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 .

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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!

 

How to Protect your Eyes from the Sun this Summer

Typical summer situation by the pool: you and your friends have been lying out all day, using sunscreen, like good, wrinkle-fearing adults, and you have taken every precaution to avoid a sunburn, but what about your eyes? Those plastic lenses that they hand out at Bonnaroo are definitely not protecting you, especially if you have light colored eyes (blue, grey, green, mixed). As Americans, we will pay to have multiple (albeit gorgeous and totally worth it) leather purses, but we can’t seem to find the money to buy ourselves some good, prescription or non prescription, sunglasses?

 

So, seriously, how bad is it?

According to the new UV Report by the Vision Council “1 in 4 Americans rarely or never wear sunglasses” and Millennials (born 1981-1996) are the least likely to wear them. So to answer your question, it’s bad. If you don’t protect them, your eyes can get sunburnt. Sunburned Eyes or photokeratitis can make you go blind for up to 48 hours and definitely will cause long term damage like cataracts or degenerative eye diseases. Also, eye damage from the sun is cumulative, which means that the other six months of the year that you spend indoors does not make up for not using sunglasses at the beach. But it’s not all degenerative eye diseases and blindness, the Vision Council also reports that, in general, Americans just underestimate the power of UV rays because we are so good at interacting with them on a daily basis.

 

So when should you be wearing sunglasses?

So to start, UV rays reflect off of the water during rainy days, and can shine through clouds on cloudy days, and that would seem like common knowledge, but just because Americans know about it, doesn’t mean they are changing their habit. According to the report, “2 in 3 leave eyes unguarded on cloudy or rainy days”. Shame Shame. Did you know that 25% of UV rays also can bounce of concrete and dry sand? That’s right, you should be wearing protective sunglasses during sand volleyball and while strutting the streets shopping. Pretty much the only time you should not be conscious of eye protection, is when it’s dark outside, or when you’re inside.

 

FramesDirect.com is concerned about your eye health, but we know that it’s not just about protection, its also about comfort and style, which is why we offer the largest selection of brand name eyewear, which includes our brand name sunglasses and prescription sunglasses.

 

For more information on UV rays and your eyes, you can check out this nifty little infographic that the Vision Council put together of its findings!

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Why Transitions Lenses Don’t Work in the Car

Transitions (or photochromic) lenses are one of the coolest inventions in lenses since they were invented in the 1960s. We have all seen the commercial of the attractive executive who walks into the sun and doesn’t have sunglasses (oh no!) until his glasses change and his eyes are now protected (phew) .  But there is one place they don’t perform to their potential, and that is in you car. In this article, we’re going to explain to you why and when it might be necessary to just buy a stylish pair of shades for driving.

 

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First, let’s talk polarized.

  • Basically, regular sunglasses filter a certain type of UV light (UVA and UVB) and not others. Mostly, they just filter the ones from the sun. Polarized lenses filter the ones from the sun, and everything else (glare from other cars, glare from water, etc.) so they’re good to have around at times. So, basically, this has nothing to do with why your Transitions won’t work with your windshield. Where polarized lenses fail, is when it comes to LCD screens like your phone or your on-board navigation when you’re driving. This is what causes those pretty rainbows everywhere when you’re sporting your polarized lenses.

Transition lenses work by darkening when they are exposed to any kind of UV radiation.

  • Transitions lenses are called photochromic lenses and they block 100% of all UVA and UVB rays just like sunglasses, which is the point, right? However, this also means that they will react to your office lights that let off some low-powered rays, so that means you’ll get a of tint for the office, which may not go away. This is important because your windshield works the exact same way. I’m sure you see where I’m going with this.

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Transitions + Windshield = “Hint of Tint”

  • So, we have Transitions lenses that block all kinds of UV rays, and we have your windshield that does the exact same thing. This means that there’s nothing to react with the Transitions lenses to make them want to turn darker, and they aren’t polarized, so they’re not reacting to the glare of cars, water, and snow around you. This is why you end up with slightly tinted lenses in your car, and why they aren’t picking up on the glare of the cars around you, or those really bright headlights late at night.

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If you don’t spend much time in the car, Transitions may be your best option, especially since the folks at Transitions are coming out with newer and better generations each year to get rid of the hint of tint and to make them polarized. While Transitions is on the project, it might be safer to buy a pair of prescriptions sunglasses for the car in the interim, especially if you spend a majority of your day commuting.

We offer Transitions lenses AND Prescription Sunglasses at amazing, FramesDirect.com prices.

Quick FSA/HSA Facts

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We thought we’d share some FSA/HSA facts with you. With new FSA funds available, it’s the perfect time to start shopping for a stylish new pair of prescription eyewear for 2015! We understand this topic can be a bit confusing, so please don’t hesitate to call 800-248-9427 to speak with one of our expert opticians! We’ve also provided answers to some of the most commonly asked FSA/HSA questions here.

FSA Facts:

  • All of your FSA funds for the entire year are available January 1st.
  • FSA funds usually expire at the end of each calendar year.
  • You may be able to carry $500 of unused FSA funds from the previous year depending on your employer.

HSA Facts:

  • HSA funds are accrued throughout the calendar year.
  • HSA dollars never expire and will remain in your account until they are used.
  • lf you don’t use your HSA funds in a given year, the unspent money will roll over into your account for next year.

HSA/FSA Facts:

  • FSA/HSA funds can be used to purchase prescription eyewear and/or frames.
  • FSA/HSA funds can be used whether you have vision insurance or not.

 

Order Prescription Lenses In 3 Simple Steps

Ordering a pair of prescription lenses online can seem like a daunting task. But we’re here to assure you that the process is really simple. Our expert opticians understand the importance of accuracy and quality in prescription lenses. From single vision to progressive lenses, we have you covered. The best part? It only takes three simple steps.

1.) Select your lens type. This could be single vision, bifocal or progressives.

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2.) Choose your desired lens thickness and material, depending on your prescription and lifestyle.

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3.) Add enhancement options like Transitions® and Anti-Reflective coating.

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That’s it!

Our opticians will call you to verify your prescriptions before the lab starts working on your order. Don’t understand your prescription or it isn’t available, not to worry. You can send us the prescription or request that we contact your doctor/optician. We’re happy to help! Click here to learn more about our 30-Day Lens Guarantee, and 12-Month Warranty. Find your new pair of glasses and shop with confidence!

Also see How Do Glasses Work?

FramesDirect.com Ranked #1 on TopTenReviews.com

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Post written by: Benjamin Heyworth of TopTenReviews.com

FramesDirect.com, which made history in 1996 by becoming the first online eyeglasses retailer, recently was ranked #1 among eyeglass retailers on TopTenReviews.com. The online retailer deserved this top review status for several reasons, including its wide selection, excellent customer service and all-around dedication to giving customers stylish frames at reasonable prices.

Very Big Selection
One of the primary reasons to choose FramesDirect.com over other eyeglass retailers is its wide selection. The company includes over 100,000 different frames from over 150 different well-known brands. As TopTenReviews.com points out, the alphabetical catalog of brand names and ability to search for one of at least five styles makes it easy to find the exact style you’re looking for.

Selection of High-Quality Lenses
FramesDirect.com’s selection of frames is outdone only by its selection of high-quality lenses. There are lots of options to choose from, starting with standard plastic lenses, and ranging all the way to two thicknesses of high-index lenses. You also can get a variety of coatings on your lenses to meet your needs and protect the lenses from damage. For example, you can get UV protection or photochromic lenses to protect your eyes–and the lenses–from exposure to the sun. Note that FramesDirect.com sells lenses separately from frames, which may increase your price tag; the quality, however, is worth the extra money you’ll have to put out.

Quick Turnaround
Thanks to its commitment to high quality shipping, you can get your new glasses fairly quickly. Standard shipping takes anywhere from six to 11 days. While this is quick, it may not be fast enough if you’re having serious vision problems. Fortunately, there are other shipping options that can get you your new eyewear more quickly. Check out priority and overnight shipping options so that you can get your glasses within one to three days of your order. No matter what shipping option you use, make sure to sign up for an account with FramesDirect.com so you can track your order once it’s shipped and predict when it should arrive.

Excellent Customer Service
Your relationship with FramesDirect.com doesn’t end once you’ve paid for your order! FramesDirect offers superior customer service, both online and by telephone.

  • There is a comprehensive FAQ on the website. You can find it by accessing the customer service link at the top of the home page. The FAQ includes a comprehensive guide about how to buy eyeglasses online that is sure to help you make a purchase you’ll be satisfied with.
  • Exchange or refund policy. FramesDirect.com stands behind the quality of their products and their commitment to customer satisfaction with a fair policy for exchanging or refunding purchases you’re not happy with. You can exchange unsatisfactory products or receive a refund for returns that includes the entire cost of the frames and half the cost of the lenses, plus a 10% restocking fee for the frame.
  • 12-month warranty on all products. If your glasses coating peels within the first 12 months of purchase, you can get a replacement at no additional cost. Unless there is a scratch or issue caused by the customer.
  • Lenses replacement program. After the warranty period, you can get the lenses in your glasses replaced for half the cost of the original on a 12 month max period, and if the doctor changes the prescription within 90 days.
  • One-on-one customer service options. There is a toll-free number you can call to speak with a customer service representative.

The excellent customer service, high quality products and wide selection are the primary reasons to shop FramesDirect.com–and why they deserved their #1 ranking from TopTenReviews.com. If you want to get stylish glasses that will last you for years, there’s no better place to shop than FramesDirect.com’s website.

Why You Should Get Your Eyes Tested Now

Whether your eyesight is perfect or it’s been close to a year or more since you’ve had an eye exam, it’s important to get your eyes tested to assess eye health. And August is a great time for an eye exam – it’s National Eye Exam Month and back-to-school time for the kids!

What Happens During an Eye Exam

Aside from diagnosing vision problems, an eye exam tests every area of the eye.

One portion of the exam involves inspecting the eyes for underlying problems like glaucoma, high blood pressure, cataracts, diabetes and even brain disorders. Your eye muscles will be tested as well.

The other portion tests your vision; your ability to focus and see clearly. This is the part of the exam involving eye charts.

To learn more about common eye disorders, click here.

On Having Your Children’s Eyes Checked

Did you know that 25 percent of school-aged children have untreated or undetected vision problems like blurred vision, nearsightedness and astigmatism?

We strongly suggest having your children’s eyes examined before the start of the school year so poor vision does not hold them back academically or otherwise.

No Vision Insurance? Use Your Flex Account!

If you have a flexible spending account or a health savings account, you can use it for an eye exam AND for your glasses.

Learn more about what you can spend your FSA/HSA funds on and how to make your purchases through FramesDirect.com.

Posterior Vitreous Detachment

Adult Vision: 60 Years and Over

Safeguarding your vision beyond age 60 doesn’t have to be a complicated issue. Mostly you will need to be aware of symptoms and warning signs indicating age-related vision problems that could cause vision loss. Regular eye examinations and your vigilance can significantly improve your chances of maintaining good and healthy adult vision while you age.

Age-Related Eye and Vision Problems

There is the possibility, after turning 60 that a number of eye diseases can develop to affect your vision permanently. You should be aware of the following age-related disorders:

  • Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is an eye disorder affecting the macula, the center of the retina at the back of the eye, causing loss of central vision. This part of the retina allows us to see fine detail and colors. Reading, watching TV, driving and recognizing faces require good central vision provided by the macula.
  • Retinal detachment tears or separates the retina from underlying tissue and can be caused by head or eye trauma, advanced diabetes and inflammatory eye disorders. It mostly occurs from changes to the vitreous fluid filling the back of the eye and if not treated swiftly can result in permanent loss of vision.
  • Diabetic retinopathy is caused directly by diabetes and comes about through progressive damage to the tiny blood vessels nourishing the retina. These vessels begin to leak blood and other fluids and cause the retina to swell and cloud vision. Usually both eyes are affected and the longer diabetes continues the greater is the risk of developing diabetic retinopathy and possible blindness.
  • Glaucoma results from damage to the optic nerve and produces vision loss. Patients who have a family history of glaucoma, older adults and African Americans are at greater risk for developing the disease.
  • Cataracts are fuzzy, cloudy areas that coat the normally clear lens of the eye. Their size and location suggest how they will affect good vision. They tend to develop in both eyes although one may be worse than the other. Dulling of colors, sensitivity to contrasts and heightened sensitivity to glare are symptoms.
  • Dry eye comes about when tear production begins to diminish and the eye suffers from insufficient lubrication. This condition is usually a chronic problem, particularly in older adults.

Driving after 60

You may begin to experience difficulty driving a car after 60. During this time, vision changes and potential eye conditions can affect driving ability. Some age-related vision changes that commonly affect older adults are:

  • Struggling with near vision when viewing the instrument panel or road maps.
  • Difficulty seeing in twilight or nocturnal conditions.
  • Loss of side vision.
  • Difficulty reading road signs.
  • Color perception changes.
  • Unable to adapt to headlight glare.

Tips for Safe Driving

  • Reduce your usual speed and stick mostly to daytime driving. This will minimize risk and avoid potentially dangerous situations caused by the glare from oncoming traffic.
  • Be extra watchful and cautious at intersections. It’s a known fact that many collisions involving older drivers occur at intersections. Look carefully in both directions when approaching an intersection and turn your head frequently to compensate for possible diminished side vision.
  • Take a seniors’ driving course. This type of course will introduce you to the pitfalls seniors can expect when driving. It will also show you how to compensate for physical changes in your vision while driving.
  • Don’t wear eyeglasses or sunglasses with wide or wraparound frames as these can affect your side vision.
  • Have a yearly comprehensive eye examination to ensure your prescription and eye health are stable.

Some of us will experience unduly bad sight after age 60 but it is important to understand that visual ability alone is not a criterion for the degree of visual difficulty a person may have. Those with reasonable 20/40 vision can have difficulty functioning, while others with bad 20/100 vision may not be suffering any great difficulty at all.

But there are low vision rehabilitative services that can provide people with the aid and resources needed to regain their independence. Your optometrist can assist in planning a rehabilitation program to enable you to live and work more effectively, safely and efficiently. Some of the devices used are:

  • Spectacle-mounted magnifiers – This consists of a magnifying lens mounted in a spectacle or on a headband and frees both hands to perform a near-vision task, such as craft work or letter writing.
  • Hand-held and stand magnifiers – These are convenient for reading small print and doing fine close work. They can also be fitted with lights for additional comfort and effectiveness.
  • Hand-held or spectacle-mounted telescopes – These are miniature telescopes used for seeing long distances, such as watching TV.
  • Video magnification – Table top (closed-circuit television) or head-mounted devices enlarge reading text on a video display. These are portable systems that can be used with a computer or monitor. Brightness, size, contrast and color can be adjusted to suit personal needs.There are many other products to assist vision-handicapped patients, such as large-type books, magazines, self-threading needles, newspapers and many more. Your optometrist can suggest the various options available to you.

Related – Adult Vision: Age 19 to 40, Adult Vision: Age 41 to 60, Eyes and Nutrition, Over the Glasses Sunglasses.

Eyecare Over Time

Map Dot Fingerprint Dystrophy

Corneal map-dot-fingerprint dystrophy is the most common corneal dystrophy, and occurs when the epithelium’s basement membrane develops abnormally and the epithelial cells cannot properly adhere to it. This abnormality leads to recurrent epithelial erosions.

Epithelial erosions can be a chronic problem and may alter the normal curvature of the cornea causing blurred vision from time to time. The nerve endings lining the tissue may also be exposed and result in varying degrees of pain that can last a few days. The pain is generally found to be worse on waking in the morning. Symptoms include excessive tearing, feeling of foreign matter in the eye and sensitivity to light.

Map-dot-fingerprint dystrophy usually occurs in both eyes and affects adults between the ages of 40 and 70. The condition is slightly more common in females and usually not found in children.

The name derives from the affected epithelium having a map-like appearance: large, slightly grey outlines that look like a continent on a map. Sometimes concentric lines form in the central cornea that resemble small fingerprints.

The disease usually erupts for a few years and then goes away, with no lasting vision loss. As a rule, patients aren’t aware they have map-dot-fingerprint dystrophy because there is no pain or vision loss. But if treatment is needed, ophthalmologists will focus on controlling the pain associated with the epithelial erosions. An eye patch is often used to immobilize the eye, together with prescription lubricating eye drops and ointments. These erosions can heal within three days although occasional pain may occur for several weeks thereafter.

Other treatments can include anterior corneal punctures and corneal scraping to remove eroded areas of the cornea to allow healthy tissue to regenerate. An excimer laser may be used to remove surface irregularities.

Related – Medical Reasons for Wearing Sunglasses, Stevens-Johnson Syndrome, Glaucoma Information, Onchocerciasis: River Blindness, Presbyopia, Posterior Vitreous Detachment, Eye Anatomy: Important Definitions, Duane Syndrome, Helpful Glaucoma Information.

Eyecare for Middle Age

Adult Vision: Age 41 to 60

After the age of 40, you might begin to notice changes in your vision. One of the most common problems is being able to read comfortably and do close work. This normal change in the eye’s ability to focus, called presbyopia, will develop as you continue to age.

At first, you may have to hold reading material farther away to see it clearly. Newspaper text, for example, may appear blurred especially under poor or dim lighting. If you are short-sighted, you might find you have to remove your glasses to see up close. This may require eyeglass prescription bifocal or multifocal lenses. Fortunately, people with presbyopia today have many options to correct their vision.

Eye health problems may also occur during this period, and whether or not a need for prescription lenses is evident, you should see your optometrist every two years for a comprehensive eye examination.

If any of the following conditions exist, those over 40 may be particularly at risk for the development of an eye or vision problem:

  • A family history of glaucoma or macular degeneration.
  • High cholesterol, thyroid problem, anxiety or depression, arthritis, general medications.
  • Diabetes or high blood pressure.
  • Stressful work environment or eye-hazardous occupations.

How Vision Changes as you Age

Your eyes are part of your body and will change over time. Eye changes that take place at this time can result in noticeable differences in how well you see. Although people differ in symptoms and vision problems, the following are common age-related vision changes:

  • Problems with reading and doing close work may be evident. As the lens in your eye becomes less flexible with time, printed material is less clear than before. As a result, the eye has greater difficulty now in focusing on near objects than when you were younger.
  • As you age, the need for more light will become apparent. Brighter lights around your work area or reading chair can make reading and work tasks much easier.
  • During this period, changes in the eye’s lens tend to dissipate light entering the eye causing it not to fall properly on the retina. This leads to experiencing more glare, and the oncoming glare from headlights at night – or from the reflected sun in the day – can make driving difficult.
  • The irritation and dryness you might feel in your eyes at this time is due to diminished tear production as you age. Women after menopause particularly suffer from this condition and tear supplements will become necessary to replenish the supply.

Persons suffering from loss of focusing ability for near vision, due to age, have several options available to regain clear near vision:

Through your 50s and beyond, the condition is likely to worsen. But around age 60, the changes should stop and new prescriptions will be less frequent. Despite this, most individuals should benefit from today’s technology and enjoy comfortable near vision for all their lifestyle needs.

Serious Eye Health Problems

During this period, individuals run the risk of developing serious eye and vision problems. If you experience any of the following, you may have early warning signs of a serious vision disorder problem.

  • Floaters and Flashes – From time to time, you may see spots or floaters in your eyes. These are shadowy images of particles floating in the fluid that fills the inside of the eye. Although a bother, they are usually harmless and do not put vision at risk as they are a natural part of the eye’s aging process. However, should they suddenly increase and be accompanied by bright, flashing lights, they could be a warning sign of retinal detachment. And this should receive immediate treatment to prevent serious loss of vision.
  • Fluctuating Vision – If you experience frequent alternating changes in good and bad vision, it may be a sign of diabetes or hypertension (high blood pressure). These conditions can damage tiny blood vessels in the retina and cause loss of vision that is sometimes permanent.
  • Distorted images – If straight lines become distorted or wavy or a blind spot appears in the center of your vision, you may be exhibiting signs of age-related macular degeneration, also known as AMD. The disorder affects the macula, which is the part of the retina responsible for central vision, hence the blind spot right in the middle of your field of vision.
  • Loss of Side Vision – If you appear to be losing peripheral or side vision, it may be a sign of glaucoma. This disorder results from a damaged optic nerve that no longer transmits all visual images to the brain. Very often there are no symptoms until the damage has started.

It cannot be emphasized enough that regular eye examinations by an optometrist can result in early diagnosis and treatment of eye diseases, which can help you protect and preserve good vision throughout life.

Related – Adult Vision Age 19 to 40, Amblyopia: Lazy Eye, Vision Patients: Asking the Right Questions, Medical Reasons for Wearing Sunglasses, Bifocal Reading Glasses, Sunglasses over Glasses, Stylish Reading Glasses.