Why Do I Need Reading Glasses?

Reading glasses are an inevitability for most people, but that doesn’t mean you have to settle for the $10 pair from the drug store with cheap lenses and little beads hanging off the temples…

It’s going to happen to everyone and you can’t fight it but that doesn’t mean that you have to get a boring pair from the drugstore down the street! Reading glasses (or readers) are a pair of glasses that help with close vision for activities like reading. Today many different, designer brands have been making stylish reading glasses that are cost effective, and for those who are not ready for bifocals.

Who needs reading glasses?

Deteriorating close vision is a symptom of an extremely common condition called Presbyopia. There is no treatment for Presbyopia because it is a natural phenomena that happens to our eyes as we get older. When we reach our forties, the lenses in our eyes start becoming less malleable, and it becomes more difficult for them to easily bend into the correct shape for up close vision. That means that activities like reading and driving can become more difficult. This is when adults in their forties begin to hold up books and menus at arms length to read them!


Why don’t I just get bifocals?

Bifocal lenses are for people who need help with both far and near vision. The line on bifocal lenses can also be difficult to get used to. Bifocals can cost up to double what reading glasses do. Progressive lenses (which are like bifocals, but without an annoying line) can cost even more. If you are looking for a solution for just close vision, reading glasses are your best bet! Reading glasses come in six, generic powers that fit a majority of people (+1.00, +1.50, +1.75, +2.00, +2.25, +2.50, +3.00).

But reading glasses are ugly!

But they don’t have to be! Certain brands such as Private Eyes Readers and Corinne McCormack make beautiful readers that are fashion forward, professional, and not too expensive. If you need sunglasses, well-known sunglasses brands like Costa and Maui Jim make Costa C-Mates and Maui Jim Readers, which still have the style and innovation that is associated with the Costa and Maui Jim names, but at a more affordable cost!
More questions about reading glasses? Check out these awesome reading glasses below and our reading glasses page at FramesDirect.com!!




FramesDirect.com Employee Spotlight: Jennifer

FramesDirect.com was founded in 1996, and we still have employees that have been around since the beginning! FramesDirect.com is all about the FramesDirect.com family, so we thought we would spotlight one of our longest working employees: Jennifer .


So can you give a short bio about yourself?

Sure! I was born in Sugarland, Texas and right now I live in Northern California, by Napa, on Travis Air Force base. So, I stayed in the same house growing up, never moved anywhere. Same house as when I was 3 years old, and my parents still live there. Then when I graduated from A&M, my husband and I got married and started moving from then on because he was in the Air Force. Now we have two kids, a little boy, 7, Cooper, and then my daughter, Kinsley is 5.

How did you get started working for FramesDirect.com?

Well, I worked in the office full time for them, the doctors, when I first graduated for almost two years, but I’ve worked here since I was 16, part time seasonally, holidays, and things like that.  I remember filing papers in the small hallway in the Houston office. The doctors that started the company were there at my bridal shower, at my wedding, and they were there when I was pregnant.

I got the job because they were my eye doctors. Ironically, I was in a car accident when I was a senior and I went in because I was having double vision and I couldn’t see, and my head was hurting. They diagnosed me with glaucoma, and all this whiplash stuff  and they did emergency surgery the next day. So they started out as my eye doctors, because my mother worked in the same building as them.

What do you do for FramesDirect.com?

So, I’m operations manager, essentially I split the role. It’s defined pretty clearly in the sense that I deal more with the fulfillment side as far as making sure the ordering department gets product in, and things like that. So my position more so revolves around the vendor side of things [rather than] customer service.

unnamed (1)So you have longstanding relationships with the vendor reps?

Our old Oakley rep is a really good friend of mine, I mean, he’s not our rep anymore, as long as we’ve moved to Austin, but he recently moved out to

Cali and we remained friends. You build these relationships with these people and you learn about their kids, and we mail Christmas cards and presents to each other!

What do you like best about working at FramesDirect.com?

Initially, it was working for the doctors, because they were such good people, but there hasn’t been much of a change since the move. I grew up with the company. I really enjoy my job and that I can still spend time with my family. Also, working with all our employees, you really get to enjoy them and get to know them.

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What’s your fav food?

Bacon on anything is good. I love bacon. I’m a food junkie.


TV show?

I’m a reality show junkie. So anything like that!


Behind The Scenes: Summer Catalog

meranddavid(All photos provided are sneak peeks from our Summer photo shoot. Follow the FD instagram for more!)

If you’re on the FramesDirect.com mailing list—then your mailbox is about to get way more stylish. Our Summer Catalog is hitting homes soon! And inside each page is a selection from some of your favorite brands. Everything from Ray-Ban to Oakley to Tag Heuer to much, much more!


We know we’re lucky to live in Austin, and therefore, have a wonderful team to create such a beautiful end product. We want the eyewear to be the main focus, but we sure do appreciate an entire ensemble. We can’t thank our Wardrobe Stylist and Makeup Artist enough. I mean, look at our model, Meredith (above) and David (below). They look stellar.


Didn’t sign up for a summer catalog? No problem. Feel free to reach out to us here, and we’ll add you to our list. Until then, shop our latest sale and scroll through all of your favorite designer brands here!


Avoid Sore Eyes with Safe Screen Time

With the preponderance of digital devices in our lives it’s easy to lose track of the hours we spend staring at screens. Whether you are obliged to be in front of a computer for your job duties, or just a TV or video game junkie, the dangers are applicable to you. And that’s not to mention the ubiquitous smartphone, which has now become an appendage on even the youngest members of society. Considering this, it’s no surprise that Digital Eye Strain is a potential problem for most of us, whether we wear glasses or not. And it’s important to consider the ways in which we can mitigate the cumulative damage done to our eyes from digital devices.

So what exactly is Digital Eye Strain? It’s simply the discomfort many of us feel after two or more hours in front of any type of digital screen. This includes desktops and laptops, smart phones and tablets, e-readers, TVs, and video games. Other bodily symptoms of overexposure include neck, shoulder, and back pain, headache, blurred vision, and dry eyes. The average person blinks about 18 times a minute, but staring at screen causes blink rates to reduce, resulting in dry, itchy or burning eyes and can even cause permanent changes to tear fluid.

The optical industry has begun paying attention to blue light, also called high-energy visible (HEV) light, exposure. This is the category of light emitted from backlit displays. Blue light can reach even deeper into the eye than UV, and may damage the retina with cumulative exposure (which could lead to macular degeneration.)  Digital devices expose the eye to hidden spikes in intensity at wavelengths within the blue part of the spectrum.

blue part of spectrum

Blue light can also impact circadian rhythms by suppressing the release of melatonin (the hormone that controls the day-night cycle in the body.)

This January, The Vision Council released its third annual Digital Eye Strain Report, based on a study involving around 10k participants conducted in October, 2014. Its findings about the amount of time most of us spend on digital devices is a little shocking – 1/3 of adults spend more than half their waking hours staring at a screen. But many of us have no choice; our livelihoods are dependent on hours in front a computer. So what can be done?

Tips for preventing digital eye strain:

  • Increase the text size and adjust the contrast to make text easier to read
  • Change the background color from white to grey
  • 20-20-20 rule: look away from the screen every 20 minutes for at least 20 seconds at something 20 feet away
  • Remind yourself to blink
  • Dust & wipe down screens to cut down on glare
  • Put your computer screen one arms length from your face (20-28 inches from your eyes)
  • Your screen should be directly in front of your face, slightly below eye level
  • Anti-reflective coatings on the front and back of lenses (more info)
  • Anti-glare protective screens on monitors
  • Adjust the lighting in your workspace using desk lamps or other portable lighting (since fluorescent lighting emits blue light as well)
  • Try blue-light blocking lenses (like these, or any lens with an amber, yellow, or gold tint that has UV coating)

Tips for kids

  1. Take regular breaks
  2. Don’t let them hold the screen too close to their eyes
  3. Correctly set up workstation, with 2 feet flat on the floor.

If you suspect you are suffering from digital eye strain, get an evaluation from your eye care provider.


The Vision Council (2015, January) Hindsight is 20/20/20: Protect Your Eyes from Digital Devices, 2015 Digital Eye Strain Report, Retrieved February, 03, 2015, from http://www.thevisioncouncil.org/

Up Close with FramesDirect.com’s Master Optican


Alan, Master Optician and Packers fan

Did you know that EVERY customer service agent on staff at FramesDirect.com is an optician? One of the greatest assets and distinctions of our business is the expertise of our opticians. They double check every order and are on hand to answer any question our customers may have. They have over 200 years of combined experience working with patients. The highest level of certification possible for an optician is to become a Master of Ophthalmic Optics. There are only around 300 Master Opticians in the United States, and one of them is our very own Alan. Here’s a look into what brought Alan to FramesDirect.com and some insights into his day-to-day at the company.

Q: How did your career in optics begin?

A: I’m originally from El Paso, TX and I started part-time in an optical laboratory there in 1975. My brother, who is ten years older than me, was an optometrist. When I was a senior in high school I went to school ½ days and I was his receptionist in the afternoons. And then every summer when I was home from college, I worked in my brother’s office or in the laboratory manufacturing the lenses.

After getting my BA in Biology in 1980, I wanted to stay in the business, so I completed a course at the American College of Optics, in Hollywood, CA.

When I came back to Texas, my brother and I opened a two door operation with doctors and optical in the same building.  We called it El Paso Optical Center, and we were very successful. We opened in April of ’81 and then we sold it in April of ’14.

Q: What brought you to FramesDirect.com?

A: My brother wanted to retire and I had always stuck around El Paso so I wanted to try something different. I’ve always liked Austin and I felt this was our opportunity. I interviewed at a few different places. I knew I didn’t want work in a retail store in the mall, and I didn’t want to work mall hours. When I got offered the job at FramesDirect.com, I talked to my wife and she said you know this is way things are going, look at all the stuff that people buy from Amazon.” A lot of people don’t like going in the stores anymore. I’m one of them, I hate going to the mall. So this was a nice change and its different here, different in a good way.master optician

Q: What does it mean to be a Master Optician?

A: Well, first of all you have to be American Board Of Opticianry (ABO) Certified. I had to take a test and had to have been in the business for a certain number of years. I passed the test in 1998, then I took the masters exam and wrote my thesis. So now I’m one of 330 master opticians in the country. I knew my brother would want to retire eventually, so I wanted to get the highest possible credentials to have the flexibility to move on when that time came.

Q: How is helping FramesDirect.com customers different from working with patients in-person?

A: Its very similar to working with customers in the brick and mortar shop, you just have to be more descriptive on the phone. You’re not as hands-on physically but you are mentally. You’re still showing them the ins and outs of the process and the products.

Not having the patient there in front of you forces you to look extra carefully at their orders. For example, if they’re ordering two pairs of glasses and they’re different sizes, we need to talk to them about it. Sunglasses can be larger, but if the customer ordered two drastically different sized regular pairs of glasses, we have to call and walk them through what size would be best for them. Most of the time we can easily get the correct size from their old glasses.


Some of Alan’s cube decor

You have to be able to put the customer at ease and assure them that you actually know what you’re doing. That’s the biggest thing I’d want all our customers to know. When you call us, we are all opticians. Every person you’re going to talk to to place an order has been in the optical field. The newest one has 2 years experience, the oldest one, well…a LONG time. So many companies get laypeople on the phone and they’re just salesmen, they just process the orders but don’t know anything. That’s what sets FramesDirect.com apart.  Plus, we are based in America, we are home-grown and not an outsourced call center.

Q: What are some common questions or concerns for customers?

A: They don’t think that they can order over the Internet and get glasses that work for them (without seeing us person, seeing the glasses on them, or measuring for the no-line bifocals.) But with the algorithms that FramesDirect.com have developed, it works perfectly. In fact, when I started here, I had them make me a pair of glasses in a progressive lens (because I wear no-line bifocals.) I said “don’t measure me, I want you to do it the way you would for a customer online or on the phone.” And that’s what I tell customers to make them feel more comfortable with it. I’m able to explain to them that I went through it.

Q: What do you like best about working at FramesDirect.com?

A: We’re all here to work as a team and to help each other. Everyone is very competent, but if there is something they don’t know, they will put the customer on hold and ask somebody.


Punk rock never dies, neither does that dinosaur cactus.

Even the ones that have been here the longest will ask questions. Plus I like that I can wear jeans and Converse and I don’t have to wear a lab coat. I wore a smock for 34 years. I donated them all to Goodwill.

The camaraderie is my favorite thing about working here. We get the job done, but it’s laid back and we don’t have to work directly with doctors.

Q: Why does a Texan love the Yankees and the Packers?

A: Because we didn’t have anything in El Paso, you know where El Paso is? It’s way out there. I loved Mickey Mantle when I was six years old. I used to pretend I was him in the backyard.

And then with the Packers, I saw their quarterback get hurt in 1964 and I felt sorry for him so I became a Packers fan. When they carried Bart Starr off in a stretcher I felt bad for him and for the team, because they lost their quarterback.

Q: What is your favorite food?

A: Pizza with pepperoni and pineapple

Q: What is your favorite music?

A: The Ramones, I like punk (Dead Kennedys, Sex Pistols.) It was what I loved in college and it’s what I still listen to today. I also love Elvis Costello and New Wave music.

Q: What is your favorite TV show?

A: Criminal Minds or anything baseball


Alan’s magnet collection shows his rock n roll spirit.

Q: What is your idea of happiness?

A: Having my health and family. Spending time with my wife and son anywhere. Collecting baseball cards.

Gifts Under $200 For Him And Her


Holbrook Clubmaster Randolph Dolce Kate Spade Tory

Still looking for the perfect gift for someone this holiday season? Well, we’re keeping the spirit of gifting going by providing you with more ideas for him and her. All under $200.

Women have been loving metallic touches on sunglasses, and it doesn’t seem like this shiny trend is going to grow dull. The Dolce & Gabbana sunglasses (above) with gold flecks is the perfect gift for any woman who loves to stand out. Men have been drawn to sunglasses with clean, classic lines. For instance, Randolph Engineering aviators have been a popular item among male shoppers. These frames have been seen on Jon Hamm as Donald Draper on Mad Men, so you know they’re timeless. Need more ideas? Don’t forget to check out our holiday gift guide for him and her.

Video: Dude Tackles Leprechaun

Video: Typical Day at FramesDirect.com

Video: Dr. Cooper on Wiley X Sunglasses

Video: FramesDirect.com Pizza Party!

PIZZA PARTY! Dr. Dhavid Cooper and Dr. Guy Hodgson, founders of FramesDirect.com, sprang for pizza for everybody at the creative and marketing office in Austin yesterday…good stuff!

Link to FramesDirect.com pizza party video

Related posts and pages: FramesDirect.com in the Eyes of a Kindergartner, FramesDirect.com on Facebook, FramesDirect.com on identi.ca, The Eye Zone Video Page, Meet The Faces Behind FramesDirect.com.

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FramesDirect.com CFO in U.S. Postal Service Video

Play USPS video featuring Dr. Guy HodgsonOur own Dr. Guy Hodgson, CFO of FramesDirect.com is featured in a video for the United States Postal Service at http://www.usps.gov/compare. You’ll find the video at the bottom left corner of the page. In it, he discusses the advantages to shipping customer orders through the USPS.

In addition to being the CFO, Dr. Hodgson is a co-founder of FramesDirect.com.