SVS Optical Center’s founders opened their first shop in Sterling Heights, Michigan, in 1974 to help the community clear up its vision. But even these optical gurus never foresaw their humble business expanding to more than 50 locations sprawled across 10 states. Today, each shop continues the tradition of ensuring ocular health and crystalline sight, beginning with exams from seasoned optometrists. Afterward, patients head to the optical dispensary, where they try on frames by Coach, Tiffany, Nike, Versace, or Ray-Ban. The staff then fits the stylish selection with polarized and scratch-protected prescription lenses to help guests read books clearly or see a charging moose from a distance. Most of SVS Optical Center’s frames can also hold sunglass lenses as well, eliminating squinting during summer months and tropical vacations.
Dr. Howard Short and Dr. Chris Ullrich, the ophthalmologists at Advanced Sight Center, stay at the forefront of their field—drawing on modern technologies such as digital retinal photography, optical coherence tomography, and specular microscopy. The doctors' ongoing education helps keep their skills sharp when they’re performing LASIK procedures or checking for typos on Snellen eye charts. Both Advanced Sight Center locations include an ambulatory surgical center as well as a wide selection of frames from Elle, Esprit, and other popular brands.
For more than 20 years, Dr. Sean P. Mulqueeny has honed his skills as an optometrist even while leading clinical research as the director of the Dry Eye Institute of St. Louis. Together with a group of talented doctors, Dr. Mulqueeny goes above and beyond simple eyewear fitting, treating every aspect of ocular health.
Specializing in the treatment of dry eye, the team also looks for signs of cataracts, glaucoma, or macular degeneration. For patients looking to break free from their glasses, Mulqueeny Eye Centers offers multiple types of vision correction such as LASIK, PRK, NearVision CK, and refractive lens implants.
In 1927, thousands of feet above the Atlantic, Charles Lindbergh was shielded from the elements only by the Spirit of St. Louis' thin linen covering. His eyes, though, boasted much sturdier protection on that historic flight—a custom pair of goggles designed by brothers A.P. and August Erker. More than 80 years and four generations later, the Erker name still stands behind high-quality optics.
Jack Erker Jr., great-grandson of August, presides over the business's two present-day locations, which have also played their part in adorning famous eyes. During Jack's tenure, Will Smith, John Goodman, and Shaquille O'Neal have all stopped in to swap needlepoint tips and grab a pair of stylish frames, which are sourced from Italian and German design houses, as well as his own manufacturing division, Studio Optyx.
Dr. Hegyi and his staff of ocular experts use digital refraction technology to examine peepers and determine proper eyesight prescriptions. During 30-minute vision analyses ($92) optical examiners submit patients’ eyes to a series of eyesight tests, prompting them to read letters and identify members of the Partridge Family, before trained technicians dilate pupils to get behind-the-scenes access inside eyeball command centers. After studying the findings, digital phoropters bestow each patient with a nearly perfect prescription for lenses with secret powers that range from anti-reflective coatings to transitions that automatically darken when worn in sunlight to freeform HD lenses, which grant seers visual sharpness without distortion or purchase of an HD–compatible face. After attaining precise prescriptions, patients can apply a $175 store credit toward frames ($85–$325), including designer frames from Vera Wang, Armani, and Juicy Couture.
Tower Optical is the stylish spawn of St. Louis's longest-running ophthalmologic practice, Clinical Ophthalmology. The eye-shield shrine is the retail section of Clinical and home to a horde of designer brands, including Vera Wang ($250+), Brooks Bros. ($150+), Coach ($250+), and J. Lo's own line of optical orb protectors ($165+). Break down the brightness while becoming the envy of neo-hipster friends with a pair of authentic Rayban wayfarers. If you're feeling self-conscious about your eyes' square-shaped irises, invest in a pair of mirrored eyewear, which strategically deflect the evil eye from frenemies while allowing true friends to check their teeth.