Can someone help me through the BS?

Discussion in 'Optometry Archives' started by jack, Oct 2, 2008.

  1. jack

    jack Guest

    My prescription is +1.75 add +2.25, progressive bifocals.

    The pair I bought 4 years ago were extremely comfortable, but the lenses got
    progressively smearier until they just couldn't be cleaned.

    Two years ago I bought two pair (everyday and safety) without the
    antireflection coating that apparently failed in the older pair. I didn't
    see any glare from not being coated. I just lost my everyday glasses and
    figured I would get new lenses in my 4 year old frames, since they were much
    more comfortable than either of the new ones.

    I went to 4 stores.
    The first told me I mistaken about coating; they don't smear and I would be
    crazy to not get it. She also thought I would be crazy if I didn't get new
    frames also because they wouldn't cost anything with discounts; but just
    plain polycarbonate lenses are $400.

    The second store agreed that coating smeared; she also identified my lenses
    as a premium brand and said new ones would be $330. She warned me that if
    my frames broke they weren't responsible.

    The third store said that 4 year old coatings smeared but new ones didn't.
    Coated lenses were $200 and uncoated $170. However, the machine that would
    cut the lenses picked up any defect on the old lenses when it duplicated
    them, and magnified it. As such, there could be gaps between the frames and
    the lenses; and they weren't responsible.

    The fourth store agreed that coating smeared and gave me price of $130. If
    the frames broke I could apply the $130 to new frames/lenses. However, they
    would have to send my glasses out and it takes 2-3 weeks.

    None of these seem like good choices... I think I can dismiss the first
    one, but which of the last three makes more sense?

    Thanks much
    jack, Oct 2, 2008
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  2. jack

    Mark A Guest

    AR coating has improved significantly over the last 5-7 years in terms of
    durability and ease of cleaning, but it still depends on what brand of
    coating you get and who applies it. Any AR coating applied at in-store lab
    is not going to last long and will be hard to clean (smear). Some of the
    premium coatings are easy to clean and fairly tough (for a lens coating) but
    they are expensive (they cost more than $30) and the better ones are applied
    at the factory (essentially baked on)..

    Many premium bi-focals come with a high-quality AR coating (it is not an
    additional option) applied at the lens factory, and these are usually the
    best. The coatings include Crizal Alize, Zeiss Carat Advantage, and others
    from Hoya, Seiko, and other brands.

    Wal-mart or Sams optical will charge you $10 extra for purchasing a lens
    without a frame (last time I checked), and will not hassle you about, but no
    one can be responsible for a frame that breaks during mounting of the lens
    if it is not their frame (but if you know the frame is in good shape it will
    likely be OK, and you don't have much to loose).

    The store that said "machine that would cut the lenses picked up any defect
    on the old lenses when it duplicated them, and magnified it" is trying to
    con you into buying new frames.

    The first store is probably telling you the truth (their premium AR coating
    they have does not smear) and it may well be that they way they price
    glasses the frames end up being effectively free (although not cheap in
    terms of total cost).

    With a plus RX and plus add power, I would stay away from polycarb, the
    worst lens material commonly dispensed in terms of optical quality (measured
    by abbe value). I would look for a 1.60 index lens, which typically has
    excellent optics with a premium AT coating and don't even bother if they
    make the lenses or apply the coating in the store. Ask them the brand,
    model, and material, and post it back here if you need more information
    about what you are quoted. Expect a quality pair of glasses to take 3-10
    days on average.
    Mark A, Oct 3, 2008
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  3. jack

    The Real Bev Guest

    $10 plus the cost of new frames assuming the shop has frames that fit
    the lenses. If they don't, I would assume you would have to pay for new
    lenses AND new frames.

    I once broke the frames on my reading glasses. I just happened to have
    a set of yardsale frames that was almost an exact fit, and For Eyes put
    the lenses in the yardsale frames for free.
    The Real Bev, Oct 3, 2008
  4. jack

    jack Guest

    I sincerely appreciate your help. All 4 stores were pitching polycarbonate.
    It is what I have always used, and have kinda gotten used to the color
    The frames are half rimless with a plastic strap underneath. When I bought
    them I was told only polycarbonate would stay in. Is that true.

    When I looked up the premium brand the second store proposed, I found it on
    line for less than half price. You send them your old glasses and they put
    new lenses in.
    I don't have my pupil distance, but they say they can get it off the old
    Does this sound reasonable?
    jack, Oct 3, 2008
  5. jack

    Mark A Guest

    Polycarb has high tensile strength and high impact resistance, so polycarb
    does help if your lenses are drill mounted or grooved for half frame, but
    many labs will be able to use certain other materials also. Personally, I
    would rather be blind than wear polycarb (not sure there is a difference,
    and if blind one is eligible for social security disability benefits).

    It is fairly simple to measure your pupil distance if you have friend that
    can help you . You want separate numbers for each side (such as 30/32 mm)
    not just one number (such as 62 mm ). If you have an old Rx it may be on
    there (doesn't usually change much unless a witch doctor has shrunk you
    head). In theory they could find it from the optical center of the lenses
    you have now mounted in your frame, but I am not sure how accurate that is,
    i.e, where the exact center is located. Lenses come marked with the optical
    center and fitting cross so they can be mounted correctly in the frame, but
    the markings are removed before you get them..
    Mark A, Oct 4, 2008
  6. jack

    jack Guest

    How about Trivex; as in Younger Image Trivex.
    It seems to be a great material, but since it isn't very popular I am
    I am a woodworker and impact resistance is important. I have prescription
    polycarbonate safety glasses, but they are about as bad as you say.
    jack, Oct 4, 2008
  7. jack

    Mark A Guest

    Polyucarb is especially bad for farsighted patients (with a plus Rx).

    Trivex is an excellent lens material. Hoya also has Trivex lens material
    (they call it Phoenix) and they have some excellent lens designs, and their
    SUPER HiVision premium lens coating is also excellent. The best Hoya
    progressive designs are the ID and ID Lifestyle. Unfortunately, not cheap,
    but excellent.

    The reason why Trivex is not widely offered is that the patent has not
    expired (must be licensed from PPG) and it is not as profitable to them as

    Here are some websites that discuss Trivex:

    Here is an availability matrix of Trivex based on lens design (progressives
    are on the far right)"
    Mark A, Oct 4, 2008
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