A girl wearing colored contacts with pink chapped lips. She is wearing a hat.

Contact Lenses and Cold Weather

This time of year is perfect for wrapping up in a blanket, sipping hot chocolate and spending time with family. However, with the season comes cold and bitter weather, and these conditions can be extremely harsh on your eyes and contact lenses.

But don’t worry. Like always, we have a few tricks up our sleeves to ensure your eyes stay happy and healthy during even the chilliest days.

Winter and Dry Eyes

Michigan winters are packed with snow, wind and bitter temperatures. We love how beautiful our state gets in cold weather, but these harsh conditions can often irritate eyes.

The winter months are drier than others, which can stimulate a tearing reflex in our eyes. That’s why you might find yourself blinking away tears when the temperatures drop.

When the whipping winds make contact with the eyes’ surface, even if you’re wearing contact lenses, the moisture of your eyes gets stripped. As a result, your eyes try to counteract the dryness by producing more tears.

To help cut down on random crying while still keeping your eyes moisturized, try artificial tears, contact lens specific lubricating drops, a humidifier, or some of these tricks!

Eye Protection

Yes, even in the cold months, it’s important to protect your eyes from harmful UV rays.

You might be surprised to learn that your eyes can suffer from sunburn. You might be even more surprised to learn that the light reflecting off the snow and ice can evoke some very powerful UV rays, even on a cloudy day!

If your eyes do suffer from sunburn, the condition generally clears up after a few days, but during that time, you can’t wear your contacts.

Protect your eyes this year by making sure you wear sunglasses all year round. Not only do sunglasses protect you from UV rays, but they can act as a barrier between your eyes and the wind. That can help reduce dry eyes and irritation from winter breezes.

Contact Care

Despite what you may have heard, we can confidently tell you your contact lenses won’t freeze to your eyes even on the coldest of days.

Although you won’t be in danger of frozen lenses, it is important to keep your contacts moist. You’ll also need lenses that are best suited for your eyes. If you have naturally dry eyes, specialized lenses may be a good option for the cold months. Our team can help you find the right fit to keep your eyes happy all season long.

So what are you waiting for? Make sure to schedule an appointment with us to prepare for the upcoming cold weather. We can help you find properly fitted lenses that will suit all of your winter needs.

a photo of a girl trying on glasses. An Rx Optical doctor watches her.

Transitions: Photochromic Lens Basics

Did you know that Transitions is the name of the brand (which we offer), and not the term for a lens that changes colors? Yup. The lenses that appear clear (or nearly clear) while indoors and automatically darken when exposed to natural light are called photochromic lenses.

Transitions happens to be one of the best-selling brands of photochromic lenses in the United States, which is why many people confuse the name of the brand with the name of the product itself.

Photochromic lenses offer a lot of benefits that you might not know about, so keep reading to find out more.

UV Ray Protection

Photochromic lenses are cool and outrageously convenient. Because the lenses change color when they are exposed to harmful UV rays, your eyes are instantly protected from the sun while you’re wearing them.

See, sunglasses help protect your eyes from UV rays, which is good, because these rays can cause irreversible damage like cataracts or macular degeneration. By wearing lenses that shift into sunglasses, your eyes are better protected from the sun than they would be without sunglasses.

Versatile Options

We know that switching between prescription lenses and sunglasses can get frustrating. That’s why Transitions lenses are a great choice if you’re always on the go. When you have a pair of glasses with photochromic lenses, you get the best of both worlds!

These lenses are also great if you’re constantly misplacing your sunglasses. When your lenses can give you clear vision and UV protection, you only need to worry about keeping track of one pair. If, however, you like keeping fun in the sun separate from your work life, we offer prescription sunglasses, too!

Blue Light Filters

Transitions lenses have more capabilities than you might realize. They can even help to block out blue light from digital devices.

If you’ve never heard of blue light or have no idea where it comes from, that’s no problem! Blue light is emitted by digital screens, and it can interfere with your circadian rhythms. If you don’t wear protection, but you spend a lot of time staring at screens, blue light can even give you eye strain or headaches.

It’s a good thing that most Transitions Lenses now block more light indoors than any other traditional clear lens can! So, if you’re on your devices frequently, Transitions Lenses might be a great solution for you.

We know so many options for eyewear can be confusing. The simple fix is to schedule an appointment with us so we can find the right solution for your eyes and your life style. See you soon!

Grass grows out of the dunes by Lake Michigan while font over them reads, "SUmmertime in Michigan means driving to the nearest lakeshore with your loved ones and spending the day on the coast."

Michigan’s 5 Best Summer Getaways

Summertime in Michigan means driving to the nearest lake shore with your loved ones and spending the day on the coast. The doctors on our team are no different than you; they love the sand between their toes, wearing cool shades, and hanging out with their favorite people.

Whether you prefer “glamping” or setting up camp in the middle of the forest, our Michigan summer getaways have a little something for everyone. Check out our expert doctors’ favorite places to go in the summer:

Charlevoix

If you want to be surrounded by clear blue water (and, let’s be honest, who wouldn’t want that?) then Charlevoix is the getaway for you. With Lake Charlevoix, Round Lake, and Lake Michigan all nearby, there is never a shortage of water activities. Shop downtown boutiques and try local restaurants after a long day in the water. Charlevoix has a great mix of outdoor fun and city life.

Isle Royale National Park, Lake Superior

Isle Royale is the place to go when you want to get off the grid and be one with nature. This national park is a remote island positioned right near the Canadian border. The island has no cars and lots of green scenery, which makes it perfect for hiking or jogging. Explore the Greenstone Ridge Trail that links the island’s east and west sides or visit the Rock Harbor lighthouse.

Bad Axe

Set up camp in the thumb when you visit Bad Axe. This small town is just a quick drive from Lake Huron or Saginaw Bay. Like Charlevoix, Bad Axe has a great balance of outdoor exploration and downtown entertainment. If you don’t want to camp, Bad Axe also has options for the glamper on your trip, including everything from cabins to hotels.

Silver Lake Sand Dunes

If you are a fan of fast-paced adventure, buckle up and race over to Silver Lake Sand Dunes. With over 2,000 acres of dunes on Lake Michigan and Silver Lake, you’ll have plenty of room to walk or ride the dunes. Bring your own off-the-road vehicles or rent a dune buggy from a local business, and then get out there.

Where will your summer adventure take you? Stop in, tell us about it, and grab some sunglasses to protect your vision! With over 50 locations statewide, we’re never too far away.

Dr.Mike Murphy talks on the news while font over him reads, "In the past year, the media has turned to our expert team of doctors and opticians to share our knowledge, resources, and tips with viewers and readers across the state of Michigan."

Rx Optical in the News

At Rx Optical, we understand the importance of educating both our current patient base and the general public on best practices surrounding eye care and your overall health. In the past year, the media has turned to our expert team of doctors and opticians to share our knowledge, resources, and tips with viewers and readers across the state of Michigan.

In addition to being experts in all things related to eye care and eye health, our team is also well versed in the latest eye wear tips and trends. Check out a few of our favorite media highlights, featuring our wonderful team members, from 2018:

A Guide to Glasses

Rose Denney, Optician and Office Manager at the Grandville Rx Optical location, sat down with West Michigan Woman in April 2018 to share insight into how she helps patients pick out the perfect frames that fit their face shape and overall style. Rose’s training and education make her an expert in both eye care and personal eye wear styling. Check out the full piece here.

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National Sunglasses Day

National Sunglasses Day, celebrated annually on June 27, is, unsurprisingly, one of our favorite days of the season. Anthony McConer, Office Manager at Rx Optical Breton Village, stopped by the FOX 17 studios to chat about why it is vital that you wear sunglasses with proper UV protection. He also covered different style trends and discussed how to pick the right frame size and shape.

Check out Anthony’s interview here. We can’t wait for National Sunglasses Day this year!

Rx Optical discusses the importance of sunglasses.

Back-to-School Tips

Getting ready to send your kids back to school in August can seem like a daunting task. From gathering new school supplies to learning how to fall back into a normal routine, there is a lot to take care of. One very important item that tends to be overlooked: a comprehensive eye exam for children. Dr. Sherah Eavey sat down with WOOD-TV to share a few of the red flags to be aware of when it comes to children’s eye health issues.

Check out the must-see, back-to-school segment here.

Rx Optical's Dr. Sherah Eavey talks about back to school tips for kids and their eyes.

Halloween Horrors

Our doctors always keep an eye out for potential eye health threats based on the season. Dressing up for Halloween in the fall is always a fun tradition, however, the trend of unregulated cosmetic lenses are posing serious threats to users. Dr. Mike Murphy shared the dangers of cosmetic contact lenses with the team at WXYZ-TV in Detroit.

Check out the vision-saving interview here.

Dr. Mike Murphy discusses the dangers of cosmetic contact lenses.

At Rx Optical, we are committed to educating and informing patients and the general public about the latest eye care news, tips or threats. We also love being the go-to experts for eye wear fashion trends. No matter the season, and no matter the topic, our team at Rx Optical has you covered.

Keep your eyes peeled for more of our doctors and opticians being featured in the media in 2019. Want to meet our talented team of media stars? Find a location near you or schedule your appointment online today.

A snowy forest with the text, "Michigan has been our home since 1947 and we are deeply proud of our state."

Our Favorite Winter Sights in Michigan

Michigan has been our home since 1947 and we are deeply proud of our state. While we will admit that Michigan winters can be tough sometimes, we also know they can be stunningly beautiful. There’s just something about the way the snow glistens on the bare tree branches when the light hits just right, and just like that, Michigan turns into a winter wonderland.

When the snow falls, our team has a few favorite places that we like to explore each year, and we want to share them with you. Check out our list of favorite winter sights in Michigan:

Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore – Munising

A trip to the Upper Peninsula is always beautiful, no matter the season, but in the winter it is transformed into a breathtaking, frozen tundra. You can ski, hike, and even climb frozen ice waterfalls. The frozen lake is captivating to look at and is truly embodies “Pure Michigan.” Remember, if you’re headed way up north, be sure to pack extra layers!

Sleeping Bear Point and Shalda Creek – Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore

Don’t want to venture all the way to the Upper Peninsula but still want to feel like you’re “up north”? Check out the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. We love to wander through the snow-covered dunes and enjoy the views from what feels like the top of the world. And, if you are able to make it just after a large gust of wind hits the dunes, the layers of the sand change and create beautiful textures.

While you’re at the Sleeping Dunes National Lakeshore, make sure you make a stop at Shalda Creek. This creek is small and can be hard to miss as it heads into Good Harbor Bay, but it’s beauty is unparalleled. Make sure you wear warm winter hiking boots and snow pants, or waders, as the ice may be thin!

Rosa Parks Circle – Grand Rapids

Would you rather escape to the city? On the west side of Michigan, Grand Rapids’ Rosa Parks Circle is at the center of the city’s hustle and bustle. The city ices over the park and creates an outdoor ice rink for everyone to enjoy. If you go at night, you will be surrounded by decorated trees and the twinkling lights of the city. The Circle is also close to many restaurants, nightlife, and great museums that both kids and parents will enjoy.

Campus Martius Park – Detroit

On the east side of Michigan, Detroit transforms their downtown park into a winter wonderland and ice rink. With fun activities from skating to broomball, there is always something fun happening at Campus Martius. Campus Martius is at the center of amazing restaurant selection, sparkling lights, and entertainment. Your eyes will never tire from taking in all the sights in downtown Detroit.

We love our Michigan roots and can’t get enough of exploring our great state. Do you have a favorite winter spot in Michigan? Be sure to share it with us!

Also, schedule an appointment today so you can be sure you are seeing clearly when you visit these great winter spots. You won’t want to miss a single detail!

Rx Optical Blog Image Fashion Glasses 10.15.18

Fashion Glasses: Necessity and Accessory

From geek to chic, glasses have become a fashion statement, whether they are prescription or not. Glasses have come a long way from big, circular lenses to tons of fun modern designs. Today, glasses are no longer seen as just an aid for vision, instead, glasses are now a fashion statement.

Still, a large majority of the population need glasses to see. In fact, did you know that 3 out of 4 American adults use a form of vision correction?

Whether you need them or not, glasses are a fun addition to any outfit!

Necessity and Accessory

Flashback 20 years ago and think about being told you needed glasses. Your options for choosing a frame that compliments your face and style were slim to none.

Now, the options are endless. As designers have recognized that glasses are not just a medical aid, but also a fashion statement, they have created fun designs and styles that keep up with seasons, trends, and culture.  A surge of styles, fits, and colors are now available to try on and experiment with.

Think Fashion

Fashion changes with the seasons; why limit your glasses to one look? The pastel colors of spring and bright colors of summer call for all kinds of fun frames.

A neutral frame looks classic in the fall, and a fun pop of red is exciting during the winter season.

Don’t be afraid to try trends: circular wire rimmed frames are incredibly popular now.

Our opticians are style-savvy and know what glasses are trending. Not sure where to start? Our trained staff can help you find your style.

Switching up your look with glasses will not only be a conversation starter, but will get you excited about the way you look. Choosing a pair of glasses to go with your outfit in the morning should be like choosing the right jewelry, belts, and shoes.

Wide Range

Since glasses have moved from necessity to accessory, the options for frames have multiplied. There is a plethora of options for whatever look you are going for; in fact, we offer more than 40 designer brands to choose from. Our trained team can help you choose the right frame for your face and the style that fits your personality. Try on as many frames as you need to in order to get the perfect pair.

Find Your Fit

Trying on glasses can be like trying on a pair of jeans. It does not always sound like the most fun way to spend your time, but with the wide selections to choose from, the whole experience has changed.

Ready to get started but you’re not sure where to begin? Check out our blog all about finding the right frame for your face: part one and two. Then head over to your closest Rx location to have an optician help you find your fit.

Looking for glasses regardless of if you need a prescription? Stop into one of our 54 locations to meet with our experienced and friendly staff. We would be happy to help you find the perfect fashion-forward frames for your face and personality!

Rx Optical Doing Business In Michigan For Over 70 Years

Vice President of Marketing of Rx Optical, George Jepson is the featured guest on this segment of a Michigan Business Beat. He shares with Jeffrey Mosher some spotlights of another Michigan story.

Founded in 1947 in Kalamazoo, MI Rx Optical is a leading eye-care provider with 53 locations throughout Michigan and parts of Indiana. After 71 years, Rx Optical are opening three more locations in 2018 and ’19 (Holland Central, Saline, and a new Kalamazoo Downtown office).

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Rx Optical expanding presence along the lakeshore

Rx Optical plans to open a third Holland location in the fall.

The Kalamazoo-based eye care chain is slated to open the office, at 590 E. 16th St., in September.
“We have enjoyed serving our patients in Holland since the early 1980’s, and in order to meet the increasing demand, we will be opening our third location in this area,” said George Jepson, Rx Optical vice president of marketing, in a statement.

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blog image rx optical 1025

HOW TO PREPARE FOR AN EYE EXAM

While you should be visiting us regularly, some tend to put it off until there’s a problem – who doesn’t procrastinate? Whether you’re coming in to have something checked, or just for the first time in a long time, it’s easy to be prepared. Thinking about and bringing certain things to your appointment can help ensure you are getting the most out of your visit.

Ask:

Here are a few things you can ask yourself in order to assess your vision situation prior to visiting us.

  • Do I have trouble judging distance?
  • Do I have a family history of eye problems?
  • Have I noticed any changes in my vision?
  • Do I have trouble distinguishing between certain colors?
  • Do I have poor night vision?

In the time leading up to your appointment, start observing how you see things around you.

Bring:

The below items will help us assess your current situation.

  • Current glasses or prescriptions
  • A list of medications (even non-prescription medications could affect your vision)
  • Insurance information
  • Your primary care doctor
  • A friend to drive you home (just in case your doctor needs to dilate your eyes) everyone loves this!

Insurance:

Review your insurance before coming to your appointment so you’re aware of any copays due at the time of your visit. If you have questions about your insurance, write them down and bring them to us. We have a proprietary computer billing system that is optimized for thousands of insurance plans, and it is operated by highly-skilled, billing professionals. Did we mention how friendly they are?

No insurance? Don’t worry. Our Vision Advantage Program is a savings program available through your employer or member groups like credit unions. You may have access to these savings benefits already.

So, whether it’s time for your first eye exam, you’ve noticed something different about your vision, or you’re just following up after a long time away, contact us today to make an appointment and start preparing your visit!

Business Growth

“A slow and intentional approach to expansion has been the key to Kalamazoo-based Rx Optical’s 70 years of success.

Rx Optical Vice President of Marketing George Jepson said for the company’s first 23 years, Rx Optical operated just one location. It has since grown to 53 locations throughout Michigan and a handful in Indiana, adding approximately two to three new practices each year.”

Grand Rapids Business Journal, Slow and Steady Wins the Race, 6/16/2017

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Training Expansion

“The $6 million expansion of Rx Optical Laboratories Inc.’s corporate campus in Southwest Michigan will support further steady growth for the company.

Key to the project on South State Street in Kalamazoo is expanding Rx Optical’s capacity for training opticians and retail employees, a function that President Steve Jepson calls a fundamental element of the company’s corporate culture and strategy.

The expanded training center at the corporate campus “is all about building great people for the long term,” Jepson said.”

MiBiz, Rx Optical focuses on training capacity with $6 million Kalamazoo expansion, 6/25/2017

70 Years in Business

“For the first 23 years, Rx Optical operated from a single location in Kalamazoo. Now, 70-years after that first optical shop opened for business, there are a total of 53 Rx Optical shops including three in Berrien County as they celebrate their 70th Anniversary in business.

Thanks to their growth over the past 47 years, Rx Optical is now the second-largest independently owned and operated optical retailer in the nation…and the oldest such retailer based in Michigan.”

Moody on the Market, Rx Optical Marks a Seven Decade Milestone, 6/20/2017

http://www.moodyonthemarket.com/rx-optical-marks-a-seven-decade-milestone/

New Office Locations

“Rx Optical, which is celebrating its 70th anniversary this year, has followed the same patient-first philosophy since its founding in 1947 here in Kalamazoo. That philosophy, coupled with slow-but-steady growth plans, has enabled Rx Optical to become the leading eyecare provider in the state of Michigan with 53 offices across this state as well as Indiana.

Rx Optical opened its two newest Michigan locations—in Breton Village (Grand Rapids) and Ann Arbor—in May. This is the second Rx Optical office to open in Ann Arbor.”

Vision Monday, Rx Optical Stays True to its Formula for Success and Adds New Offices at Measured Pace, 5/31/2017

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70 Years in Business

Leading eye-care provider, Rx Optical, opened two state-of-the-art offices in Breton Village (Grand Rapids), Mich. and Ann Arbor, Mich. in early May to serve their growing patient base. In Fall 2016 the company opened offices on Drake Road in Kalamazoo, Mich. and Knapp’s Crossing in Grand Rapids, Mich. Rx has 53 locations throughout Michigan and Indiana. New and existing locations provide eye glass lens manufacturing and fitting, medical patient care, eye-care solutions for adults and children, contact lens fitting, adjustments and repair. The new offices are located at 1858 Breton Rd. SE, Grand Rapids, Mich., and 3275 Washtenaw Ave., Ann Arbor, Mich. This is the second Rx Optical office to open in Ann Arbor.

“From our beginning in 1947 in Kalamazoo, we have expanded at a measured pace, never interested in sacrificing our commitment to our patients to a demand for growth,” said George Jepson, Rx Optical Vice President of Marketing “Steady and sure, our steps forward have come when we could afford to responsibly commit to cities and towns which were being underserved – markets where patient names had become numbers. That’s where we have always seen the opportunity to instill care and value back into a service and products that we see as pretty darn important to the lives of our patients.”

-BenZinga, Michigan Eye Care Provider Celebrates 70 Years in Business; Adds Two State of the Art Offices, 5/23/2017

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This is the best eye doctor I have ever been to. He was relaxed with a sense of humor and made an eye exam not feel so serious. You can tell he really cares that his patients are fully comfortable and satisfied with whatever products they get. The receptionists are also very nice. They made a same day appointment for myself and my husband. We will be going here for as long as they’re around!

WHAT MAKES RX OPTICAL DIFFERENT: WE CREATE EXPERIENCES

Remember the movie Finding Nemo? How about Bruce, the blood thirsty, but fish-loving shark? During his “fish intervention” all the sharks in his support group repeat, “Fish are friends, not food!”

This might sound funny, but we feel the same way about patients. To us, patients are people, not numbers.

Patients are people. That sounds like a no brainer, but all too often, the personable side of optometry is forgotten and replaced with metrics, numbers, add-ons, and profits. Doctors sacrifice the needs and concerns of the patients for dollar signs, squeezing as many appointments into a day as possible. They forget that patients are people with concerns and vulnerabilities. They forget to make time to make time. That’s just not us.

We don’t mean to toot our own horn, but what the heck – at Rx Optical we believe it’s our unwavering dedication to our patients and support of Michigan sourced products that has continually set us apart from any competitor, online or otherwise. Our doctors, Opticians, and lab techs love what they do and together, we promise to always put you first.

Just read what some of our patients have to say and you’ll notice the difference.

“I went here since I needed to get a need batch of contacts. Their service was great and they were very friendly. Their exam was detailed and they explained exactly what they were checking and why. Instead of the exam where they blow air into the eye, they used some type of dilation and different types of light which is more accurate. You could tell that the optometrist really knew what he was doing.”

“This is the best eye doctor I have ever been to. He was relaxed with a sense of humor and made an eye exam not feel so serious. You can tell he really cares that his patients are fully comfortable and satisfied with whatever products they get. The receptionists are also very nice. They made a same day appointment for myself and my husband. We will be going here for as long as they’re around!”

Here’s a biggie, but it’s worth the read!

“This place is the best. They are honest and very nice. The optometrist is very personable and thorough. From the outside, it looks like a small place that you might think has little selection, but think again. Not only do they have a large selection, but you can get some really nice frames for cheap. Mine were completely covered by my insurance. I’ve been to other places, where I was told that I had only one option, to get progressive lenses. My insurance did not cover the cost of any frames at that store and I spent a few hundred dollars above what my insurance covered for one pair of prescription eyeglasses. In contrast, at Rx Optical, I was told that not only did I not need progressives, and at the end of the day, I elected for a pair of bifocals for special situation use. I spent only $54 because I elected to have non-glare coating added. They might not make a lot of $$ selling prescriptions this way, but they will make $$ because I’ll keep coming back here. Oh, and I forgot to mention, my glasses were ready within 4 business days after ordering. At that other place it would have been 3 weeks!”

We are based in Michigan – and that’s not a side note or a marketing gimmick. That means we are grounded in this State and not only do we provide service to our patients, but support the local economy and community. If we expect people to invest in us – we have to invest in them as well. Patients are people, not numbers – that has been our mantra for over 60 years and it’s not changing anytime soon.

Learn more about what makes us tick here or schedule an appointment to see what we are all about first-hand.

Sources:

http://movies.disney.com/finding-nemo

http://disney.wikia.com/wiki/Finding_Nemo_(soundtrack)

Charlotte Office gets facelift

Rx Optical has recently completed a full remodel of their Charlotte, MI office. This office has been in Charlotte since June of 1993 and after 23 years was ready for a facelift.

Rx Optical has 50 locations in Michigan and is dedicated to supporting the local economy. All fixtures and furniture used in the interior remodel were made in Michigan. All Rx Optical Opticians are certified by the American Board of Opticianry or training for their certification; something that is not required in the state of Michigan. Rx Optical bills most insurances including; Eyemed, Spectera, Davis Vision, VSP, NVA, BCBS and many others.

The Charlotte office offers a full line of services including eye exams for contacts and glasses; medical exams and dilations; dress, safety and sun glasses; and contact lenses. Frame lines at this office include; Coach, Ray Ban, Tiffany, Nike, Dolce & Gabbana, Dragon and many more. In addition they carry a line of American Made safety frames from Artcraft.

Louise, Dr. Kong and the rest of the team in Charlotte look forward to showing you their new office. Please visit RxOptical.com/Charlotte for office hours and additional information.

Charlotte Location
New Office exterior just waiting on landscaping!

Charlotte Store Interior
New office interior