For this episode of #TheDoctorIsIn, we stopped by Clairmont Nichols Opticians, the oldest optical store in New York City, to talk to their newest optometrist, Dr. Emily Crane. Opening on the Upper East Side in 1885, Clarimont Opticians specializes in comprehensive eye exams, very careful refractions, and contact lens eye exams. Onto the interview!
Q: What is the difference between an optician, optometrist, and ophthalmologist?
Dr. Crane: The difference between an optician, an optometrist, and an ophthalmologist are as follows: An optician specializes in making glasses for patients. They take your prescription and know exactly how to apply that into making the glasses right for you. An optometrist is the one responsible for finding the glasses prescription and conducting general health eye exams, including dilation. Opthamologists are trained for surgeries, so optometrists and ophthalmologists work closely together. An optometrist can refer an ophthalmologist if a patient is in need of surgery or any additional specialty testing.
Q: How long does it take for an eye exam and to receive glasses?
Dr. Crane: A full health eye exam, including a dilation and finding your glasses, even with contact lenses, will take about 45 minutes. Clairmont Nichols specializes in giving patients glasses very fast as we have an in-house lab. Therefore, you can get your glasses within the same day of your exam, or in just a day or two, all depending on your prescription.
Q: What makes your office stand out compared to others in New York City?
Dr. Crane: We focus on making sure that the patient is happy and satisfied from the time they enter Clairmont Nichols to the time they leave. This includes their full health eye exam, their refraction, the contact lens exam, and making sure that patients are comfortable with the glasses and prescription they receive in the end. We also specialize in really high quality eyeglasses, offering all of the latest and most high-end brands to ensure that each patient leaves with good quality glasses.
Q: What are the benefits of contacts versus glasses? Are there different kinds?
Dr. Crane: Sometimes contact lenses can be more visually comfortable than glasses because they give you a broader range of peripheral vision. Depending on your type of prescription or your visual needs, contact lenses could be right for you. There are all different types: daily disposables, monthlys, etc. Some are for near vision, some are for far vision, and some are multifocal or monovision. Some contact lenses also incorporate astigmatism. There is a huge range of contact lenses that we can fit you with here, it is just dependent on what your exact visual needs are. We can help you!
Q: What is low vision?
Dr. Crane: Low vision is something we specialize in where we help you maximize the vision you have. There are some patients that suffer from ocular diseases, such as macular degeneration or glaucoma, that might not be able to see as well as the average person. We are able to maximize the vision that these patients do have by working with their prescription, maximizing their prescription, and also sometimes providing visual aids such as magnifiers, telescopes, or binoculars, to help these patients maximize whatever visual capacity they do have.
Bonus: Tell us a fun fact about you!
Dr. Crane: Fun fact about me—I chose to do an extra year of residency after optometry school, where I specialized in ocular disease. This has enabled me to really focus on the health of the eye, not just the vision, and thus, I incorporate this into my overall comprehensive health and vision eye exams. I understand the importance of really focusing on the health of patients’ eyes, including the dilated eye exam, not just glasses and contact lenses.
Thanks for taking the time to talk with us, Emily. Now, we know a little more about the world of eye health, the difference between opticians and optometrists, and where the oldest optical store in New York City is! Keep an eye out on our Instagram for the next episode of #TheDoctorIsIn and stick around the blog for regular new posts.
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