Many of us have been there, we invested time, energy, and most importantly money into getting the right pair of glasses, but the results left us feeling less than thrilled, or worse we are contented for several years only to find out that the glasses we used incorrectly could have contributed to worsening our vision. There are only really 4 steps on the process that could go wrong: the testing, the ordering process, the lab execution, or your ability to adjust to the new prescription.
- The refraction (92015). This is a procedure done at an eye exam visit. IF you aren’t asked to read the letters even when they seem a bit blurry, beware. IF they stop at 20/20 and don’t show you 20/15 or 20/10, consider a second opinion. IF your vision is demonstrated in the machine and you feel it isn’t as good as it was with the glasses you started the test with (especially if they didn’t demonstrate before AND after), don’t trust the results. IF the refraction is done by an eye care professional that you trust, and the resulting vision in the machine is clear and legible at near and far, then the prescribed power is one you can order with confidence. Should a pair of glasses fail to work and other factors have been ruled out, the doctor should take you back and check your vision in the glasses for free. If you don’t feel like everything has been done within reason to satisfy your vision needs, it’s likely that’s because it hasn’t.
- The frame selection, custom adjustment, and measurements. The optical should look at the script prior to narrowing your choices of frame. Ideally, you selected a number of good candidates prior to your exam because depending on the strength and design of the recommended lenses, a good optician may advise you to choose one frame over another to best hold your lenses. Frame adjustment should be done prior to the measurements and checked at the dispense. IF YOU EVER PICKED UP A NO-LINE BIFOCAL WITHOUT MARKINGS ON THE LENSES, THE OPTICIAN COULD NOT HAVE CHECKED TO CONFIRM THAT THE SCRIPT LANDS IN THE RIGHT PLACE IN THE LENS TO PROVIDE YOUR BEST VISION. The lab produces these markings so that the frame can be fit to the patient exactly as it was prior to lens insertion because the fitting cross is where the pupil should be. The optician should take precise measurements between your pupils and from the bottom of the frame to location of your visual axis as in custom prescriptions like compensated aspheric lenses or progressive multifocal lenses. Advanced tools exist to get precisely what is required by the lens manufacturers to customize your prescription and improve your vision. These measurements include wrap of the frame, distance to your eye from the back of the lens, and tilt of the lens. These are called the position of wear measurements, and they can only be obtained if the office uses specialized tools or equipment. It is also critical that the measurements are collected after the frame has been custom adjusted for you because this adjustment can change these measurements.
- The Lab. Sometimes it isn’t any one person’s fault, it simply didn’t turn out right. Usually these lab errors are discovered well before you pick up your glasses, but rarely they do slip through the cracks and if the error is as simple as the lab work wasn’t as good as it should be, the fix is quick and simple. When this happens a remake is ordered immediately at no cost to the patient.
- It’s not me, it’s you. IF YOU’VE EVER BEEN ASKED TO JUST WEAR THE NEW GLASSES FOR 2 WEEKS TO A MONTH AND RETURN IF THEY ARE STILL A PROBLEM, YOU HAVE HAD THIS HAPPEN TO YOU. The correct prescription isn’t always the prescription we can accept or adapt to. That’s why the DMV form states that the glasses necessary for driving were fit and accepted. This is also why you may want to give yourself some time with your new glasses before you raise any concerns. If you return with complaints 3 weeks after picking up your glasses and state that you’ve been trying to get used to them but they just don’t seem to work you will get a lot better outcome than if you return with them and state that you never wear them because they never worked. But in general, never wait longer than 2 months to bring them back to the location where you purchased to see if there is something that needs correcting or if it is just you.