Problem with New Prescription

Discussion in 'Optometry Archives' started by Gene Goldenfeld, Oct 3, 2003.

  1. I'd like to ask for some advice about how to approach a problem with my new
    glasses, which I picked up today. During September, I went from right eye
    dominant to left eye and then back to right eye dominant. Right around the
    time this started, I coincidentally began the process of getting new frames
    and progressive lenses, which of course has led now to a bit of a mess.
    During the course of this I used up my insurance and goodwill quota of two
    exams and two sets of lenses (you can guess what happened). The problem
    now is that my right eye distance vision (say, 10-15 ft and up) with the
    new lenses is fuzzy and worse than the left, which seems fine. It is also
    much worse than my original pair (also progressives). Reading and short
    vision are what led me to seek a new pair in the first place, and they seem
    good with the new ones. At the second exam the optometrist said that the
    right lens was the strongest she could prescribe, but that was before the
    right eye corrected itself. The lenses are Zeiss Premium (Gradal?) and my
    previous pair are Varilux. The old frames were 52/20 and the new ones are

    Before giving some numbers, I should add that I'm in very good health.
    Although my weight has gradually fallen 10 pounds in the past two months,
    it's the result of a sports training regimen (and my metabolic reaction to
    fall temps), not dieting or poor eating habits; i.e., low blood sugar level
    is unlikely. I did work a computer job for several weeks that had bad
    fluourescent lighting, with no natural light.

    Some numbers:

    Old Glasses (2 yrs) First New Prescription Second Presc.
    R PL -.50 103 PL -75 100 +75 -75 100
    L -.25 -2.00 86 PL -125 87 PL -125 87
    Reading Add. +1.50 +1.75 +2.00

    I'm at a loss about how to approach this. I can shop eye exams (out of
    pocket) and get a new right lens for cost, but I don't want to spin my
    wheels any more. Expert thoughts appreciated. Thanks,

    Gene Goldenfeld
    Gene Goldenfeld, Oct 3, 2003
  2. That "(current)" should be over by Second Prescription. - GG
    Gene Goldenfeld, Oct 3, 2003
  3. Gene Goldenfeld

    drfrank21 Guest

    Not sure what you mean by that. Your eyes do not change dominancy quickly,
    if ever.

    Right around the

    I think you may possibly be overplussed at the distance correction
    for your right eye with your latest prescription. I bet that cutting
    the distance plus (distance) for your right eye would solve the problem-
    obviously you need to go back and get it checked to determine if that
    indeed is the problem. Could also be a problem with going
    to a new progressive design but usually both eyes are affected. Same with
    any health problems such as diabetes- usually both eyes are affected.
    Most offices do NOT charge an additional exam fee for an rx check
    or lens replacement if you're in a certain time frame (ie 30 days).

    drfrank21, Oct 4, 2003
  4. Perhaps my terminology was inexact? What I meant was that I went from my
    right eye having better vision to the left and now back to the right
    (covering the other eye). I can now see better out of the right eye w/o my
    glasses than I can with them.
    Overplussed, meaning like the effect of overadjusting a pair of binoculars,
    except only one eye? Unfortunately, I've used up my two free visits and
    pairs of lenses in the process of this back and forth in vision, and both
    the optometrist and the eyeglass place let me know that. Bad timing. The
    latter will give me new lenses at cost, but I'm on my own for another eye
    exam. Sounds like the least expensive exam will do (Wal-Mart?). Thanks
    for your thoughts.

    Gene Goldenfeld, Oct 4, 2003
  5. Today I got a third prescription (see above) that appears almost certain to
    work, because I got to try it out and compare it to the others on the
    machine and in the little holder, walking around. That's something the
    other optometrist did not do. Ironically, this took a visit to Wal-Mart.
    But that was only the beginning.

    Just out of curiousity, I stopped by an independent eyeglass shop to ask
    their advice about choosing between Zeiss Gradal and Varilux Comfort (ZR39)
    lenses in my medium small frames (Polo 438 - 48/19). They immediately
    noticed that the Zeiss lenses that I been fitted with gave virtually no
    reading area. They said it was a problem with the fitting and called the
    glasses "worthless" as is, and marked them up to show what they meant.
    When they said something about having to hold a book at arm's length to
    read, I knew immediately they were onto something. So, I went back to the
    original shop and they looked up the lens in the Zeiss book and, sure
    enough, these weren't a good choice for me according to Zeiss' own specs.
    And this after I had visited 7 times since Sept 6, and them pushing the
    'Zeiss Premium' from day one without saying a thing. When today I
    explained my lack of confidence in their services and asked for my money
    back (in exchange for the lenses, of course), they told me I'd have to wait
    for the manager to come back in ten days from his fishing vacation in
    Michigan, claiming there was no way to reach him! Welcome to Minnesota.
    (Yes, I used a credit card and reminded them of that fact.)

    As an aside, you can't imagine how many times this sort of thing -- whether
    due to incompetence, dishonesty or a lack of training -- has happened to me
    since moving to the Mpls/St. Paul area from LA two years ago -- and never
    happened before moving here. In the optical case, there are no licensing
    requirements for opticians in the state of MN, thanks to the chains'
    lobbying efforts.

    Gene Goldenfeld, Oct 6, 2003
  6. Since starting my quest on Sept 2 to get a new pair of progressives to
    replace my Varilux Comforts, I've had some pretty strange experiences along
    the way in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area:

    -An optometrist widely used by insurance cos that got the Rx wrong twice;
    it took a visit to Wal-Mart to get it straightened out
    -A hard sell at the optometrist's office, in her presence, where the
    optician wouldn't answer any of my questions about different lens choices
    -A fitting of Zeiss Gradals at another shop where the reading area was, by
    their own admission later, much too small, yet they hadn't noticed it
    despite several opportunities

    -And then the coup de grace: Being sold Multigressiv lenses by a
    well-reputed St. Paul shop that were not in fact Multigressiv, but another
    poor quality lens. Being a bit suspicious when they turned my new frames
    into wrap-arounds to get the vision even close, I visited two distributors
    listed on the Rodenstock site, one a shop and one a lab. Both confirmed
    they were not Multigressivs (and that the frame adjustment was shoddy
    work). Then, just out of curiosity I called Rodenstock USA, which looked
    up the shop's orders and said none had come through recently for
    Multigressivs. When I told the shop what I had found and asked, "What
    gives?", they got very huffy, said I had already used 3 hours of their
    optician's time, that everyone else was wrong, that I thought I knew
    everything, and they would just give me my money back. The one thing they
    didn't do was look at the lens to check the engraved symbol to see if there
    had been a mistake.

    Through this process, I have now located a very good optician and am now
    awaiting another pair of Comforts (I've done very well with the current
    pair and sense that the Multigressivs are actually overkill for my Rx).
    Hopefully, this will be a happy end to a trying saga.

    PS. In trying to understand different lens options, I read through threads
    of recent years on this newsgroup and found them very helpful. Special
    thanks to Jeff and Robert Martellaro for their contributions.

    Gene Goldenfeld
    Gene Goldenfeld, Oct 28, 2003
  7. Gene Goldenfeld

    Mark A Guest

    You can identify progressives with the following document:
    Mark A, Oct 28, 2003
  8. Thanks! The shop claimed others were wrong because the Multigressiv isn't
    listed in the book. This document shows me what the others saw. BTW, I
    contacted the Attorney General to suggest an investigation. The problem is
    that the AG looks for patterns of complaints, which I explained would not
    be likely to occur with eyeglass purchasers. It's not the type of thing
    many people would suspect and follow up on, certainly not in "Minnesota

    Gene Goldenfeld, Oct 28, 2003
  9. Gene Goldenfeld

    Mark A Guest

    Then, just out of curiosity I called Rodenstock USA, which looked
    You can file a civil suit in small claims court and/or talk to a consumer
    affairs reporter at a local TV station. I forgot if this was the optometrist
    office that did this, but if so, you can file a complaint with the state
    board of optometry.

    I am a consumer just like you, and have become educated about progressives
    because of massive incompetence in the retail sector of the industry.
    Mark A, Oct 28, 2003
  10. Re the Multigressivs, this was an optical shop with an affiliated doctor
    that I didn't use. I just wandered in off the street prescription in
    hand. They did take the lenses and give me my money back, so at this point
    it's at most a matter of letting someone know there's a business
    apparently engaged in fraud. In MN, opticians are not licensed, thus the
    govt'l agency is the AG's office. The problem getting them to follow up
    can be seen from the issues raised in this newsgroup. Getting a properly
    fit pair of glasses is not necessarily straightforward in the best of
    circumstances, and opticians can easily play on, or count on, customers'
    ignorance of the medical and physical sciences involved. Plus, undoing the
    damage is usually simple -- just try another lens, or return the goods and
    get a refund and go elsewhere. How many people are impatient enough to do
    an internet search and drive 20 or 30 minutes to find other sources to ask
    about their doubts? Thanks,

    Gene Goldenfeld, Oct 28, 2003
  11. Gene Goldenfeld

    Mark A Guest

    After getting a pair of progressives from Lenscrafters that I could barely
    see out of (I had no trouble with my first pair of PAL's from them), I had
    to do a lot of research to figure out what the problem was, and what needed
    to be done to fix it. For the amount of money they charge for progressives
    these days, my motivation level was very high.

    One of the reasons that progressives are so expensive is the liberal remake
    and non-adapt warranty the manufacturers offer. The warranty claims are
    probably a lot higher than they should be because of optician incompetence.
    The cost of this incompetence is passed on to the consumer in the form of
    higher prices.
    Mark A, Oct 28, 2003
  12. You've raised what seems like an entirely different issue -- prices. What
    I noticed in visiting 10-12 shops and chains is that prices vary radically,
    even for the same item. Mention insurance and the price for lenses and
    frame are each invariably $50 higher than at another independent shop
    doesn't handle my insurance, or maybe any at all. The bad thing about this
    is that it leaves the customer who has checked around feeling distrustful
    right at the moment when maximum confidence should be getting established.

    Gene Goldenfeld, Oct 29, 2003
  13. Gene Goldenfeld

    Mark A Guest

    The big problem, which you previously have documented well, is that
    consumers rarely know exactly what they are buying in terms of lens
    manufacturer, model, and material. This makes comparison shopping more
    difficult for the average consumer. At Lenscrafters, most of the sales
    people don't even know, even though most of their lenses are from well-known
    manufacturers (although usually not top-of-the-line models).
    Mark A, Oct 29, 2003
  14. There's an article in 20/20 Vision mag I found about AR coatings in which
    some of the retailers talk about how they just tell the consumers, "premium
    coating." Well, I got that some with lenses as well, and they just kept
    repeating the same phrase in answer to my questions. It was really
    aggravating. I think a lot of the shops don't want consumers to ask
    questions or comparison shop. Not wanting them to compare prices is quite
    understandable, but the downside is that it eliminates discussion of two or
    three possible choices, and the advantages and disadvantages of each.
    Perhaps Robert has some thoughts on this, but I think opticians generally
    1)know or want to sell one or possibly two lenses or brands much more than
    others, and 2)prefer to make the choices for customers, rather than engage
    in discussion and thus face questions and potential problems. The guy with
    the Multigressiv actually told me the company's name was Multigressiv!
    Guess what I thought when I saw he had taken the price from next to "Life"
    on his list and then I get home and look up the lens on the internet.


    Gene Goldenfeld, Oct 29, 2003
  15. Gene Goldenfeld

    Mark A Guest

    (although usually not top-of-the-line models).
    For the independent opticians, there are usually some incentives to stay
    with one brand. The manufacturers often have contests that award sales
    people prizes for achieving a certain volume of sales. The chain stores have
    their own preferences which they tell their sales people to push.

    But one of the biggest problems is that the salesperson is just poorly
    educated and not motivated to learn about the various options available to
    consumers. Many sales people in the optical field are not in it for a
    Mark A, Oct 29, 2003
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