What do Opticians do all day?

Posted August 24, 2015


Many of you have met our state licensed opticians at our Salem and Christiansburg offices at one point or another, maybe when you were picking out frames or discussing your glasses needs. There is a lot of behind the scene work that goes into making a pair of glasses look and fit the best for our patients. The optician’s job blends multiple technical skills and requires a flair for fashion. They must help each patient choose the best frames for their face shape, complexion, hair and eye color but must also select frames that will support the prescription the doctor has written.  For some prescriptions the edge frame thickness will increase as the frame size increases. No one wants “coke bottle” lenses so our opticians use special materials to thin the lens or guide the patient to a better frame size.  It takes someone with in depth technical knowledge of lenses and frames to know these details that will impact the patients satisfaction with their glasses.

Opticians must have a deep understanding of lens design and the various options for lens coatings so that they can explain the numerous choices that are available to the patient. For example, there are transition, polarized, and reflective lenses that can be made of plastic, polycarbonate, or high index. Without someone to guide a patient it is likely that they will not know how to select the correct lens and frame combination to meet their needs. That is why the role of the optician is so critical—and why we are thankful that ours are so amazing.

Another responsibility of the optician is to ensure the correct fit of the frames. They measure to make sure that the eyes are well centered in the frame, the sides of the glasses are the correct length, so they fit around the ears comfortable and securely. For more complicated lenses, such as bifocals and progressives, opticians measure for the optical center. This insures the prescription is perfectly aligned with the patient’s eye to see more clearly and comfortably.

Once the lenses have been ordered, and received, the Invision opticians edge the lenses in-house. This is a unique offering at Invision because most optometrist in the Roanoke Valley and New River Valley do not edge the lenses of the glasses they sell. Edgining is a high-tech procedure in which the manufactured lens is shaped and sized to fit within the glasses frames. This is something we feel is important so that we can personally create a high quality finished product as well as ensure the patients’ needs are met in the very best way possible with a truly customized product. We recently upgraded our edging equipment and are now able to edge 84% of the glasses we sell in-house.

All glasses receive a final inspection from our optician team before patients pick up their glasses. The prescription is verified according to optical centers, bifocal and progressive heights, base curves, lens material and treatments. The order is then confirmed to match the request and packaged and ready for pick up

As you can see, our opticians stay very busy taking care of our patients needs! They are a critical part of our team and we are so thankful for the way they ensure each person gets the perfect pair of frames from a fashion and functionality perspective.

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