Making Masks and Helping Out: Optical Community Finds Inspiration on Instagram

By Staff
Friday, May 8, 2020 12:55 PM NEW YORK—Although people around the world are spending more time at home than usual, many communities are coming together online to find ways they can help from a distance—and the optical community is no different. While opticians and optometrists are busy providing emergency appointments, many have taken to social media to share helpful information where they can in their free time. In addition to physical and mental health tips, many members of the optical community are coming together online to discuss masks—where to get them, how to make them, and tips and tricks for wearing them comfortably. Here, we take a look at how the community is getting masked. At left, Cheryl Murphy, OD, of Northport, New York, used YouTube to learn how to make masks after closing her practice temporarily due to the pandemic.

Doctors, Comedians and Community Join Forces With WebMD and Medscape for Rob Corddry's ‘Funny You Should Mask’ to Benefit Project C.U.R.E.

By Gwendolyn Plummer
Friday, April 17, 2020 2:15 PM NEW YORK—From “heroes” to “life-savers” to “trusted confidants,” there are plenty of words that come to mind when we think about doctors, especially right now. But what about “funny?” On Thursday, WebMD and Medscape joined forces with Daily Show alumnus and star of The Unicorn, Rob Corddry, to host “Funny You Should Mask,” a “fun-raiser” to help get PPE to frontline medical workers across the country. The event, hosted live on Facebook, combined humor and medicine to underscore why it’s so vital to get PPE to medical professionals, and what we can do to help them. 

#EyewearChallenge Brings Fun to Instagram

By Staff
Friday, March 20, 2020 12:27 PM NEW YORK—Many of us are spending more time on social media these days, which has a fair amount of both upsides and downsides. Social media can be a negative place even at the best of times, so it’s no surprise that there are some corners of the internet that naturally feel pretty doom and gloom right now—but it doesn’t all have to be that way. In tough times, social media can also allow us to connect with one another, reminisce about good times, plan for the future and bond over the things we love. That’s exactly what Silmo Paris is doing with the #EyewearChallenge, which the show started as a way to spread some fun and bonding while many of us are online. Here’s a look at how it’s been taking over the industry on Instagram.

Independents Get Educational for #WorldGlaucomaWeek

By Staff
Friday, March 20, 2020 12:24 PM NEW YORK—Last week (March 8—14, 2020) was World Glaucoma Week. A global initiative headed up by the World Glaucoma Association (WGA) and the World Glaucoma Patient Committee (WGP), World Glaucoma Week aims to raise awareness around glaucoma, who it can affect and how it can affect them. Although many of us in the industry feel well educated about glaucoma, that doesn’t mean our neighbors and patients feel the same way—and with more than 3.2 million Americans ages 40 and over affected by glaucoma according to Prevent Blindness, there can never be too much information about the sneak thief of sight.

Yes, Wash Your Hands—But Enough of ‘Happy Birthday’

By Gwendolyn Plummer
Friday, March 13, 2020 12:32 PM NEW YORK—Let’s be honest: standing at the sink and washing your hands for 20 seconds can get boring pretty fast. Expert advice has told us to sing Happy Birthday twice in a row to ensure we’re hitting the full 20 second mark and protecting ourselves from COVID-19 as best as possible, but Happy Birthday can be sung in a few different tempos, which makes that advice a little confusing. On top of all that, the song can turn into an earworm pretty quickly—and, potentially, ruin all future birthdays by making us think back on this scary, uncertain time. 

#DollyPartonChallenge Inspires Indies to Show Their Many Sides

By Staff
Friday, February 21, 2020 1:41 PM NEW YORK—If you were on social media at all last month, you’ve probably noticed the Dolly Parton Challenge taking over your feed. The meme challenge—in which users share four different pictures of themselves to represent their different personalities on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn—kicked off when the country star shared her own interpretation of it, and it took the internet by storm. Actors, musicians, athletes and other public figures all across the world have been sharing their own Dolly Parton Challenges, but the fun doesn’t stop there: the optical industry has also taken the challenge. Here’s a look at a handful of Dolly Parton Challenges from independents that prove just how many sides there are to independents—and just how much you can change up your look by swapping out your eyewear.

Independents Take to Instagram to Celebrate Chinese New Year

By Staff
Friday, February 7, 2020 11:27 AM NEW YORK—January 25, 2020 marked the beginning of a new year on the traditional Chinese calendar, which also signals the beginning of a Lunar New Year. In 2020, we’re celebrating the Year of the Rat. The rat is the first of the zodiac animals, and can represent the beginning of a day, wealth and surplus, according to For millions of people around the world, Chinese and Lunar New Year mark a time to come together with family, friends and loved ones to wish the old year goodbye and celebrate the dawn of a new one. This year, many independents also shared New Year wishes on their social media accounts.

How to Use Social Media to Promote Vision Therapy

By By Miki Lyn Zilnicki, OD, FCOVD,
and Jessica Fulmer, OD, FAAO, FCOVD

Friday, January 17, 2020 10:22 AM Social media is where many, if not most, of your patients spend vast amounts of personal time. You can leverage posts to sites like Facebook and Instagram to market to them where they already are, rather than hoping they open promotional e-mails or postal mail messages. Here’s how our practice, which has a vision therapy focus, and no optical retail business, uses social media to communicate with current, and prospective, patients.

The Best of Voices + Views for 2019

By Mary Kane
Thursday, December 26, 2019 3:46 PM Vision Monday started the Voices + Views department in VMAIL Weekend back in January of 2018. Voices + Views was originally conceived as a way for VM to cover ECPs who had a social media presence on blogs, vlogs and Instagram platforms. At the time, most of the V+V features were written by our associate editor Stephanie Sengwe. Stephanie left us in May of 2018 when she returned to graduate school to pursue a film career. However, she continued to write the Voices + Views features for us on a contributing editor basis, and we’re very happy she did. Through the years, Stephanie wrote over 50 ECP profiles for us in the Weekend Edition. Here are a few of her most popular V+V stories.

Jennifer Wademan Doubles Up on Her Online Presence With Instagram Page and Blog

By Stephanie Sengwe
Friday, November 1, 2019 11:25 AM Jennifer Wademan’s Instagram page is a carefully curated platform that is indicative of its purpose—to be a creative, yet educational and an informative outlet. While it mostly showcases Wademan’s life as an optometrist, the page also features glances into her private life as a mother and a wife.  Dr. Wademan is a bonafide veteran of the optometry field, with 11 years of professional experience.

Jenine Esmail, OD, Prioritizes Patient Education

By Stephanie Sengwe
Friday, October 18, 2019 8:00 AM For Dr. Jenine Esmail, patient education is often lacking in the people she interacts with. Often times, when people come into her exam room, they lack basic information about their eyes. For this reason, she has dedicated her Instagram page, DrJenineEsmail, to filling in those blanks. “One thing that I notice with most of my patients is that they have never actually received proper patient education, which is something I spend time on with each patient during their exam. The more they understand, the more we can prevent diseases and treat them correctly,” she told VMail Weekend.

New Kid on the Block, Caitlyn Mefford, Is No One Dimensional Doctor

By Stephanie Sengwe
Friday, October 11, 2019 9:49 AM Caitlyn Mefford, OD, may still be a rookie in the optometry field, but she is no novice when it comes to social media. A recent graduate of NSU Oklahoma College of Optometry, Mefford has only been practicing since August, but she’s been running her Instagram page since 2012, when the social media platform was still starting out as well. Today, the savvy millennial doctor is boasting close to 2,000 followers on the page, DrCaitlynMefford, and is using it as a way to showcase her day-to-day life as a new doctor and lover of life in general.

Dr.EyeGotThis: Rachael Wruble, OD, Is All About Getting the Job Done

By Stephanie Sengwe
Thursday, October 3, 2019 3:43 PM To say that doctors are busy is an understatement. Between seeing patients, running a business, and also managing a life outside of work, their schedules can be hectic. For Rachael Wruble, however, a busy schedule is just par for the course. A native of Bad Axe, MI, Wruble is co-owner of three practices in the Charlotte, NC area—one of which she runs with her husband whom she’s been married to for nine years. As if that wasn’t enough, Wruble and her husband share two toddlers—both under five. In-between all that she has managed to create a strong presence on social media with Dr.EyeGotThis, an Instagram page she rebranded from personal to professional in February this year.

Damaris Raymondi, OD, Spreads the Word About Eye Health

By Staff
Wednesday, September 18, 2019 8:00 AM NEW YORK—Damaris Raymondi, OD, is a graduate of the SUNY College of Optometry, who has been practicing in New York since 2015. Born to Peruvian parents, Raymondi has dedicated her professional life to reach people beyond her examination room. A volunteer and advocate for Sights on Health—a non-profit that goes to Peru to provide free medical care and eyecare—Raymondi has also incorporated volunteerism as part of her core practices. For those she cannot be in contact with physically, she has her Instagram page, New York Eye Doc, which educates followers on everything from eye conditions to optometric equipment.