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Diamond certified companies are top rated and guaranteed

Why Trust Diamond Certified Opticians Rated Highest in Quality?

Photo: Site for Sore Eyes - Napa (2007)

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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  • Coach

  • Fendi

  • Oakley

  • Gucci

  • Alcon

  • CooperVision

  • Guess

  • Nike

  • Nine West

Vogue Eye 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
Ray Ban Glasses (RayBan)
Cartier Glasses
Dior Glasses
Versace Glasses
Armani Glasses
DKNY Glasses
Oakley Glasses
Silhouette Eye Glasses
Fendi 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

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

Agua Caliente
Alexander Valley
Bodega Bay
Boyes Hot Springs
Camp Meeker
Duncans Mills
El Verano
Fetters Hot Springs
Fort Ross
Glen Ellen
Mark West
Monte Rio
Rio Nido
Rohnert Park
Russian River
Russian River Meadows
Salmon Creek
Santa Rosa
Stewarts Point Rancheria
the Geysers
Sea Ranch
Two Rock
Valley Ford
Villa Grande


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
Choosing a Sonoma County Optician

Whether you are looking in Windsor, Petaluma, Rohnert Park, Healdsburg, Santa Rosa, Cloverdale, or Guerneville, give your search for an optician the same effort you would use in searching for a doctor. You need someone you feel comfortable with, and someone who is out to support your best interests. As you get ready to search for 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 company that is rated best in quality and backed by the Diamond Certified Guarantee?
  • Have I experienced any dissatisfaction with my current eyewear/contact lenses?
  • Do I have a particularly strong or unusual prescription?
  • Do I want to explore changing from contacts to glasses or vice versa?
  • Do I want 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?
  • 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?
  • Can the optician offer help in fitting frame styles to my features?
  • Does the optician offer frames and styles that suit my needs and tastes?
  • Do I have the prescription from my optometrist or ophthalmologist?
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What To Ask In Person
Use a Personal Visit to Ask Your Sonoma County Optician Some Questions

When you are looking in Santa Rosa, Petaluma, Healdsburg, Windsor, or Rohnert Park, look for an optician you respect and who offers you respect back. Once you’ve completed your phone interview, you’ll have a better idea of opticians you might want to work with. Only consider working with opticians where you did not feel rushed and where you felt your concerns were handled reasonably.

Let the phone customer service be a guide to finding the type of in-person service you want. You may not always visit an optician 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.

  • Can you tell me how to care for my particular contact lens prescription?
  • Looking at my features, can you recommend a glasses frame style for me?
  • Do you recommend a specific frame material for my new eyeglasses – plastic, metal, titanium, flexible titanium alloy?
  • Can you recommend specific frames for my sport?
  • 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?
  • Do you often work with children?
  • Can you help me get glasses that don’t magnify the size of my eyes?
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  • What To Ask References
    Questions for References of Local Optical Centers in Sonoma County

    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 Sonoma 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?
    • Were you comfortable with the personnel who ended up fitting you?
    • Did you get fitted for glasses or contacts?
    • Do you wear glasses all the time or for specific tasks?
    • 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?
    • Did the person fitting you seem qualified and competent?
    • Were you working with a technician in a medical office or with an independent person or 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?
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  • Review Your Options
    To Hire a Good Optician in Sonoma County

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

    When choosing the best opticians in Sonoma County for you, it’s important to consider the following questions:

    • Can the optician or optical center employees discuss how to maintain and best preserve my contacts or glasses?
    • Is the optician competent and does he or she have the required licenses, certification, training, or supervision to carry out the fitting?
    • When I discuss the particulars of my prescription, does the optician seem comfortable discussing them, especially if I have a slightly unusual case?
    • 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 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?
    • Does the optician carefully perform the required measurements?
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  • How To Work With
    Find a Good Optician in Sonoma County

    When you look for an optician in Sonoma County, whether you are looking in Guerneville, Cloverdale, Sebastopol, Windsor, Santa Rosa, Rohnert Park, Healdsburg, or Petaluma, draw on your past experience and research to know what you want. Ask if the optician stocks your brand if you have a particular brand of frame that you are looking for.

    A strong or unusual prescription may have made it impossible for you to get the frames you wanted on previous visits. Remind yourself of what you wanted and ask your optician if there are any new materials that now allow you to get what you want. It’s in your best interest to know as much about your eye conditions and prescription as possible. Then you can join with your optician to make the best choices.

    Working With Your Sonoma County Optician
    Whether in Windsor, Rohnert Park, Healdsburg, Santa Rosa, or Petaluma, work as a partner with your optician. First, bring the prescription from your optometrist or ophthalmologist. In most cases, the original, signed prescription is needed. An optician cannot fit you without the prescription. Don’t make it hard on your optician by asking him or her to prescribe.

    If you go to see an optician, get the most out of their recommendations. A good optician can help you find flattering frames. They can guide you through the many decisions you may face from frame material to lens material to lens coating. Relaxing and providing calm feedback during fitting sessions, whether for glasses or contacts, can result in the best vision and appearance possible. You may require time to adjust to your contacts or glasses. If you have problems within a few days, return for additional fittings.

    Ask the optician how you should handle the ordering process if you need to wait for glasses or contact lenses. When is the order scheduled to arrive? How will the optician contact you when it arrives? Ask how you can follow up with them if it does not arrive as planned. 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. After the first time, unless there are significant changes, you will probably not need another contact lens fitting.

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  • Be a Good Customer
    How Can You Be a Good Optician Customer?

    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 a Sonoma 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 Sonoma 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 Sonoma 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
Ask About Warranties for Your New Eyeglasses or Contact Lenses

It’s pretty straightforward to determine that you got what ordered when it comes to frames and contact lenses. When you receive your glasses, check that the new glasses frames are those you ordered. Try the glasses on to ensure you experience the same vision you did during the fitting. When you receive contact lenses, check the boxes to make sure they are the ones named in your prescription. Frames, lenses, coatings, and contact lenses usually come with warranties, so ask your optician for those warranties.

It’s pretty straightforward to determine that you got what ordered when it comes to frames and contact lenses. When you receive your glasses, check that the new glasses frames are those you ordered. Try the glasses on to ensure you experience the same vision you did during the fitting. When you receive contact lenses, check the boxes to make sure they are the ones named in your prescription. Frames, lenses, coatings, and contact lenses usually come with warranties, so ask your optician for those warranties.

Many eyeglass and contact lens manufacturers offer scratch protection for a year on lenses, for example. Some manufacturers offer warranties on new glasses frames and will replace the frames if they get broken. Ask your optician for terms of all warranties, what is covered by the warranty, and how to make a claim. Ask for written warranties from your local opticans. As mentioned, you may need more than one fitting to ensure the best fit for your glasses or contacts. This readjustment should be provided for free as part of the fitting process.

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Written Warranties
Ask About Warranties for Your New Eyeglasses or Contact Lenses

It’s pretty straightforward to determine that you got what ordered when it comes to frames and contact lenses. When you receive your glasses, check that the new glasses frames are those you ordered. Try the glasses on to ensure you experience the same vision you did during the fitting. When you receive contact lenses, check the boxes to make sure they are the ones named in your prescription. Frames, lenses, coatings, and contact lenses usually come with warranties, so ask your optician for those warranties.

Many eyeglass and contact lens manufacturers offer scratch protection for a year on lenses, for example. Some manufacturers offer warranties on new glasses frames and will replace the frames if they get broken. Ask your optician for terms of all warranties, what is covered by the warranty, and how to make a claim. Ask for written warranties from your local opticans. As mentioned, you may need more than one fitting to ensure the best fit for your glasses or contacts. This readjustment should be provided for free as part of the fitting process.

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Top 10 Requests
Top Eye Care Service Requests Made of Sonoma County Opticians and Optical Centers

Your optician should work with the prescription from your optometrist or ophthalmologist to get you the best eyewear for your situation. But you should also ask opticians for recommendations on how best to fill the prescription. Opticians may be able to guide you to thinner, lighter material for eyeglass lenses, or may be able to help you find the ideal frame for your face.

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.

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.

New Eyeglasses
When patients have a new prescription, they often want a new set of eyeglasses, including new frames. Opticians can help choose the frames, may grind the lenses, and can recommend lens materials like high-definition lenses.

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.

New Contacts / New Contact Lenses in Sonoma County
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.

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

Replace Glasses 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.

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.

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.

Top 10 Brands of Contact Lenses and Eyeglasses Lenses
It’s worth asking your eye care professional about new techniques and materials. These newer materials are constantly being developed and are making eyeglass lenses thinner and lighter, as well as capable of 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.

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

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

CIBA Vision
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 Glasses Lenses
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.

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.

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

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

Crizal produces high-index lenses for eyeglasses.

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, among other offerings.

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Glossary Of Terms
Glossary of Terms Used by Sonoma County Opticians and Optical Centers

When you visit your local optician, you may encounter some unfamiliar words. The glossary below should help you talk with your Sonoma County 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.

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.

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

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

Also known as: anti-reflective coating

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.

astigmatic keratotomy
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: AK

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

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

Also known as: best corrected visual acuity

bifocal lenses
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.

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: bioptic telescopic lenses

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 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.

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

Also known as: CK

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.

eye stroke
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: amaurosis fugax

A condition that occurs with no known cause is called idiopathic

index of refraction
Measurement of how much a particular material slows down light waves as they pass through it. The index is the ratio between light speed in a vacuum and light speed passing through the material.

The iris sits between the cornea and the lens. It regulates the amount of light let into the eye by narrowing or widening the pupil. The iris has pigmentation, or color.

Condition in which vision distorts objects. Straight lines may seem wavy or curved, and an object may seem nearer or farther, bigger or smaller, than it actually is. Usually a result of problems with the retina or macula.

A condition that occurs when the eye is too long. Thus light waves do not focus on the retina but in front of it, resulting in blurry vision. Also causes squinting, bad night vision, and eye strain.

Also known as: nearsightedness

partial sight
A condition that occurs when neither surgery nor corrective lenses of any kind can restore good sight.

Also known as: low vision

Phakic eyes contain the natural lens. Aphakic eyes have had the lens removed, often because of eye surgery for cateracts.

polarized lenses
Polarized lenses cut down on glare by preventing light reflecting off of horizontal surfaces from entering the eye.

Plastic that is very strong and resists breaking on impact, making it a good, safe choice for eyeglass lenses.

Rods occur in the retina. They are receptors that are sensitive to light and support vision in low light.

Snellen chart
Most commonly used chart for testing vision. It has letters, images, or numbers displayed in decreasing sizes.

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Frequently Asked Questions
List of FAQ for Sonoma County Optical Centers and Opticians

Q: Why choose a Diamond Certified optician in Sonoma County?
A: Diamond Certified helps you choose an optician or optical center in Sonoma County with confidence by offering a list of top-rated local companies who have passed the country’s most in-depth rating process. Only local 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: 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 can’t an optician in Sonoma County 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: 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. Many modern lenses already have these properties of scratch resistance, UV protection, and anti-reflectiveness built in. Ask your optician about the lens material and its properties before buying additional coatings.

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: 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 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 optician if newer materials can be used in your prescription.

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 is pupil distance so important?
A: When you get a pair of new 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: 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 lenses use lighter and thinner material than standard plastic for the lens and are shaped differently, too, reducing the degree of eye magnification.

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