Optical and Contact Lens

Optical Shop Hours of Operation:

Monday, Tuesday and Thursday: 8:15 - 4:45

Wednesday: 8:15 - 5:30

Friday: 8:15 - 3:45

The Albany Eye Associates Optical Shop was established in the late 1990's to offer our valued patients a full range of services to accommodate any lifestyle and budget. Education is a very important part of the eyewear and lens selection. Our licensed optician, Barbie Hinds, is very knowledgeable in all aspects of frame and lens choices, including all the latest in breakthrough technology. This is extremely beneficial when you are choosing eyewear to meet your specific visual needs.

Our Optician: Barbie Hinds

Barbie HinesBarbie Hinds is a NYS licensed Optician, practicing in the optical field for the last 30 years. She is a proud member of the New York Society of Opticians and has served as the regional director. She started in retail establishments, and had the pleasure of being trained by some of the best Opticians in our area. This has given her a very knowledgeable background, including lens fabrication, frame selections, and eyewear dispensing. She decided to work at Albany Eye Associates because she enjoys educating patients and assisting them with their choices in eyewear.

There is a wealth of new technology available to help with patients' needs and she will spend the time necessary to explain their benefits. This will help in making more informed decisions about what is right for you. She truly enjoys her work and would love for you to stop in to the Optical Shop and see all that she has to offer.

General Services

As part of the Optical Shop's service capabilities we offer:

  • Fulfillment of any eyeglass prescription by a licensed Optician
  • Personalized attention for selection of eyewear and lenses
  • Contact lens fittings by a Certified Contact Lens Technician
  • Complimentary cleanings and eyeglass adjustments at anytime


The Optical Shop accepts CDPHP and MVP health insurance.  We will gladly call your insurance provider for you to determine what your coverage is.  The Optical Shop also offers discount programs for Davis Vision Members and several other union plans.

Albany Eye Associates is also in participation with the Affordable Health Care Act.  Starting January 1, 2014, all individual health insurance plans, small group insurance plans, or plans sold in the new state-based health insurance marketplaces are required to include a set of essential health benefits.  Included in this list of “essential” services is coverage for children’s vision care.  In New York State, this means that new insurance plans will cover one comprehensive eye exam and one pair of glasses each year.


The Optical Shop maintains a variety of styles to fit any budget needs. From titanium frames with durability, and virtual weightlessness, to frames that come with magnetic polarized sun clips. We take pride in our selections. Keeping up with all the latest technology, designers, and trends are of the utmost importance to us.

The Optical Shop carries over 500 frames for Men, Women, Teens, Kids, and Infants.  Some of the designers we carry are:

  • Airlock Rimless
  • Marc Jacobs
  • Banana Republic
  • Marchon New York for kids
  • Elle
  • Espirit
  • Flexon Titanium
  • Safilo
  • Jimmy Choo
  • Saks Fifth Avenue
  • Juicy Couture
  • Solo Bambini (Infants and Toddlers)
  • Juicy Couture kids
  • Takumi magnetic frame and clip set
  • Liz Clairborne
  • Tura
  • Nine West
  • Tommy Hilfiger

The Optical Shop also carries prescription and non-prescription sunglasses from these great designers:

  • Banana Republic
  • Jimmy Choo
  • Marc Jacobs
  • Saks Fifth Avenue
  • Liz Clairborne
  • Polaroid


The Optical Shop insists on only superior lenses for our patients, and is pleased to offer the latest lenses available, such as:

  • Varilux Progressive lenses - Also known as “No-line bifocals”, are lenses that feature a continuous, clear field of vision from distance through the mid-range to near providing more natural vision.
  • Crizal Avance Anti-reflective Coating - Anti-reflective Coating reduces glare from headlights, tailights, street lights, and computer screens.  This means safer and more comfortable driving, fewer headaches, and better looking glasses.
  • New Crizal Prevencia Anti-reflective Coating – In addition to all the benefits of Antireflective Coating, Crizal Prevencia filters and deflects harmful Blue-Violet light.
  • Polycarbonate lenses – This lens material is the strongest and most impact resistant lenses.  They are recommended for most and are required for patients 18 and under.
  • Polarized Sunglass lenses – Recommended for the best in glare protection.
  • Hi Index lenses – Recommended for higher strength prescriptions.
  • Transition lenses – Lenses which go from light to dark, according to changing light.

Contact Lenses

We offer the best and latest in contact lenses, from disposables to gas permeable lenses, silicone hydrogel lenses that are healthier, less dry, and more comfortable, to lenses that correct astigmatism, and even bifocal contacts for those who need help with reading vision. If you would like to make your brown eyes blue, we can do that too. Our experienced Contact Lens Technician is educated in all aspects of contact lenses, and can assist even the hardest to fit patient. We at Albany Eye Associates understand the importance of the best contact lens fitting, because that is what our patients deserve, the best in quality care. Our staff strives to provide the highest level of patient care with honesty and friendliness, in a professional and cost effective environment. Our focus is providing the latest in all advancements technologically, to enhance the vision of our patients. Satisfaction is very important as it is throughout our whole practice. First and foremost we will always promote eye health and safety through our knowledgeable, experienced staff. We would like you to stop in and see for yourself what we have to offer. The Optical Shop is located in our office and you can contact Barbie at 518-434-1042 (ext. 119).

Our Contact Lens Optician: Michael Buenau

Mike Buenau

Michael P. Buenau has been a licensed New York State Ophthalmic Dispenser and custom contact lens fitter for over 40 years.  A graduate of the Ophthalmic Dispensing Program at Erie Community College, Mike is ABO and NCLE certified.  He has been an active member of the New York State Society of Opticians throughout his career, and has served in a variety of offices at the local and state levels.  Currently, he serves as the Society’s Immediate Past President and a member of NYSSO’s 70th Anniversary Committee.  In 2005, Mike was honored by the Society with its Lifetime Achievement Award.  Mike has also served as a board member for the Northeastern Association of the Blind. Mike specializes in fitting hard-to-fit contact lens patients.  He fits people from all stages of life - from infants to teenagers, adults to the elderly - whether a routine fitting or more complicated situations like astigmatism, bifocal, monovision and color-deficiency.   Mike has vast experience with soft lenses, rigid gas permeable, and the latest silicone hydrogel lenses.  His main objective always is providing his patients with the best vision care and respecting the integrity of the cornea.