Dr. M. Farooq Ashraf mastered the excimer laser as a member of the faculty at Johns Hopkins University, and he now wields the ultramodern tool as he adds to his career tally of more than 35,000 LASIK procedures. As founder and medical director of Atlanta Vision Institute, he draws upon his skills as a board-certified ophthalmologist to correct nearsighted, farsighted, and astigmatic vision with refractive surgery. In addition to giving the gift of sight, Dr. Ashraf gives back to the community by supporting local charities and providing discounted services to financially strapped Cyclopes.
Woolfson Eye Institute’s founder and medical director Dr. Jonathan Woolfson is a board-certified ophthalmic surgeon who has performed more than 70,000 laser vision-correction procedures. Such clinical experience has helped him earn the trust of other medical professionals; he has performed more than 300 surgeries on his fellow eye doctors and trained and certified more than 100 North American LASIK surgeons. He has also fine-tuned the eyesight of professional athletes, including Ovie Mughelli, Curtis Lofton, and Kroy Biermann of the Atlanta Falcons.
Dr. Woolfson draws upon this extensive experience each time he customizes a laser procedure to his patients’ needs. He and his staff of doctors begin every treatment with in-depth consultations, where they determine the lasers, instruments, and novelty sound effects needed to successfully enhance eyesight. Once they’ve completed their procedures, they also offer eligible patients a Lifetime Assurance Plan, granting them free lifetime access to any fine-tuning surgeries.
The owner of Atlanta Eye Shop prides herself on the individualized service and friendly atmosphere afforded by her well-trained, affable staff. Throughout the day, staffers can be found helping patrons choose a flattering set of frames from display cases brimming with designer eyewear from a carefully-curated assortment of brands. An in-house optometrist is available to remedy medical eye issues and test peepers’ capabilities via eye exams and timed Waldo-spotting tests.
Frames, crafted with care by designers such as Oliver Peoples and Chanel, decorate the wood-backed shelves of Reflections Eyecare. The artistry doesn't end there, though. The boutique's optometrists give equal attention to the appearance of lenses, using in-house technologies to make them noticeably thin. To uncover prescriptions, Drs. Schultz and Cohen perform vision exams, using digital means to explore the different layers of the eye and communicate with the computer servers within.
Though there are 130 For Eyes Optical stores around the United States, the company still has the heart of a small start-up. Owned and operated since 1972, when a small group of friends started it in Philadelphia, aiming for quality eyewear manufacturing as well as customer service. These same friends, aided by a few family members, still lead the franchise today. They ensure that each location adheres to their original principles and mandates for mustard-colored shag carpets.
In each store, expert independent doctors test clients' visual acuity and general eye health with comprehensive exams. Then, a store associate helps each person outfit their eyes with designer frames by brands such as Ray-Ban, Prada, D&G, and Versace. For Eyes Optical has its own advanced 40,000-square foot optical lab in in Hialeah, Florida, where technicians shape, surface, and coat the lenses to fit each person's exact prescription. After creating the lenses?whether plastic, polycarbonate, or trivex Toughlites?they inspect and fit each into its corresponding frame by hand, a process that ensures quality control and guards against the robots, whose first objective is to hinder our eyesight.
Husband and wife team Andy and Gazal Tabrizipour started Atlanta Vision Optical because of dissatisfaction with the low-quality lenses they’d found elsewhere. “When typical one-hour shops make lenses,” explains Andy, “they add the non-scratch coating afterward, which tends to peel and come off.” Rather than adding the coatings onto the surface of the lens, Atlanta Vision’s own private lab custom crafts each lens with the coating blended into the material itself. The scratch-resistant properties then become part of the lens.
Inside the boutique, guests meander among shelves of frames from brands including Hugo Boss, Chanel, Tom Ford, and Sama. Soothing music and aquamarine walls give one the feeling of having wandered into a spa or the relaxing room that scientists have to keep Mothra in. Mahogany-trimmed furniture cradles patrons, who sip coffee or tea or chat with opticians and specialists about frame design. The team is trained in-house, and their style-savvy eyes can also select frames befitting each individual’s facial shape or proclivity to whip off sunglasses and shoot a suave glance straight into the nearest camera.