Style: November 01, 2019


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Members of the Curtis family have been caring for South Island eyes for

120 years. We talk to Michael Curtis of Curtis Vision about business longevity

and seeing the future.

How long has the Curtis name been involved in optometry?

Since 1899, when Frank Curtis was practising as an

optometrist in Ashburton. We have an invoice from 1903

for a patient. Today, we operate in Fendalton, Wigram,

Christchurch CBD and New Brighton.

How has the business changed as the generations have

passed on the baton?

New technology has been championed and materials to

manufacture frames, lenses and contact lenses have

improved vastly.

To what do you attribute the business’s longevity?

The old family motto of ‘wish to do well’ has stood the

generations in good stead. This was why were once known

as Curtis Eye Care. We have always sought to deliver good

old-fashioned customer service and outstanding personal care

to patients with things to do with vision and eye care.

How do you stay current with both technology and trends?

We are members of all the eye-related societies, e.g. the

Contact Lens Association, NZ Association of Optometrists,

Association of Dispensing Optometrists NZ and Eyepro, and

we have embraced seminars and conferences as a way of

learning about new technology.

Can you tell us about your most memorable cases?

Examining a very well-off individual and then receiving a

request to update 30-plus sets of glasses he had distributed

in his homes and boats. A very successful day.

Also, finding a cancer in someone’s eye. Then, working

with that individual post removal of this eye and providing

eye care and support now for over 25 years. Very satisfying

for both parties.

What can we expect from the contact lens of tomorrow?

For most patients, it will likely be a daily-wear lens with a full

range of prescription options. It will be made of material that

has negligible impact on the tissues of the eye.

For distorted corneas and a select group of people, a

scan of the eye surface will provide a computer-generated

curvature for the contact lens to be made to. This will

provide a fresh, optically corrected, new corneal front surface

and give patients unsurpassed visual acuity.

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