Blog & News

Eyewear Trends for Women – 2015

Mindy McCormick
by Mindy McCormick

One way to truly make a fashion statement every day is with a stylish pair of eyewear. With 2015 in full swing, we are here to let you in on the top trends in eyewear and what you will be seeing in the months ahead. These styles work for both everyday wear and sun wear and can be seen from coast to coast and on all different kinds of women. Every woman is different and will feel comfortable in different things.


Dramatic Squares


A frame shape that is really hot right now is dramatic squares. Any woman who doesn’t want to get too far out of their comfort zone and still wear something on-trend can pull them off. They create a neo-modern look and can make a dramatic statement while still looking sophisticated and elegant.


Exaggerated Cat Eyes


Something we are seeing a lot more of are the Exaggerated Cat Eye frames which can be very uplifting to the face and eye area. This eyewear trend harkens back to the late 50s and early 60s when actresses Marilyn Monroe and Audrey Hepburn scorched the silver screen in their cat eye frames.

While this look is a bit trendier than square frames, it is incredibly flattering on most face shapes. It’s a feminine look that works just as well in sun wear as it does with general eyewear.




They say every fashion trend will go full circle, and we are seeing the evidence of that today with hippy-inspired rounds. These are very flattering for women with a square shaped face or a great look for women looking for a youthful way to incorporate some playfulness into their wardrobe. Whether borrowing your rounds from the late 60s (think John Lennon) or bold frames from the early 70s, round frames are great for trendsetters and people who like to make an impression.




Aviators are a staple every year for sun wear. They never seem to go out of style for good reason. Aviator sunglasses look great on every face shape and can be worn for multiple occasions. A traditionally sporty look, this year’s take on the classic is slightly oversized and mirrored.

Of course these are just a few of the new trends in eyewear for the upcoming year. You can always stop in at any time and try out a new look at EyeCare Specialties. Our Frame Experts are always on hand to make suggestions and give you feedback on what looks the best and how it can work for your lifestyle.

Protecting Your Eyes from the Sun

Dr. Devine

With summer approaching quickly, we all need to think about protecting our eyes from the sun and its harmful rays. The sun emits several types of damaging light: Ultraviolet (UV) and High Energy Visible (HEV) light. UVA and UVB rays can not only harm our skin, but can be detrimental to the health of our eyes. HEV or blue light can be helpful in small amounts but the exposure from the sun combined with too much exposure from electronic devices can be damaging to our eyes.

ECS_sunglassesIn the short term, too much UV exposure can cause photokeratitis or a sunburn of the eye. Your eyes will become red, feel gritty and sore, and produce excessive tearing. In the long term, UV exposure can cause cataracts and retinal damage. HEV light has been shown to be a factor in age-related macular degeneration. Skin cancer around the eyes can also be linked to too much sun exposure.

It’s important to be especially aware of how much UV and HEV exposure your eyes receive if you spend a lot of time outdoors, if you are a welder, medical technologist or work in the graphic arts or if you take medications that can increase your sensitivity to UV light. While some studies show that people with blue or green eyes are more sensitive to damage, every eye color and ethnicity needs to be concerned about UV damage to the eyes.

The damage caused by both UV and HEV light is cumulative, so it’s best to start protecting yourself at an early age. Children are especially at risk because the lens of their eyes allows more UV light into the retina.

Wear sunglasses and a wide brimmed hat whenever you spend time outdoors. Look for sunglasses that screen out 99-100% of UV rays. Polarized lenses can help to reduce glare and brightness. Indoors, consider lenses designed to block 100% of blue light. There are also additional coatings available to help protect your eyes from computer and video screens.

Of course, if you have any questions at all about level of protection or what to look for when choosing sunglasses, our team at EyeCare Specialties would be more than happy to help you choose the right protection for your eyes and your lifestyle.

Meet the Frame Expert: Kemari

Justin Hoatson
by Justin Hoatson
Kemari webOne of our newest Frame Experts, Kemari loves to be surrounded by people. His many years of experience in the hospitality industry have prepared him for truly listening to people and taking care of their needs.

He loves communicating with patients and creating personal connections. He really enjoys learning about the latest frames and lens technology and then blending that knowledge with a patient’s lifestyle in order to help them find the perfect pair of eyewear.

Kemari says he’s happy to have found a place at EyeCare Specialties, “It makes me proud to know that I am helping people with finding another form of comfort in their lives.”

He is a huge Chicago sports fan and can talk Bears, Bulls and Blackhawks all day long. You can also find him at Memorial Stadium on football Saturdays cheering on the Nebraska Cornhuskers.

Convergence Insufficiency and Reading

Dr. Rachel Smith
by Dr. Rachel Smith

If your child struggles with reading and complains about double vision or headaches when doing homework, your child could be struggling with a vision disorder known as convergence insufficiency.

Studies show that at least one in 20 children experience convergence insufficiency, which translates to one to two students in every classroom.

Convergence insufficiency is an eye-teaming, near-vision problem. With convergence insufficiency the eyes have difficulty coming together in order to focus on objects close up. The problem lies not within the eyes themselves, but in the ability of the brain to coordinate the eyes together to see one clear image.

Symptoms of convergence insufficiency include loss of place while reading, loss of concentration, re-reading the same line over and over, reading slowly and having trouble remembering what was just read. Teachers and parents may notice a child covering one eye while reading or having trouble concentrating when tired. Recent studies have shown strong relationships between children diagnosed with convergence insufficiency and those diagnosed with ADHD. A student with convergence insufficiency might complain of fatigue, eye strain, headaches or might not even complain at all.

Many times children who have convergence insufficiency perform well on a standard eye chart that measures visual acuity. They may not realize their difficulty reading is due to a vision problem. A comprehensive vision exam from an optometrist is the best way to diagnose convergence insufficiency.

The most effective way to treat convergence insufficiency is with a course of vision therapy. At EyeCare Specialties’ Center for Vision Development, our vision therapists create a specific series of eye exercises and activities for each child to teach them how to better coordinate their eyes to work efficiently as a team with near work.

For more information about the Vision Therapy program at EyeCare Specialities, click here or request an appointment.


The Importance of Lens Quality

Dr. Reins

One piece to realizing your best possible vision is an accurate prescription, but another important piece is making sure that you have quality materials to correct your vision. The quality of your lenses is important and not all eyewear is the same.

ECS_lenses.pngEarly corrective eyewear was made from glass. Glass eyewear was heavy and breakable and offered no UV protection at all. People with strong prescriptions would tend to forgo eyewear altogether to avoid the “coke-bottle” glasses look.

Standard plastic lenses were introduced in the 1960s. These lenses are very low cost and offer good optical quality but can be very thick for people with higher prescriptions. They can also crack when drilled so standard plastic may not be a good choice for people who would like to go with a rimless design. They can also have a tendency to scratch easily.

Polycarbonate lenses were introduced in the 1980s and are impact resistant and light. They can be a good choice for people who play sports or could be rough on their glasses. Polycarbonate lenses also provide UV protection to help protect the eye from UVA and UVB rays.

Trivex lenses are the newest technology on the eyewear landscape. They do a great job of vision correction, offering very high optical quality and can still maintain a thin look.Trivex lenses are lighter than polycarbonate but still offer similar impact resistance and UV protection.

After you choose what material your lenses are made from, you’ll want to consider which additional coatings to aid your vision and to protect the life of your lenses. I always recommend a glare-free coating which will help people who work in an office setting or drive at night. A coating that blocks blue light is ideal for people who spend a lot of time in front of a computer screen. I also recommend that everyone should consider adding UV protection to their eyewear, whether the lens material offers 100% protection on its own or if an additional UV coating should be added.

I like to compare choosing eyewear to driving a car. While the technology from 60 years ago can still get you from point A to point B, current advances are designed to make sure you get there with increased safety and comfort. The newest technological advances in eyewear are designed to help you realize your best possible vision. Your EyeCare Specialties optometrist will be able to recommend the right lenses for you based on your lifestyle and your prescription.


UV Rays in Winter

Dr. Sandman

Even though you’re not lounging at the beach or taking in a baseball game in February, your eyes still need protection from the harsh rays of the sun. UVA and UVB rays are still a threat to your eye health. UV rays can come to us directly from the sun, scattered through the open sky, or they can be reflected off surrounding environments. Snow reflects 80% of UV rays back to our eyes.

imgoWhile most people know it is important to protect our eyes from UV rays, almost half of us don’t wear sunglasses because we simply forget. Sunglasses can help prevent wrinkles, age spots and medical issues. Too much UV exposure can put you at risk for macular degeneration, cataracts, retina damage and ocular cancer.

UV damage is cumulative. We start the damage early in our lives often as children, and it gets gradually worse over time. Damage can not be reversed, but starting to wear sunglasses now will help.

Sunglasses with 100% UV blocking can help prevent those issues as well as prevent wind damage and reduce bright glare. Snow-blindness (photokeratitis) is another condition that can occur when you spend too much time outside in winter. Conditions can include redness, puffiness around the eyes, burning, watering and sensitivity to light.

There are many options when it comes to protecting your eyes from the sun during the winter months: prescription sunglasses, clip-on lenses and photochromic (Transitions®) lenses that change color when you go from inside to outside. If you’d like to stick with clear lenses, Trivex lenses can help shield your eyes from UV rays. If you enjoy winter sports, your eye doctor might recommend wrap-around sunglasses or goggles to protect your eyes.

Don’t forget eye protection for your kids. Because children’s eyes are extremely sensitive to UV rays, now is the perfect time to get them in the habit of wearing protective eyewear when they go outside every day.

Ask your doctor what is right for you. Your EyeCare Specialties optometrist will have some great suggestions and continually monitor your eyes to make sure they are as healthy as can be.

Taking Care of Your Eyewear

Justin Hoatson
by Justin Hoatson

Your eyewear is more than just an accessory; it is an investment in your vision and the ability to process the world around you. It is important to take care of your frames and lenses. Although any lens material will scratch over time depending on what it is exposed to and what accidents may occur, here are some cleaning tips that will help keep your lenses scratch-free as long as possible.

PrintClean your glasses daily and avoid wiping your lenses when they are dry. Begin by rinsing them in lukewarm water. This will remove the dirt and grit that sticks to your lenses and can scratch them when rubbed. Then, use dishwashing liquid or a lens cleaner to clean your lenses. Rinse and then wipe dry with a lint-free cotton towel or a microfiber cloth. 

Do not use kleenex, toilet paper or other paper products to dry or clean your glasses. These can scratch your lenses and even small scratches can impact your vision.

Always keep your eyewear in its case (if you have one) or if you don’t, rest your eyewear “lenses up” in order to avoid scratches.

Our ECS Frame Experts are always available to help you with additional maintenance of your eyewear. They can help you tighten screws, replace notepads and tweak your alignment at no cost to you when you purchase your eyewear from EyeCare Specialities.

With proper care and maintenance, your eyewear will last you for years to come and ensure your best possible vision.

Meet the Frame Expert: Amber

Justin Hoatson
by Justin Hoatson

amber_vodraskaAmber’s jovial personality is apparent when she works with patients. Her background in child development gives her a light-hearted attitude when helping both children and adults find the perfect frames. She loves knowing she’s done a great job helping someone find the right solution and looks forward to building ongoing relationships with patients for years to come.

She’s also proud of the “Share the Love” campaign from Taylor Madison frames and EyeCare Specialties; every time a pair of Taylor Madison frames are purchased another pair is donated to Shared Vision International to be distributed to those in need.

“I like how they donate a pair if you buy a pair,” Amber says. Knowing that she can be a part of making a difference in so many lives is important to Amber and one of the reasons she is proud to be a part of the ECS family.

Happy Holidays

Dr. Brightman

ECS_christmas-01As another year comes to an end, I wanted to take a moment to say “thank you” for your support of EyeCare Specialties. On behalf of ECS, we are honored to be able to take care of your vision and the overall health of your family’s eyes.

We are grateful for our ECS team, and I am constantly impressed by the talent and commitment they bring to work every day.

Thank you again for choosing EyeCare Specialties and best wishes for a wonderful holiday season.

Meet the CVD Team: Roxanne

Dr. Rachel Smith
by Dr. Rachel Smith

RoxanneWhile newly transferred to the Vision Therapy Program and Center for Vision Development, Roxanne has been with ECS for over five years and is proud of the integrity of the staff in offering the best possible care for their patients.

With over 20 years of experience navigating the world of medical insurance and billing, Roxanne has the ability to help patients find answers in a warm and encouraging way. She finds helping patients understand the process and getting the solutions they need incredibly fulfilling.

When not at the clinic, Roxanne loves to use the creative side of her brain; refinishing furniture, painting and sewing. She also enjoys getting hands on in the kitchen and in the garden where she’s been having fun with the new fairy village trend.

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