Jump Right In…The Water’s Fine!

jump right in

One of my favorite parts of optometry is how we combine so many businesses under one roof. We provide comprehensive, routine care to patients every day, but we also have the ability to diagnose, treat, and manage ocular diseases. We can help our patients with emergency care, co-manage their surgeries, and even specialize further with dry eye, aesthetics, myopia management, sports vision, and more. What makes optometry so unique is the opportunity to also focus on fashion with our opticals — we get to help people see better AND also feel and look better. How amazing is that?  

However, many of us are more comfortable in the lane than in the optical, and we aren’t quite sure about the latest trends in eyewear, what shape and size are trendy for sunglasses, or what tint or photochromic lens is best.

While we may not become as well versed as our optical team in making recommendations, there are some steps we can all take to feel more comfortable in the optical space. We have been fortunate to have had the best in the optical industry share their wisdom with us for Independent Strong, so be sure to bookmark all of the content to read and review.

Looking to do more? Here are my top tips to be more comfortable in the optical world!

  1. What you wear sells! We are models, whether we like it or not! Patients are looking at our eyewear when we are in the exam room, so make sure you are wearing the latest and greatest that your office has to offer! I tend to wear more unique, bold styles in the office than I typically do out and about — it is a great way to get out of your comfort zone.
  2. Do as I say, AND as I do! Are you recommending progressives to your patients but wearing bifocals or near vision only? When you have a conversation about photochromic lenses, can you speak from experience? Do your lenses have reflections or utilize the best anti-reflective technology? If you are recommending it to your patients, they will have better buy-in if you are using it too!
  3. Staff counts too! Does your entire staff wear glasses that showcase the best in the brands you carry? I recently read a post on Facebook where a doctor asked for advice on how to approach a staff member wearing a frame from an online vendor. Make it absolutely clear to your staff that part of their uniform is to wear updated, currently available frames that your practice carries. Take a lesson from retail — store associates are only wearing clothing available in their shops for this reason!
  4. It’s okay to admit we don’t know it all. We spend so many years learning about ocular anatomy, diseases, contact lenses, etc., and very little time in understanding frame and lens selection. The next time you have a frame or lens rep in your practice sit in on what they are discussing with your staff on current trends and technology. We may not be opticians, but having an understanding of frames and lenses will go a long way with your recommendations in the exam room.
  5. Have fun! What we do in the optical can be truly transformative. Giving someone a look that makes them see and feel better is an amazing part of what we do. Be proud of the way we change people’s lives!

My ask of you this month: take a look at your current eyewear. Is it showcasing the best your practice offers? Is it outdated, crooked, or using old technology? Good news — you don’t have to go far for an amazing experience! Let your optical team help you see and feel your best, and show your patients what your practice can do!

Yours in success,

Jennifer L. Stewart, OD

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