They say seeing is believing. If so, it begins with proper vision care, finding a team of professionals who can provide comprehensive eye examinations and the proper fitting of eyeglasses or contact lenses. They must also be well versed in the diagnosis and appropriate treatment of medical eye conditions, including infections, injuries, glaucoma and cataracts.
“Patients deserve a continuity of care,” says Dr. Robert Spivack of Sterling Optical, a full-service eye care provider with locations in Turnersville and Deptford. “There should be a clear affiliation between the doctor and optical services. Today, that’s not always the case as more large retailers and wholesalers offer eye care.”
Locally owned and operated for more than 20 years, Sterling Optical offers the best of both worlds: the privacy and comfort of a smaller office with the convenience of retail store hours every Monday through Saturday. Led by Dr. Spivack, the team consists of licensed opticians skilled in the art of ophthalmic dispensing and proper fabrication of eyeglasses, as well as a support staff with years of in-depth knowledge and experience. The entire staff takes pride in supporting the community and knowing clients by name.
One pair is never enough
Once viewed as a stigma, eyeglasses have become a true fashion trend. No longer are they simply functional, they are designed to make a statement. According to Dr. Spivack, “Wearing glasses is now chic. Everywhere you look, celebrities are photographed with glasses. In fact, we find that many customers choose more than one set of frames today: something for work, another for play.”
This is evident in the ongoing trend of designer eyewear. Well-known fashion houses, such as Giorgio Armani, Calvin Klein and Ralph Lauren, have been influential. “Even Barbie has her own line,” says Dr. Spivack, adding that darker plastic frames—throwbacks to the ’60s and ’70s—have come back into style.
“At Sterling Optical, we stock more than 1,000 eyeglass frames for all budgets and lifestyles,” Dr. Spivack explains. “Moreover, we provide personalized fittings and have an onsite state-of-the-art optical lab to ensure the best in quality. Often, clients can leave with customized glasses the very same day.”
Sunglasses, which have always been a fashion accessory, also contribute to eye health. Whether sitting on the beach, skiing the slopes or running errands, sunglasses protect the eyes from ultraviolet light. Such damage can contribute to a slow progression of cataracts and macular degeneration in the retina.
Protection is also extremely important when it comes to athletics. An involvement in sports may potentially increase the number of eye injuries, Dr. Spivack says, and children are more at risk while their athletic skills, including reaction speed and balance, are still developing. “Under most circumstances, at least 90 percent of sports-related eye injuries are preventable with protective sports eyewear, through unbreakable lenses and frames.”
Contact lenses are also an alternative when it comes to sports and fitness in that they improve one’s side vision.
Back to school basics
Kids are once again ready to hit the books, and vision skills play a big role in learning and recreational activities. “Poor vision will make children have to work harder and can lead to headaches, fatigue and other eyestrain problems,” says Dr. Spivack.
Some of the key warning signs include when children lose their place or use a finger while reading. Parents may also notice if their child is holding materials closer than before or reversing words when reading and writing. Others will rub their eyes often or show noticeable change in schoolwork or performance. He adds, “Oftentimes, kids will ask to sit closer to the front, so parents should discuss any such changes in behavior with teachers on a regular basis.”
Many of the symptoms that show up in children are also signs of vision changes in adults of any age. Headaches, making mistakes and even missing road signs can all indicate the need for an eye exam. Dry eyes are also common and can result in burning or frequent reflex tearing. A thorough appointment is recommended specifically when other medical conditions, such as diabetes and hypertension, are present.
“Educating patients is key at Sterling Optical,” Dr. Spivack explains. “ Blurry vision and other symptoms can be signs of a more serious condition. Early diagnosis and treatment can help delay or prevent long term vision loss.” He goes on to stress the importance of nutrition, including fish oil, Omega 3 and bright fruits and vegetables. “Like many other medical issues, eating right and exercise, along with a healthy lifestyle, makes a difference. At Sterling Optical, we treat one’s overall health, not just their eyes.”
Cross Keys Commons, 3501 Route 42, Turnersville
Court at Deptford, 1500 Almonesson Road, Deptford
Published (and copyrighted) in Suburban Family Magazine, Volume 2, Issue 7 (September, 2011).
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