When ZEISS approached optometrist, Lauren Slade, to partner with it to open a retail experience optometry practice at the Mall of the South, she jumped at the opportunity.
Together with ZEISS lenses, Slade and her team bring customised precision to the visual experience. The store, Modern Eyes, offers advanced eye test facilities as well as an enthusiastic and skilled team of people, who are passionate about delivering excellent optometry services and products.
After completing her Bachelor of Optometry degree at Technikon Witwatersrand in 2001, Slade worked at an eye hospital, Optimed Eye Centre in Alberton, from 2002 to 2006. When she became a mother, she decided to open her own practice, Modern Eyes, in Meyersdal to allow herself more flexibility.
Slade says she always wanted to do something in the medical field. “I’ve always been interested in health and helping people. I enjoy optometry because the hours are fairly structured and there are not many emergencies, which makes it easier to be a mom. Perhaps this is why many women are drawn to this industry.
“I also enjoy the fact that people are often excited about getting new spectacles, unlike people who only visit their doctors when they are ill. I almost get to ‘shop’ with my patients when they choose new frames. Not only is my work fun and rewarding, but new advancements make the clinical aspect interesting and challenging,” she says.
Optometry has changed dramatically since the days of big eye charts and doctors’ bags full of lenses.
“There was also a time when optometry practices couldn’t market themselves with window displays of their products. In fact, legislation dictated that passers-by should not be able to see into the practice,” says Slade.
The most significant advances in optometry, however, have been made in the quality of lenses and equipment.
“This has meant the scope of my practice has expanded and I have grown personally. Some years ago, I was not allowed to dilate a patient’s eyes. Now, with an additional ocular diagnostics qualification, I can dilate eyes, which allows me to check for pathologies or irregularities in the eye and refer the patient if necessary,” says Slade.
Equipment has evolved to include advanced technology such as retinal cameras that give a more accurate digital picture of the retina and optical waveform technology that allows optometrists to measure the smoothness of each surface in the eye to enable a customised correction for each person.
In addition, ZEISS’ iTerminal 2 instruments capture and calculate patients’ individual parameters, providing increased accuracy and lens customisation to ensure maximum visual comfort. It is also aimed at achieving the best possible refraction, which leads to improved vision.
“The iTerminal 2 is available to any optometrist who believes in the ZEISS technology,” says Slade. “The advanced technology offered by ZEISS played a major role in my decision to partner with the company in 2013. I sent most of my orders for lenses to ZEISS as well.”
Gail Giordani, Managing Director of ZEISS South Africa, says Lauren’s Modern Eyes practice is based on the ZEISS experience store concept, which provides patients with a unique and modern experience.
“We look for passion and commitment to excellence in the people we partner with. Lauren and her Modern Eyes team demonstrate these characteristics. ZEISS SA remains committed to partnering with optometrists across the South African market and providing the industry with high quality and innovative technology and products,” concludes Giordani.