Optical on Main Street

This November, Diabetes Awareness Takes Center Stage for Indies

By Gwendolyn Plummer
Tuesday, November 22, 2022 8:30 AM NEW YORK—On October 31, President Biden released a statement declaring November 2022 as National Diabetes Month. In the statement, the President said, “Over 10 percent of Americans have Type 1, Type 2, or gestational diabetes, and tens of millions more remain at risk of developing this chronic condition… I call upon all Americans, school systems, government agencies, nonprofit organizations, health care providers, research institutions, and other interested groups to join in activities that raise diabetes awareness and help prevent, treat and manage this disease.”

Indies Remind Patients That It’s Time to 'Use It or Lose It'

By Gwendolyn Plummer
Monday, November 14, 2022 8:30 AM NEW YORK—We’re hurtling toward the end of the year, which means, of course, that we’re firmly in the “use it or lose it” season for HSA/FSA benefits. This time of year is often a busy season for everyone—from the holidays to wrapping up work for the year—and it’s easy for things to fall through the cracks or get pushed off until sometime in the new year. As 2022 begins to wrap up, independent ECPs across the country are taking a moment to remind patients to use up their HSA/FSA benefits, encouraging them to schedule their annual appointment or pick out a new pair of frames before these benefits expire.

Indies Have Some Halloween Fun

By Gwendolyn Plummer
Monday, October 31, 2022 8:30 AM NEW YORK—Happy Halloween! This week is a time to chow down on candy, stock up on scary movies and just generally enjoy the spookiest night of the year before we head into the overwhelming holiday season head first. This week, we’re taking a look at how some indies are celebrating this final day of October. Celebrations across the country ran the gamut from pumpkin decorating contests to in office trick or treat events to spooky decors.

#PumpkinPatchProject Brings Fun and Awareness to Amblyopia in Children

By Gwendolyn Plummer
Thursday, October 13, 2022 8:30 AM NEW YORK—Each year, the team at A Child’s Eyes, a pediatric practice, in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, hosts the Pumpkin Patch Project, a community event to help spread awareness for amblyopia and vision impairment in children. The project involves patching one eye of a jack-o-lantern, and the goal is to designate homes with patched pumpkins as “scary free zones,” where children can trick-or-treat knowing there will be no jump scares. In addition, those taking part in the project can share their patched pumpkins on social media to spread awareness—both about vision impairment in children and the project itself.

Indies Head West for Vision Expo

By Gwendolyn Plummer
Monday, September 26, 2022 8:30 AM LAS VEGAS—Last week, thousands of members of the optical community from all around the world congregated in Las Vegas for the 2022 edition of Vision Expo West. As always, the show was a successful mix of education, product, networking and celebration—a worthy reunion for an industry that has been through so much over the past two years. Of course, it’s the people that make Vision Expo great—especially the ECPs, who travel from far and wide to attend the show. This week, we’re taking a look at some social media moments from Vision Expo West 2022 shared by the indie ECPs that make the show so special.

Getting Ready for Sports Eye Safety Month

By Gwendolyn Plummer
Wednesday, September 14, 2022 8:30 AM NEW YORK—Prevent Blindness has declared September Sports Eye Safety Month to help educate the public on the importance of wearing the proper eye protection while playing sports. Annual data from Prevent Blindness shows that there were more than 26,000 sports-related eye injuries treated in the U.S. last year. The new data also showed that the category of “non-powder guns, darts, arrows and slingshots” had the overall highest rate of eye injuries for the previous year.

Indies Show Off Kids’ Frames for Back to School

By Gwendolyn Plummer
Wednesday, August 31, 2022 8:30 AM NEW YORK—The back-to-school season has officially arrived, with kids and teachers all around the country heading back into the classroom full time. Of course, there’s no better time than now for an annual back to school eye exam—and no better time to pick up a new pair of glasses, too. Here, we are taking a look at how some Indies are showcasing the children’s frames they keep in stock as the back-to-school bell rings.

Indies Celebrate National Eye Exam Month

By Gwendolyn Plummer
Thursday, August 11, 2022 8:30 AM NEW YORK—August is officially in full swing, bringing with it the dog days of summer, the back-to-school season, and, of course, National Eye Exam Month. Dedicating an entire month to the importance of eye exams offers a great opportunity to remind clients and patients just how vital their annual exam is—and there’s still plenty of time to get involved. Here, we’re taking a look at how some indies are approaching this month’s cause, focusing on health, fashion and back to school.

Indies Get Ready for Back to School

By Gwendolyn Plummer
Thursday, July 28, 2022 8:30 AM NEW YORK—With the Fourth of July behind us and August about to begin, families around the country are beginning to think about what’s next: the back-to-school season. It might not be fun to think about for the kids involved, but parents and caretakers know it’s never too early to start gearing up for a new academic year, from picking up school supplies to, of course, scheduling those annual eye exams. Here, we’re taking a look at how indies are reminding patients to schedule back-to-school eye exams for the kids in their lives.

Staff, Community and Connection Make Indie Optical Shop, Eyes on Trade, a Local Staple

By Gwendolyn Plummer
Tuesday, July 19, 2022 8:30 AM WINSTON-SALEM, N.C.—At Eyes on Trade (EOT), it’s all about teamwork. Marium Warsi-Zehri, OD, a 2016 graduate of the Arizona College of Optometry, heads up the team at the independent, Winston-Salem boutique, but her work is by no means voluntary. The close-knit team at Eyes on Trade is what makes this indie so special—both for those that work there and the community they serve. Practice manager Maggie Campbell, ABOC, found herself working in optical by happenstance nearly a decade ago.

Indies Gear Up for National Sunglasses Day

By Gwendolyn Plummer
Wednesday, June 22, 2022 8:30 AM NEW YORK—We’re less than a week away from National Sunglasses Day 2022, and the excitement is building across the industry. National Sunglasses Day falls on June 27 each year, but preparations for the day start early for many. A week out, indies are reminding their patients about National Sunglasses Day: how they can get involved, why sunglasses are so important, and any promotions or deals they have running for the holiday. This week, we’re taking a look at how indies are getting ready to celebrate one of our industry’s favorite holidays.

Independents Celebrate Pride With Color, Donations and Excitement

By Gwendolyn Plummer
Monday, June 6, 2022 8:30 AM NEW YORK—June is officially here, which also means Pride Month has arrived. Spanning the whole month of June in honor of the Stonewall Uprising, which began in June 1969 in New York City, Pride Month is a time to “recognize the impact that lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals have had on history locally, nationally and internationally,” the Library of Congress reports. Pride means something different to everyone, and people celebrate it differently everywhere. For many, Pride is a combination of celebration—parades, parties, and more—and community—supporting members of the LGBTQ+ community who might not have support from their loved ones.

Independents Celebrate Healthy Vision Month With Reminders, Tips and Advice

By Gwendolyn Plummer
Wednesday, May 25, 2022 8:30 AM NEW YORK—Each May, the Center for Disease Control’s Vision Health Initiative partners with the National Eye Institute (NEI) for Healthy Vision Month, a month dedicated to encouraging Americans to make vision a health priority and raise awareness around the necessity of regular vision care as a part of routine health care prevention and treatment. As part of Healthy Vision Month, the NEI has shared a variety of resources for patients and ECPs, all available online for free.

As Summer Sneaks Up on Us, Indies Show Off Their Sunglasses

By Gwendolyn Plummer
Wednesday, May 11, 2022 8:30 AM NEW YORK—Although there’s still about a month until the official start of summer, there’s no denying that many of us are already thinking about sunny days by the beach or the pool, weekend trips away, ice cream and all of the other unique joys summer has to offer. As we wait for hot weather to fully arrive, there’s no better time than now to remind patients and clients just how important UV protection is—the warm weather and excitement for summer vacations might just make your patients more interested in picking up a new pair of sunglasses in the next few weeks.

Indies Celebrate Sustainability and Recycling Ahead of Earth Day

By Gwendolyn Plummer
Thursday, April 21, 2022 8:30 AM NEW YORK—On Friday, people all around the world celebrated Earth Day differently. For some, the best way to celebrate Earth Day is to spend some time outside in nature, while others like to use the day to clean up a beach or forest, or spread important information about recycling, climate change and sustainability. No matter what you do, setting aside some time to honor our Earth is a great idea for everyone—and independent ECPs are getting involved, too.