art of optiks among top u.s optical businesses


INVISION magazine honors America’s Finest Optical Retailers

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                            June 24, 2015


Art of Optiks is one of the Top 5 eyecare businesses in the United States for 2015, according to INVISION, the magazine for American eyecare professionals, which honors the Wayzata, Minn., business in a feature on America’s Finest Optical Retailers.

“Art of Optiks’ very name gives customers the best clue what shopping for eyewear here is like: creative, fun and curated,” INVISION editor-in-chief Julie Fanselow writes. “The business’s own brand is the star here, but owners Stephanie Haenes and Dr. Timothy Haupert enhance Art of Optiks’ glow with carefully selected eyewear lines that put the shop ahead of the curve in a competitive Twin Cities marketplace.”

Andrea Hill, a luxury branding expert who served as a judge for the competition, says, “It’s extremely satisfying to see a small business nail strategy in such a way that it comes through in all its elements,” adding that the business feels “high-end without being snobbish. I like that they were able to incorporate a children’s play area while maintaining the upscale feel.”

The stores were judged on interior appearance, exterior appearance, website and individuality. All will be featured in the July-August print edition of INVISION.  Read more about the winners at

Study Shows Caffeine Increases Tear Production

The results from a study performed at the University of Tokyo's School of Medicine showed that caffeine intake can significantly increase the eye's ability to produce tears. The finding could help in treating dry eye syndrome. The research team became interested in the relationship when an earlier study had shown a reduced risk for dry eye in caffeine users.  The study they subsequently performed involved 78 participants. The subjects were divided into two groups; one received caffeine tablets in the first session and a placebo in the second, and the order was reversed for the other group. Tear volume was measured within 45 minutes of the subject's consumption of the tablets. In every single one of the 78 participants, tears were more significantly after consuming caffeine than taking the placebo. The team of researchers suspect that caffeine stimulates the tear glands in a similar manner as to how it increases other secretions such as saliva and digestive juices.

Eye Nutrition Advice

According to a multidisciplinary roundtable of experts convened by the Ocular Nutrition Society and representing the fields of ophthalmology, optometry, diet and nutrition, and primary care, a diet rich in zinc, vitamins C and E, lutein, zeaxanthin, and long-chain omega-3 fatty acids promotes health in the aging eye.

New Vision Council Report Examines Rise of Digital Eye Strain

Eye strain resulting from the widespread use of smartphones, tablets and other digital devices is on the rise, according to a new report from The Vision Council.

Nearly 70 percent of U.S. adults experience some form of digital eyestrain while using digital devices, according to the report, “Keeping Your Eyes Safe in a Digital Age.” The report examines how the prolonged use of digital devices can negatively impact eye health.

Digital device use in America is increasing, and the mounting reliance on technologies like tablets and smartphones is only expected to intensify, The Vision Council pointed out. In a VisionWatch survey conducted by The Vision Council, more than one-third of U.S. adults reported spending four to six hours a day on electronic devices, and 14 percent reported daily use at 10 to 12 hours. Devices include televisions, desktop and laptop computers, smartphones, e-readers and tablets, and gaming systems.

“Digital devices are an important part of our everyday lives - from business and recreation to socialization and even education, but this behavior poses a potential risk to our eyes,” said Ed Greene, CEO of The Vision Council. “The report brings attention to the issue of digital eye strain and outlines strategies and products to prevent the discomfort that many experience while using popular devices.”

To view or download a copy of "Keeping Your Eyes Safe in a Digital Age," visit The Vision Council’s website at

Cholesterol Meds and CataractS

People who take cholesterol-lowering statin drugs have a 57% increased risk for cataracts, according to a new study in Optometry and Vision Science. Statistically, the increase in cataract risk with statins is similar to that associated with diabetes. However, the authors emphasize that the known benefits of statin treatment for patients with type 2 diabetes probably outweigh any increased risk of cataracts. These findings serve to encourage further research on alternative cholesterol-lowering drugs that are not associated with an increased risk of cataracts, the authors wrote.

World’s First Bionic Eye Implant

Researchers at Australia’s Bionic Vision Australia (BVA) surgically implanted a prototype of the bionic eye in a 54-year-old female who suffered vision loss due to retinitis pigmentosa. When the implant was first switched on and stimulated, the patient saw a flash of light and shapes in her previously blind eye.

The device, placed between the choroid and the sclera, is equipped with 24 electrodes and a small wire that extends from the back of the eye to a receptor behind the ear. When stimulated, the electrodes signal the surviving retinal cells in the eye giving the patient the ability to “see” once again.

“The bionic eye technology relies on the patient having a healthy optic nerve and a developed visual cortex,” the researchers said. “Patients need to have been able to see in the past for this device to be of benefit to them.” They expect the bionic eyes to have the greatest benefit in people with retinitis pigmentosa and macular degeneration.

The team at BVA will continue to work with the patient, gathering measurements and feedback to help them develop a visual processor and build better images using the flashes of light. Ultimately they will attach a pair of eyeglasses with a mounted digital camera to the device and refine the vision using an implant with more electrodes.

Scientists at BVA are already developing two additional devices: a 98-electrode wide-view bionic eye implant and a 1024-electrode high-acuity implant. The wide-view device would allow patients who have severe vision loss to see the contrast between light and dark shapes, helping to aid mobility and enhance their independence. The high acuity version would greatly enhance central vision, allowing patients to once again recognize faces and even read large-print books.