My name is Dr. Warren Chen and I opened Glimpse Eye Care a couple of weeks ago. Things have been super slow and stressful so I thought I’d answer anything eye related or eye business related here to relieve some of that :)
If you guys have a second please check out our website. It would mean the world to us for a small local business!
** EDIT thanks for stopping by everyone! I will try to answer throughout the work day if I have time. Thank you for all the support! Please check out the website (https://glimpseeyecare.com) if you want to ask other questions :) Means alot!
Proof: Website: https://glimpseeyecare.com
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Thanks for all the support everyone :)
So many optometrists are attached to eye glass stores. IMO that relationship is a bit uncomfortable for me as it can raise question about how money is made in that arrangement.
I'm mistrustful in the same way I am of having a mechanic price the repair after they do the diagnostic. I hope that makes sense.
With that in mind:
How do you feel about online eyeglass stores? Do you think they do a decent job providing appropriate eyewear/lenses?
What technology in lenses is worth its price? Is there anything that may be more profitable but not really have that much benefit for the client?
This is a very pressing issue for sure. We as optometrist aim to provide quality eye care and eye wear.
Online eyeglass stores are there for a reason. They are lower cost b/c of lower overhead and more sales (and convenience in this digital era). For glasses, they do a solid job in most cases. However, if you want perfect measurements and more precision, in store optical is def the way! In terms of progressives and bifocals I believe it is a MUST to obtain measurements and do things in person. Also, you will be supporting a small local practice instead of mega rich chains online.
Technology is pricy but it is worth it! Having an antiglare coating vs not having one is huge if you haven’t experienced before (this is before talking about the different types of antiglare coatings). Blue light is that coating that works for a good amount of people but might not for another chunk. If you do alot of digital work it is worth looking into. I as a doctor always recommend a good antiglare before anything else.
Do you think online businesses in this space have a major effect on brick and mortar places like yours?
You can easily buy contacts and glasses online at price points that brick and mortar can't compete with, and I think you can even get prescriptions to some level online now.
Ding ding! This is not a big issue for established practices due to brand/office loyalty but for small new one like myself it sucks.
We and many optometrists have help from contact lenses companies with rebates to give to patients to compete with big brand online companies. This leads to competitive and even lower costs than online after you apply insurance, etc.
Do you generally recommend eyeglasses that darken in response to UV light?
What are their drawbacks?
Transitions is what you mean and they are fantastic. They give close to sunglasses level of protection with the added flair of turning clear again. I think they are worth it if you are outdoors quite a bit.
Some drawbacks include increase in price as well as quality. Not all transition costings are the same so you pay what you get. Ex: a higher quality will turn from dark to clear much quicker than a lower quality
I saw a couple of ads recently saying that eye exercises could reduce the need for glasses. Are they bullshit or is there something to it?
Pardon my french but yes most are BS. The few times time eye exercises provide any vision benefits is if a child has a lazy eye. By patching the good eye, the bad eye is forced to work and possibly improve. Then again, this is mainly effective in children and teens.
What are your thoughts on the impacts of increased "screen time" (phones, tablets, e-readers, computers, TVs, etc.) on eye health?
Screen time has been on the rise riseeee. This leads to headaches, fatigue, and dry eyes( not blinking as much). Follow the 20/20/20 rule where you work for 20 mins and then take a 20 sec break looking at something far(20ft).
This digital device era is not going away anytime soon. Take breaks!
There are studies that show children (think under 10) who spend more times outdoors have less nearsighted(can’t see far) progression than those who stay indoors with digital devices.
Hi Dr. Chen, I am a college senior who is going into optometry and I've noticed that owning a business is becoming more popular for optometrists. Why did you choose to open a business so quickly after graduation instead of waiting until you had more experience?
I personally knew from the start I wanted to be a business owner who can provide what i believe is a more personable experience. Having flexibility in the future was crucial for me.
I personally believed that starting sooner is better than later however this is not always true! This start has been rough as expected but we learn and grow from this. The support of the online and offline community makes a big difference!
Thoughts on lasik/LASEK?
I personally think LASIK is amazing. Having freedom from glasses and contacts is definitely an incentive. If you are young and stable in your prescription, consider a consult!
However make sure to know that if your eyes is ready. Your eye doctor will make sure your eyes aren’t changing for AT LEAST year before recommending it. If you have baddd dry eyes, you might not be a candidate. This applies to other things like certain eye diseases as well.
I keep getting these tiny almost blister like bumps on my waterline, what do you think it could it be?
This is a question for your local optometrist! However, i’ll leave some info. Typically make up and bacteria can build up in our eye glands. This can leads to bumps and styes which sucks. Go check up if you’re uncertain!
How do you feel about very light, rimless eyeglasses?
I personally think they are AWESOME! They give a very sophisticated look (if that is what you are looking for). Being lightweight means less stress behind your eyes which is insanely comfortable :) I LOVE THEM haha
How do you make people feel comfortable with getting a fitting / their eye grades measured in the time of COVID?
We take precaution by cleaning before and after every patient. With temperature checks and staff vaccination, we believe we are ready to tackle the day!
I have an eye exam this afternoon. Any specific things to know/ask? Is buying frames from them instead of a costco/walmart/online better or worse? my insurance covers up to a certain amount, but I worry that causes them to raise the price to counter that
The doctor and their team should take care of everything. Make sure you get a recap of how your vision and eye health is :)
If your eye doc sells glasses, support them if you can. Online retailers are NOT BAD to contrary belief bc they provide a different service. However, have good faith in your eye care team and support if you can :)
Do I really need to see an ophthalmologist for a basic eye exam because I have an eye with repaired detached retina? My local optometrists have told me to do so.
How about just testing my good eye and giving me a monocle?
If that is recommended, then goooo! Retinal detachments are no joke. The eye doc will double check to make sure everything is stable. The vision part is usually done in a separate visit!
I've just come from an eye exam and my acuity is getting worse. I now count as disabled vs just impaired, yaaaaay.
I've got retinopathy due to prematurity and tractional detachment of my retinas. What are some good ways to reduce eye strain?
This is one for the managing doc. The best thing to do is keep up with your exams and take breaks after small sessions of digital work.
I have double digit myopia (-15.5 at my most recent exam), in my 30's.
What would your primary concerns be for someone with my vision?
Retinal detachments is the first thing that alerts. Make sure you aren’t experiencing flashing lights, sudden increases in floaters, missing vision, etc. Definitely give a visit to your eye doctor routinely to address the issues!
I have severe spring allergies that manifest almost exclusively in itchy eyes. I've tried Patanol, Optivar, and other eye drops, but nothing seems to really work. Is there anything (that's not $100) that you'd recommend?
I would direct this to your local eye doc. There are a bunch if drops to choose from and they will help find the perfect one for ya!
When I store my contacts at night should they be cup up or cup down? I do it cup up so no air is trapped. Does it matter?
As long as you rinse and rub the lenses for the debris, it shouldn’t matter cup up or down. What I do and more commonly seen is cup up :)
What can I do to keep or improve eyesight and health?
Staying healthy in general is a huge part of maintaining good eye health. The exercise and diet method you were taught is still king. Visiting your local eye doctor on an annual basis is a great start :)
Is dry eye related to dehydration?
It can be! I would def say there is a good correlation between the two. Stay hydrated my friend.
I sleep with my contacts in pretty regularly with no bad effects other than mild discomfort in the mornings.
Is it really so bad to sleep in them or is that something the lawyers make you say?
Haha. Yes sleeping in contacts is bad for your eye health. You’re essentially decreasing oxygen to the eye which is important for efficient function! Yes Essentially eye infections, ulcers, dryness can come from sleeping in lenses. I don’t have the exact number with me but even though you haven’t had a complication it can happen. That one in a thousand chance is always possible and let me tell you there’s def pain!
How do you manage to compete with the larger companies who own most of the optometrist businesses?
I have to change my approach. I used to see quite a few patients (think 16-21 every day). Now, I am able to see one per hour which gives me MUCH more quality time talking more in depth about the eye and life. Exams feel much more personable than ever before. The only challenge now is getting exposure for patients to come in. Has been hard but thanks for the support :)
Are blue light filters on phones effective?
There are not enough conclusive evidence to say if blue light filters work or not!
I believed I answered a similar question below! Online retailers do affect practices such as us but not as much as you would think. The patients who but online will usually always do so and the ones who support local do so. Brick and mortar is tough nowadays to get started cold unless you’re planning for a less saturated or a rural area.
I’m F34 diagnosed with open angle glaucoma, and already taking latanoprost daily at night. My question to you is, are there lifestyle or other things I can do in my day to day that would help me manage it and keep my eye from getting worse?
Mild aerobic exercises can help a bit. Try to avoid activities such as boxing, rugby, etc as those have a higher chance of trauma that can induce higher pressures. Stay healthy with your diet with less fats and try to avoid smoking (which links to more than just glaucoma). Oh and of course keep up with meds and doctor visits :)
How long is the optic nerve? How far can your eye come out of the socket and still be functional? When things get into your eyes, eyelashes and other debris, where do they go?
The eye and it’s muscle typically drain debris and smaller dust particles through certain channels. Don’t worry about these unless pain or irritation is constantly noticed. Then go get a check up with the eye doc!
Can somebody go from never needing glasses to laser eye surgery right away or is there some kind of transition period where you need glasses for a bit?
Your eye surgeon can help address this better. Typically, if your eyes have been stable for awhile there should be no pressing issues.
What is the coolest new device you've seen that makes huge changes in diagnosis/treatment/etc. of various conditions?
Man there are way too many of innovative technology through the eyes. Eye imaging to methods of surgeries for bringing medicine into the eye have shooken up the eye world!
Can anything be done about "floaters" in my eyes? The older i get, the more annoying they become.
Floaters are very common actually. I’ll leave this up to your eye doc because issues like retinal detachment are serious and should be detected/monitored for.
Do you think there will be eye transplants ? Or even robotic eyes for humans in the future ??
There is already eye transplant in the form of corneal transplant which is for the front part of the eye. As for the entire eye, research is still under ways. I am not sure about the exact progress but with how fast tech and science grows, wouldn’t surprise me if this is done relatively soon.
Does tints really help with photophobia or is it placibo effect?
Certain tints on lenses have been shown to help with photophobia! It is most definitely not a placibo effect in those patients.
What are the effects of high blood pressure on the eyes?
High blood pressure can lead to a damage to the blood vessels in the eye! Visual symptoms can vary depending on severity.