The Optical Community Takes to Instagram to Mark Women’s Eye Health & Safety Month

By Gwendolyn Plummer
Friday, April 9, 2021 8:30 AM NEW YORK—For many of us, April is when Spring truly begins. It’s a month of more sunlight, warmer days, blooming flowers, and a look toward what summer might have in store. And in the optical world, April is Women’s Eye Health and Safety Month, too. Women’s Eye Health and Safety Month, as declared by Prevent Blindness, is an effort to raise awareness of women’s increased risk of vision health issues, as well as the steps that they can take to prevent vision loss.

Using Eye Tracking Technology to Understand Human Behavior, Ocular and Neurological Health

By Andrew Karp
Friday, April 2, 2021 8:30 AM As a journalist who covers vision technology, I’ve become fascinated with eye tracking and its many uses, which range from health care to virtual and augmented reality, sports training, gaming, retail, marketing, education and military applications. Eye tracking uses motion-detecting sensors embedded in special eyeglasses or behind a computer screen to detect and measure eye movement. As many VMAIL readers know, it’s used for diagnosing and treating vision problems related to the eye-brain connection. “We use eye tracking on virtually every single one of our patients who are coming in with a visual processing issue,” said Charles Shidlofsky, OD, FCOVD, a vision development and vision rehabilitation specialist whose practice, Neuro-Vision Associates of North Texas, is in Plano, Texas.

Meet the New Office: Out Go the Desks, In Come the Breakout Spaces and Armchairs

By Mark Tosh
Friday, March 26, 2021 8:30 AM NEW YORK—Many Americans have been working remotely for much of the past 12 months. But recently there has been much discussion about how and when those who have been out of their offices will begin the process of re-entry and what the office will look like when they arrive. The return to work in New York City took a step forward this week when mayor Bill de Blasio said city employees would begin making a return to their offices beginning May 3. “We’re going to make it safe, but we need our city workers back in their offices where they can do the most to help their fellow New Yorkers,” he said. Read on for a look at how some of the country’s biggest employers hope to get their workers back to life in the office.

Digital Eye Strain—Another Pandemic Pain Point

By Mary Kane
Friday, March 19, 2021 8:30 AM We’ve all seen those notifications and displays on our phones tallying up our average screen time for the week. Ever since we went into lockdown last March, we’ve all been spending way too much time not just on our phones, but on electronic devices in general—including laptops, ipads and TVs. And once you add in children learning remotely on screens, you have a recipe for digital overload throughout the entire family. Here are some eye opening statistics about the rise of Digital Eye Strain (DES) and some advice from several eye doctors on how to combat the problem.

Last Weekend, Oprah’s Frames Stole the Show

By Gwendolyn Plummer
Thursday, March 11, 2021 4:07 PM NEW YORK—If you spent any time on the internet at all last week, you probably saw people talking about Meghan, Harry and Oprah. Oprah’s bombshell interview with the former Duke and Duchess of Sussex trended for days, prompting important discussions about race, mental health and misogyny, and has reframed how many look at institutions like the British royal family. In addition to these important discussions, the two-hour long interview inspired another trend: serious love for Oprah’s glasses. In fact, her Götti OR02 frames in the colorway Sand pretty much stole the show—and prompted people all across the world to post on social media about how much they loved the frames, or wanted them for themselves.

Scientists Take Important Step Toward Using Retinal Cell Transplants to Treat Blindness

By Andrew Karp
Friday, March 5, 2021 2:00 PM Retinal cells derived from a cadaver human eye survived when transplanted into the eyes of primate models, an important advance in the development of cell therapy to treat blindness, according to a study published on January 14 in Stem Cell Reports. The retinal pigment epithelium (RPE), a layer of pigmented cells in the retina, functions as a barrier and regulator in the eye to maintain normal vision. RPE dysfunction can lead to eye disorders including macular degeneration and can cause blindness, which affects about 200 million people worldwide.

After What We’ve All Been Through, the Optical Industry Is Pining for Baseball to Begin

By Mark Tosh
Tuesday, March 2, 2021 8:30 AM NEW YORK—Spring is in the air—at least we can hope. Yes, it does appear the tide is finally starting to turn against this awful year-long pandemic and perhaps even the harshest days of winter are winding down across the country. But another sure sign that a new spring isn’t far off is the start of the Major League Baseball season. Those magic words—pitchers and catchers are reporting—resonated against a wintry backdrop just two weeks ago and, thankfully, the real spring training games began this past weekend.

The Pandemic Takes Its Toll on Our Mental Health

By Mary Kane
Friday, February 19, 2021 3:30 PM It’s no secret that after living with COVID-19 for nearly a year now, most of us are pretty burned out. Many of us are coming up on the one-year anniversary of working from home, and let’s face it, working where you live isn’t everything we thought it would be. Sure, saving money and time on the daily commute is a plus, but the ability and addiction to work harder and longer hours has blurred the lines between our work and personal lives. Add in the stress of trying to stay safe from COVID-19, home-schooling kids, and juggling the responsibilities of work and family and you have a recipe for a mental health pandemic.

This Valentine’s Day, Love Is in the Pair

By Gwendolyn Plummer
Friday, February 12, 2021 8:30 AM BLOOMINGTON, Ill.—No matter how you feel about the sometimes-controversial holiday, there’s no denying that Valentine’s Day brings a special feeling along with it each and every year. Whether you’re coupled up or practicing self-love, Valentine’s Day is the perfect excuse to spend a little more time thinking about the people and places you love. In Bloomington, Illinois, independent eyewear shop Specs Around Town is celebrating Valentine’s Day by showing the love for their customers—and their frames. On Instagram, the Specs Around Town team debuted a series called Love is in the Pair, which spotlights the shop’s customers, their other half, and, of course, their frames.

CES, Much Smaller in Virtual Form, Remains a Prime Showcase for Optical Tech

By Andrew Karp
Friday, February 5, 2021 8:00 AM It’s hard to say how many miles of aisles I’ve walked over the 10 years that I’ve attended CES, the annual Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Let’s just say I have worn out several pairs of shoes while treading the floors of the Las Vegas Convention Center, the Sands Convention Center and other CES venues.  This year I spared my soles and let my fingers do the walking, as they used to say in those old Yellow Pages ads. (Remember them?) That’s because CES, like countless conventions and meetings around the world, was a virtual event.

A Swirl of News About COVID-19 as J&J's New Vaccine Reports Positive Trial Results

By Mark Tosh
Friday, January 29, 2021 7:33 AM The news from Johnson & Johnson early Friday about the positive results of its COVID-19 vaccine clinical trial comes amid a swirl of conflicting news about coronavirus, including the increasing spread of variants of the virus, a push by the Biden Administration to speed up the immunization process for Americans and reports that the number of COVID-19 cases globally surpassed 100 million (or 1.3 percent of the world’s population) in mid-week, according to news reports. To catch you up on what the companies and some health care observers are saying about the vaccines, VMAIL Weekend recaps some of the latest developments.

A Look Back at Weekend's Most Read Features in 2020

By Mary Kane
Friday, January 22, 2021 7:30 AM To say that 2020 was a monumental year for news is an understatement. Let’s just say there was a lot going on. But through it all, Vision Monday was able to bring you a little relief from the constant barrage of news and current events with our weekly VMAIL Weekend editions. Now that 2020 is officially over, we here at Weekend thought it might be a good time to look back at some of our most popular features from our 2020 Today’s Read archives. So here they are, 10 of Vision Monday's readers' Most Read Today’s Reads from 2020. Although it was a year many of us would like to forget, the VM staff did manage to provide some respite and relief from the tumultuous events that were the hallmark of 2020.

As Vaccines Roll Out, ECPs Get in Line

By Gwendolyn Plummer
Friday, January 15, 2021 8:33 AM NEW YORK—Across the country, COVID-19 vaccine rollout has kicked off. Most states are still in the early phases of vaccination, which usually includes older, more vulnerable members of the population, and certain frontline and health care workers. In many states, those health care workers include ECPs. For many, receiving a COVID-19 vaccine is a cause for hope, joy and celebration. To honor the science that got us here, many in the optical community have taken to social media to share the news of their vaccinations—and to share what The Cut is calling “The Vaxxie,” or the Vaccination Selfie. Here we take a look at The Vaxxie in the optical community. Read More

As Vaccines Roll Out, ECPs Get in Line

By Gwendolyn Plummer
Friday, January 15, 2021 8:30 AM NEW YORK—Across the country, COVID-19 vaccine rollout has kicked off. Most states are still in the early phases of vaccination, which usually includes older, more vulnerable members of the population, and certain frontline and health care workers. In many states, those health care workers include ECPs. For many, receiving a COVID-19 vaccine is a cause for hope, joy and celebration. To honor the science that got us here, many in the optical community have taken to social media to share the news of their vaccinations—and to share what The Cut is calling “The Vaxxie,” or the Vaccination Selfie. Here we take a look at The Vaxxie in the optical community.

From Processing ‘Scripts’ to Reading Scripts: How 3 Ex Optical Lab Owners Found Success in the Film Biz

By Andrew Karp
Friday, January 8, 2021 8:30 AM It’s a plotline straight out of the movies. Three former optical wholesale lab owners leave behind the daily grind of making prescription eyewear to become producers of independent films featuring Alec Baldwin, Marisa Tomei and other big name stars. Like the legal disclaimer seen at the start of many movies, this story is based on actual events. In fact, the main characters—Michael J. Rothstein, formerly Hirsch Optical in New York, Mike Palkovicz, formerly of I-See Optical Lab in New Jersey and Greg Ruden, formerly of Expert Optics in Illinois—are real people who are well-known to many in optical. How they landed their dream job is the true story of three middle-aged guys who each sold their successful family business, invested in an indie production company, took a leap into the unknown and landed on their feet.