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Shades of summer: protecting your eyes from the San Diego sun and beyond

The shade of it all: protecting your eyes for a summer in San Diego and beyond.
Photo credit:
Sunglass & Optical Warehouse

Summer is approaching and along with protecting your skin in the Southern California sunshine, you should also be protecting your eyes. 

Ophthalmologists say too much exposure to UV light can harm your eyes including the danger of getting cataract, growths on the eye, or worse. 

We talked to John P. Martinez, General Manager at Sunglass & Optical Warehouse in San Diego about what people should do when it comes to taking care of their eyes not only in the summer but for a lifetime. 

Leroy Herszman and Max Phelps, Sunglass & Optical Warehouse has been serving the San Diego community with quality eyewear since 1985. 

"Sunglass and Optical Warehouse was started by Leroy and Max," explains John. "They started the relationship as friends from high school and are originally from Detroit."

"The store started as a van selling readers and sunglasses at Kobey swap meet. They used to park the van in the warehouse we have today. They have been servicing San Diego with the 'Best Value in Sight' for over 37 years."

John is no stranger to the industry himself. He used to go to work at his parent's store in La Jolla where he was captivated by the colors and designs.

"We traveled all over the world to find eyewear from around the world to bring to La Jolla," he says. "We had a lab in the back and I would make one-of-a-kind eyewear from hand."

Since summer is so close and the sun is on everyone's mind, John says that living in San Diego everyone should own a pair of sunglasses. 

"Summer is most crucial due to how strong the UV rays are during that period," he explains. "Not every pair of sunglasses will protect against all the harmful UV rays."

In order to make sure that you are fully protected it's important to see an Ophthalmologist. They can help you pick out a pair that has protection and even give you information on things you may not relate to the eye. 

"An annual eye check-up is wise to do, in order to stay proactive in body health during an annual visit a doctor can detect the early onset of diabetes, high blood pressure, and many other health issues just from an exam."

John says that an on-premises lab is also important when searching out an eyeglass retailer. He's very happy that Sunglass & Optical Warehouse has a lab because that means there's a creative space to give the patient exactly what they want. It's not about the sale, it's about customer service. 

"The first thing different about us is that we are not owned by a doctor like other optometry stores," he says of Sunglass & Optical Warehouse. "This gives us the ability to be more creative and able to fulfill the needs and wants of every patient.We believe patient care is first the most important."

Sunglass & Optical Warehouse has grown since serving clients from the back of a van at a swap meet. They are now a trusted San Diego eyecare professional whose interest is helping people take care of their ocular health. 

"They have grown to three locations and an online presence as well," says John proudly. "The main office is located behind the Sports Arena know as The Pechanga Center. We have another office that is a Boutique style also on Hancock behind the Sports Arena. Our third location is in Kearny Mesa on Balboa and Convoy."

He adds that Sunglass & Optical Warehouse takes insurance but they also offer "all kinds of value to each purchase."

The American Academy of Ophthalmology conducted a survey on whether or not people check to see if their sunglasses offer UV protection. The results showed that only about half of people who wear sunglasses check to see if their lenses are UV protected before they purchase them.

But with all-inclusive stores such as Sunglass & Optical Warehouse, it's easy to protect yourself. After all, John says, they are much more than a retailer. 

"Our staff is like family and we truly are passionate about the eyewear industry," he said.

Sunglass & Optical Warehouse operates three locations in San Diego County:

Sunglass & Optical Sports Arena Warehouse (Kurtz Street), located behind the San Diego Sports Arena, here’s where you’ll find San Diego’s most extensive selection of sunglasses and prescription glasses and frames

Sunglass & Optical Sports Arena Boutique (Hancock Street), Sunglass and Optical Warehouse’s boutique for hands-on access to high-end, often hard-to-find eyewear selections.

Sunglass & Optical Kearny Mesa (Convoy St), our newest location at the corner of Convoy & Balboa.

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