I think the optometrist gave me a bad eyeglasses prescription. Should I have to pay for getting my lens corrected?
March 24, 2010 9:35 AM   Subscribe

I think the optometrist gave me a bad eyeglasses prescription. Should I have to pay to get my prescription updated or the lens corrected?

It's been close to two weeks since I had my prescription from an optometrist filled by the optician who works in the same office. The prescription is not right in my right eye. I know it can take awhile to get used to a prescription. However I'm reaching the 2 week point and I've felt crappy for too long.

Previously my right eye had slight correction for astigmatism. Two weeks ago, the optician who filled my prescription said that my prescription in the right eye had changed so that there was no longer astigmatism correction.

I think this is where the problem is. Whenever I turn my head or am doing activities where moving around is necessary my eyes hurt and I feel nauseous.

I have made a follow-up appointment with my optometrist for this Friday. The secretary said I "probably won't have to pay" for the appointment. I hope not! I don't think this is my fault. My insurance only covers a certain amount and I'm a broke student.

If the optometrist did make a mistake, is it unreasonable for me to want them to pay for the cost of having the lens replaced? I'm finding this situation stressful because I have to confront an optometrist who has professional knowledge that I don't have, yet I'm pretty sure something's wrong with the prescription he gave me.

How can I assert myself in this situation when I go back for my visit?
posted by radiocontrolled to Health & Fitness (12 answers total)
Why don't you ask the secretary to have the Optometrist call you directly and discuss it with him and tell him you don't want to pay?
posted by anniecat at 9:43 AM on March 24, 2010 [1 favorite]

go back and tell them what you told us. if your right eye scrip changed from astigmatism to no astigmatism, that should have been a flag for him to check again, since that's a pretty unusual change.

couple questions - do you have allergies or did you have a cold? do you have diabetes? there are lots of factors that can situationally affect your vision, and optometrist should ask about them. basically, giving you the wrong scrip is his fault, not yours.

other possibilities: he/she didn't write the scrip properly and the optician who cut the lens blank didn't do it right; optician didn't cut the lens blank right for other reason (homemade lens pattern didn't fit the lens cutter right); optician didn't get your pupil distance correct, which means you're not looking through the sweet spot in the lens.

long story short, optical places do lens recuts *all the time*. lens blanks cost practically nothing; the humongous money is in frames and liability insurance.

/former optician
posted by toodleydoodley at 9:44 AM on March 24, 2010 [1 favorite]

sorry forgot to add - follow up appt. because of optometrist error is also free, always. keep emphasizing that "I can't see/get headaches/get nauseated since I got my new glasses" aspect.
posted by toodleydoodley at 9:46 AM on March 24, 2010

I've never heard of them not doing at least 1 free pair of lenses if the first ones weren't right.
posted by oneous at 9:55 AM on March 24, 2010

Yes, this should absolutely be free until they get it right--it's on them to correct the prescription. Always has been, in my own myopic and astigmatic experience. You shouldn't be charged for the new lenses, either.
posted by thomas j wise at 9:58 AM on March 24, 2010

Thanks guys these are all helpful answers. toodleydoodley: no I have no health probs whatsoever.
posted by radiocontrolled at 10:06 AM on March 24, 2010

Just go back and say it isn't right. This is totally normal.
posted by dhartung at 10:06 AM on March 24, 2010

Nthing that this is a totally normal part of the patient/optometrist relationship. The last time I got my glasses updated, they felt awful and "wrong," and when I went back they discovered a typo on my records that had caused me to receive the wrong prescription. They fixed it at no charge.
posted by BlahLaLa at 10:10 AM on March 24, 2010

The secretary said I "probably won't have to pay" for the appointment.

The secretary is covering her ass, because it's not her decision, and if you turn out to be a lunatic, she won't have promised you anything.

Don't go in demanding a refund. Go in telling the doctor that you can't see clearly out of your right eye. Let him save a little face and make the decision to give you another prescription/lens for free.
posted by bingo at 10:22 AM on March 24, 2010 [1 favorite]

I once had a lens that was not right for like 6 months (it was in my bad eye so I didn't notice). I went back to the optometrist and asked them to check the lens. It didn't match the prescription. She replaced it free of charge. I think this is pretty standard.
posted by leahwrenn at 11:19 AM on March 24, 2010

I was just in almost the exact same situation as you. My optometrist and optician are in the same office, I got my new Rx for glasses with astigmatism correction (I do have an astigmatism, but it was never corrected before). I tried to wear them for about three days but felt like I was going to barf.

I went back in after 3 days saying I couldn't see well. Turns out my Rx was correct, but I don't like astigmatism correction. They gave me new lenses and an apology, no cost. Everyone acted like it was pretty routine.
posted by inertia at 3:26 PM on March 24, 2010

Yes - I've had this happen and in my case it was that the person making the lens had screwed up. (They can check the lenses to see if they match the prescription, mine didn't.) Fixed for free.
posted by LobsterMitten at 3:37 PM on March 24, 2010

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