Eye exams can be easy to put off. We go about our daily lives thinking, “Nothing is blurry, so everything must be all right.” Turns out – that’s not always true. “It’s a good idea for everyone to get a yearly exam, to make sure there aren’t any problems we can fix ahead of time,” says Dr. Mark McEathron, owner of Binyon Vision Center. “Eyes are interesting in that a lot of eye problems don’t have any symptoms.”
Early detection often means better outcomes and it’s important to catch things you might not notice on your own. Luckily for Bellingham locals, eye exams are as accessible as our famous local brews thanks to Binyon Vision Center, located downtown on East Magnolia street. “Eyes are precious,” says Dr. McEathron. “You’d hate to look back and say, ‘I wish I would’ve caught this earlier.’”
Routine eye exams are key. Professional optometrists have the experience and skill to spot developing issues before they become a problem and the tools to address things you might have missed. Vision and overall eye health tend to change over time. Once people hit the magic age of 40, reading and other tasks can become more difficult. An exam can easily help solve this problem and many more.
Yearly eye exams for children are also incredibly important. Dr. McEathron explains that children’s eye exams are essential to confirm that both eyes are seeing well. If only one eye sees well, a child is still able to play on the playground and do well in school – an adult may never notice the issue. Meanwhile, the vision in the child’s weak eye may become lazy while the other eye becomes overworked. The development of both eyes is imperative to the longevity of healthy eyes. It’s critical to catch and address discrepancies early on.
At Binyon Vision Center, eye exams are about the whole person. “I get a glimpse of people’s lives for 45 minutes,” says Dr. McEathron. “I know how they see, what they do, how they work, what their frustrations are – and I can step in to try and help a little bit.”
Binyon chooses not to use ophthalmic technicians, so patients visiting the clinic see the doctor for the duration of their appointment. “Everybody has a different philosophy of working,” says Dr. McEathron. “Mine is to be hands-on with every part of the eye exam – even how you react to telling me how you see the eye chart. I hear your voice and how you’re struggling or not struggling and how you react to my questions. I can get better insight if I’m personally involved with a patient.”
With two Licensed Dispensing Opticians, individuals can receive glasses and explore over 850 different frames. “We try to provide unique handmade glasses,” says Caitlin Bruno, Binyon’s Office Manager. “Some glasses made by hand take six weeks from start to finish to make. They’re really like little pieces of art.”
Binyon Vision Center was one of the first optometry clinic in Bellingham when it opened in the 1930s and has had only three owners: founder Dr. Binyon, his nephew Dr. Freeman and now Dr. McEathron. No matter who stood at the helm, the clinic has always been dedicated to giving back to the community by providing high-quality eye care and through programs like We’re Thankful, We’re Giving, which donates a portion of the practice’s monthly profits to local charities.
“We’re very well rooted,” says Bruno. “We have patients that have been coming here for 60 years. I worked with the sweetest lady who got her first pair of glasses from us 56 years ago; they were red and she came back just last year and got another pair of red glasses.”
The staff at Binyon Vision Center goes above and beyond to create a positive experience for everyone. They ensure that your visit is both pleasant and productive, and that all of your questions are answered. Be proactive with your eye health and take charge by making appointments for yearly eye exams, so that when you look back on your life, you haven’t missed seeing a single step.
Binyon Vision Center
411 East Magnolia Street