Glaucoma, cataracts, diabetic retinopathy, and even dry eyes are no match for the professionals at Seven Bridges Eye Care. That's because the team of four, led by optometrist Dr. Douglas A. Azzaro, tackles a wealth of eye issues with services including peripheral-vision exams, color-vision tests, and sports vision evaluations, the last of which makes sure clients' eyes aren't actually tiny baseballs.
Prescription glasses help improve your visual acuity, which compares your vision to the 20/20 standard. Read on to find out what this metric really means.
20/20 Vision: An Imperfect Ratio
Possessing 20/20 vision may be considered perfect, a level of visual acuity reserved for Navy pilots and the bald eagles that train them, but in fact it's not even close to average. Developed by Dutch optometrist Hermann Snellen in the 1860s, the 20/20 standard is a somewhat arbitrary distinction. After inventing his now-iconic eye chart?which consists of lines of standardized letters that get progressively smaller?Snellen also instituted the concept of a ratio to define the clarity of a patient's vision. The denominator represents how many feet away a person of normal visual acuity could stand while still discerning the letters with the same level of clarity as the patient.
In other words, 20/40 vision means the patient needs to stand 20 feet away to make out the same size letters as a person with standard vision can from 40 feet.
Because the 20/20 standard is arbitrary, many people actually have considerably better eyesight, represented by such ratios as 20/15 or 20/10. In fact, in the U.S., the average visual acuity is sharper than 20/20 until about age 60 or 70, when people's vision naturally starts to decline as their bangs finally grow past their eyes. Also, though it's useful for determining basic shortcomings of vision, an eye chart can't diagnose a proper glasses or contact prescription. To determine that, optometrists test many other factors, including depth perception, peripheral vision, x-ray vision, and focusing skills.
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.
With locations throughout the Midwest, Vision Center At Meijer's eye mavens outfit more than 700 frames with lenses carefully crafted in their own laboratory to specifically suit the eyes and face of each patient. Doctors demonstrate their care for patients' eyes by making sure all of them have a precise, up-to-date prescription. The center also works to keep frame prices low to help more patients find pairs of glasses within their price ranges.
In 1930, Dr. Joseph Rosin and his brother, Maurice, opened a small shop on Cermak Road in Cicero. In 80 years, the shop has grown from a small family-run optometrist's office to a regionally renowned business that has sharpened the eyesight of celebrities such as Joe DiMaggio and Plácido Domingo and left its mark on the Chicago area by designing famous symbols such as Harry Caray's trademark glasses and the novelty shades that adorn the John Hancock Center. Today, Rosin Eyecare rests in the hands of the third generation of Rosins, ably helmed by brothers James and Jonathan, who continue a proud tradition of warm, personal service as they improve eyesight with high-tech LASIK and PRK treatments as well as stylish eyeglasses with scratch-resistant lenses. At 16 locations, including the newest office Long Grove, a staff of optometrists keeps optical orbs in high function with comprehensive exams, treating each patient's individual needs with products such as a contact-lens implant or a prescription safety eyewear.
Helping customers improve their vision is the main concern of the optometrists and eye-care professionals at Eye Boutique, who provide preventive screenings and help choosing from their more than 1,800 frames at each location. In each shop, licensed doctors of optometry scan eyes with comprehensive exams before diagnosing issues or prescribing high-definition Zeiss lenses and contact lenses from Optix and Acuvue. Designer frames from Guess, Nike, and Kenneth Cole house lenses fashionably, and Teflon protective layers help guard lenses from scratches and reduce glare. Sunglasses from brands such as Ray-Ban and Coach also protect eyes from harmful UV rays, creating an accessory that is both stylish and useful, like a diamond with a job.