I try to be brand neutral for the most part on my site. I may tell you what brands I like and why, but I also respect there are a lot of different options and what is good for one optician or patient may not be as good for another patient. I started to share this information just on my Facebook page but decided to put something on here as well.
If you are needing new glasses and can get to a location over the next week to take advantage of this, I highly recommend you do.
The Ultimate Lens Package promotion is ending January 31st. This promotion has been really good for us in the sense that it has helped a lot of our patients be able to purchase two pairs of glasses for an affordable price. It hasn’t been great from a business perspective, which may be why some locations didn’t really like it. It created more work for the opticians, as well as more time spent with the patient without a real fiscal gain. I loved it though because it truly benefited the patient.
Here’s how it worked……if you bought the qualifying items in your first set of glasses, you would get the second set of lenses completely free, you just had to pay for the frame. To help our patients out, we would still give them the second pair discount and give them 20% off their frame.
There is a single vision option; Eyezen as well as a progressive (no line multifocal) option; Varilux X. It can be combined with insurance. Our VSP patients often took advantage of the promotion.
You do have to get Transitions lenses in the first pair. If you haven’t been a fan of transitions in the past, I would highly recommend the Graphite Green color. Another option for single vision lens wearer is to go with a fun new color like Sapphire, just pick one that matches your frame colors. If you give the transitions a whirl for 30 days and determine you just don’t like them, because the promotion is sponsored by Essilor, you can have them remade in a clear pair as long as you let the office know in a reasonable amount of time. We generally said between 30-60 days to let us know.
The second pair can be another regular everyday pair with or without transitions, it can be an occupational pair, or a great sunglass complete with polarized lenses, including fun colors like Xperio UV lenses. Occupational lenses, for those who don’t know, are designed for someone who spends a lot of time focused on the intermediate portion such as reading music or sitting at a desktop computer for long periods of time. If you are doing that, make sure your optician does a modified version of the Varilux x for your occupational lens, not just do a single vision or even the Essilor computer. We have the modified Varilux X is more comfortable, especially for those patients who sit and use multiple monitors at work.
It is ending soon so if you’re in the Kansas City Area you can come see me. You’re also welcome to go see any essilor provider. To locate an office near you, feel free to use the location finder to find a location this next week to help you. https://www.essilorusa.com/get-lenses/where-to-buy#/
Please note, while this may seem like an Essilor advertisement, it is not. I am not getting any compensation for posting this post. I’m doing it because I feel like it was a great promotion and it’s ending in a week so I wanted to make sure it was known it was ending. If you are reading this AFTER the promotion ended, I know they have another promotion starting February 1st but it isn’t as great of a deal for the patient. Always remember to ask your optician if there are any promotions you can take advantage of, especially if you are purchasing multiple pairs.
If you want to stay up on different optical solutions for the consumer / patient, follow me here or like my Facebook page: @PaulaTheOptician
Selecting the right frame for someone is fun for the most part. There are so many factors I take into consideration, including cost if the patient has expressed a concern about their budget. As an optician, it is my responsibility to make sure the patient can see out of their glasses first and foremost. Sometimes it appears the patient confuses cost of the frame with the quality of their lenses. All too often I have someone come in to see me saying they can’t see and they spent a fortune on their glasses. “The frames alone were $800!” If the frames alone were $800 and you only spent $1000 on your glasses, you probably didn’t get a great pair of glasses. You purchased a beautiful pill bottle.
What is more important? The pills or the pill bottle?
I use this example often with my patients so they can understand the importance of filling their eyeglass prescription with a quality set of lenses first and then, if they don’t have a budget and can spend what they want on the frame, great. If they have a budget then let me help them find a frame within their budget which will also look great and fit well.
Sadly, from experience, I can tell you, not every optician feels this way. Some opticians are not really opticians, they are sales people. They sell you a more expensive frame, tell you you’re getting the best lenses, and then put a progressive lens from 2003 in your frame. You might have trouble seeing but you’ll look amazing!
Imagine going to a pharmacy and the pharmacist saying, I’ll fill your prescription but let’s take a look at these amazing pill bottles you can choose. They range from free to $1000+. I know this is a little over the top because pills only last 30-90 days but I’m trying to stress the importance of focusing Your budgeted dollars in the right direction when cost is a factor.
Don’t get me wrong, anyone who knows me knows how much I LOVE finding the perfect frame and how much I love the unique and whimsical frames. Unique and whimsical in a lower cost isn’t always as easy to find but as the frame buyer at my office, I do try to find them so I can offer them to the patients wanting unique on a budget.
Frames costs range from low to high for a variety of reasons. Sometimes it’s the difference in material, sometimes it is where the parts used in it come from; for example, if a frame has hinges made in Germany vs hinges made in China, the cost may be slightly higher, where the frame is designed, as well as where or how the frame is manufactured. I am not saying NOT to purchase a nice frame. I just want to stress the importance of making sure you are putting the right lenses and features into the frame you selected.
If you have vision benefits such as VSP (Vision Service Plan) or Eyemed, it is important you utilize your benefits as fiscally wise as you can. If you wear contact lenses as well, have the optician price out both ways. It is almost always better to use your benefits for eyeglasses and pay for the contacts.
For progressive lenses, make sure your optician is selecting a lens suited for how you are going to use them. If you are someone who ALWAYS takes their glasses off to drive or watch TV, then talk about an occupational pair of glasses instead of a normal progressive. If you are on a laptop a lot, make sure the progressive lens has a wide intermediate area as well as some type of blue light protection.
It is important to have confidence in your optician. He or she is a crucial part of you seeing the world as clear as possible!
Have a great frame you love? Share a picture of yourself wearing them! I’d love to see them.
Have a great day everyone and see the world as clearly as you can! 🤓
If you liked this article and want to read more, please follow me on Facebook @PaulaTheOptician or subscribe to this blog. You can find my other writing, not related to eye care and optical on my site: HaliPawz Where I enjoy writing reviews, ADA adventures with my mom, as well as just some humorous things that happen to me.
If you like the pill bottles in the picture, please visit the site I found them in by clicking here
As an optician, I know there is some excitement over picking up your new eye wear and wanting to wear them. Perhaps it is because your old ones are not working anymore or you’re just ready for a new look, for whatever reason for the excitement, it is there and I understand it. I’m always excited to get my new ones as well.
What I want to share with you today is what YOU, as the patient, should expect when you are picking up your eye wear and some expectations you should, or should not, have.
First, and foremost, whenever possible, YOU should always be the one picking up your new eye wear. I understand sometimes our busy schedules get in the way and we want a family member to grab them for us, but logically, it doesn’t make sense. It’s like going to be measured for a bridal gown and then not showing up for the fitting before you wear it to the wedding. When you work with a good optician, they take the critical measurements to help you see the best you can possibly see, but you have to have the final fitting for them to be perfect.
If your prescription has changed, please understand you may not see perfectly out of the glasses instantly, especially if it is later in the day. Our eyes are already tired and aren’t ready to work to look through something different. We are creatures of habit and even our brain / eyes want our comfort zone, even if the new prescription is better.
Another thing to note is your prescription MAY have changed slightly even if the doctor tells you there isn’t a change, especially if you are a new patient seeing the doctor for the first time and you didn’t bring your current prescription with you. See my blog, Preparing for your optical visit to understand what you should bring with you to an optical appointment. Even if it is the exact same prescription on paper, there may be slight changes to the lenses based on measurement and frames so your eyes may see slightly different in the new pair. I used to have two pairs of glasses, the frames were the exact same frame, just different colors. The lenses were the exact same, made by me, with the exact same measurements. With everything being the same, I could still tell which pair I had on when I put them on. It doesn’t mean I saw worse in one over the other, there was just a slight variation. Some people are a little more sensitive to those variations than others. The variations don’t mean they were made wrong, understand making a lens is not an exact science, especially in today’s digital world. There is a standard chart letting us know how much of a variation is allowed in your lens based on your prescription. Good lab technicians and opticians will reject a pair of glasses if, after manufacturing, it is determined the prescription is slightly PAST the variation allowance. Unfortunately, not every optician will reject a pair , or, worse yet, they don’t even bother inspecting the glasses when they arrive from the lab, they just assume the lenses are correct. Mistakes do happen. Variations come out a little more than we anticipated. As an optician, I hate having to tell a patient their eye wear didn’t pass inspection and a lens has to be restarted but I feel it is better than allowing the patient to pick up their new eye wear, excited to wear them, only to discover they just can not see out of them and something has to be re-ordered.
What to expect if you are single vision: Single vision lenses are usually the easiest for us to dispense. They are the lenses designed for one specific vision. Usually, if you are younger than 38, they may be for every day, all day wear. Sometimes they are for reading only or for a more detailed vision need, such as piano playing or computer use. There are two measurements I always take for single vision lenses UNLESS they are for reading only. Then I can skip one of them because of how a patient holds their head to read. If your optician ordered a newer, digital lens, such as the Eyezen lens, then there may be some fitting dots or even some fitting clings on your lenses. If you pick up your eye wear and you’ve worn them for a few days and you’re not seeing as clear as you feel you should be, then talk to your optician. Ask him or her if they took a specific optical center height on them. If they did ask them if they verified it when the eye wear came in from their lab. If they did not take an optical center height or they did not double-check it, take them back in to the office and ask them to dot the center of the prescription. It is easy to do and it is an easy way for you to visually see a potential problem with your vision. The dot (once they mark it) should be directly over your pupil when you are looking straight ahead. All too often I have had to show a patient who purchased the eye wear somewhere else how off-center from their actual pupil the lenses were made. This can create strain on a patient’s eyes or even a pulling feeling. Sadly, too many opticians skip this step or do not feel it is important. In all my years, I have found it to make a difference in a patient’s sight so any optician I hire or train is trained to always take it. The only exception, as I stated, is for reading / computer only lenses.
What to expect if you are picking up a progressive lens (often referred to as a no line bifocal): This lens is a lot trickier for some opticians. All too often I have patients who saw one of our doctors for their examination but chose to purchase their eye wear somewhere else come in to see us and tell us they are having a problem with their glasses. We instantly “mark them up” before we read the prescription or check the fit.
This can be done with a lens cling or a lens marker. Opticians use the marking to determine what adjustments, if any, need to be made. We also use the marking to read the actual prescription in the lens to determine if the lenses match the prescription written for them. I’ll ask the patient who is having the trouble if they remember seeing any markings on their lenses when they picked up their glasses and, sadly, I am often told no, they don’t remember seeing anything on the lenses. I have talked to other opticians (who don’t mark progressive lenses up to dispense) and they say they don’t do it because they feel it makes the lenses appear ugly and the patient doesn’t like it. I just do not understand this thought process!!! What is more important, correct placement for quality vision or the aesthetics of the lenses immediately at dispense? We tell the patients as we hand the lenses to them….”Don’t try to look through the lenses, I’m going to double-check the fit and then we’ll check the vision” I have never had a patient get upset with me because I’m trying to help them see as best as I can.
All progressive lenses have hidden water / laser marks on them to also tell us what brand of progressive lenses they are as well as what material and what add (bifocal) power is built into the lens. We use those markings to determine the placement of everything. Sometimes those laser marks may be visible if you catch the light just right and you’re looking off to the side of your glasses. They do not interfere with your vision and they are perfectly normal. They are supposed to be there.
Please understand there are different types of progressive lenses and the older the technology, the more difficult it may be for you to see out of them. I’m going to be breaking progressive lenses down for you in another blog, so keep your eyes open for it.
If you are picking up a lined bi-focal or lined tri-focal:Every measurement surrounding a lined bifocal or lined trifocals varies depending on the patient’s needs as well as their preferences. At the time of ordering, the optician should have asked you clear questions about what your expectations were of the lenses, how you were going to use them (if a specialty pair) and then verify those expectations are being met when you pick them up.
There are times however, your expectations just can not be made a reality and your optician should take the time to discuss with you when you are ordering them WHY it might not be a reality and give you an alternative solution.
If you pick up your glasses and you feel you can’t see as well as you should be able to, don’t panic! As great as your optometrist or ophthalmologist is, sometimes the prescription does get written wrong. The best way I can explain it is…..when in the room during the examination and you’re asked “Which is better, A or B” and you say A, but B is better in your real world. Another thing is, sometime the prescription just gets transferred from the phoropter (the thing you look into during your examination) to the computer or Rx pad incorrectly. You always need to allow for a little human error. I can assure you, errors are never done intentionally so don’t be upset with your optician if they suggest you try them for three or four days before troubleshooting and getting you back in with your prescribing doctor. Talk to your optician as ask them what the time line is for correction. For example, if we determine a prescription is close to the previous prescription but the vision seems to be slightly off, we will ask the patient to try them for three or four days. If they continue to have problems, we will have them come back in to see us so we can go through our troubleshooting page to determine if the problem is occurring due to a prescription error or a manufacturing error. As you can see from my example, there are a lot of things we troubleshoot BEFORE recommending you go back in to see your prescribing doctor.
We may not always be able to determine what the problem is, but it’s a good start.
All in all, communication with your optician is very important. If you purchase your glasses from a different location than where you had your eye exam, be sure to ask them what their policy is on remakes and ask if they are willing to troubleshoot any concerns before you make your appointment with your doctor for a recheck. A lot of places will JUST check the prescription and nothing else. While you never want anything to be wrong with your glasses, asking the correct questions ahead of time will have you prepared in case there is something wrong.
It is always OK to ask questions. Eye wear is an important part of your eye health and having the wrong prescription or the wrong measurements can affect you negatively down the road.
I hope this information helps you be more prepared when picking up your new eye wear. If you want to stay up to date with the new information I’ll be providing, be sure to subscribe to this blog or like me on Facebook as PaulaTheOptician
I am so excited to be launching this new site. I feel like there is so much information waiting to be shared with the eyeglass consumer and no one is taking the time to share it. Well I am!
A little about me…..
I’ve been an optician since 1993. I picked up on optics very quickly and realized it was something I was good at. Some may say I am great at it, I’ll let them say it, I’ll just say good. Seriously though, I love to write, I love to educate, and I, dare I say it, yes, I will, I LOVE optics. Actually, I love meeting the person who says their glasses have never been right or they’ve never been able to see out of them, and then here I come and work with them to trouble shoot every possible area and they walk out happy and seeing. The only thing out of my control is the prescription. If that is wrong, then the optician just can not do their job effectively.
Perfect glasses = 50% Prescription + 50% optician
This is a formula not every doctor would agree with, but the ones who don’t probably haven’t worked with a great optician. 🙂
I love frames so I will be showcasing some of my favorite frames as well. If you have difficulty finding a frame or are looking for something different from what you’re currently wearing, I’m happy to help point you in the right direction.
I do work as an optician in the Kansas City Metro area in Overland Park, KS but this blog isn’t designed to get more business for me there. It is designed to help educate you, the consumer or, as I will often refer to you as, the patient so you are armed with the right knowledge to purchase your eye wear wherever you choose. If you do want to come see me, you are welcome to reach out to me. You do not need to be a patient of our practice to purchase glasses from me.
So please feel free to browse my page. Follow me to stay up to date with anything I post. If you have an optical question as it relates to your eye-wear, please do not hesitate to ask.
The other side of my knowledge is the business side. I have been able to turn a profit and see substantial growth with every office I have ever worked at, all while maintaining a fair pricing structure so if you are a private optometrist or ophthalmologist who has a dispensing area not doing as well as you would like, I would be happy to sit down with you as a consultant to discuss the things needed to see growth and set up a plan of action to move in the right direction.
I look forward to helping you “see” your world just a little better than you have before.