perfectly complemented the shape of her eyebrows and beautifully brightened her face. A little bit of custom work even on a frame can make all the difference in the world, and didn't cost her a penny more!
There are so many other examples I can think of that would give you an idea of the small customizations that we do for people. If I were to dive into the world of progressive lenses I would have to write an entirely separate post (or maybe several!) of all the different things I have done to best fit the design of lense, and the suitable frame to meet the needs of the patient. If you wear progressive lenses you no doubt have an idea of the complexity of these lenses. I've done many high prescription lenses, progressives in high wrap sports frames, bifocals prescribed by doctors for children, special tints to add clarity for patients that suffer from macular degeneration, and so much more.
I always ask a series of questions to best get to know the daily life and activities that could be further improved with various lense options. My goal today is to give a few relatable examples of the great benefit that even basic prescriptions can have with a personalized pair of eyeglasses. Your vision is so important to us, and we make it our goal to provide you the best products to complement your lifestyle in every way that we can, and that doesn't always mean that it costs more. I would urge you to take a step back before going online or to an optical chain to insure that you are getting a product that will give you the best vision from people that truly care about you. Making a quality pair of glasses is truly an art, and we are so excited to be able to give people the gift to see the world with their best vision possible.