It’s easy to see why Cait Brooks-Sanger and her team always look busy. As certified opticians they are in an industry undergoing constant change. “Technology and innovation is huge in our industry,” Brooks-Sanger of Lifetime Vision Center in Grand Forks, says. New tech and innovative procedures are a must for everything from eyewear to standard optical testing procedures, she adds, because of a growing number of factors. The largest generation in the U.S. is growing older. Screen time amongst every segment of the population is increasing. And, more people today wear frames, even if they aren’t necessary, because as Brooks-Sanger says, they simply help a person show off their personal style.
Look At The Tech
Both the material and processes to produce a prescription lens has evolved. Most vision centers used to grind prescriptions into a glass lens, shaping it into the appropriate piece. It required many steps and a large lab. Today, most prescriptions are digitally applied to a material. Lifetime utilizes polycarbonate and a material called Trivex; both are lightweight and durable. Big prescriptions no longer require thick lenses. Blur zones on new trifocals have been vastly reduced. Testing procedures for eye health now include special imaging that provide pictures of the eye that look like a NASA image of a far-off star being formed.
Styles Change, Then Come Back
“Glasses are like haircuts,” Brooks-Sanger says, “they don’t always work on certain people.” Because of that, the Lifetime team carries an impressive collection of frames. They offer geek chic, the black rimmed glasses associated with the stereotypical eyewear of fictional people like Steve Urkel. (If you don’t know who he is, Google “TV Nerd”). They have cat-eye frames, rose-gold frames and options for hard-core fishermen or people who want to look like hard-core fishermen. Aviators aren’t going anywhere. “All of the styles come full circle. It all rotates,” Brooks-Sanger says.
Today people wear frames to showcase their personal style. Some people, she says, take two-hours to find the right look. Others find their pair in five minutes. Every option typically holds up better than they used to, she says. Small frames or glass-only frames are not currently in style. Tortoise brown (the speckled brown color) is always in. Rose gold is just like home décor, its hot right now. G
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PHOTOS BY: MANSTROM PHOTOGRAPHY
From Issue 2, 2019