What I'm Wearing with @prettyeyez_mel

3:34 PM

The life of an optometry student is far from glamorous, but if you follow @prettyeyez_mel on her popular Instagram account (734 followers and counting!) you can understand why so many of us love optometry and the 4 years we spend in optometry school studying this profession. Melissa McLean is currently a student at NOVA, and her obsession with everything eyes started when she was very young.  "I was born in Guyana, South America to parents of Indian descent and I have a hazel-green eye color (which is rare for Guyanese people). I grew up hating my eye color because the other kids made fun of me and called me "cat eye girl" which I didn't think was a compliment in those times. Cliche' as it might sound, I think I started appreciating my eye color when a boy thought I was beautiful because of it - that boy became my husband now. We liked each other for 16 years now and have been married for 5." 

What first drew you to optometry?
Since I immigrated to this country and so many opportunities were opened up to me I knew that I had to take a chance at achieving greatness. Greatness, to me, was to help others. I spent my time in high school exploring different career paths and by shadowing different doctors.  It was how I made the decision to pursue a career in optometry.

You're a student optometric physician at NOVA now; what are your plans after graduation? 
After graduation I plan to stay in South Florida to practice. The climate, coconut trees, mix of people, and blend of cultures reminds me of where I grew up, plus I would be able to serve a population that very much needs optometrists as they age.

What do you think is the biggest challenge facing this generation of graduating ODs?
I think the biggest challenge my generation of graduating ODs face is starting a practice of their own because of the competition with commercial practices owned by big companies who offer deals such as “two pairs of glasses for $69.95 with free eye exams”. It is my ultimate goal to have my own practice and optical in the future, however, with the costs of doing so and then having to offer exams at competitive prices it will be tough. Nevertheless I believe that quality service with a genuine nature to help the people would win in the long run.

You showcase lots of great eyewear on your Instagram account. What's your current favorite pair of glasses? 
My favorite frames are the TF 2047-B by Tiffany &Co with the “key” temple design. I went with polycarbonate lenses and I do have a premium anti-reflective coating, UV protection and an anti-scratch coating. I have a wide selection of sunglasses; most are without prescription lenses for style and fashion, but have UV protection of course. My favorite pair that does have prescription lenses is Gucci which I bought many years ago.  These have been into the ocean with me when I fell off a jet ski in the Bahamas but are still strong and classy. I have a gradient tint on them which looks gorgeous, but now I prefer polarized lenses so I need to convince the school’s lab to attempt a gradient polarized design (fingers crossed since I’m now in work-study there).

What eyewear trend are you currently loving?
Growing up I was teased for having green eyes because it was uncommon for an Indian-Guyanese girl and I was referred to as the “cat eyed girl” which I despised. Ironically today I embrace it and I do love the “cat eye” shape trend of eyewear.

What frame are you coveting to add next to your collection?
I love the TF2130 in Brown/Tan from Tiffany&Co.’s “Enchant” collection, and I also love their rimless design TF1110HB. Since I already have the traditional style in black I would love to add those to my collection of specs. As for sunglasses, the Dior “So Real” has me with heart eyes because of its unique design. I think sunglasses make for a great accessory to any outfit while serving such an important purpose of protecting your pretty eyes so really any funky style of sunglasses has me interested.

Tiffany & Co 1110HB
Any new lens technology you are planning to invest in for your next pair?
Since I need to update my prescription soon I’m considering getting a blue-blocking lens coating which I think would help me to regulate my sleep cycle a bit since I’m usually up all hours on my iPad, phone, and laptop. I’m also interested in getting an anti-fog coating because sometimes when I’m cooking and standing directly over my pot it gets annoying, not to mention stepping outside into the Florida heat from my turned up AC in the car (haha).

We know you love a good pair of glasses, but do you also wear contact lenses to show off your eyes? 
I wear contact lenses mostly for special occasions and when I’m going places outside of school
(which is not often). I’m using the MyDay daily disposable lenses by CooperVision and they are
amazing. I have moderate dry eyes and these lenses keep me comfortable for the better part of my day. I do prefer glasses for day to day wear especially since I’m in optometry school and we examine and practice on each other.

Want to be featured on our next edition of "What I'm Wearing?"  Just email me at eyedolatry@gmail.com.  You can check out our previous interview with Dr. Fartash aka @glamoptometrist here.

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  1. So I have a feeling you're going to make a great optometrist. First of all you have the love of the optic field which is so necessary to be good. Also you never once once mentioned anything about money as being a reason. Also you're clearly a beautiful young woman and yet your preference is wearing glasses rather than contacts. So if you don't mind me asking what is your current prescription?
    I am very familiar with optometry school even though I have never gone. I am a retired optician and watched many young people start out as opticians while being in optometry school.
    I have a very good friend that just graduated from optometry school this past May. I knew her before she ever entered optometry school. Like you it was her passion even though she had perfect eyesight herself. But she admitted to me that she tried her best to need glasses. Her sister wears glasses and when her sister headed off to college to be a pharmacist she found several pairs of her old glasses and she tried to wear them but her sister had astigmatisms and after a few minutes wearing her glasses she soon started getting a headache. But I came to her rescue in a way. She told me that she really wanted to know what it was like to be wearing glasses that were needed. I happened to have a very cute pair of woman's glasses in my car. I only had them because someone I had gotten new glasses for turned them into me for the Lion's Club. The glasses were a very simple -1.25 in both eyes. I told my friend to go and pull out a pair of +1.25 trial contact lenses. She thought I wanted them for myself and started to hand them to me. I told her to put them on. She of course had a funny look on her face but she put the lenses on and I asked her if she could read any of the signs on her store windows? She was straining very hard but could only make out a few of the bigger words. She said everything else was too blurry. I pulled out the glasses I had been keeping in my pocket and said her let me fix that for you. I slid the glasses on her and I told her that should help. She was in shock because now as she was looking around she was now able to see everything perfect. she jsut started laughing and she couldn't stop smiling. She of course was doing what everyone new to glasses does. She was sliding the glasses down her nose and trying to see that way and then back up her nose and seeing good again. I watched her at one point with the glasses down her nose squinting hard as she was tryinbg to read a sign in her store. After a few minutes she said she was surprised that squinting actually does help some. She told me how when a patient would come in and she would take their glasses to do whatever repair needed she noticed how many were squinting to see things. Now she knows it helps. Anyway she enjoyed it so much that I left her borrow the glasses for well over a month. She told me that she totally loved being able to wear glasses that way. The doctor at her store was concerned about what she was doing and even did a quick exam with her wearing the glasses and contacts and she was happy that her eyes were perfect wearing the contacts and glasses combination. It is actually called GOC. have you heard of it before? Anyway by wearing glasses and being a doctor soon you are setting a good example for your patients.