Peering at freshly written lines on the page. Working to catch a glimpse of a bird on the wing. Myriad sets of eyes see their tasks more clearly because of Dr. Joseph King, who has performed more than 75,000 refractive surgeries in his 15-year career. He and the other LASIK specialists and doctors at King LASIK sharpen patients' vision with conventional and custom procedures, as well as PRK surgeries. Dr. King himself underwent LASIK eye surgery in 2000 to accommodate his active lifestyle. "Just 15 minutes after the procedure, I could read the computer screen at the office,” he recalls. “I experienced several hours of watery, sensitive eyes, but after sleeping for a few hours, I awakened and I could read the digital clock on the radio across the room."
Started in 1961 by Dr. Stanley Pearle, the nationally recognized and trusted franchise now operates in nearly 800 company and franchise locations nationwide. The master visionaries at Pearle are well trained in assisting all bespectacled beings, from casual librarians to picky, temperamental Cyclopes. Equip a corrective pair of Essentials frames starting at $99.95, or slip on a pair of designer eye enhancers, such as those by Anne Klein and DKNY ($149.95+) or Versace ($205+). Single-vision lenses adjust a singular field of vision ($120 for plastic scratch-resistant), while specialty PearleTHIN complete lenses ($215) are lightweight heavyweights.
Vision Quest Sport and Fitness promotes a five-pronged approach to fitness, covering cardiovascular, progressive resistance, proper diet, supplementation, and personal training. Like any decent clock factory, the clubs are open 24 hours a day, and each keeps its own schedule primed with group classes such as boxing, yoga, spinning, and hip-hop fitness. Body Sculpt sessions fashion forms with weights and bands, and Total Body Conditioning uses lighter weights and higher repetitions to create lean, mean muscle mass.
Members take part in complimentary wellness seminars from fitness experts to fine-tune their bodies, and teams of affiliated massage therapists, chiropractors, and nutrition gurus save skeletons and muscles from harmful injury.
Clearvue Vision's seasoned staff, which boasts a pair of Best Physician finalists in 2011's Best of Kent awards, examines eyes and amiably assists customers amid a spacious office populated by fashionable eyewear. During your personalized fitting, a friendly optician escorts you through the practice's selection of chic frames ($99+). Ornament your visage with spectacles from Coach (about $225), Oakley (about $170), or Gucci (about $289), affixed with scratch resistant, glare-free lenses ($100+), which, because of their lack of glare and inability to verbalize umbrage, are non-confrontational.
If you're willing to let someone operate on your eyes with a laser, what's the one thing they better have? Steady hands are important, sure, but how about experience? All told, The LASIK Vision Institute's doctors have performed more than 950,000 eye surgeries at 46 locations nationwide. Across its network, the company has independent veteran surgeons who are all LASIK experts.
Technology has played a major role in LVI’s success, as well. Each location relies on FDA-approved laser technology that results in minimal discomfort and short recovery times, in addition to helping many patients see 20/20 or better.
Optometrist James McCrum enjoys his job so much he lives at the office. Literally. As documented in a 2005 feature in Pacific Northwest Magazine, Dr. McCrum and his wife, Paula Whelan, converted the bare walls of what used to be a commercial building into a modern, urban-chic home office where they can live upstairs and work downstairs. The daunting project took a year and a half—about three times as long as they had originally planned. Whelan called upon her instincts as an artist to help design the 1,700-square-foot space. She used artwork made from swimming fins and roller skates and installed stair treads that are actually the repurposed rafters from the former building. Vibrant, playful pieces from Whelan's above-garage art studio spill over into the Eyeballs office, where lime-green chairs and bold, red mirrors complement her innovatively painted lampshades and eyewear-inspired artwork. Adding to the fun atmosphere, the reception desk boasts a blackboard where patients can doodle anything they want or copy poems discovered within the eye chart.
And the decor isn't the only aspect of the shop with a decidedly vivacious vibe. The lighthearted, friendly staff aims to make shopping for glasses fun and encourages leisurely browsing of boutique frames neatly arranged in drawers and open wall displays. Together with fellow optometrist Dr. Chris Hettinger, Dr. McCrum does his part to make each guest's visit a pleasant one by using a state-of-the-art retinal camera to check for issues such as diabetic retinopathy and macular degeneration.