Magay & Barron Eye Center
Helping customers find the perfect eyeglasses
By Nancy Brumback, Contributing Writer
Worcester—Picking new eyeglasses is a daunting task for many people—such a wide choice frames and the pressure of choosing something to wear all the time.
That’s where Magay & Barron Eye Center comes in. Jim and Eddi Magay can advise customers on the frames that work well with their prescription, their facial structure and coloring, and their lifestyle.
Jim Magay, a licensed optician, has been fitting glasses for decades, continuing the business started by his grandfather in 1912 and passed down to his father. (The Barron partner died in 1935, but the Magay family kept the original name.) His wife, Eddi, is office manager and a color specialist who advises customers on frame styles.
When a customer comes in needing a new pair of glasses, “Jim looks at the prescription first to see if there are requirements that might eliminate some frames,” Eddi said. “Then we look at the customer’s bone structure and coloring, and ask how they will use that pair of glasses and whether it is the only pair they have.”
“We have over a thousand different frames,” Jim added. But customers don’t have to worry about trying all of them. The Magays “bring over a few at a time” based on their knowledge of the choices available and the customer’s needs.
“Most people don’t know exactly what they are looking for or what’s available,” Eddi said. “We just had two women come in who wanted something fun and a little different, and the only way to find that was to try on as many pairs as they wanted to.
“Everyone has a clothing personality, and glasses are a part of the wardrobe. If a person is only going to have one pair, it has to go with just about everything. But I think of glasses like shoes. It’s nice to have ones that work with sports or the office or church or dressy occasions if possible,” she said, adding that the shop has glasses starting at $49.
Many of the frames the Magays carry feature new, lightweight, flexible materials and can have either bold or subtle color accents, such as a floral print inside the temple piece, colorful earpieces, even temple pieces made of wood.
“The trend in women’s frames is big and bold right now, and the larger lenses are a boost for people who need progressive lenses,” Eddi said.
“We have many frames sized for women with petite facial features, frames that fit their face even if they want a bold look.”
Men’s frames, she noted, are beginning to feature color and different shapes now.
And for the back-to-school season, Magay & Barron offers a wide range of glasses for children and looks designed specifically for younger teens that have outgrown children’s looks but still need a frame sized for a smaller face.
Along with the fashion aspect of the frames, the eye center offers the latest advances in lens technology.
“Just about all of our lenses are digitally surfaced now, providing much greater accuracy, a larger intermediate-reading zone for progressive lenses, and better vision for reading handheld electronic devices,” Jim said. Technical advances also allow many prescriptions which used to require thick lenses to be crafted with much thinner lenses.
He can make glasses with special lenses for use while working with a computer or other electronic devices, with a focal length that works well at “screen distance.”
New fabrication methods are also producing frames from materials such as titanium and carbon fiber which are extremely light and durable and very comfortable, he noted.
Jim is starting to use a new iPad app designed specifically to measure facial structure “taking measurements we have never considered before” to improve the fit of the frames and the accuracy of the lenses.
Dr. John Dadah, an optometrist, sees patients at Magay & Barron and offers complete eye care services. Magay fills eyeglasses prescriptions from him and from other providers.
Magay & Barron is located at 460 Lincoln St. in Worcester, just off I-290. The store is open Tuesday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and until 7 p.m. Wednesday, and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. It is closed Sunday and Monday. For additional information, see the website at www.magay.com or call 508-852-3760.
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