Thursday, September 4, 2008

Eye Care 101 and Why I'm Glad to Work with Jewelry Instead

I don't know why, but I was thinking about my old job today. I sold glasses at LensCrafters for 3 years. I've been wearing glasses since 2nd grade and it was shocking to me how much I didn't know about them. Here's some of what I learned.

The girl in the Doctor's office who fills out your chart and does the pre-testing is an Optometric Technician. The information she gets basically gives the doctor somewhere to start. It's ideal to go back to the same doctor every time because then he can keep an eye on the general patterns your eye health develops and may catch problems early.

The doctor himself may be an Opthamologist or an Optometrist. An Opthamologist is an MD. He can do surgery and specializes in treatment of eye diseases. If you fear for the general health of your eyes, he's the guy you want.

An Optometrist specializes in refraction. He's an artist in the field of determining what prescription will help you see best. If you just need glasses and someone to keep an eye on you, he's the right man for the job. Don't waste your money on an Opthamologist.

An Optician fits, adjusts and orders the glasses for you. They spend all week looking at glasses on people. If she says the glasses are too small or too big-- she knows what she's talking about. If she says they look good on you-- she knows what she's talking about. I always hated it when my customers walked out in ill-fitting, ugly glasses because it was what they or their families were used to. So what? Change is good.

Please wear sunglasses.

Learn a bit about what you're wearing. There is no 'medicine' in the lens. The prescription refers to the angles the lens has been ground at. The sides of your glasses are called temples.

Broken is not the same as came apart. Things come apart and you put them back together. When they break it's trash time.

If you haven't changed glasses in 5 years, the new ones will take some getting used to.

Don't put them on your head or wear them to bed or in the water or leave them in the car when it's 100 degrees outside. Don't shove them unprotected in your purse or leave them in a chair or a pocket. Don't mow the lawn or paint the house in them-- that's what your old pair is for. Don't leave them on while you spray perfume and hairspray everywhere. They'll get all gunky and it can ruin them. If you do and you ruin or lose your $400 glasses it's your fault. Don't yell at other people.

Please clean them. If you can't see out of them, or they're turning green and growing things, it's past time to clean them. Cleaning them is your job. Cleaning them right will make them last a nice long time. Cleaning them wrong will mess them up an 2 weeks.
Cleaning them wrong is huffing on them and wiping them with your shirt, or squirting them with Windex or other assorted household cleaners. Cleaning them right is using a lens cleaner or straight water and a soft clean cloth. Gently.

Buy the best lenses you can afford. It really makes a difference. Try it and see. Don't get an expensive frame and the scrimp on the lenses. The lenses are important, they help you see. If you want to scrimp, scrimp on the frame.

Some of this an apply to jewelry too-- just common sense I guess.
Anyway, I'm very glad to be doing something else now.


  1. Sarah, that was a good article. Another helpful hint I learned while I was driving a semi-truck, Don't lie your glasses on the lense on the dash. Really, don't lie your glasses on the lenses anytime as they will get scratched.

    I always get a cheap pair of frames that look good and spend the extra on the lenses. The only way to go when you have a lazy eye. If I don't get the specialized lenses, the lense for the right eye is as thick as the bottom of a coke bottle and won't stay in any frame that I buy. I found out about the extra thin lenses and we have been spending the extra money on them ever since.

  2. Oh my I am so guilty right now...I'd better take good care of my glasses - the frames have been scratched for a while now and it's PROBABLY because I carry them around loose in my purse. Oh well, I've had these for almost three years, time for a visit to the optometrist!