Monthly Archives: May 2014

Style and Substance: The History of Sunglasses

At out Burnaby optical store we’re always conscious that our customers seek two vastly different things from sunglasses. They want to protect their eyes. And they want to look good doing it. The history of sunglasses is long and eclectic. It stretches back into the ancient world. Although we know the Emperor Nero watched gladiatorial combats through emerald green gemstones, historians differ on their purpose. Was he protecting his eyes from the sun or enhancing his optical experience? Or was it all about style? It may well have been a combination of all three.


Chinese judges as early as the 12th century wore smoky quartz glasses to hide their facial expressions. Unlike the sunglasses you’ll find in our Burnaby optical store, these ancient Chinese lenses offered zero protection from UV rays. However they probably did add to the theatre of the court.

Modern sunglasses have their origins in the 18th century when Hames Ayscough began to experiment with the idea that tinted lenses could have possible corrective benefits for people with seeing impairments. Throughout the next century tinted glasses were commonly prescribed to patients who exhibited sensitivity to light. They were affected as style statements by certain urban cliques e.g. the Russian anarchists of the 1870s.

The real explosion of sunglasses happened in the US in the 20th century when a man named Forster Grants sold them to passersby on the boardwalk of Atlantic City. Throughout the following decades, movie stars and pop icons would play a core role in the popularity of countless makes of sunglasses, from aviators (first developed for pilots in the 1930s) to the classic Wayfarers of the 1950s and beyond. At our Burnaby optical store, you’ll find styles of shades from every era. Optimum protection or optimum style? Choose both.

The Style That Has Remained Even After Decades

We have seen style come and go with the change in season and trend. Sunglasses have also seen the evolution of design through the hands of many creators and designers.

Although sunglasses initially started off as a protective device against the sun’s harmful rays, has converted completely into an aesthetic accessory around the world. Brands from around the world are experimenting with the choices of the consumers’, indicative with the popularity in demand.

What makes Ray ban’s Aviator and Wayfarer desirable?

Style is what you make of it and its concept will always differ from one person to the next. A lot of people would agree that the most popular style of sunglasses that has ever groomed the faces on this earth would be the Aviator and Wayfarer (both manufactured by the good old Ray Ban).

The reason that Ray Ban Aviator got initiated in the first place was during the 1920’s when pilots were introduced to faster and more advanced planes. This caused problems to the pilot as the velocity brought about by the new planes in the sky was proving to be a challenge. These sunglasses were created for aviation personnel in order to reduce the headaches and nausea experienced by them.

The Aviator was followed by another popular style. Ray-Ban created a style that became classic and iconic- the Wayfarer that was designed with plastic frames. This style shot to popularity with the Hollywood personalities donning it on television and magazines.

One can buy these popular sunglasses at a quality optical store in Burnaby.

Optical Awareness: Why Do Some People Need to Wear Glasses?

At our optical store in Burnaby we serve the needs of a wide range of customers, some with serious vision impairments, others with very marginal ones. The decline in people’s capacity to see the world can often be distressing. That’s why it’s important to take the necessary corrective action.


Common Symptoms

Do you have trouble focusing or keeping up your concentration when you read? Do you experience eyestrain or headaches? It may be time to visit your optical store in Burnaby and get an eye sight test. There are three main conditions which prescribe the wearing of glasses. All of them are linked to genetic factors.

Types of Vision Impairment

The first is myopia (better known as nearsightedness). People with this condition find it difficult to make out objects in the distance. The reverse of this is hyperopia (or far sightedness) where objects in the foreground become difficult to focus on. The third condition is presbyopia and occurs with age. As people get older, changes occur in the eye affecting its shape and consequently its range of vision. The ability to see things which are far away may improve fractionally while the ability to see things at close range may decline.

Getting Your Eyes Tested

If you think you need reading glasses, don’t put off getting your eyes checked. Your optical store in Burnaby will quickly assess your requirements. Glasses are not something to fear. Think of them as a stylish accessory. Before long they’ll be a natural part of your lifestyle and personality.

Things You May Not Know about Contact Lenses

Since we opened our doors in the mid 1980s, we’ve been supplying contact lenses in Burnaby, B.C. We’re always ready to answer your queries. Here are some of your most common questions.

How Is a Contact Lens Held In Place?


The transparent outer section of your eye is called the cornea. It lies over the iris and pupil. Contact lenses are designed in such a way as to rest upon the cornea, kept in place by tear film and pressure from your eyelids. Every time you blink, the lens shifts gently and allows tear lubrication to occur.

How Does a Contact Lens Work?

Combining with the natural optics, a contact lens becomes in effect the outer element of the eye; the initial layer through which light passes. In effect it corrects the optics of the biological lens, adjusting images into focus which otherwise would be blurry.

What is the Cause of Far-Sightedness?

This is known as hypermetropia. It can occur if your eyeball is irregularly short from front to back or if the cornea does not have the right curvature. Our contact lenses in Burnaby can alleviate most types of hypermetropia, myopia, astigmatism as well as reading problems

What is Overwear?

Although contact lenses are continually advancing to become more comfortable and dynamic, it is still recommended that you alternate to your eyeglasses occasionally. At least once a week. Overwear can lead to discomforts such as dryness, burning eyes and blurry vision. Consult your eye doctor on best practices as aggravation can lead to infections.

Midgate Optical remains dedicated to our customers’ needs and enquiries. For contact lenses in Burnaby, call us today.

Why Do Different Glasses Suit Different People?

Working in an optical store in Burnaby, you become familiar with the rituals that people go through when choosing glasses. Glasses are something you live with. Naturally, you need to be comfortably with them. But why do different glasses suit different people? There are many reasons, but one thing to consider is the shape of a person’s face.


You probably don’t give much daily thought to the shape of your face. But when you stand in front of a mirror and try on a pair of glasses, you instinctively know if they’re right for you or wrong for you. As a rule, someone with broadly angular features should avoid square or geometric frames. If you have soft curves on the other hand, these same geometric designs will be more expressive and less distracting.

Think of it this way. Try to add something that isn’t there already, rather than replicating your most striking features.

If your face is narrow or oblong in shape, broader glasses with taller frames often feel more natural. They compliment your face, preventing it from looking unnaturally long. For those with a round shaped face, rectangular and horizontal shapes are often effective while small round frames can seem awkward. If your face is diamond shaped, stylists often recommend oval glasses and rimless designs to nicely highlight your jaw line.

Working in an optical store in Burnaby, you try to assist people as best you can to find glasses that make them feel comfortable and above all, natural. Midgate Opticians is an optical store in Burnaby, committed to making you look and feel the best in your stylish prescription glasses.

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