By Rochelle Miller

According to “Think About Your Eyes,” a national public awareness campaign shedding light on the importance of an annual eye exam, 80 percent of all learning comes through the eyes. Children are at a strong disadvantage in school and elsewhere when they can’t see properly. Which is precisely why the Vision Council, in line with the American Optometric Association, recommends children have their first eye exam with an eyecare provider when they’re between six months to one year old, at least once between ages three and five, or as recommended, and annually beginning at age six or before entering first grade.

Eye exams are also crucial for adults. This is why we should make eyecare a multi-generational family affair. Vision affects the entire spectrum of a child’s and an adult’s life. Ask a child who gets glasses at age eight and until that moment had no idea that trees had individual leaves. That child gets the importance of vision correction, but until glasses were on his face, didn’t know any better.

Passionate about her profession, and providing signature superior eye care for her patients, Dr. Rachel is on a mission to make people prioritize their vision, care for it, and protect it for life. Dr. Pollak is a gifted NYS licensed optometrist who provides top tier primary care for her multigenerational patient base at Benjamin Optics in Inwood, NY.

She received her doctorate from the prestigious SUNY College of Optometry, where she graduated with honors. Trained in primary, pediatric, and emergency eye care, as well as regular and specialty contact lenses, Dr. Pollak also diagnoses, treats, and manages ocular disease.

Mention Dr. Pollak’s name to any of her patients and their families and you will elicit an enthusiastic response. A gifted optometrist, she specializes in pediatric eye care, and specifically, in myopia control (slowing down the progression of nearsightedness). She will address all aspects of your child’s vision, including its functional impact on learning and academic performance. Moreover, she is skilled in all methods of myopia control, including eye drops, multifocal contact lenses, and ortho-k lenses. Renowned for her professionalism and unparalleled patient care, Dr. Pollak’s articles have been published in leading journals.

“I believe that everyone should feel comfortable wearing contact lenses,” she shared. Indeed, she has successfully fitted many patients who have previously experienced difficulty with contact lenses. “I fit spherical, astigmatic, multifocal, and custom contact lenses. I also treat dry eye symptoms aggressively, using both eye drops and punctal plugs to allow for maximum contact lens comfort.”

Dr. Pollak views her profession as a labor of love. As the mother of three young sons, she finds it particularly rewarding to help a child who is struggling academically by diagnosing the youngster and prescribing accordingly. “All too often, a parent or teacher will think a child is inattentive or has a learning issue when the issue is vision related. Upon putting on a properly prescribed pair of glasses, the child is suddenly able to see and discern letters, words, and sentences in his books and on the board and is finally able to focus academically and socially. Seeing a child’s life transformed is a joy to behold!”

Personable and unpretentious, Dr. Pollak and her husband live in Lawrence with their family and are active members of our community. With an extensive background in pediatric optometry, she finds Benjamin Optics the ideal setting to treat her diverse patient population.

Nestled in Inwood, Benjamin Optics is a premier source for all matters vision related. The state-of-the-art office offers cutting-edge technology to detect diseases of the eye, including glaucoma, macular degeneration, and diabetic eye disease. Since its inception, Benjamin has become a community treasure, preserving the vision of patients, from treasured toddlers to cherished seniors, and everyone in between—and in great style!

The bearer of a proud history, Benjamin Optics has been serving New York with distinction since its inception at its five locations. In 2015, Stuart Acoca and Pinny Dascal decided to pool their respective business expertise and join forces. “We collaborated and took over a struggling but historic store on 116th Street in Morningside/Harlem,” shared Stuart Acoca, CEO of Benjamin Optical. That store had been around since 1950. Seventy-two years later, it’s still the most well-known store in Harlem.

Benjamin spent a few years rehabilitating, modernizing, and perfecting that store. They then took their ‘Stuart’ knowhow and expanded, taking over a few more outdated stores, turning them around. Those stores were in Staten Island as well as the Inwood store. They also opened two new locations along the way, one in Brownsville and one at the American Dream Mall and expect to expand in the months and years ahead.

Stuart added, “We pride ourselves in getting to understand the communities we operate in. So, everything from equipment to product offering and even how patients choose frames differs from store to store. As we grow, we are not chasing the corporate structure; rather, to create the number one community optometry practice in each neighborhood and focusing on the specific needs of said community.”

Stuart added, “Dr. Pollak joining the Inwood location was precisely what the Five Towns needed. As a local resident, she understands the needs of the Five Towns. She knows the primary care doctors of our patients, their ophthalmologist, their endocrinologist. She has spent a big part of her career helping children. We saw the need and we saw what Dr. Pollak was capable of providing to our patients, and we feel very fortunate to have an optometrist of her caliber as part of Benjamin Optical.”

For further information regarding Benjamin Optical, please refer to their ad in this issue of the 5TJT. n


Rochelle Maruch Miller is a contributing editor for the Five Towns Jewish Times. She is a journalist, creative media consultant, lecturer, and educator, and writes for magazines, newspapers, websites, and private clients. She welcomes your comments at Read more of Rochelle Miller’s articles at



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