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Why Trust Diamond Certified Opticians Rated Highest in Quality?

Photo: Site for Sore Eyes - Fremont (2013)

You are the customer. If your goal is to choose an optician that will deliver high customer satisfaction and quality, you’ll feel confident in choosing a Diamond Certified optical eye center. Each has been rated Highest in Quality in the most accurate ratings process anywhere. And you’re always backed by the Diamond Certified Performance Guarantee. Here’s why the Diamond Certified ratings and certification process will help you find a top-rated optician and is unparalleled in its accuracy, rigor and usefulness:

1) Accuracy: All research is performed by live telephone interviews that verify only real customers are surveyed, so you’ll never be fooled by fake reviews.

2) Statistical Reliability: A large random sample of past customers is surveyed on an ongoing basis so the research results you see truly reflect a Diamond Certified company’s top-rated status.

3) Full Disclosure: By clicking the name of a company above you’ll see the exact rating results in charts and read verbatim survey responses as well as researched articles on each qualified company.

4) Guaranteed: Your purchase is backed up with mediation and the Diamond Certified Performance Guarantee, so you can choose with confidence.

Click on the name of a Diamond Certified company above to read ratings results, researched articles and verbatim customer survey responses to help you make an informed decision.

More than 200,000 customers of local companies have been interviewed in live telephone calls, and only companies that score Highest in Quality in customer satisfaction–a 90+ on a 100 scale–as well as pass all of the credential-based ratings earn Diamond Certified. By requiring such a high score to qualify, the Diamond Certified program eliminates mediocre and poorly performing companies. Read detailed information about the ratings and certification process.

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Nick Saab is owner of Site for Sore Eyes – Napa and Site for Sore Eyes – Fremont & Newark, both of which are Diamond Certified companies. He can be reached at (707) 234-5903 or (510) 397-8975.

Nick Saab

diamond certified contributor profile and expert article

Nick Saab: A Focused Career

By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter

FREMONT — A budding entrepreneur, Nick Saab was in search of a business to get involved in, so when a unique industry caught his eye, he knew he’d found his professional focus. “I was attracted to the eye care industry for several reasons,” he says. “First, it was stable; after all, most people need vision correction at some point in their lives. Also, I liked the fact that it involved both health and fashion, which is a pretty unusual combination.”

After starting his first eye care business in Southern California in 1997, Nick moved north to expand his professional prospects. “I owned a couple of optometry practices down south, but I saw more opportunity in the Bay Area, so I relocated. In 1999, I opened Site of Sore Eyes – Fremont, and since then we’ve expanded to four locations around the Bay Area.”

Today, Nick says his favorite part of his job is having an impact. “I like making a difference in people’s lives by improving their vision and helping them look their best in the process. Whether a client needs contact lenses or eyeglasses, when they’re able to see clearer, it’s a life-changing dynamic, which is very rewarding to be a part of.”

A resident of San Ramon (where he lives with his wife, Rola, and their children), Nick expresses his appreciation for Bay Area life. “The Bay Area is a lot of fun. From sports to outdoor activities, there’s a lot to do, and the great weather just caps it off. I also enjoy the diversity. Plus, living in San Ramon, I’m pretty centrally located, which makes it convenient for me to visit my business’ different locations.”

Outside of work, Nick spends his free time engaged in a variety of pastimes. “I like playing tennis, dining out and seeing live music,” he says. “I also read a lot—mostly business-related books—and enjoy spending weekends with my family.” Additionally, Nick does a fair amount of traveling, both domestically and internationally. “I travel about three times a year. My last trip was to Beirut, Lebanon, which is where I’m from originally.”

In his life and career, Nick espouses the importance of maintaining open connections. “One of my principles is to never burn bridges,” he explains. “By keeping connections open, you can always reach out and reconnect with people. In regard to my business, that means making sure customers never go away unhappy. Even if there is a problem, we go out of our way to make it right, with the hope that the customer will come back in the future.”

When asked the first thing he’d do if he were to retire tomorrow, Nick simply replies that he wouldn’t. “I honestly enjoy my work and have no desire to retire. Why do you think I read so many business books in my spare time? This is fun for me!”

Ask Me Anything!

Q: What’s your favorite sports team?
A: The Golden State Warriors.

Q: What’s your favorite book?
A: “Barbarians at the Gate: The Fall of RJR Nabisco” by Bryan Burrough and John Helyar. It’s an in-depth account of the buyout of Nabisco back in the 1980s, which at that point was the biggest corporate acquisition that had ever taken place.

Q: Music or talk radio?
A: Talk radio.

Q: If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?
A: Barcelona—it’s a beautiful city to visit.

Q: What’s your favorite snack?
A: Potato chips.

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Reducing Eye Fatigue with Modern Lenses


FREMONT — In this digital age, our increased use of computers, tablets and smartphones puts an extra strain on our vision, resulting in the modern malaise known as eye fatigue. This condition can be even more acute for those who wear… Read more

The Importance of Regular Eye Exams


NAPA — Your quality of vision affects your quality of life. Unfortunately, the demands of modern technology have us constantly reading small text on computer and smartphone screens, which puts great strain on our eyes. Adding to the problem, fewer school… Read more

Expert Video Tip

Video: Lens Technology for the Digital Age

Complete Video Transcription:

FREMONT — Host, Sarah Rutan: To alleviate eye fatigue caused by increased use of digital devices, eyewear makers have changed the design of modern lenses. To… Read more




  • Coach

  • Fendi

  • Oakley

  • Gucci

  • Alcon

  • CooperVision

  • Guess

  • Nike

  • Nine West

Ray Ban Glasses (RayBan)
Cartier Glasses
Dior Glasses
Versace Glasses
Armani Glasses
DKNY Glasses
Oakley Glasses
Silhouette Eye Glasses
Fendi Eye Glasses
Vogue Eye Glasses
D&G Eye Glasses
Prism Eye Glasses
Paul Smith Eye Glasses
Transitions Glasses
Guess Eyeglasses
Persol Eye Glasses
Juicy Couture Eyeglasses
Prada Glasses
Roberto Vavalli Glasses
Tommy Hilfiger Glasses
Burbery Glasses
Acuvue Contacts
Freshlook Contact Lenses
Proclear Contacts
Purevision Contact Lenses
Wild Eyes Contacts
Focus Contact Lenses
Frequency 55 Contacts

eye exams
eye glass fitting
eye glass lens replacement
contacts / contact lens fitting
prescription contact lenses
kids glasses
reading glasses
eye correction exams
vision correction treatment
eye wear sales
progressive lenses
bifocal lens installation
prescription sunglasses
reading glasses
dry eyes treatment
color contact lenses
prescription lenses

Castro Valley
Komandorski Village
Mount Eden
Russell City
San Leandro
San Lorenzo
Union City


American Board of Opticianry/National Contact Lens Examiners (ABO/NCLE) (www.abo-ncle.org)
Commission on Opticianry Accreditation (www.coaccreditation.com)
Contact Lens Society of America (www.clsa.info)
Opticians Association of America (OAA) (www.oaa.org)
National Academy of Opticianry (NAO) (www.nao.org)
National Foundation of Opticianry Schools (www.nfos.org)
California Association of Dispensing Opticians (CADO) (www.californiaopticians.org)

Know What You Want
What to Ask Yourself as You Look for An Optician in Alameda County

Finding an optician can be like finding a good doctor, whether you are looking in Berkeley, Fremont, Hayward, San Leandro, Oakland, Emeryville, Dublin, or Newark. You need someone you feel comfortable with, someone who is looking out for your best interests. As you get ready to find an optician, there are several things you may want to ask yourself so that you can take best advantage of your time.

  • Do I want a Diamond Certified optical center in Alameda County that is rated best in quality and backed by the Diamond Certified Guarantee?
  • Do I have a particularly strong prescription?
  • Have I experienced any dissatisfaction with my current eyewear/contact lenses?
  • Do I want to explore changing from contacts to glasses or vice versa?
  • Do I want eye glasses for sports or other performance situations where frame material might be important?
  • If I wear glasses, do I have any irritations or discomforts as far as fit or keeping the glasses in place?
  • Does the optician in Alameda County that I’ve chosen offer eyeglass frames and styles that suit my needs and tastes?
  • Can the optician offer help in fitting frame styles to my features?
  • Do I have a prescription that has prevented me from getting frames or contacts in the past and do I want to explore whether there are new materials that solve the problem?
  • Do I have the prescription from my optometrist or ophthalmologist?
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What To Ask In Person
Questions to Ask Your Alameda County Optician in Person

Once you’ve performed your phone interview, you’ll have a better idea of who you might want to work with. Whether you are looking in Oakland, Fremont, San Leandro, Berkeley, or Hayward, it’s important to find a relationship that you are comfortable with. Only consider working with practices where you did not feel rushed, where you felt your concerns were handled reasonably, and where the phone customer service led you to believe the in-person service would be good.

You may not always visit Alameda County opticians in person for an interview before you make your purchase, but if you can, you can get a better sense of the place. It’s a good idea to have a list of questions you can draw on when you meet your optician in person.

  • Looking at my features, can you recommend a style of glasses frames for me?
  • Do you recommend a specific frame material – plastic, metal, titanium, flexible titanium alloy?
  • I don’t like touching my eye – how can you help me wear my contact lenses?
  • My lens prescription is very strong. Can you recommend lens material?
  • Can you help me find frames that will support the lenses for my prescription?
  • Can you help fit me for prescription sunglasses?
  • Can you recommend specific glasses frames for my sport?
  • Can you help me get new glasses that don’t magnify the size of my eyes?
  • Do you often work with children?
  • Can you tell me how to care for my particular contact lens prescription?
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  • What To Ask References
    Questions for References of Alameda County Optical Centers and Opticians

    It’s best to choose a Diamond Certified optician because all certified companies have passed an in-depth ratings process that most other companies can’t pass. If you want quality from an optician in Alameda County and the greater Bay Area, you can have confidence choosing a Diamond Certified company. Diamond Certified reports are available online for all certified companies. And you’ll never be fooled by fake reviews. That’s because all research is performed in live telephone interviews of actual customers.

    If you can’t find a Diamond Certified optician within reach, you’ll have to do some research on your own. If you do, it’s wise to call some references provided by your optician. Keep in mind, though, that references provided to you by the opticians are not equal in value to the large random sample of customers surveyed during the Diamond Certified ratings process. That’s because references given to customers from companies are cherry-picked instead of randomly selected from all their customers. So the opticians will likely give you a few customers to call that they know are satisfied.

    If you do call references on your own, specifically ask for a list of the company’s 10 most recent customers. This will help avoid them giving you the names of only customers they know were satisfied.

    • Did you find yourself feeling rushed or not listened to at the optical center in Alameda County?
    • Were you comfortable with the opticians or optical center personnel who ended up fitting you?
    • Did you get fitted for glasses or contact lenses?
    • Did the person fitting you for your new glasses and/or contact lenses seem qualified and competent?
    • Were you working with a technician in a medical office or with an independent optician or optical firm who was filling the prescription?
    • Did you think that recommendations were clearly explained – for example, why a high-index lens material would improve vision or appearance?
    • Did you feel pressured to buy extra coatings or did the optician clearly explain which coatings were already included in the lens material and which should be added?
    • Were you happy with the end result or do you find yourself dissatisfied and why?
    • If you wear glasses, do they sit comfortably on your face or do you find them too tight or too loose?
    • Do you wear glasses all the time or for specific tasks?
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  • Review Your Options
    Find Good Opticians in Alameda County

    The Diamond Certified symbol has been awarded to companies that scored Highest in Quality in an accurate ratings process.

    Your choice of opticians will directly affect the fit and quality of your new glasses and contact lenses. So before deciding on the best opticians in Alameda County for you, it’s important to consider the following questions.

    • Is the optician competent and does he or she have the required licenses, certification, training, or supervision to carry out the fitting?
    • Do I feel comfortable with the optician working with my optometrist or ophthalmologist, or do I wish to take my prescription elsewhere?
    • Does the optician demonstrate a knowledge of modern materials that can make glasses lenses thinner, lighter, and in some cases, perhaps provide better vision?
    • Can the optician discuss why certain glasses frames may or may not be suitable for my prescription and techniques and materials that may make the lenses fit the frame?
    • If I want them to, can the optician discuss frames that fit my features?
    • Does the optician listen to me and my concerns and take time in working with me so that I don’t feel rushed?
    • Does the optician demonstrate a commitment to keeping up with training?
    • When I discuss the particulars of my prescription, does the optician seem comfortable discussing them, especially if I have a slightly unusual case?
    • Does the optician carefully perform the required measurements?
    • Can the optician discuss how to maintain and best preserve my contacts or glasses?
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  • How To Work With
    Before You Hire an Optician in Alameda County

    When you look for an optician in Alameda County, whether you are looking in Emeryville, Newark, Dublin, Sunol, Berkeley, Oakland, Hayward, San Leandro, or Fremont, know what you are looking for. If you have a particular brand of frame that you are looking for, ask if the optician stocks that brand. If you have a challenging prescription, it may have prevented you from getting the frames or contacts you wanted in the past. Remind yourself of what you wanted and ask if there are any new materials that have changed the situation. It’s in your best interest to know as much about your eye conditions and prescription as possible. Then you can work with your optician to make the best choices.

    Working With Your Alameda County Optician
    As you work with your optician, whether in Berkeley, Hayward, San Leandro, Oakland, or Fremont, you play a role in keeping the relationship easy going. First, bring the prescription from your optometrist or ophthalmologist. Most often, the original, signed prescription is needed. An optician cannot help you without the prescription.

    Listen to your optician when he or she makes recommendations. A good optician can help you find flattering frames. A good optician can help guide you through the many decisions you may face from frame material to lens material to lens coating. Try to relax and provide calm feedback during fitting sessions, whether for glasses or contacts. If you have problems within a few days, don’t be shy about returning for additional fittings. You may need time to adjust to your contacts or glasses.

    If you are waiting for an order, ask your optician when it is due and how they will contact you when it arrives. Ask how you can contact them if it does not arrive on time. Ask whether you will come in to be fit when the order arrives, or whether it is something you can pick up or have delivered to your home without a fitting. Most glasses need a fitting to assure proper adjustment, and most first-time contact lens wearers are asked to come in for a fitting.

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  • Be a Good Customer
    How Can You Be a Good Optician Customer At Optical Centers in Alameda County?

    It’s the optician’s responsibility to fit you with contacts or glasses. But you play a big part in the success of your optician, too. Here are a few simple steps you can take to be a good customer when hiring an Alameda County optician.

    • Be clear and upfront with the opticians. Let them know what you want from your opticians, the long-term outcome you’re expecting and specific ways they can satisfy your expectations.
    • Remember, a friendly smile goes a long way!
    • Before you hire an optician in Alameda County, restate your expectations and goals, and reiterate to the optician’s representative your understanding of the agreement. Most problems with local opticians occur because of a breakdown in communication. By being clear about your expectations and theirs, you can avoid most conflicts.
    • Ask your optician if you should call to check on the progress or if he will call you with updates.
    • Be sure your service representative has a phone number where they can reach you at all times while they’re working with you. The work will move along more smoothly if your optician can reach you for any necessary updates, questions or work authorizations.
    • When your optician contacts you, return calls promptly to keep the optician on schedule.
    • Pay for the optician’s work promptly.

    Why would you want to be a good customer? Opticians in Alameda County appreciate customers who are straightforward, honest and easy to work with. Your good customer behavior sets the tone from your end and creates an environment conducive to a good relationship. Things may very well go smoother and any problems may be more easily resolved.

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Check The Work
Check Your Invoice and Warranties

When you receive your glasses, make sure the frames are those you ordered. Try the glasses on to ensure correct vision. Similarly, when you receive contact lenses, make sure they are the ones named in your prescription. Check with your optician for warranties on your frames, lenses, and new contact lenses. Many manufacturers offer scratch protection for a year on lenses, for example, and some offer breaking warranties on frames. Ask your optician for details of all warranties, what is covered by the warranty, and how to make a claim. Ask for written warranties.

When you receive your glasses, make sure the frames are those you ordered. Try the glasses on to ensure correct vision. Similarly, when you receive contact lenses, make sure they are the ones named in your prescription. Check with your optician for warranties on your frames, lenses, and new contact lenses. Many manufacturers offer scratch protection for a year on lenses, for example, and some offer breaking warranties on frames. Ask your optician for details of all warranties, what is covered by the warranty, and how to make a claim. Ask for written warranties.

As mentioned, you may need more than one fitting to ensure the best fit for your glasses or contacts, and this readjustment should be provided by your Alameda County optical center for free as part of the fitting process.

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Written Warranties
Check Your Invoice and Warranties

When you receive your glasses, make sure the frames are those you ordered. Try the glasses on to ensure correct vision. Similarly, when you receive contact lenses, make sure they are the ones named in your prescription. Check with your optician for warranties on your frames, lenses, and new contact lenses. Many manufacturers offer scratch protection for a year on lenses, for example, and some offer breaking warranties on frames. Ask your optician for details of all warranties, what is covered by the warranty, and how to make a claim. Ask for written warranties.

As mentioned, you may need more than one fitting to ensure the best fit for your glasses or contacts, and this readjustment should be provided by your Alameda County optical center for free as part of the fitting process.

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Top 10 Requests
Top Eye Care Requests for New Glasses and Contact Lenses in Alameda County

People visit opticians to get their prescriptions for eyeglasses or contact lenses filled. Your optician should work with your optometrist’s or ophthalmologist’s prescription to get you the best vision correction possible. Opticians may be able to guide you to new, thinner, lighter material for eyeglass lenses, or may be able to help you find the ideal frame for your face.

New Eyeglasses
When patients of Alameda County optical centers have new prescriptions for eyeglasses and contact lenses, they often want a new set of eyeglasses, including new frames. Alameda opticians can help choose the frames, may grind the lenses, and can recommend lens materials like high-definition lenses.

New Contacts
First-time contact lens wearers are usually asked to see a professional so that the patient can be trained on how to put in and take out the contact lenses, how to care for the lenses, and the recommended period for replacing or disposing of the lenses.

Refill Contact Lenses
Once a patient has contact lenses and a contact lenses prescription, they can fill that prescription until it expires. The optician can provide the contact lenses to limit described in the prescription.

Replace Frames
Sometimes glasses frames break or go out of style, or the patient just wants to replace them even though the lenses are still good. In this case, the optician may be able to fit the lenses to a new frame. You must take some care here, though, since frames may be of different sizes and the lens must be placed correctly over the pupils.

Repair Frames
Sometimes frames are damaged in ways that can be repaired by local optical centers – the eyeglass bridge pads are loose or come off, or the temple piece of the eyeglasses comes off. Opticians can fix frames by replacing the tiny springs and screws or other small pieces that make up the frame.

Sport or Performance Spectacles
Patients who play sports or take part in other high-performance activities may ask their opticians to recommend special frames for glasses for these activities. The frames are typically more durable than everyday frames.

Prescription Sunglasses
Once you have your prescription, an optician can help you choose sunglasses. Sunglasses often have specialized frames that help to block out the sun, besides the tinted lenses. Be sure to ask your optician for 100% UV protection. Some materials already include this, while others may require a coating.

Special Use Spectacles
You may have a prescription for special use eyeglasses – glasses that are only used for reading, or for the computer, etc. Once you have the prescription, the optician can help you fill it.

Once it’s determined that you need bifocals, trifocals, or other multifocal correction, your optician can help choose the frames and materials that suit your needs. Progressive lenses are available that give the user the ability to change the distance of their focus without having lines in the lenses. There are benefits and drawbacks to multifocal vs. progressive lenses, with one drawback to progressives being that peripheral vision may not be as strongly supported.* Discuss the options and pros and cons with your optician. Multifocal contact lenses are also available.

Children’s Glasses
An optician can help you fit your child with contacts or glasses. Look for opticians who offer child-sized frames and features. For example, some glasses wrap around the ear to keep them on the child’s head. Look for an optician who is patient and gentle when dealing with children.

Popular Eyeglass and Contact Lenses Brand Requests
There are many different brands available both for contact lenses and for eyeglass frames and lenses. New materials and techniques continue to improve eye correction devices, so it’s worth asking your optician, optometrist, or ophthalmologist about new materials you may have heard of or specific issues you have that may have been addressed. Newer materials are making eyeglass lenses thinner and lighter, as well as providing better vision. New techniques allow better measuring of the eye for better vision correction. Newer contact lens technology is introducing products that offer longer term wear with improved oxygen flow to the eye. Below are some of the brands involved in bringing new products and techniques to the eye care market.

Essilor of America
Essilor offers high tech lenses, including high definition lenses for eyeglasses, among other vision correction materials.

Hoya Vision Care
Hoya’s lens offerings include high-definition lenses for spectacles. Their free-form lenses are for both single and multifocal prescriptions.

Shamir Insight
Shamir Insight offers single vision and progressive high-definition free-form lenses for eyeglasses.

Carl Zeiss Vision Eyeglass Lenses
Zeiss offers high-definition lenses for both progressive and single vision prescriptions.

Johnson & Johnson Vision Care
Johnson & Johnson produces soft contact lenses. Its products include silicone hydrogels, some of which allow overnight wear. Others are disposables. Johnson & Johnson produces the Acuvue line.

Bausch + Lomb
Bausch + Lomb produce soft contact lenses, and their brands include PureVision, which is a line of silicone hydrogels.

CooperVision produces the Biofinity and Avaira brands of soft contact lenses made from silicone hydrogel.

CIBA Vision Contact Lenses
CIBA offers soft contact lenses, including some made of silicone hydrogel. Air Optix is one of their lines, along with Air Optix Night & Day.

Transitions Optical
Transitions Optical is best known for its photochromic lenses that darken with exposure to sunlight. In fact, any brand’s photochromic lenses are sometimes called “transition” lenses in a sort of short hand.

Crizal produces high-index lenses for eyeglasses.

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Glossary Of Terms
Glossary of Eyeglass and Contact Lens Terms for Alameda County Optical Centers

When you visit your optician, you may encounter some unfamiliar words. The glossary below should help you talk with your eye doctor and your optician and uncover the right contact lenses or spectacles for you.

A tool that measures how light waves travel through the optical system. It helps determine what vision errors may be present.

An ablation is a removal. In reference to vision, ablation means removing eye tissue to correct vision problems. LASIK and PRK surgeries include removing corneal tissue.

Accommodation refers to the way the eye can automatically change from seeing at one distance to seeing at another distance. Presbyopia is a type of accommodation disorder.

A process in which a surgeon reduces astigmatism by cutting the cornea in such a way that it heals into a more spherical shape.

Also known as: astigmatic keratotomy

amaurosis fugax
When a person loses vision suddenly and temporarily as the result of a blockage or clot preventing blood flow to an eye.

Also known as: eye stroke

age-related macular degeneration
Occurs when patients loss their central vision because the macula gets damaged.

Also known as: AMD, ARMD

Occurs when the pupils are not of the same size. In a small number of cases, it occurs naturally. Otherwise, it occurs as a result of trauma, tumors, glaucoma, among others.

Occurs when the eyes require different prescriptions to achieve good vision for each one because the refractive power differs significantly between them.

ANSI Z87.1-2003 Standard
A standard that was defined for safer eyewear. If your eyewear does not meet the standard, it is considered less safe.

Also known as: American National Standards Institute

anterior chamber
The anterior chamber sits behind the cornea in the eye, but in front of the iris and lens.

anti-reflective coating
For eyeglasses, or spectacles. A coating or surface treatment that cuts down on glare and reflection.

Also known as: AR coating

aqueous humor
Fluid that separates the cornea from the lens in the eye; clear and watery. If it cannot drain properly, it may lead to pressure and even glaucoma.

Also known as: aqueous

Aspheric means that the shape is not exactly spherical. Used for strong prescriptions because they cause less distortion and eye magnification, being thinner and lighter than other options.

Also known as: aspheric eyeglasses, aspheric spectacles, aspheric lenses, aspheric glasses

asteriod hyalosis
Occurs when an eye doctor can see yellowish fat particles that are suspended in the interior of the eye. Usually they do not harm vision or cause symptoms.

Typically, the eye should have a shape like a baseball. When it does not, it may be shaped like an egg or a football. The latter care, when the cornea is curved in an asymmetric way, is called astigmatism. This means that the light entering the eye has two focus points on the retina instead of one.

aviator glasses
Often with tinted lenses and metal frames, aviator glasses feature lenses with a shape like a large, upside-down teardrop.

best corrected visual acuity
The best vision that a patient can reach using correction like eyeglasses or contact lenses.

Also known as: BCVA

Lenses that have one section for far vision and one for near.

Also known as: bifocal glasses, bifocal contacts, bifocal contact lenses

binocular vision
Occurs when both eyes can work together – gives the user proper focus, range of vision, and depth perception.

Refers to materials that can be used with living tissue without damaging the living tissue.

bioptic telescopic lenses
A tool or device that may be put on a pair of eyeglasses to give extreme magnification – for example, to allow a driver to see a street sign.

Also known as: BTL

For eyeglasses, the piece that goes across the nose.

cable temple
On eyeglasses, the arm is the piece that passes back around the ear. In a cable temple, the temple wraps around the ear to prevent the eyewear from detaching; it is popular for very young patients.

In the eye, canaliculi allow tears to drain from the tear duct into the nose. The word in general refers to any small, tube-shaped passages in the body.

A procedure in which radio waves act on the collagen peripheral to the cornea, shrinking the collagen to improve farsightedness.

Also known as: conductive keratoplasty

A fibrous protein found in the eye, bones, and connective tissue.

computer vision syndrome
Eye strain and related symptoms as a result of computer use. It can be dry eyes, blurred vision, burning, headache, or pains in the neck, shoulders, and back, among others.

The retina contains photoreceptors that help people view colors – these receptors are called cones.

contact lens drops
Eye drops formulated for contact lens wearers – they differ from regular eye drops, which can turn contact lenses different colors.

The cornea permits light to enter the eye; it sits on top of the pupil and iris.

distance vision
Refers to being able to see for tasks that are at a distance further than an arm’s length – e.g. sports, driving, watching TV, etc.

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Frequently Asked Questions
FAQ to Ask of Opticians at Alameda County Optical Clinics

Q: Why choose a Diamond Certified optician?
A: Diamond Certified helps you choose an optician with confidence by offering a list of top-rated local companies who have passed the country’s most in-depth rating process. Only opticians rated Highest in Quality earn the prestigious Diamond Certified award. Most companies can’t pass the ratings. American Ratings Corporation also monitors every Diamond Certified company with ongoing research and ratings. And your purchase is backed by the Diamond Certified Performance Guarantee. So you’ll feel confident choosing a Diamond Certified optician.

Q: Can I trust the technician in my optometrist or ophthalmologist’s office?
A: Technicians working as opticians in the optometrist’s or ophthalmologist’s office do not have to be licensed or certified. They may pursue a voluntary certification from the National Board of Opticianry or the National Contact Lens Examiners, but they don’t have to. The technicians are working under the supervision of the optometrist or ophthalmologist. The technicians obviously have the faith of their employer, or they would not be working there. If you have a relationship with an eye care professional that you trust, then you can probably trust the professionals they surround themselves with. The technicians are covered by the supervisor’s insurance.

Q: Why can’t an optician just sell me some colored lenses?
A: You need a prescription for any contact lenses, including colored lenses that change the color of the eye but don’t alter vision. This is because a contact lens is considered a medical device and as such must be prescribed. Opticians have no prescribing power.

Q: Aren’t doctor’s offices the most expensive place to buy contacts?
A: In fact, a doctor’s office may not be the most expensive place to buy your contact lenses. You should definitely ask about pricing. Many doctors give discounts if you buy a lot of contacts, such as a year’s supplies. It is definitely worth comparing prices and considering the costs of shipping vs. picking up in your local office.

Q: My glasses magnify my eyes and look awful. What can I do?
A: Eyeglasses sometimes not only change our vision but also our appearance. Especially for strong prescriptions for farsightedness, a lens may make the eye look disproportionately large. Ask your optician about aspheric high-index lenses. High index aspheric lenses use lighter and thinner material than standard plastic for the lens and are shaped differently, too, reducing the degree of eye magnification.

Q: What do the numbers on the temple of my glasses mean?
A: Often you will see a series of three numbers on the inner temple of your glasses. These are describing the frame’s dimensions. You often need them if you order glasses online. For example, in the case of a series of numbers like 48-19-140, 48 stands for the lens size, 19 for the bridge size, where the glasses span your nose, and 140 is the temple length. The temple is the piece that passes over your ear.

Q: Why is pupil distance so important?
A: When you get a pair of eyeglasses, the center of the lens should sit over your pupil. This is to reduce odd light refractions that can strain your vision. Also, in progressive lenses that provide different ranges of distance vision, the center of the lens is designed to offer the vision correction. For these reasons, you need your pupil distance when ordering glasses.

Q: I have a very strong prescription. How can I avoid very thick glasses?
A: Spectacles made with traditional glass or plastic lenses were often very thick, since a large amount of material was needed to bend light to correct vision. With newer materials, the amount of material can be reduced. High-index lenses made from plastics are thinner and lighter than the older plastics. Aspheric lenses use a new way of shaping the surface of the lens so that the amount of curve is changed, producing a better look. Be sure to ask your Alameda County optician or optical center if newer materials can be used in your prescription.

Q: Do I throw my contacts out? How often should I change them?
A: Contact lens care depends on the type of lens. A gas permeable lens may be worn for as much as year, between visits to the eye doctor. Soft lenses, whether the standard hydrogel or the newer silicone hydrogel, have different replacement times, depending on the lens itself. Some may be disposables, used once and then discarded. Others may be worn for a couple of weeks or 30 days. Talk with your optician and be sure you understand the schedule for your specific prescription.

Q: I feel like my optician is pushing coatings on me. Are they necessary?
A: Scratch resistance, anti-reflective, and UV protection are some of the most common coatings recommended. Anti-reflective coatings can be very helpful with high-index lenses, high-definition lenses, and aspheric lenses given the nature of the material and that the glasses may sit closer to your eye than in the past. UV protection can lift the UV protection to 100%, since plastic already blocks some UV rays. Scratch resistance may help prolong the lens life, and some scratch resistance coatings include limited warranties that will replace the lens if it is scratched. Many modern lenses already have scratch resistance, UV protection, and anti-reflectiveness built in. Ask your Alameda County optician about the lens material and its properties before buying additional coatings.

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