As the Bay Area prepares to shelter in place through the end of May and reopen some businesses, we will be soft opening our optical practice this month to limited hours. New safety measures and stricter than usual sanitation practices will be implemented to ensure our patients, communities, and our families stay safe. Please reach out to us to schedule an appointment.
We will be open Tuesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays in May, from 12PM-5PM and adjusting as needed. The following is our 10-Point Visit Checklist for each visit:
1. One patient/family (max 4 total family members) at a time in the office
2. Check-in health questionnaires must be filled out (one per family) prior to entry
5. Any frames tried on during the visit will be sanitized in our ultrasonic cleaner and cleaned prior to returning to frame boards. Finished orders being picked up will be disinfected after final inspection and adjustments
6. All adjusting equipment and trays will be sanitized after each use
7. Our bathrooms will be closed until further notice for public use
8. Doorknobs, table surfaces, and personal belongings stations are wiped after each exit
9. Our children’s table with Lego’s will be removed until further notice. If you will be bringing children, please plan to bring something to keep them occupied during your visit
10. iPads will be wiped down after each patient encounter
All walk-ins will be greeted by our sign outdoors and asked to fill out the questionnaire prior to entering. Should there be an appointment going on, the sign will have a timeslot you may return.
Due to implementation of new safety protocols, all non-Specs purchased frames will be charged a $20 fee for any adjustments needed, subject to more depending on work needed. New lens cloth used during visit will be given to patients after their visit. Adjustments for Specs’ patients with Specs’ frames will remain complimentary.
Box of Specs, At-home-try-on
If you are unable to make it to the store, we have created a virtual visit experience. Please contact us to schedule a virtual visit to have a personalized Box of Specs sent to you, so you may try on frames from the comfort of your home.
If you need cloth masks during this time, please don’t hesitate to reach out. Mary has tirelessly been cranking these out and are available for all our patients on a first come first serve basis. If you would like to donate any funds or materials to get these made, please contact us. We are working to get these in our communities so medical grade masks can go to the hospitals and front line workers.
Additionally, we have ordered a new air purifier, hand sanitizers, and fully stocked on disinfectant. We understand that these measures seem extreme, but our main priority is the health and wellbeing of our patients, communities, and families. Your support, understanding, and cooperation during this time is greatly appreciated and will help our communities stay safe. The new norm will be different and new to us all but we look forward to navigating it together as a community.
Stay healthy and be safe!
We’ve all been sheltering going on 3 weeks now and I know everyone is still trying to adapt to this new normal. The Bay Area has been ordered to shelter until May 3 and while the roadmap still looks hazy, there’s some strength in knowing that we’re all in this together. No one is alone on this journey and it has been so uplifting to hear about neighbors trying to help each other, looking out for our elders, and being there for each other.
This last week, we have been working hard to find ways to support our community and our patients. I’m so glad to have some exciting news and announcements:
1. Our online store front is LIVE!
We are releasing our online store in a few waves, as we have lots of frames to share with you! If you find a few frames you like and you’re not 100%, reach out to us to schedule an appointment.
If you would like to order any of our frames with our amazing clear blue light blocking lenses without prescription, it is just a $40 add on to your frames! Please reach out to us about ordering prescription lenses and we can schedule an appointment to chat about your options.
2. Implementation of our HIPPA compliant patient portal!
If you need spares or a new pair of glasses made during this shelter-in-place, send us a message and we’ll send you an invitation to our patient portal. You can virtually check-in from your phone, tablet, or computer and input your information, sign necessary consent forms, and upload a copy of your prescription from your optometrist. You can also send us messages in your portal if you have any questions or concerns.
3. Introducing We Love Eyes to Specs!
We Love Eyes is an eyecare product line produced by Dr. Tanya Gill, an optometrist, to keep our eyes and face clean. As we know, COVID-19 can be transmitted via the eyes, nose, and mouth and we’re told to avoid touching our face throughout the day. But, we’re human and that’s easier said than done!
Dr. Gill has made face hygiene easy with We Love Eyes Hypochlorous Eyelid Cleansing Spray and Tea Tree Eyelid Foaming Cleanser! Spray on throughout the day to keep your face and eyelids clean and wash your eyelids in the morning and at night with the foaming cleanser for clean eyes.
4. FREE shipping for Acuvue contact lenses!
If your contact lenses are running out, we can order new ones for you and ship them to your house for free! Reach out to us and we can make it happen!
Lastly, if you have any expiring insurance benefits you want to take advantage of, don’t hesitate to reach out. Let us help ensure your eyes are focused and healthy during these uncertain times.
As always, it means the world to us that you’ve continued to support us and our small business. We hope to continue delivering world class experiences, even if it is from the comfort of your couch instead of our cozy store. Let’s continue to support each other and our communities as we find our way to the other side, stronger, together.
Be safe, stay healthy!
Esther, Mary, and Michael
Since our last email, Governor Gavin Newsom has ordered Californians to “shelter in place” as a means of preventing the spread of COVID-19 in our communities. The California Optometric Association has deemed optometry and routine eye visits as non-essential. Therefore, we made the difficult decision to close our doors in compliance with the Governor's orders. We believe that this ordinance is the best chance our state has at flattening the curve and getting back to normal.
However, we wanted to reach out and let you know that we will do our best to still be there for you.
Reach out to us if you need to place contact lens orders and we may get them drop shipped to your home. Johnson & Johnson is offering free shipping for our patients, from March 20 until June 30, 2020.
Additionally, if you find yourself needing a new pair of glasses before the shelter is lifted, please don’t hesitate to contact us and schedule an appointment.
• Cleansing Product:
Since COVID-19 can spread through your eyes, nose, and mouth, we are looking to bring in some new exciting products to help your face stay clean throughout the day. Stay tuned to our website and social media pages to keep up to date on this and other new releases!
• Expiring Insurance Benefits:
If you have any insurance benefits or FSA (Flexible Savings Accounts) expiring this month, don't hesitate to reach out to us so we can set up an appointment so your benefits don't go to waste.
As you can imagine, small businesses all over the world are hurting as a direct result of the current situation. Small businesses are essential to our communities as $0.67 of every dollar spent stays within the community. During these difficult times, consider supporting our local small businesses if you can.
• Order takeout from your favorite local restaurants
• Leave a review for local businesses
• Purchase a gift card to use when they are able to open
• Pay with plastic when possible
• Shop small online
• Consider small before the big guys
Thank you for being so understanding with the hard decisions we have had to make this last week. We so grateful to serve our community and appreciate your continued support as we navigate through this together.
Be safe and stay healthy,
Esther, Mary, and Michael
First and foremost, as a family-owned small business, we thank you for your continued loyalty and support, of not only our business but all local businesses. We are proud to serve our community and be your optical professionals of choice.
During these complex times, we have been diligently monitoring updates surrounding COVID-19 and wanted to share extra precautions we are taking as well as some tips from the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO).
As a licensed eyecare provider in our community, we have always held ourselves to strict hygiene and cleanliness standards. In light of the increased impact of COVID-19, we have increased the frequency of daily cleaning routines. Additionally we are taking extra measures to disinfect all adjustment tools after use, every frame after being tried on, and all surfaces after each patient visit.
Since we’re a family run business typically open 6 days a week, we feel it is of utmost importance during this time to stay healthy so we may continue serving our community. With this in mind, we are taking the remaining Sunday’s off in the month of March. If you would like to visit us outside of business hours, please reach out to us so we can better serve you.
It is known that COVID-19 can spread through the eyes and the following are some guidelines from the AAO:
Since COVID-19 can spread through the eyes, washing your eyewear daily to disinfect them is also a good idea. Mild dish soap and water are great to get the job done; avoid using Windex, hot water, or alcohol on your eyewear.
With our community in mind, we would also like to remind everyone to look out for each other and be kind. If we are to get through this as a community and end up stronger, everyone needs to actively work on staying healthy. Please consider only taking what you need when shopping for perishable foods and not contributing to food waste.
Lastly, our goal has always been to deliver a seamless experience for picking out new eyewear. If there is something we can do to accommodate your visit and make your experience more comfortable, please feel free to let us know ahead of your visit. We will continue to seek out the best frame styles and fit you in the best lenses, so you may continue to see the world clearly. Thank you for your continued support of our small business and others in our community.
Esther, Mary, and Michael
Shopping for prescription eyewear is often very confusing. Its like shopping for a custom suit -- there are different fits and cuts that will fit people differently for various reasons. Additionally, like a custom suit, these are items that you should NOT be shopping for online -- always a good idea to be able to try on frames and have someone take specific measurements for you.
We'll try to break things down to the simple nuts and bolts of things so the next time you go into an optical boutique or your optometrists' office, you'll be prepared.
(If you would like to chat about the physics of lens and go into detail, come chat with us!)
1. Get an Annual Eye Exam
To prepare for your shopping trip, its best to get an annual eye exam from your optometrist to ensure that everything is working properly, and get an updated prescription. Opticians cannot fill prescriptions that are expired or go off of your glasses that you've been wearing for "x" amount of years, which you feel are just "fine" for you now -- both for legal reasons, and because your eyes have most likely changed since you got those glasses filled.
2. Understanding Your Prescription
If you don't need corrective lenses, things will come into focus for you directly on your retina (the red-orange part on the eyeball diagrams below) and you'll see at all distances pretty well. Similar to a camera, our eyes flip the images upside down on the retina. Images are sent from here directly to your brain, via the optic nerve, where the brain interprets the image and you see what was snapped for you by your eyes. Light allows us to see things -- the way light enters our eyes, the shape of your eyeball, and where light displaces with respect to our retina tells us if you need lenses and what type lenses you'll need.
ADD = your add power when you enter presbyopia
3. Your Prescription and Lenses Materials
The higher the sphere/cylinder powers, the thicker the lenses you will need to correct your vision. However, there are different lens materials which will help make thinner lenses. Typical lens materials we work with are polycarbonate, CR-39, mid-index 1.56, high indexes in 1.60/1.67/1.74, or trivex. The higher the index [of refraction], the thinner the lenses will be. There are many other characteristics of each lens which are of more concern to some patients, but typically, thickness and lightness of lenses is the main factor patients have when picking out lenses.
Lenses that correct for hyperopia will be convex in nature, being thicker in the center than at the sides -- this helps bring the images you're seeing into focus on the retina. Vice versa of this is also true -- myopia corrective lenses are concave, being thicker at the sides of the lens than the center. Lenses that correct for astigmatism are cylindrical, with the power of the lens being effective at the axis called for.
When powers are over -4.50 or +2.00 in the sphere, we'll bring up the option to go to a high/mid index lens. Polycarbonate is the staple lens choice for standard prescriptions, those that are usually under -6.00 or +4.00 in sphere. In California, children under 18 must wear polycarbonate lenses since its considered a safety lenses and virtually indestructible. If your sphere powers are higher than +3.50, you may also choose a mid-index lens as it will help shave off some center thickness.
4. Frame Shapes for your Prescription
If your prescription calls for relatively low powers, we like to say below -4.00 or +2.00 ranges in sphere, you have free reign over what shapes you would like to pick out. Go for the large frames or the small frames -- your lenses shouldn't be too heavy. Of course, if you go for the large frames, lens will be larger and heavier than if you went with a small frame, but shouldn't be too bad. It comes down to personal preference at that point.
When your powers are upwards of the -4.00 sphere, think about choosing frames that are smaller in shape than others to shave off some of the thickness of the lenses. Round frames are typically great options to go with if you call for a high prescription -- this results in evenly shaving off the thicker edges of the lens.
5. Lens Options
There are lots of lens options to choose from to customize your lenses to fit your lifestyle, for fashion statements, or more practically, to protect you from harmful UV light or blue light.
The one option everyone SHOULD be getting on their lenses is some sort of anti-reflective (AR) coating! Whether it is a standard AR coating or a premium coating, it will be a night and day experience for you if you've never had it on your lenses. An AR coating reflects light so you wont see the reflections you otherwise experience on a lens. Not only will it be cosmetically more appealing (i.e. when you're taking photos there wont be a glare from your lenses and your friends can actually see your eyes and not their reflections in your lenses), it helps to filter light coming into your eyes. This is super helpful at night if you have astigmatism, cutting down the glare you experience from oncoming headlights or street lamps.
Transitions are photochromatic lenses that activate and darken in the presence of UV light. They block UV, while filtering the light coming into your eyes -- this not only protects your eyes, it helps with bright light outdoors. These lenses are great everyday lenses, especially if you're out running errands and don't want to fuss with swapping between clear lenses and some type of UV blocking/polarized sunglasses.
HOWEVER, it is worth mentioning that they are NOT meant to be a replacement for sunglasses! There are multiple types of Transitions lenses with different features and benefits:
Sunglasses with polarized lenses are especially important in places where there's lots of sun (ie. our sunshine state of CA)! Sunlight is scattered in all directions and when it bounces off a flat surface, it often creates blinding glare -- which not only makes it hard to see things, but prolonged exposure could temporarily leave blinding effects. Polarized lenses have a filter that blocks out this glare, making it easier to see things more clearly!
This can still seem like a lot of info, which is what your local opticians are here for. Similar to the custom tailored suit analogy in the beginning of the post, it will be hard building a custom suit on your own; custom prescription eyewear is no exception -- opticians are the tailors for your eyes and happy to help you build out a great eyewear wardrobe!
We often get patients who are confused about who to see for all the different eye issues there are. Since there are so many working components of the eye, it only makes sense that there are multiple medical specialists within the Ophthalmic field who care for your eye.
To make it simple, basically remember that generally speaking:
Our office is 3rd generation optician owned and operated, with many OD family members in Taiwan. We specialize in taking a prescription and fitting our patients in frames that not only suit their face aesthetically, but also ensure that its the right frame for their prescription and daily uses. For example, an engineer with a mid-range prescription (lets say it reads -4.00 for both eyes), has different ocular needs than someone who is retired, typically outdoors, enjoying life, and does not often spending hours in front of their computer.
All three eye care professionals (MDs, ODs, and ABOCs) partner together to ensure that you see the world the best you can possibly see. There are times when we are presented with a tricky prescription where we have to collaborate with the MD or OD who wrote the prescription to see if there's a better alternative for the patient.
If you are unsure of which professional to see for your eye related concern, feel free to reach out!