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Do Your Child’s Eyes Cross Frequently?

Written by Levin Eye Care on . Posted in Eye Health, Vision Therapy

child-eye-crossing

Do you ever notice your child’s eyes crossing or moving in different directions?

Just as babies slowly learn to walk and talk, they must also learn how to see and correctly use their eyes to experience the world around them. Learning to focus their eyes, move them and use them together accurately is a process that takes place over time during infancy and childhood.

Crossing Eyes Are Normal In A Newborn

A common question we hear from parents is, “My baby’s eyes cross sometimes and move in different directions. What does it mean?” Since a baby’s visual system isn’t fully developed until later in childhood, it is normal for their eyes to cross or wander occasionally during the first few months of life. This should stop, however, after four months of age.

 

Past Four Months, It May Be Strabismus

If you notice that your child’s eyes are crossing or turning in different directions most of the time or beyond the age of four months, they may have strabismus. Strabismus is an eye condition in which both eyes don’t look at the same place at the same time. It can occur in one or both eyes, be constant or occur intermittently, and can be present from birth or develop later, most often by the age of three.

Strabismus can be caused by a number of things. The problem may occur in the muscles around the eye, the part of the brain that directs eye movements, or the nerves that transmit information to the eye muscles. Certain health conditions such as down syndrome and cerebral palsy may make a child more likely to develop strabismus.

Early Treatment Is Important

Strabismus can cause double vision and interferes with a person’s ability to perceive depth. Some people may think that their child will outgrow strabismus, but this is untrue. In fact, if strabismus is left untreated, it can progress to amblyopia, or lazy eye.

When the eyes are misaligned, the brain receives two different images. If left untreated, the brain will eventually ignore the image from the turned or crossed eye, permanently reducing vision in that eye. This is when amblyopia occurs.

The good news is that strabismus, if treated early, can be corrected with much success. Treatment options include:

  • Eyeglasses or contact lenses
  • Prism lenses
  • Vision therapy
  • Eye muscle surgery

Eye Exams Are Crucial To Your Child’s Vision Health

Infants should have their first comprehensive eye exam at six months. During their exam, we ensure that your child’s eyes are developing and working together properly. If you notice your child’s eyes crossing, frequently turning or wandering before they are six months old, call us and set up an appointment. It’s never too early to make sure that your child’s vision is healthy!

Thank you for trusting us with your family’s vision health!

The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

Optical Illusions: More Than Meets The Eye

Written by Levin Eye Care on . Posted in Eye Health, Vision Therapy

optical-illusions

As you stare at an optical illusion you may wonder… are your eyes playing tricks on you?

To fully understand how optical illusions work, it’s important to grasp that the visual system is made up of more than just our eyes. In fact, optical illusions don’t necessarily trick our eyes—they trick our brains.

The Visual System Is Made Of Many Moving Parts

While your eyes play an important role in vision, they are only one component of a larger visual system that includes many different parts such as the optic nerve, the optic chiasm and the visual cortex of the brain, to name a few.

We see when light enters our eyes and is focused onto the retina. The cells in the retina turn light into electrical signals that are then sent through the optic nerve to the brain. This visual information is interpreted by our brains allowing us to form an image in our minds. So, technically, we “see” with our brains. This complex process takes only one-tenth of a second!

Optical Illusions Take Advantage Of The Brain’s Shortcuts

Our eyes take in a lot of visual stimuli throughout the day and to make sure our brains aren’t overloaded with visual information, they often take shortcuts, filling in gaps or creating an image based on past experience.For the most part, these shortcuts work well for us and we never notice them.

The exception is when we’re looking at an optical illusion. Optical illusions take advantage of these shortcuts and fool our brains so that our perception of an image doesn’t necessarily match reality. Optical illusions may trick us, but they actually reveal a lot about how our visual system works.

Watch this video to understand more optical illusions!

Don’t Let Your Eyes Fool You

It’s easy to be fooled by optical illusions, but as your eye care providers, we make sure you’ll never be fooled by your eyes! By coming in for regular eye exams, you can be sure that your vision is healthy and strong as well as be on the lookout for early signs of disease.

If there’s anything you’ve learned from optical illusions today, it’s that things aren’t always as they appear. The same goes for your vision health. Call us to schedule an appointment today so we can make sure your eyes are in peak condition!

We love our patients. Thank you for the trust you place in our practice!

The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

Time Is Running Out To Use Your Insurance Benefits!

Written by Levin Eye Care on . Posted in Eye Health, Promo

insurance-benefits

It’s that time of year again! Have you used all of your remaining vision insurance benefits?

What Is Vision Insurance?

Whether you received your vision insurance through an employer or you enrolled in a plan on your own, you may be curious how it works. Each plan differs based on your insurance provider and your level of coverage, but most plans have the same basic function.

Vision insurance plans are health and wellness plans designed to lower the out-of-pocket cost of routine eye care. This often includes eye exams and prescription eyewear. Some plans even offer discounted rates on vision correction surgery. Each provider has a wide range of benefits, so be sure to speak with your employer or insurance provider to understand what benefits are available to you.

Check out the video below to see why you should take advantage of the comprehensive eye exams included in your insurance plan:

Vision Insurance Differs From Other Insurance Policies

Most vision insurance policies differ from other major medical policies. For instance, many regular health insurance policies provide unlimited benefits after you pay a certain co-pay or meet a predetermined deductible. Vision insurance plans, however, are known as discount or wellness benefit plans that offer specific benefits and discounts when you pay an annual insurance premium.

Because of this key difference, it’s important you get the most out of your vision insurance each year! Many plans offer significant discounts on comprehensive eye exams, eyeglass frames, eyeglass and contact lenses, and lens enhancements such as anti-reflective coatings. Since these benefits are discounts based on an annual premium, they don’t roll over to the next year if left unused—meaning you’d lose out on free or drastically discounted services.

Make An Appointment Before It’s Too Late!

We want to help you get the most out of your vision insurance benefits each and every year. If you have any questions about your vision insurance plan, feel free to give us a call! We’d love to work with you to meet your family’s eye care needs.

Thank you for continuing to place your trust in our practice.

The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

Get The Facts On Sports Related Eye Injuries!

Written by Levin Eye Care on . Posted in Eye Health

protective-eyewear

Is your vision a priority when you’re playing sports? Eye Injuries Can Happen When You Least Expect Them

The crisp smell of freshly cut grass on the soccer field, the gleam of the basketball court before a game, the cheering fans at the football stadium, the feeling of the baseball bat, familiar in your hands…There’s no doubt about it–playing sports can be a magical thing.

Unfortunately, that magic can be shattered in an instant. No one understands this better than Aroldis Chapman, Chicago Cubs relief pitcher. In March of 2014, then pitching for the Cincinnati Reds, the four-time All-Star was hit in the eye by a line drive off the bat of Kansas City Royals catcher Salvador Perez. After extensive treatment, including surgery, Chapman was lucky to retain full visual capacity and return to the game later that season.

While you or your child may not experience this type or level of injury, sports related eye injuries happen frequently and unexpectedly, and can have severe repercussions as serious as permanent vision loss.

Watch out for these signs or symptoms of sports related eye injuries:

  • Pain when looking up and/or down, or difficulty seeing
  • Tenderness
  • Sunken eye
  • Double vision
  • Severe eyelid and facial swelling
  • Difficulty tracking
  • The eye has an unusual pupil size or shape
  • Blood in the clear part of the eye
  • Numbness of the upper cheek and gum
  • Severe redness around the white part of the eye

Know The Risks

Did you know that there are approximately 100,000 sports related eye injuries each year? 30,000 of those are sustained by children. While that may seem frightening, we’d like to emphasize that 90 percent of sports related eye injuries can be prevented through the proper use of protective eyewear.

It’s important to know what the risks are for the specific sport you are involved in, as certain sports are riskier than others. For example, baseball, hockey, basketball, water polo and racquet sports result in more eye injuries than other sports. In addition, different types of sports may pose unique risks. Cyclists, skiers and snowboarders (to name a few) are more in danger of radiation injuries caused by exposure to the sun.

Wearing protective eyewear may not be able to completely protect your eyes in all cases, but it can drastically reduce the frequency and severity of sports related eye injuries. Talk to us about the sports you and your child are involved in. We can recommend the most effective type of eyewear and gear for the specific sports you participate in.

Your Vision Is Precious

Sports related eye injuries can change a person’s life in an instant. As the saying goes, prevention is the best treatment! The next time you don your uniform, don’t forget to put on your protective eyewear with it. Your vision is precious, remember to protect it.

Thank you for being such wonderful patients!

Did You Know That Nearly Half Of All Eye Injuries Occur At Home?!

Written by Levin Eye Care on . Posted in Eye Health

eye-safety

Can you guess where nearly half of all eye injuries occur?

There are approximately 2.5 million eye injuries in the United States each year. To many people’s surprise, around 50 percent of these injuries occur at home.

Make Your Home Safe For Your Sight

When we hear the words “protective eyewear” most of us think of people working in lab coats or hard hats, while normal tasks such as mowing the lawn or cleaning with household chemicals seem so commonplace as to not pose any danger. As evidenced by the statistic above, we know this couldn’t be farther from the truth.

Here are our top five tips on how to protect your vision at home:

  1. Use protective eyewear. Wear proper safety glasses whenever exposed to projectiles (such as wood chips, shavings and dust), chemicals, and radiation or electricity.
  2. Make your home eye-safe. Remove tripping hazards, secure rugs and make sure there is sufficient lighting and handrails around stairs.
  3. Remove debris before yardwork. Lawn mowers and weed wackers can cause devastating injury. Inspect your yard to remove any hazards before going to work.
  4. Be smart when using hazardous products. Do not mix chemical agents and always be aware of manufacture warnings and guidelines. Always wash your hands after completing a task involving chemical substances.
  5. Properly store tools and cleaners. Ensure that they are out of reach of children and pets.

Take Extra Care With Bungee Cords

While bungee cords are extremely useful, and relatively cheap, they are often the cause of serious eye injury. Bungee cords are pulled tight to hold things down or keep them in place, but what if the cord is not quite long enough?

Many people are inclined to keep pulling until the cord slips out of their hands or breaks, launching it back at them at up to 200 miles an hour. As you can imagine, this can be very dangerous, especially in the hands of children. If you do use bungee cords, be sure to wear protective eyewear. However, we recommend using alternative fasteners such as ropes.

Talk To Us About Protective Eyewear

If you wear glasses or contacts and frequently do tasks around your home that pose a risk to your eyes, talk to us about getting prescription safety glasses. We want to make safeguarding your eyes as easy and as comfortable as possible so your vision is always protected!

We’re grateful for your loyalty to our practice.

Help Your Child Develop Healthy Vision And Avoid Eye Strain

Written by Levin Eye Care on . Posted in Eye Health

digital-eye-strain

We’ve all felt it during a long day at our desk job or after a lengthy session of scrolling through social media on our smartphones–digital eye strain.

But did you know your kids may be suffering too? In today’s world, children are using various digital devices just as much, if not more, than their adult counterparts. Increased computer usage in school combined with the hours after school spent watching television, playing video games or on tablets and phones may be hurting your child’s eyes.

Children May Be More Susceptible To Eye Strain

Eye strain can be especially hard on a child’s developing eyes. Eye strain is characterized by :

  • headaches
  • neck and back pain
  • eye dryness and fatigue
  • blurry vision
  • difficulty shifting focus to objects at a distance

There are a couple of factors that make children more likely to experience digital eye strain. For example, if a child is using an adult’s computer, the workstation might not be ideal. Difficulty reaching the keyboard or placing their feet to the floor can contribute to arm, neck and back discomfort. In addition, a child at an adult’s computer cannot achieve the optimal viewing angle, which is slightly downward at a 15 degree angle.

Holding tablets or phones too close to their eyes for long periods of time also contributes to eye strain. The ideal distance between a screen and your eyes is about an arm’s length away or more.

A child may also be unaware of problems or simply ignore them.They may not be aware of the hours they are spending in front of a screen and take few breaks, if any. Children are also more likely to have uncorrected problems with their vision which can further contribute to eye strain, especially after prolonged exposure to digital screens. Vision problems often go undetected because children assume that everyone sees the way they do.

Help Your Child Develop Healthy Vision And Avoid Strain

Recent studies have indicated that, on average, the more time children spend outside, the lower their risk of developing myopia, or nearsightedness. Long hours on digital screens can be hard on developing eyes. One thing that you can do to help your child’s vision is limit the amount of time you allow them to be on digital devices. Encourage them to play outside and have fun!

Another thing you can do to help your child avoid digital eye strain is make sure they take frequent breaks. We call this the 20/20/20 rule. Teach them to look at something 20 feet away from their screens for 20 seconds every 20 minutes. This will give their eyes a much-needed break.

Regular Eye Exams Are Essential For Healthy Vision

Don’t forget to come see us! Every child needs a regular eye exam so we can make sure that their eyes are developing properly and that their vision is correct. We want to ensure they have healthy vision for a lifetime!

Thank you for continuing to be a valued patient and friend.

Vision Changes During Pregnancy

Written by Levin Eye Care on . Posted in Eye Health

Expectant Mother

Did you know pregnancy can affect your vision?

A woman’s body goes through extraordinary changes during pregnancy. Some of them, like changes in hormones, metabolism, fluid retention and blood circulation, can have an effect on your eyes! Below are some of the most common vision-related changes women see during pregnancy.

Pregnant Women Can Experience Blurry Vision

Due to fluid retention (a common side effect of pregnancy) the thickness and shape of the cornea can change slightly, causing blurred or distorted vision. Usually the change is minor but if your vision is significantly altered, talk to your doctor.

If you have glasses or contacts and the change in your vision is severe, your prescription may need to be changed. This is usually unnecessary, however, as your cornea will return to its normal shape after you’ve had your baby.

Expect Dry Eyes During Pregnancy

It’s normal for your eyes to feel a bit more dry, tired or irritated during pregnancy. Wearing contact lenses, especially for longer periods of time, can be a bit more uncomfortable for expectant mothers. If you are experiencing dry eyes, consult with your eye care provider about artificial tears that are safe to use during pregnancy.

Vision Disturbances May Be A Sign Of Preeclampsia

Issues with your vision during pregnancy may be a sign of a more serious condition called preeclampsia. Preeclampsia is characterized by high blood pressure and usually occurs after the 20 week mark. Signs of preeclampsia can show up in your eyes, such as:

  • Temporary loss of vision
  • Light sensitivity
  • Blurry or double vision
  • Seeing spots or flashing lights

If you experience any of these more severe vision disturbances, contact your doctor immediately.

Diabetes Can Affect Vision, Especially During Pregnancy

Women with diabetes who become pregnant should have a comprehensive dilated eye exam as soon as possible and throughout their pregnancy as recommended. This is because women who have diabetes during pregnancy may have a rapid onset or worsening of diabetic retinopathy, a disease that causes damage to the small blood vessels that supply the retina of the eye.

If you have diabetes and are planning to conceive, talk to your doctor and eye care provider. We will monitor your condition throughout your pregnancy so that you and your baby can be as healthy and safe as possible.

Expectant Mothers Can Trust Our Practice

Just because you are expecting a baby doesn’t mean you have to put off your regular eye exam. We care about the vision and overall health of you and your child. So, in between trips to the doctor and Babies-R-Us, don’t let visiting your optometrist fall off of your pregnancy to-do list!

We love our patients and thank you for reading!

The Importance of Back To School Eye Exams

Written by Levin Eye Care on . Posted in Eye Health

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An eye exam may be the last thing on your mind in the rush to get your children ready to go back to school.

But in reality, no amount of new clothes, binders, backpacks or pencils will help your child succeed in school if they have an undetected problem with their vision.

Why Back-To-School Eye Exams Matter

Did you know that one out of four children has vision problems? And yet only 50 percent of parents with children under the age of 12 have taken their children to an eye care professional. 

If you child has any of the symptoms below, it is a sign that your child may have an undiagnosed vision problem :

  • Turns or tilts head to use one eye only
  • Loses their place while reading
  • Works Slowly
  • Holds reading material closer than normal
  • Rubs his or her eyes
  • Has headaches
  • Makes frequent reversals when reading or writing
  • Confuses Left and Right 
  • Consistently performs below potential

Many children struggle needlessly with vision problems simply because they don’t know they have one. For a child in school, vision correction can make all the difference in their academic performance as well as their ability to play sports and interact with others. Eye exams ensure that children are seeing and feeling their best.

The Difference Between Eye Exams And Vision Screenings

You may be wondering why eye care professionals recommend a back-to-school eye exam when many children receive a vision screening at school. There are important differences between a screening and a comprehensive eye exam. Where a screening tests only for visual acuity, comprehensive exams will test for visual acuity, chronic diseases, color vision and make sure the eyes are working together properly.

A standard school vision screening mostly checks distance vision but does not check for near vision issues, meaning farsightedness is often missed. Amblyopia, or lazy eye, and eye coordination issues are also frequently missed during screenings. That means that a child may pass a vision screening because they are able to see the board, but they may not even be able to see the textbook in front of them!

Children’s bodies are rapidly growing and changing. Their eyes are as well. Regular eye exams will ensure early detection and treatment of any problems!

Set Your Child Up For Success

80 percent of learning at school is visual. Make your child’s eyesight a priority this school year and come in to see us. We want what’s best for you and your family, and that means ensuring lifelong vision health!

We’re committed to you–our amazing patients!

The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

Must Read 4th of July Fireworks Eye Safety Tips!

Written by Levin Eye Care on . Posted in Eye Health

fireworks

The Fourth of July is coming up and most of us are looking forward to the Independence Day parades, family celebrations, backyard barbecues, and of course, fireworks.

As fun and beautiful as fireworks are, they can also be extremely dangerous. In fact, over 10,000 fireworks-related injuries were reported in 2014, 1,300 of those being eye injuries. So, whether you’re watching or using fireworks to celebrate Independence Day or simply for your own entertainment, there are precautions you should take to ensure your safety and the safety of those around you.

Tips On Firework Safety

It is important to note that the best way to avoid firework injuries is by leaving firework shows to trained pyrotechnicians. Attending professional public fireworks is much safer than purchasing consumer fireworks.

That being said, if you do choose to light your own fireworks, make sure you follow all local and state laws as well as firework instructions and warning labels. Protective eyewear should always be worn when handling fireworks. Onlookers should also wear eye protection as nearly half of people injured by fireworks are bystanders.

Children should never be allowed to light or play with fireworks of any type–even sparklers. Believe it or not, sparklers can reach temperatures upwards of 1,800 degrees Fahrenheit. They can easily ignite clothing or cause severe burns, so they’re definitely not a toy for young children!

If an eye injury does occur, seek medical attention immediately. Do not rub, rinse or apply pressure to the injured eye, or remove any objects stuck in the eye.

Know The Facts

Understanding the prevalence of fireworks-related injuries, especially eye injuries, is the first step to preventing accidents. Keep these facts in mind when using fireworks:

  • One in six fireworks-related injuries results in permanent vision loss
  • On average, 400 Americans lose sight in one or both eyes due to fireworks every year
  • 45 percent of fireworks-related injuries occur in children under the age of 14

Keep Fireworks Fun

Unexpected injuries not only ruin celebrations, but they can also dramatically change lives. Keep fireworks fun by remembering these tips and being smart about how you use fireworks. Stay safe out there!

Happy Fourth of July from our Vision Source family to yours!

Get the Facts on Cataracts and Vision Health

Written by Levin Eye Care on . Posted in Eye Health

Cataracts

Cataracts are the leading cause of blindness among older adults in the United States. In fact, more than half of all Americans have cataracts by the time they are 80 years old.

We understand you may have questions about cataracts, so we’d like to take this opportunity to help you understand how they affect your vision, what steps you can take to prevent them, and what treatment is available.

What Is a Cataract?

Put simply, a cataract is a clouding of the eye’s lens. This clouding changes or obstructs the passage of light into the eye and through to the retina, making vision blurry or dim.

Our eye’s lens behaves much like the lens in a camera. When a camera’s lens is dirty from obstructions like dust or oil from stray fingerprints, light can’t easily pass through the lens and images will appear dull and cloudy. Once a camera’s lens is cleaned, more light is able to pass through to the camera’s sensors, helping images become more bright, crisp, and vibrant—much like a cataract-free lens in our eye.

Cataracts Offer Many Signs and Symptoms

Cataracts often begin small and go largely unnoticed. Over time, they grow larger and your vision may become dull or blurry, much like images from the smudged camera lens we discussed earlier. Here are some common symptoms of cataracts:

  • Clouded, blurred or dim vision
  • Increasing difficulty with vision at night
  • Sensitivity to light and glare
  • Seeing “halos” around lights
  • Frequent changes in eyeglass or contact lens prescription
  • Fading or yellowing of colors
  • Double vision in a single eye

Cataracts Aren’t Just Caused by Advanced Age

There are several potential causes for cataracts, but most are due to age-related changes in the lens. That being said, some risk factors include:

  • Diabetes
  • Smoking
  • UV radiation
  • Hypertension
  • Obesity
  • Family history
  • Significant alcohol consumption

Prevention and Treatment Can Lead to Clear Vision

Cataracts can’t always be prevented, but simple practices can be put in place to maintain and promote healthy vision. Always remember to eat a nutrient-rich diet filled with fruits and vegetables, and be sure to protect yourself from harmful UV rays by wearing sunglasses and hats during outdoor activity.

Fortunately, when cataracts cannot be prevented, they can be treated with full restoration of vision. Early symptoms may be improved with new eyeglasses, brighter lighting, or anti-glare sunglasses. If these measures do not help, surgery is the only effective treatment. Surgical cataract removal is the most frequently performed surgery in the United States. It is a simple and highly successful procedure that consists of removing the clouded lens from the eye and replacing it with a clear, artificial lens. While each person heals differently, many patients report clear vision within hours of the surgery.

We Care About Your Lifelong Health

As your lifelong care provider, we are committed to helping you through every stage of life. As you age, watch for changes in your vision, as well as for signs of cataracts. If you have any questions, feel free to let us know or make an appointment today. We want to make sure you get the most accurate information and excellent care for your individual needs!

Thank you for being a valued patient and friend!

The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

Nadia Casanova Grisolia
Nadia Casanova Grisolia

5 out of 5 stars

posted 4 days ago

Super friendly staff! Great place for eyewear for every budget. I love my new glasses! Highly recommended.

maksymiliana szwajnos
maksymiliana szwajnos

5 out of 5 stars

posted 1 month ago

Excellent service, very professional performing eye exam and most of all precise results.
Thank you
Recommend to everyone who counts on perfect diagnosis and treatment

Jacqueline Anderson
Jacqueline Anderson

5 out of 5 stars

posted 7 months ago

Amazing office, from staff to the doctor all were exactly what I wanted And needed. My kids thought they were great as well which is important to me. They fit me in for an appointment last minute and stayed late when it ran over. They helped me figure out a way to pay my bill that I could afford. Every step they were there for me, friendly and smiling. I'd recommend this office without reservation to anyone seeking quality eye care! Thank you all for being so wonderful, I truly appreciate it.

Cyn Sacramento
Cyn Sacramento

5 out of 5 stars

posted 4 months ago

I have been going to Levin for 2 years. Very personable staff, knowledgeable and always helpful. Love my newest Gucci glasses. Easy to be seen as well.

cran23
cran23

5 out of 5 stars

posted 6 months ago

The employees here are very helpful and helped me pick the perfect sun glasses! They offer care credit which makes it easier to get what you want and have more time to pay. Thank you guys! :)

James D.'s Review James D.
5 Stars

Dr. Levin and his staff have excellent attention to detail and lots of patience. They answered all my questions and made me feel super welcomed with a snack...

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Jim F.'s Review Jim F.
5 Stars

Levin Eye Care Center stands head and shoulders above many businesses.

They are excellent with customer service, pay special attention to detail,work hard...

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M. N.'s Review M. N.
5 Stars

I was just recently here for a routine eye exam and also needed some new glasses. I just got new insurance through work and needed to find an office that...

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