Jan. 26, 2022 Sponsored Story
A full-service optometry clinic opened in Long Island City in November and the owner has already built a following in the Queens Plaza/Dutch Kills section of the neighborhood long in need of eye care services.
Dr. Wilzen Lingad founded Bridges Eyecare, located at 41-17 Crescent Street, during the pandemic and has already seen a large clientele seeking her services.
“People walk by and see me and drop in,” Dr. Lingad said. “Some also go online and find I’m the only one in the area.”
Dr. Lingad said most people visit her eye-care clinic for routine exams and contact lens fittings. However, she said that a lot of people who seek her services need help in dealing with “dry eyes” and “digital eye strain” stemming from their use of computers.
“The world has gotten so digital. A lot of people work from home and are working long hours. They tell me that their eyes hurt, their vision seems to be worsening, or that they suffer from dryness.” Dr. Lingad said.
She said some require a computer prescription that helps them focus close-up, while others are provided with “visual hygiene” advice.
Such advice could involve the use of artificial tears, remembering to blink more often, the addition of a cool mist humidifier to a workspace, to being more disciplined about taking computer breaks.
Dr. Lingad said she offers her patients a range of eye-care services.
Patients can be evaluated for routine eye care or for diabetic retinopathy, cataracts, glaucoma, and other eye diseases. She also provides patients with contact lens fittings and training, even for astigmatism and presbyopia.
Dr. Lingad said she is also able to provide emergency work, such as if someone gets poked in the eye, has a sudden infection or experiences sudden vision loss.
She said that many people who visit her are being diagnosed as nearsighted, a condition where it is difficult for them to see at a distance.
The condition is becoming more prevalent, she said. It is estimated that by 2050, nearly half of the world’s population will be nearsighted.
She said that she is currently informing many residents about the simplicity of a specialty contact lens called Ortho-K, which she recommends in many cases particularly for children.
Patients who use Ortho-K contacts only have to put them in at night and can then remove them during the day in order to have good vision. “Kind of like a retainer for the eye,” she said.
Dr. Lingad said she decided to open in Long Island City, drawn by its growth and youthful residents—many of whom are professionals. She also said she was aware that there was a need for her service in the area.
“I lived in Sunnyside for a long time and would take the 7 train to midtown for optometry school in Manhattan,” she said. “I would see all the buildings go up and would tell myself that after I graduate I would open up there.”
Dr. Lingad graduated in 2016 from the SUNY College of Optometry in Manhattan. She has lived in New York City since 2007, after moving to the U.S. upon completing high school in Switzerland.
She worked for several ophthalmologists after graduating but when the pandemic struck, she decided she would go at it alone. “The uncertainty of the pandemic made me reassess what I wanted to do. It gave me an opportunity to sit down and come up with a business plan.”
Dr. Lingad had hoped to open in February 2021 but the opening date got pushed back to November due to construction delays.
She has created her own line of designer glasses called Dutch Kills Eyewear since opening. Each piece was inspired and curated by the area. The logo is of a crown—the same crown found on the Queensboro Bridge.
She said a lot people buy their glasses online or at big stores like Warby Parker, which are often cute but are lacking in quality. “I wanted to have something with a similar look but with a local feel and of better quality.”
She said her product line—that features a range of colors– has been inspired by the modern vibe of Long Island City. They are not available online at this point but at her clinic.
Her focus, however, is on providing eyecare.
She currently takes appointments three days a week–Wednesday, Thursday, and Saturday—and plans on adding a day. Her office is open five days a week–Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday—providing residents with the ability to pick up prescriptions and other services.
She said that she is thankful to have opened in Long Island City, saying that the area continues to undergo enormous growth.
“A lot of new businesses are coming to the area, new people keep arriving—everything has bounced back since the height of the pandemic.”
For more information call the office at (718) 786-5892 or go online to bridgeseyecare.com