Glasses of Binyon – Lloyd Christensen – Extreme Glasses Wearer

Lloyd Christensen – Durable is Key

Lloyd came to our office soon after he moved to Bellingham in 2011.  When we took pictures in Whatcom Falls Park this summer with Katheryn Moran photography, he laughed “It feels like you guys have watched me grow up.  The first time I came I was a kid with no idea what I wanted to do with my life!”  Now a nursing assistant at the Hospice House planning on nursing school soon after a few more prerequisites, watching Lloyd grow up has been awesome.  One thing is consistent in the last 7 years is that he pretty much lives on his mountain bike.mt biking ovvo glasses whatcom falls park binyon vision center glasses indestructible

 

In 2015 when Lloyd sat down with Sarah she reviewed some notes on his past glasses including several warranty replacements.  “I’m pretty hard on stuff” Lloyd admitted.  Sarah directed him to our Ovvo Optics display, “I think we’re going to find the perfect frame for you here.”  As we described in our last post here, Ovvo has developed a proprietary material and hinge design with unmatched strength and flexibility.  We have not seen a more durable frame design.  Lloyd picked out his first Ovvo frame and everything was going well.  Until one day he watched the glasses fly off his girlfriend’s car and get run over.  We replaced the frame and lens under warranty.

mt biking ovvo glasses whatcom falls park binyon vision center glasses indestructible

“When I would break my frames or mess up my lenses I knew I didn’t have to flip out because I had a kick butt warranty.  It seems small but for someone who is rough on his toys it meant a lot to know it was one less thing to worry about.”  Lloyd told me.

“Breaking stuff is kind of a theme in my life,” he explains.  During our photo shoot, Lloyd’s favorite bike was broken so he rode a bike he rebuilt for his dad.  Thankfully Lloyd is a skilled mechanic and resourceful!  His basement is fully outfitted to tear down and rebuilt bikes from components he finds all over Washington.

As far as resourceful, he’s made a great choice sticking with the most durable frames on earth with Ovvo Optics and an optical family who will take care of him.  mt biking ovvo glasses whatcom falls park binyon vision center glasses indestructible

“There was a period of time after I moved to Bellingham that I saw you guys more than my family.   They’re far away and also I kept finding new and exciting ways to break my glasses… The Binyon staff obviously loves what they do and I always feel that love when I come in.”

mt biking ovvo glasses whatcom falls park binyon vision center glasses indestructible

Thank you Lloyd!  We appreciate you and it was great to do this blog post and photoshoot with you and Katheryn Moran Photography.

Glasses of Binyon – Emily Ufkes

“Just wanted to let you know how great my Ovvo glasses are…”

… began an email from Emily.  “Several months ago, my toddler snatched them off my face and bent them in HALF.  Besides a small crease, the frames were unharmed and I’m wearing them daily.  But we had a long talk about  how fragile (most) glasses are.”

ovvo glasses toddler proof elizabeth park katheryn moran photography

Emily was referencing her 2nd out of 3 pairs of Ovvo Optics glasses frames.  She found her first pair in 2015, soon after her precious son Raylan was born.  Little did she know as a new mom she was making a wise investment in the most durable glasses frames.

Ovvo Optics Glasses Design and Technology

toddler wearing mom's ovvo sunglasses elizabeth park

What drew Emily to the Ovvo frames was how light and comfortable they are – plus fun shapes and colors.  These are two of Ovvo’s design goals for their frame line – the third was durability.  In seeking a material that was very lightweight and strong, the company could not find one that met their needs- so they forged their own metal, a combination of surgical stainless steel and titanium that had not been made before and is now manufactured with a patented process by Ovvo (more technical details here: https://ovvooptics.com/technology/).

This hypoallergenic material offers remarkable lightness, flex memory and strength.  From an optician’s standpoint the strong material is tough to move during an adjustment but we have confidence when we get it into position- it will stay there- preventing the relaxing that can happen with plastic frames.  I like to joke it’s the only pair of glasses I can fall asleep in and they aren’t at all crooked in the morning.

Emily’s hooked on Ovvo glasses

Back to Emily – she’s on her 3rd pair of Ovvo frames now as Raylan just passed his 3rd birthday.  Coincidence?  Probably not… toddler proof?  Definitely, as her story above shows.

ovvo glasses mom and son playing dinosaurs elizabeth park

When we sat down to pick her second pair in December of 2017- she said, definitely Ovvo.  We found one of the great pairs from the latest collection that incorporates a cut-out design, one of the latest eyewear trends.  She loved them, and when I pulled out the catalog to see the other colors, she fell deeper in love with the Sapphire color.  We ordered it in but started the lenses using the stock frame.   When the lenses came back she could choose between the two colors.  I love giving patients this option – they have two choices of frame color to pick from when they come to pick up their lenses and we can pop the completed lenses

into the favorites and they are on their way- looking amazing of course.

ovvo glasses mom playing airplanes with son elizabeth park

Don’t forget sunglasses!

Since I had the catalog out as we were looking at alternate colors- Emily started to look at their amazing sunglasses options.  I noticed she has an awesome insurance plan through the local credit union she works for and her insurance would be available again in January – mere weeks away.  She got a little giddy at the idea of having prescription Ovvo sunglasses.  I’d remembered seeing an awesome design at an Ovvo trunk show we had done and showed her the catalog.  “That’s the one!” she cried and we ordered it in in Shiny red!  When she came to pick up her new glasses and choose the color, the sunglasses had arrived!  We were able to make the frame measurements, wait until the calendar flipped to 2018 and order these beautiful sunglasses.

ovvo lolita sunglasses with toddler elizabeth park

Emily, Raylan and I had a marvelous photoshoot with the talented Katheryn Moran of Katheryn Moran Photography to highlight these wonderful frames.  It was fun to watch Mommy and son share such natural tender moments.  We are glad to see that these frames have become a beautiful part of her look and an indispensable tool in her mommy bag.  With all the things the Mama’s have to worry about- broken glasses can be crossed off the list with Ovvo eyewear.

ovvo glasses on a diaper bag with toddler essentials

Glasses of Binyon – Andy Thom

There’s a story behind every pair of glasses…

… and in Andy’s case, it’s two pairs of glasses.  As systems administrator at a local credit union, Andy spends between 10-14 hours per day in front of a computer screen.

systems administrator wearing the OGI Eyewear 4807 in grey demi photographed by Katheryn Moran PhotographyAll Photos: Katheryn Moran Photography

Andy has worn prescription computer glasses for several years.  Before the specialized glasses, his eyes were always tired and he fought daily headaches. In contrast, Dr. McEathron’s computer prescription brings the screen into focus for Andy and relieves his eye strain.

systems administrator wearing the OGI Eyewear 4807 in grey demi photographed by Katheryn Moran Photography

Digital Eye Strain

The Vision Council (www.visioncouncil.org) defines digital eye strain as physical discomfort that can occur after 2 hours of computer or other digital device use.  Types of physical discomfort include eye fatigue, headaches, dry eyes, blurred vision and neck and back pain. So, why does digital eye strain occur?  When you work at a computer, your eyes are having to focus and refocus as you read, look at your keyboard, look around the room and back to the screen.  In addition, the screen adds constant glare, contrast and flicker – plus it emits high energy blue light.  Blue light gives screens their brightness. Likewise, that bright, high energy light that can overload the visual system and add to the eye strain.

systems administrator wearing the OGI Eyewear 4807 in grey demi photographed by Katheryn Moran Photography

Shamir Blue Zero                                                 

Andy’s most recent lenses, computer glasses, use a new material called Shamir Blue Zero.  This material absorbs blue light, but appears clear unlike many blue-light blocking products that have a yellowish tint.  Finally, it combines excellent blue light protection with optical clarity- something that’s not available with any other similar product available on the market.  Blue Zero is available in single vision, office progressive and general progressive lenses manufactured by Shamir USA.  Contact us if you have questions on availability of this material.

Furthermore, when he’s not on the computer, Andy wears a different pair of glasses.  These are his distance prescription so they work well for driving, watching movies and hiking with his wife and dogs. He finds himself putting them on as soon as he goes away from the computer because he likes seeing the world around him more clearly.

systems administrator wearing the OGI Eyewear 4807 in grey demi photographed by Katheryn Moran PhotographyAndy is wearing the OGI Eyewear 4807 in grey demi.

Thank you to Andy for participating in this photoshoot and your feedback on your computer glasses.
Grattitude to Camber Coffee for allowing us to use your beautiful location.
Much appreciation to the very talented Katheryn Moran of Katheryn Moran Photography.

Face a Face Trunk Show

February 15th ♥ 10am – 4pm ♥ Face a Face Trunk Show

Please join us for the 2018 Face a Face Trunk Show!  Hard to say if there are any frames COOLER than Face à Face… you have to keep some of these styles on ice!face a face hello trunk show katheryn moran photography

 

 

The breadth of collection covers a day at the coffee shop…

face a face yokko trunk show katheryn moran photography

or a night out on the town…

face a face hello trunk show katheryn moran photography

We will be delighted if you join us to see the entire collection for our Valentine’s Theme trunk show on February 15th.  In addition to hundreds of beautiful frames, there will be sweet treats, lovely gifts and show specials.  Please be our guest. Prepare to fall in love at first sight with a beautiful pair of Face à Face frames!

face a face trunk show katheryn moran photography

 

See a preview of the full collection: www.faceaface-paris.com

Facebook Event – Click going or interested for day of reminder HERE

Anne et Valentin Trunk Show

November 14th ♥ 10am – 4pm

Anne et Valentin eyewear show Anne et Valentin eyewear show Anne et Valentin eyewear show Anne et Valentin eyewear show

Join us and fall in love with your new frames.  The most stunning, thoughtful, provoking eyewear collection you will ever see.  A masterful designer influenced by Pop Art, the Beat generation and Art Deco married an optician with an exceptional attention to detail and passion for quality and the result is Anne et Valentin eyewear.  It’s a true love story and we can’t wait to share the passion behind this beautiful, handmade eyewear.

For a preview – please visit Anne et Valentin.

Tuesday, November 14th – 10am – 4pm.

To RSVP and have a day-of reminder – click “Going” or “Interested” on the Facebook event site HERE.

The Beauty of the Northwest Captured by Peter James Photography

Peter James Photography and Web Design

I hope that you’ve noticed the beautiful photo of Mt. Baker on the top of our website and of Whatcom Falls in the slide show on our website.  There’s no question that we live in one of the most beautiful, picturesque areas of the world.  Peter Klco of Peter James Photography has an amazing eye for capturing an overall breathtaking photo of our landscape with an attention to the small details that will leave you mesmerized.

web design and Peter James Photography

Peter also does web design and we had the great pleasure of working with him on our website last summer.  He makes the design and site construction process very personalized, well organized. And, brings a wealth of knowledge on the ever changing landscape (intended pun) of marketing yourself successfully on the internet.

Photography and Optometry – Visual Geeks!

We found many similarities between our worlds of photography and optometry. Both are centered on the visual system and how to create the best possible images for our consumer.  Peter has a variety of cameras, lenses and equipment to create his images – while Dr. McEathron will sometimes prescribe a variety of glasses prescriptions to help create the clearest image at different distances (distance, reading, computer).

There are many choices of medium to print Peter’s images on. Lately he’s chosen metal as a substrate of choice because of how vivid and bright the images appear.  We have many choices in lens materials and designs to offer our patients in glasses. We first recommend digital freeform lenses. These provide vision most accurate to the prescription and customized for how the patient wears it in their particular frame.

It was a joy to work with Peter and his team and we’d like to invite all of you to become familiar with his fantastic photography work and to seek him out for assistance with a website if the need arrives!  In addition to providing high quality work, the team is committed to giving back by planting 100 trees for every photo purchased and website created through the Trees for the Future campaign.

Seven Reasons to NOT Buy Glasses Online- Part 2

In a previous post, we focused on how the lenses in online glasses could present vision and safety problems.  We return to this topic of comparisons by focusing on the frames first…

Reasons 4 – 7 to NOT buy Glasses Online…

4. How long do you wear shoes that don’t fit right?

If you’re a long time glasses wearer you might know what we Why it is better to buy glasses from an optician rather than onlinemean here…  A poorly fitting pair of glasses can really ruin your day.  You’re constantly pushing them up your
nose, your head feels like it’s in a vice or where it curves behind your ears seems to hit a pressure point that is aching by the end of the day.

It is obvious that you wouldn’t know about any fit issues unless you try the glasses on.  Some online companies allow you to do that- which helps. However, a few minutes on your face doesn’t necessarily equal a full 16 hour day of wearing the glasses with your lenses (which are heavier than the demo lenses).  The shoes felt so comfortable in the store when I tried them on…

We’d like to strongly advocate having a professional optician who is trained to see and explain any fit issues help you find something that fits comfortably!

Speaking of opticians- they are also trained to adjust glasses.  While they help you find the proper pair of glasses they are evaluating whether or not it’s possible to make adjustments to the frame to make it more comfortable or not- in some instances it’s not.  With a plastic bridge without nose pads (fixed bridge) – if it slides down your nose- it will always slide down your nose- there’s nothing that can be adjusted to prevent that.  However- if it bugs you where it’s sitting behind your ear?  Or is it sitting crooked because gasp!  your ears are slightly asymmetrical (don’t worry that’s 99% of the population).  An optician is here to help.

An ill-fitting frame can really cause a lot of problems.  Headaches, fatigue, red marks on your skin due to imbalanced weight of a frame on your nose… there are many well made glasses out there that will fit your face well and comfortably saving you lots of grief.

5. Just a slight adjustment = sweet relief

On the topic of frame fittings…  nothing stresses a trained optician more than adjusting low quality frames.  Inexpensive materials used to make inexpensive frames do not cooperate well and often lose form soon after an adjustment because of the shortcuts made in the manufacturing process to keep costs down.

Please consider this friendly warning- you might be beating a regular path to the optician’s chair for adjustments with online glasses.

The way glasses sit on your head can not only affect comfort, but vision as well.  Especially with progressive lenses, even the slightest adjustment can bring you into or out of focus.  Having a licensed opWhy it is better to buy glasses from an optician rather than onlinetician dispense glasses they ordered for you with the proper measurements and adjust to your maximum vision potential and comfort leads to a successful glasses-patient relationship.  Happy eyes = Happy day!  Well, maybe not but I promise you- unhappy eyes can really ruin your day!

 

6. What’s the warranty?

The online glasses retailers who carry many name brands often do not have a relationship with the manufacturer themselves and cannot rely on the service and warranty available from the manufacturer.  In fact, many of the name-brand frames you find online at low prices are discontinued models.  Depending on the manufacturer, the lifetime for a glasses frame model may be 3-4 years on average.

When a frame is out of production- if the temple breaks, nosepad arm falls off, lenses get a scratch, unfortunately you’re looking at buying another pair of glasses.

What happens if the prescription isn’t working for you?  You might go in Why it is better to buy glasses from an optician rather than onlineto see your optometrist again and find out the prescription numbers were not exactly right for your purpose… is there an option to have your glasses remade?  The relief of a patient satisfaction policy and warranty against damaged frames and lenses for a valuable medical device that helps you… see… is absolutely worth it.

7.  All Anti-Reflective Coatings are not created equal

There are two types of people in the world – those who love anti-reflective coating and those who hate it.  And you can spot the glaring difference a mile away.

Why it is better to buy glasses from an optician rather than online

A great anti-reflective coating provides many benefits – glare from light sources are all around us.  Shine that glare through an uncoated lens and it bounces around the lens- creating reflections.  When an anti-reflective coating is properly applied the light passes through the lens into your eye instead of staying in the lens and bouncing around. This does two great things. It allows you to see better, clearer even because you’re not competing with glare. And, you’re seeing the full picture.  Second the lenses look better.  You don’t see the glare and neither does the world looking at you!  They get to see your eyes- instead of a lens full of glare.

However- applying this coating to a lens is a complicated process!  It is necessary that the coating applies onto a certified clean chamber. Any dust that’s on the lens before it’s coated creates a flaw. That flaw can grow and grow into a cloudy lens that just won’t ever feel clean.  Have you had non-glare coating like that?  It might be a bad enough experience to put you in the hate crowd.

We’d encourage you to give anti-reflective coating another chance- from a store that can educate you about the quality of their coatings. And has a warranty against scratches and damage to back up their quality claims.

 

Thank you for bearing with us for this discussion on a topic we’re passionate about. And, for helping the glasses wearing community understand their options in eyewear and providing reasons why online glasses are not the best choice.  If you have any questions- feel free to email us!  We’d be happy to respond in a future blog post.  Thank you again and best wishes for happy eyes!

Seven Reasons to NOT Buy Glasses Online- Part 1

I read a blog post recently – “How to save money like by thinking like a millennial” (credit here) with interesting tips like opening a checking account that refunds all your ATM withdrawal fees, signing up for Amazon Prime and downloading the browser extension coupon finder Honey.  Then I reached – “Stop getting ripped off on glasses by getting Warby Parkers.”

Hmm…

Companies over the eyewear industry cut cost and quality for high margins. This has created distrust of the eyeglasses prescription dispensing by brick and mortar optical retailers.

But when you see a cost difference of $39 for online glasses to over $200 from a store- you at least wonder why.  I’d like to say the differences and convince you that even for $39… online glasses are not worth it.

Seven Reasons to NOT Buy Online Glasses

1. Standards do not apply

The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) has developed 14 standards. These describe the acceptable degree of error in a pair of eyeglasses, to the written prescription by the doctor.  Here’s an example:

If your prescription is -2.50 in your right eye, the acceptable range of power for the lens is -2.13 to -2.63 (±0.13).

What do these numbers mean?  With every click of the phoropter when the doctor is measuring your prescription and asking “Which is better, 1 or 2?” there is a change of 0.25 diopter.

A summary of the standard for making lenses can be found here.  The standards are developed by a team of doctors and manufacturers to show what is acceptable to the patient’s visual needs.

When a prescription is outside of this standard, you won’t see as clearly.  Imagine using a pair of binoculars to see something in the distance- turning the dial until you see the image clearly.  Then you move the dial even slightly one direction or another.  That’s how wearing a prescription that’s not close enough can feel.  Less than perfect vision is already a disadvantage. And, it also has potential effects such as eyestrain, headaches or double vision.

For children, wearing the wrong prescription can have even worse consequences. Due to their visual system developing, the wrong prescription could cause one eye to work harder than the other. This could throw off the eye’s ability to work together and a muscle imbalance could lead to amblyopia (lazy eye).

At our office, we use a lensometer to double check every pair of glasses that is ordered to the doctor’s prescription. We reject any lenses that are outside of tolerance.  Do online retailers do this?  According to a study performed by the American Optometric Association (see here) where 154 online glasses were ordered and analyzed, 29% of these had an incorrect prescription.

One out of every 3.5 pairs of glasses that ships out from an online retailer will not have an accurate prescription.

Every pair of glasses that is dispensed by our opticians will have a prescription within the tolerances laid out by the ANSI standards.

2. Duty to Warn

Optometrists have a professional and legal “duty to warn” patients about the proper use and safety issues associated with ophthalmic products (aka glasses and contacts).

So, it is important to have an optical professional- an optometrist or licensed optician to provide educated recommendations for lens materials and lens options. Therefore, this will protect one of our most valuable assets- our eyes.

Thankfully there are also manufacturing standards in place to address the integrity of glasses lenses. How do glasses purchased from an online retailer match up to the safety standard?  Not well.  Because, in the same study by the American Optometric Association referenced above, 23% of online glasses failed impact resistance testing.

Almost 1 in 4 online glasses do not pass ANSI safety standards for impact resistance.

Definition of failure of the impact resistance test?  Cracks through the entire lens thickness into two or more pieces.

3. Those licensed dispensing opticians?  Armed with knowledge and experience.

An average conversation about lens styles, lens materials and lens options at our office is at least ten minutes long.  An optician should ask lifestyle questions about how you use your eyes and what your visual needs are. Then, will make recommendations on which lens will be best for you.  Explaining the benefits of different lens materials in relation to your prescription helps you make a good decision between Trivex and Hi-Index plastic.  A conversation about how you care for your glasses will help the optician recommend the best anti-reflective (non-glare) coating.

Becoming a licensed dispensing optician is a three year apprenticeship program in Washington state.  After a written and practical exam, an apprentice becomes a licensed optician.

Licensed opticians bring experience and knowledge to help each patient make educated decisions on their individual eyewear needs.

Even Siri doesn’t have the answer to which progressive lens will work best all week at the computer or Saturday at the golf course.

In the next blog post, we will continue with an additional 4 reasons. Finally there is only one good reason to buy online glasses as stated above. You will save money on the initial purchase.

I hope you take our reasons to not buy online glasses into consideration before making a decision to purchase them.  Furthermore, the purpose of glasses is to help you see. They shouldn’t cause harm to your vision or put your eyes at risk in the process.  Please carefully weigh your options and let us know if you have any questions!

Thank you and have a great day!