POTUS SPECS: President Dwight D. Eisenhower, Redux

By Preston Fassel, BS
Monday, February 6, 2017 3:10 PM Last year, I briefly profiled the glasses of US President Dwight Eisenhower, comparing and contrasting his frames, fashion, and sensibilities towards eyewear to LBJ, whose unexpectedly extensive frame collection I took a look at in the November issue of 20/20. I’m happy to say that, to my surprise, just a few days after the first article went to print, I received a phone call from Michael R. Florer, the curator at the Eisenhower National Historic Site in Gettysburg, PA.

Eyewear As a Medical Device

By Preston Fassel, BS
Monday, January 9, 2017 12:05 PM In an effort to bring some levity to an exceptionally divisive year at the poles, I looked back at a more innocuous political topic in November’s issue of 20/20 — the secret history of LBJ’s eyeglass collection. Unfortunately, my hopes that the article would be read amidst a new atmosphere of love, acceptance, and impromptu kumbaya sessions have been pretty heavily dashed.

The Power and Politics Of The PD, Part Four of Four

By Barry Santini, ABOM
Monday, January 2, 2017 11:10 AM If we look at the dynamics of oversight for prescription eyewear worldwide, we note how the regulatory atmosphere is changing with the arrival of online prescription eyewear. For example, in 2010, the Canadian Health Minister in British Colombia, responding to a court case involving a prominent online optical retailer, was prompted to review the current regulations concerning eyeglasses contained in the applicable Canada's Health Professionals Act.

The Power and Politics Of The PD, Part Three of Four

By Barry Santini, ABOM
Monday, December 19, 2016 12:10 PM If we look at the dynamics of oversight for prescription eyewear worldwide, we note how the regulatory atmosphere is changing with the arrival of online prescription eyewear. For example, in 2010, the Canadian Health Minister in British Colombia, responding to a court case involving a prominent online optical retailer, was prompted to review the current regulations concerning eyeglasses contained in the applicable Canada's Health Professionals Act.

The Power And Politics Of The PD, Part Two of Four

By Barry Santini, ABOM
Monday, December 12, 2016 12:15 PM The sale of eyeglasses has been the single greatest revenue generator for optical stores. But you can't begin the sale of glasses without first having an Rx, and eye exams are financed in large part through participation in vision care plans (VCPs). For most consumers, the scheduling of exams and availability of eyewear allowances is set through the VCP’s logistics.

The Power And Politics Of The PD, Part One of Four

By Barry Santini, ABOM
Monday, December 5, 2016 12:15 PM

Probably no question elicits more surprise and emotion from eye care professionals than when they're asked: “Can I have a copy of my Rx and PD?” Why? Because this innocent request is really an arrow aimed straight at the heart of historical "control" ECPs have had over the sale of prescription eyewear. If we step back and take a longer perspective, we can see that this is just the latest manifestation of a consumer empowerment process that began more than three decades ago.

Retaking the Home Turf: In Praise of Non-branded Frame Lines

By Preston Fassel, BS
Monday, November 21, 2016 12:15 AM Gucci. Michael Kors. Versace. Brooks Brothers. Polo. They’re names that dominate the fashion world, trips to the mall, your television set, maybe your closet—and definitely your dispensary. Encircled by icon-like POP depicting strong-jawed, just-pale-enough young faces casting come-hither looks to your patients, they’re the frames that beckon to male and female, young and old, some zyl and some metal and some combination but all of them promising.

Eyes on the Stars, Part Three of Three—Vision Care and the Mars Mission

By Preston Fassel, BS
Monday, November 7, 2016 12:10 AM In the meantime, Dr. Gibson and NASA colleagues have developed some hypotheses about space and changes of vision: “We do feel that a lot of these changes to the eye and to vision are due to the fluid shifts that occur in space flight. In a weightless environment the fluids tend to shift towards the head, we call it a cephalic fluid shift, so if you look at pictures of astronauts in space they get kind of a puffy face, they get kind of the bird leg syndrome, their legs get skinny and their face gets kinda puffy, and that’s because the fluids in the body are redistributed to the upper body. And we think that the fluid distribution to the head could cause some or all of these changes.

Combatting The Price Question By Telling Each Frame’s Story

By Johnna Dukes, ABOC
Monday, October 31, 2016 10:15 AM We’ve all heard it, “If I can get glasses online for $9.00, why should I spend over $500 here with you?” Do you have an answer prepared for that question? Is it factual and comprehensive? Here is some information for your own piece of mind and for you to share with anyone who may ask you that question.

Eyes on the Stars, Part Two of Three—Vision Care and the Mars Mission

By Preston Fassel, BS
Monday, October 31, 2016 10:05 AM A couple of weeks ago, I brought you the first part of my interview with Dr. Bob Gibson, manager of NASA’s Eye Clinic at the Flight Medicine Clinic at Johnson Space Center. That article involved conducting exams on astronauts while they’re aboard the ISS (spoiler, in case you didn’t read that article: it’s tough), and the use of Silhouettes as astronauts’ preferred frame of choice. This time, however, though, we’ll be switching gears a bit, moving away from the more lighthearted topics of frame styling in space and on to a more pressing topic with serious implications for the future of human space exploration: the effects of outer space on vision and eye health.

Commit to Continuous Staff Training: It Pays Off

By Danny Clarke, OD and Joely Anderson
Monday, October 24, 2016 10:11 AM

Recruiting the right employees only takes you halfway to delivering high-quality care to patients. The other half of the challenge is training those employees. My practice takes a systematic, consistent approach to ensuring staff is prepared to deliver service to patients, and to help grow the practice.

Eyes on the Stars, Part 1: NASA’s Eye Clinic, and Glasses in Outer Space

By Preston Fassel, BS
Monday, October 24, 2016 10:05 AM What’s the most unconventional eye exam you’ve ever been a part of? Perhaps someone with unique special needs? A celebrity? A patient who’d been injured in unusual circumstances? I myself once assisted in removing debris from a patient’s eye after he hit himself in the face with an extension cord while pretending it was a lasso.

Opticianry Pride: Pass it On

By Mindi Lewis, MA, ABOC, FNAO
Monday, October 10, 2016 12:11 AM

Attending Opticon renewed my personal pride in being an Optician. If you are an optical professional searching for professional inspiration and knowledge, you don’t need to look further than Opticon and OAA annual conferences.

Cleaning Up at the Office: Glasses Washing and You

By Preston Fassel, BS
Monday, October 10, 2016 12:05 AM

Recently, inspiration struck me—as it often does—in the shower. Well, getting out of the shower, this time. I’d actually remembered to take my glasses off, and, as I was reaching for them on the bathroom counter, accidentally knocked them into the trash. As luck would have it, I’d actually washed out the bathroom trash can earlier that afternoon, but, even though it was freshly clean and completely empty, my half-controlled mysophobia wouldn’t let me just take them out and put them back on. After giving the frames and lenses a thorough cleaning, I felt safe again. Then, it occurred to me what a horrible mistake I’d been making for so many years. Weren’t my frames dirty more often than that?

It's Jetsons!

By Barry Santini, ABOM
Tuesday, October 4, 2016 11:10 AM

Technology-driven change has been impacting the optical field for years. From smartphone auto refractors to Optos imaging, it's "out with the old and in with the new!" But despite the onward march of new tech, the ins and outs of choosing and fitting frames has hardly been impacted at all. Sure, virtual try on (VTO) frame technology popped up...but it also popped back. It seemed safe to say that the gold standard of in-person try on, consultation and frame fitting would never be surpassed.

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