Historic First: Seven of 10 Students Who Entered Optometry Schools This Fall Are Female

By Mark Tosh
Wednesday, November 27, 2019 2:22 PM For what is believed to be the first time, the percentage of women who entered North American schools and colleges of optometry this fall increased to the 70 percent plateau, Women In Optometry reported this month. The publication cited data from the 25 optometry schools surveyed for its report, which also found an overall increase of 28 students in optometry schools this fall compared with a year ago.

Confessions of an Optical Pack Rat

By Andrew Karp
Friday, November 22, 2019 8:00 AM I don’t think of myself as a pack rat. But somehow I’ve managed to accumulate a lot of stuff. My desk drawers and file cabinet, and even some closets at my house contain a curious assortment of promotional giveaway items and swag I’ve received at the countless optical industry meetings and events I’ve attended over the years. I’ve actually gotten rid of a lot of it while preparing for an office move last year. My brass Orcolite coaster went into the trash.

Teaching the World How to See

By Ted Gioia
Friday, November 15, 2019 2:25 PM Where do you turn to for information on protecting your eyesight? That’s an easy question nowadays. Medical information is everywhere. In fact, people are inundated with it on the web and TV. A simple Google search on “eyecare” comes back with more than 30 million results. Health care companies keep adding to this by spending billions on direct-to-consumer advertising each year. But none of this existed a generation ago.

A Relaxing Weekend After National Stress Awareness Day

By Gwendolyn Plummer
Friday, November 8, 2019 10:37 AM NEW YORK—From National Grilled Cheese Day (April 12) to International Talk Like a Pirate Day (September 19), there’s no shortage of fun, wacky holidays to celebrate every year. However, the first Wednesday in November marks a slightly heavier holiday: National Stress Awareness Day. I think most of us can agree that we don’t need a dedicated day to make us “aware” of stress—we’re aware of it all the time. But even though we’re no stranger to stress, there’s still value in setting aside one day a year to really talk about stress—and how to deal with it.

Tricks, Treats and Tweets from Optical's Halloween

By Mark Tosh
Friday, November 1, 2019 4:00 PM Halloween may date back almost 2000 years, but as holidays go it certainly has aged well. Indeed, one might say Halloween is looking better than ever. The proof is all over social media. And the optical community – judging by the numerous posts we spotted on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter – appeared to have an outrageously good time celebrating Halloween this year. Costumes, cookies and comic images were ubiquitous on social media for many eyecare practices and their staffs, from New York to Los Angeles and just about everywhere in between.

In a Jazz Frame of Mind

By Andrew Karp
Friday, October 25, 2019 7:00 AM Eyewear design has always been influenced by popular music and musicians, and that love affair continues to yield fun and exciting results for eyeglass wearers. Take rock ‘n’ roll, for example. Fans can emulate rockers like Buddy Holly and John Lennon who wore now-iconic frames that evoke not only their music, but an entire era. Brands such as John Varvatos and Chrome Hearts offer rock-inspired looks. And Elton John is synonymous with distinctive, and often outrageously styled glasses.

Getting a Flu Vaccine—The Facts, the Myths and What This Year’s Flu Season Might Look Like

By Mary Kane
Friday, October 18, 2019 8:00 AM Halloween is only a few weeks away but there’s another season just around the corner that can be just as scary—the start of the flu season, which officially begins at the end of this month. In addition to causing kids to miss school and adults to call out sick from work, there is no denying that the flu can be deadly for thousands, and in some years, tens of thousands of Americans.

From Scooby Doo to Stranger Things: Making Halloween an Optical Treat

By Staff
Friday, October 11, 2019 1:42 PM NEW YORK—Halloween is, as far as I’m concerned, the perfect holiday. There’s no pressure, no big family events, no gifts to buy—nothing to do except wear a fun wig and eat free candy, no matter how old you are. Halloween as we know it today is about pure, unadulterated fun for all. And the best part? You can have that fun at work and at home. I’m not alone in my love for Halloween—according to the National Retail Federation, Halloween spending in 2019 is expected to reach $8.8 billion, with shoppers saying they plan to spend an average of $86.27 this year. 

Talking Baseball, Eyewear and the World Series: Five Stories for October

By Mark Tosh
Friday, October 4, 2019 8:00 AM Spoiler alert: at the end of this story, we pick the likely winner of this year’s World Series. Hint, it won’t be the Red Sox. (Or the New York Mets.) But that’s getting ahead of the point here in this Today’s Read feature. Since it is October and World Series season, baseball seems like an appropriate topic to address. Also, it’s a perfect topic because almost everyone loves baseball and its lore, or at least a large group of us over the age of 40 still do.

Me and Roger Maris Hit 61

By Andy Karp
Friday, September 27, 2019 10:18 AM Having just returned from last week’s Vision Expo West in Las Vegas, I feel a kinship with legendary New York Yankees slugger Roger Maris. Like Maris, I hit 61 this year. That’s 61 Vision Expos, including both East and West. Granted, there are differences between Roger and me. It took me 32 years to hit my mark and he needed only one season to hit his record-breaking 61 home runs and surpass Babe Ruth ( it took Maris 162 games and Ruth did it in 154, hence the famous asterisk in the record books).

Some Easy Reading for a Saturday Morning

By Mary Kane
Friday, September 20, 2019 8:00 AM Every week, the VMail Weekend editors step beyond their usual roles as news reporters and bring you the Today’s Read, a mix of interesting and sometimes off-beat features that span the far corners of the vision world. Our aim is to inform and entertain by giving our readers a light, sometimes fun, sometimes unusual read to go with your Saturday morning Joe. So today, we present a compilation of some of our most favorite Today’s Reads.

ECPs, Educators, Influencers and Brands Get Excited for Vision Expo West

By Gwendolyn Plummer
Friday, September 13, 2019 10:00 AM Twice a year, Vision Expo takes over our Instagram feeds. During and after the show, attendees and exhibitors alike take to social media to share their experiences—and this year, many attendees are sharing their excitement for the show beforehand. There’s a lot to share in anticipation of Expo—Vision Monday will host VM LIVE: Smart Solutions at the Speed of Sight on September 18, and The Modern Lab on September 19, an event in collaboration with LabTalk. So, as we start packing our suitcases and figure out how many pairs of glasses it’s socially acceptable to wear over the course of three days, here's a look at how some in the optical community are gearing up for Expo West.

Looking to the Future of Contact Lens Development With BCLA Medal Winner Lyndon Jones

By Mark Tosh
Friday, September 6, 2019 8:00 AM It’s been a busy 2019 for the contact lens sector of eyecare. Alcon once again became an independent company (following its spinoff from Novartis) and Johnson and Johnson debuted Acuvue Oasys with Transitions lenses, a first-of-its-kind contact lens that can sense lighting conditions. 

Just in Time for Labor Day: The Outlook for Optical’s Union Workers

By Andrew Karp
Friday, August 30, 2019 8:00 AM Like many of you, I’m kicking back and enjoying some downtime on this Labor Day weekend. We can thank labor unions for creating this annual three-day holiday, which pays tribute to the contributions and accomplishments of American workers and has been a federal holiday since 1894. Organized labor in the U.S. has suffered major setbacks over the past few decades, but unions still remain a powerful force in many industries, as well as in the public sector. Yet among the millions of people employed in the optical industry, relatively few are union members. 

How to Dispose of Your Contacts and Still Stay Friendly to the Environment

By Mary Kane
Friday, August 23, 2019 2:49 PM I’ve been a contact lens wearer for over 40 years. I started out wearing contacts that lasted several months and eventually graduated to daily disposable lenses. I cringe to think of how many lenses and blister packs I’ve thrown away over the years. So I have to ask myself—is there something more I could be doing when it comes to disposing of those used CLs. In a word, the answer is yes.