problems with buying prescription specs

Discussion in 'Optometry Archives' started by hilbertp, Feb 7, 2006.

  1. hilbertp

    hilbertp Guest

    I moved to Australia from the UK almost a year ago and have yet to find
    an optician who can make me specs that I can see out of! My
    prescription is:

    sph cyl axis
    R +8.00 - 2.50 25
    L + 7.50 -2.50 168

    I have never had problems buying specs before and have worn specs for
    28 years in the UK.
    I have transitions lenses also.

    I have had 4 pairs made up in OZ and the vision in 2 of them was so bad
    it was like looking through a goldfish bowl. The 3rd pair was better -
    left eye ok but right eye MAJOR distortion all over. They took some
    measurements and made adjustments. The 4th pair is better - left eye
    ok - right eye still a problem. I have major distortion on the left
    hand side only (by my nose) so that over a cm of the lens is blurred
    and makes using the specs impossible (almost crashed the car when I
    tried them as I couldn't see the car coming .....)

    I think they have tried high index aspheric lenses but they claim that
    my old pair (from the UK) are these too, and that I should be able to
    see clearly. I don't know what my old specs are but I think they are a
    different material as the magnification feels different, and they weigh
    slightly more than the new pair. I am at a loss of what to do - 3
    opticians and I am still without new specs! Given that they cost a lot
    more here than the UK I need to make sure that the pair I get are

    Can anyone advise what to try next?
    hilbertp, Feb 7, 2006
  2. hilbertp

    Mark A Guest

    These are very strong lenses. You should do whatever it takes to find out
    what lens brand and lens material and index you had before and post the info
    here (I assume you still have them). You can also post what they are now

    Above all else, avoid polycarb like the plague. They are terrible with very
    high plus lenses like yours.

    High index is a very vague term, and can mean anything from 1.59, 1.60,
    1.67. 1.70, etc. The higher the index, the worse the optics, expect for
    polycarb which has the worse optics of any of them at 1.59 index (but is
    considered to be a safety lens)..

    With very high power aspheric lenses, a good fitting is very important, and
    if not done properly it could be the source of your problem. You can
    sometimes figure out if the fitting is the problem by moving the frame
    around on your face to see if the vision improves.
    Mark A, Feb 7, 2006
  3. hilbertp

    hilbertp Guest

    Re: contacts - used to use them over 10 years ago but after a year I
    made mistake of using the combined pill - my eyes are now intolerant to
    contacts (I tried them again a few years ago and within an hour my eyes
    are bright red blood shot and very painful).
    hilbertp, Feb 7, 2006
  4. hilbertp

    hilbertp Guest

    Sorry to pester - I really am grateful for ANY comment/suggestion.

    The brand of lenses that the recent optician has used is Sola and they
    are spectralite 1.54 index transitions. He wants to remake some lenses
    using standard lenses with a 1.5 index as he thinks that without the
    aspheric component, the vision should be better. I will call the UK in
    a few hours to see if I can can find out what my old specs are. Oh
    hilbertp, Feb 7, 2006
  5. hilbertp

    hilbertp Guest

    Yeah, I get the magnification bit. I find it strange that only one
    edge of the specs is distorted. If I can't find an optician that makes
    specs ok, what chance of I got of finding one that makes contacts???
    Plus, again, they are expensive here (UK did free trials too)
    hilbertp, Feb 7, 2006
  6. hilbertp

    hilbertp Guest

    I have been told that my old prescription lenses were standard
    transitions lenses, not hi index, not aspherics, nothing was done to
    them to make them thinner. They were a standard specsavers lens.

    The new lenses were made with sola spectralite (hi index) transitions
    with index 1.54 and aspheric. I was told that this would make them
    thinner. My optician now wants to try a sola transitons lens with
    index 1.5 but not aspheric.

    A different optician has recommended a hi index 1.6 aspheric.
    Another had recommended a hi index hoya 1.7 aspheric lens.

    Still confused as to what to do. One says that aspheric will add to
    distortion, another says it will decrease it.
    hilbertp, Feb 7, 2006
  7. hilbertp

    Mark A Guest

    Spectralite is 1.54 index and is considered mid-index. Spectralite has
    excellent optics and I don't think you will improve much if you get regular
    plastic 1.5 index (AKA CR-39 hard resin).

    Both Spectralite and especially 1.5 regular plastic are going to be fairly
    thick in a +8 lens. But there are potential problems in terms of optical
    quality (chromatic aberration measured in abbe value) if you go to a high
    index lens. However, it they are a good design and fitted properly, you
    should be able to wear a high index design (especially if you stay away from
    polycarb). High index will take a little getting used to compared to your
    present lenses, and you may encounter a slight "swim" effect (even for SV
    lenses) with a +8 in a aspheric design.

    However, the problems you are now encountering appears to be a very poor
    fitting or a badly made lens. Try moving the frame around to see if that
    helps (indication of bad fitting). If just one lens is bad, then that is
    strong indication of poor fitting and/or badly made lens.

    Perhaps some others can recommend a specific lens for a +8 that will
    minimize distortion (if made and fitted properly).
    Mark A, Feb 7, 2006
  8. hilbertp

    Dom Guest

    Aspheric will result in a thinner & flatter lens with better quality
    vision than a conventional (spherical) lens, BUT only if it is
    manufactured correctly - i.e. with the optical centres of the lenses
    positioned correctly with respect to your pupils (both vertically &

    An aspheric lens that is not centered correctly will potentially give
    you worse vision than a conventional (spherical) lens.

    If only one side of the lens is distorted this suggests to me that the
    horizontal centration of the lenses is out.

    Spectralite 1.54 is an excellent material and in my opinion that is
    definitely the material that I would recommend for you, in a frame that
    is as small as possible, and with accurate measurements. Standard 1.5
    index plastic (spherical) is more forgiving of sloppy measurements but
    is thicker and less attractive. However it would be my second preference
    after spectralite. 1.6 and 1.7 lenses would be a little thinner than
    spectralite but with noticeably worse quality optics so I wouldn't
    recommend these.

    Contacts could really be great for you but you still need to get your
    glasses right so you have something to wear when you're not wearing

    Are you sure the prescription you are using is correct in the first place?

    Also, where are you in Australia? (I may be able to recommend someone
    near you). Having worked in optics in both the UK and Australia the
    skill level in Australia is on par but it sounds like you've been
    unlucky so far.

    PS. Trivial Detail: In Australia it is "Optical Dispenser" rather than
    "Optician" which sounds very quaint and old fashioned to Australian ears!!

    Dom, Feb 7, 2006
  9. hilbertp

    Neil Brooks Guest

    Your Rx and mine are not terribly different ... poor bastard ;-)

    The doc's here are right on two counts:

    - You need an excellent optometrist (forgive me if this
    terminology doesn't translate exactly in OZ)--preferably a low-vision
    specialist who works with strong prescriptions like ours. These are
    people who understand all of the particular optical physics
    (pantographic tilt, vertex distance, placement of lenses within the
    trial frames, optical center locations, etc.) very well and are really
    quite meticulous in their prescribing and fitting.

    - I totally agree with Mike Tyner (no surprise there):
    contacts. There are dramatically new materials and options than there
    were ten years ago. The decrease in optical 'noise' from glasses to
    contacts is awesome. The peripheral vision is awesome. The ability
    to wear your choice of sunglasses is awesome. Additionally, for high
    hyperopes (that's us), you need less accommodation when looking
    through contacts than you do when wearing glasses. This can lessen

    Try to find a low-vision specialist. Tomorrow, I drive two hours for
    a contact lens fitting ... in the legendary Southern California
    traffic ... to go to the best place I can find. It's worth it.

    Best of luck, Mate. Seriously. I feel your struggle ;-)
    Neil Brooks, Feb 7, 2006
  10. hilbertp

    Neil Brooks Guest

    Not to my understanding.

    Though you're likely correct about the "lower down your nose" thing,
    that introduces a variable. All the research I've ever seen indicates
    that hyperopes acc. less with cl's, and that myopes acc. more with

    I'd be more than interested if you have any citations that point to
    the opposite conclusion....


    2) Sampson WG. Correction of refractive errors: Effect on
    accommodation and convergence. Trans Am Acad Ophthalmol Otolaryngol



    Neil Brooks, Feb 7, 2006
  11. hilbertp

    hilbertp Guest

    Thanks for the advice. My gut feeling is that the opticians I have
    been to in OZ don't know how to measure accurately (big hint: present
    lens got better when different measurements were taken). From what
    people have said to me, I also think that this last problem lens
    probably hasn't been manufactured properly. My current specs appear to
    be CR-39 - slightly heavier than the 1.54 spectralite, slightly
    thicker, and with greater magnification. I say the word 'slightly'
    because I really don't notice much of a difference except for the
    magnification, which isn't extreme and has benefits when driving,
    watching TV from a distance, sewing, etc. I'm debating whether to
    just have some lens made of the same material again or change opticians
    for the 5th time in 12 months. Unfortunately, I don't know of any low
    vision specialists to help as I'm still quite new here (Launceston,
    Tasmania). I also assume the optician who made me the 'fish bowl
    vision' lenses (specs no.3 made in the past 12 months) used
    polycarbonate - dur. Even I know not to use that for my prescription!
    hilbertp, Feb 7, 2006
  12. hilbertp

    Neil Brooks Guest

    I've never been to this place (primarily because I live, literally,
    thousands and thousands of miles from there), but ... I found these

    61 Brisbane Street. Phone 6331 7513

    Their website lists them as proficient with low-vision optometry.

    Know of them?
    Neil Brooks, Feb 7, 2006
  13. hilbertp

    Dom Guest

    Have you tried these people:
    Andrew Hogan I believe is very good... but he is one of the optometrists
    (who tests your eyes) rather than an optical dispenser (who makes the

    Dom, Feb 7, 2006
  14. hilbertp

    hilbertp Guest

    Thanks to all the advice - I had just had my 6th pair of specs made up
    (CR39 as that is what my currecnt usuable pair are) and they do not
    work either! Judging by teh distortion on one side I think the
    mesurements are very wrong. Going to try some of the opticians
    suggested above next.
    hilbertp, Feb 23, 2006
  15. hilbertp

    CatmanX Guest

    Problem with +8.00 is ther eis little other than CR39 to make lenses
    out of. Spectralite is as good as cow-dung and high index lenses just
    don't go that high. What you need to do is copy the old Rx PD, tilt
    Vertex distance etc so you can adapt. Ultimately the mein problem is
    with you adapting to the aberrations, assuming the lenses are made
    correctly. One of the problems we face as optoms is making a great set
    of glasses, only to find the patient not adapting due to crappy old
    glasses and having adapted to them and not being able to change to the
    new set.

    As much as we want to make new and beter glasses, sometimes you have to
    stick with the old design because that is what you are comfortable

    dr grant
    CatmanX, Feb 23, 2006
  16. Hi,
    Just come into this thread, but looking through my lens catalogues (NB there
    are UK listings)

    Seiko SSV aspheric 1.67 index goes to +16.00 cyls to
    -6.00DC on a 60 uncut

    Pentax 1.67 Aspheric +8.00 with cyls to -5.00 on a 65 uncut

    Pentax 1.60 aspheric +8.00with cyls to -5.00 on 65 uncut
    Seiko Super 16 +8.50 cyls to -6.00 65 uncut

    In CR39 several types of aspherics

    So for thin lenses on this side of the pond should not be a problem. I would
    have thouht that Seko and Pentax would be available world wide.


    Ian Hodgson - Isle of Man
    Ian Hodgson opticians, Feb 24, 2006
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