Maybe I just made too many lucky guesses on the letter chart?
June 13, 2016 4:29 PM   Subscribe

I think somehow my optometrist has underestimated how strong my glasses need to be. (My vision is still blurry after giving myself a month to adjust to the new prescription. When I put on my friend's glasses, who has a stronger prescription than mine, it gets dramatically clearer.) Is this a "ask them to fix it for free" situation or a "suck it up and pay out of pocket for a new prescription" situation? And is there anything I can do to avoid getting mis-measured again in the future?
posted by nebulawindphone to Health & Fitness (20 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
(Possibly relevant: My optometrist is part of the same practice as my general practitioner, and isn't connected to the place where I bought my glasses. I have vision insurance, but they only pay for one pair of glasses a year.)
posted by nebulawindphone at 4:31 PM on June 13, 2016

If you ordered the glasses through the optometrist's office, they absolutely should fix whatever the problem is for free.

If you ordered the glasses through a third party, one possibility is that they screwed up the prescription. This happened to me. I took the glasses to my optometrist, told him I couldn't see, he measured the prescription they made for me and told me it didn't match what he prescribed. If the glasses were made correctly, and you still can't see, I doubt he/she would charge you to take another look.
posted by deadweightloss at 4:36 PM on June 13, 2016 [9 favorites]

Yeah, first step is ask them to doublecheck that the glasses actually contain the prescription you were written - I've had glasses-makers mess that up. It should be free for them to check.
posted by LobsterMitten at 4:36 PM on June 13, 2016 [6 favorites]

I discovered to my sorrow the last time I went to my ophthalmologist that although they are great at detecting eye disease, they are pretty terrible at writing lenses prescriptions. My recommendation would be to bite the bullet and get a cheapie exam at a LensCrafters. Those folks do a wonderful job coming up with an accurate and workable glasses prescription.
posted by bearwife at 4:37 PM on June 13, 2016 [4 favorites]

Certainly the first step is to go back in. You are well beyond any adjustment period.

Stuff goes wrong, sometimes your appointment is just the wrong time of day or month and your eyes aren't at their normal wrongness. You're not going to offend anyone by going back in, they want you to do that if it doesn't feel right.
posted by Lyn Never at 4:57 PM on June 13, 2016 [1 favorite]

I agree with deadweightloss. I had a similar situation when my optometrist messed up my prescription, thankfully, everyone involved was ready to fix the issue. I got my lenses from LensCrafters with a prescription written by an independent optometrist. LensCrafters asked me to verify the prescription with the independent place when I complained about not being able to see, and for whatever reason the independent shop had given me the wrong prescription. LensCrafters ended up giving me a new pair of glasses for free anyway because they have a guarantee that was broad enough that they didn't care that it wasn't their mistake. The independent place apparently would also have reimbursed me since it was their goof, though it took some arm twisting because they really couldn't believe they had been so off with their prescription, but I refused to be blamed!

Don't be afraid to advocate for yourself. Don't be afraid to mention that you'll tell family/friends/Yelp about your experience. Don't be a jerk or threaten or anything, just make it clear that making you a satisfied customer will reward them more than the cost of making you new lenses if needed!

One thing to consider, are you a brand new glasses wearer? My ladyfriend's optometrist told her that she may need a new prescription after a few months once her eyes adjust to wearing glasses for the first time. I had never heard that, but I guess it's common that you need a stronger prescription than you first think. But it doesn't really sound like your situation since it's only been a month.
posted by the thorn bushes have roses at 5:25 PM on June 13, 2016

It's an ask them for free situation, for sure!

And is there anything I can do to avoid getting mis-measured again in the future?

Don't let them rush you when you're deciding between 1 and 2. Sometimes finer-grained differences aren't immediately apparent under rapid fire, especially on e.g. the 16th decision. (I made my optometrist repeat a sequence three times. He didn't love it, but he did it, whatever.)
posted by cotton dress sock at 5:36 PM on June 13, 2016

Get your blood pressure checked also.
of course, never guess during the vision tests, or rather take your time.
I've had alot of vision surgery; from my 20s through today my vision is blood pressure dependent.
hope the same isn't true for you.
take your time on the vision tests. don't hurry. expect a need to tweak the prescription.
best of luck.
posted by Twist at 5:49 PM on June 13, 2016

FWIW, a few years ago I went to pick up my glasses after I was notified they were in, and as soon as I put them on I couldn't see anything. They thought I was kidding. I said if I can't see you I can't read your print sample. Turns out they had not realized I needed READING glasses. My only reason for posting this is to answer your question, yes, they can make mistakes making the glasses. Your mistake may have been more subtle. Obviously they fixed mine free, but I had to wait another couple weeks. I also only get one pair of glasses per year, but clearly badly manufactured glasses didn't count in my case.
posted by forthright at 6:13 PM on June 13, 2016

Nth-ing going back in and having them recheck. This happened to me once and it turned out they'd put the lenses in the wrong sides! The glasses actually were starting to make me nauseous before they fixed them.
posted by augustimagination at 6:49 PM on June 13, 2016

N+1thing. Back when I work bifocals, the bifocal lens was mis-transcribed from my record to the prescription pad by someone in the optician's office.

Don't know who made your glasses, but Costco re-did the lenses for free for me, despite it not being their mistake, which is super-cool. Thanks to my job at the time, I had the chance to bend CEO Jim Sinegal's ear about it, and he was happy to hear it.
posted by Sunburnt at 6:59 PM on June 13, 2016

OP, I hope you were joking in your subject header, because you should never guess during an eye exam. As others have said here, take all the time you need, and ask the examiner to repeat options if you aren't sure. I do that all the time, and my optometrist is very understanding about that. If your examiner makes you feel rushed, then I'd strongly consider trying someone else if you can, because getting a proper prescription is so important.
posted by Conrad Cornelius o'Donald o'Dell at 8:58 PM on June 13, 2016 [1 favorite]

For making sure you get a good Rx in the future, practice saying "I don't know" and "I can't tell". Don't make guesses on the letter chart - if you are trying to decide between say a G and a C, say "either G or C, can't tell". If it's just a blob that could be a third of the alphabet, say you don't know.

If you're getting a good thorough exam there will be lots of things that aren't letter charts that test focal distance for each eye and astigmatism and color perception and all that. You can absolutely ask to take a break to let your eyes rest between different tests. You only need a minute or so but it makes a big difference. When they get to the "one, or two? one, or two?" "two" "two, or three? two, or three?" and you're like UGH I CAN'T TELL UGH I HAVE TO MAKE A DECISION actually no, you don't. Say "I can't tell the difference!" They might go back to a different stage, change the thing you're looking at, take a short break, or explain what it is that you're supposed to be looking for.

All of this is easier if you don't feel rushed. Try your best to go in with a general attitude of deserving this professional's time and attention, and wanting to get the best resulting glasses you can. Don't let it stress you out.
posted by Mizu at 9:02 PM on June 13, 2016 [11 favorites]

Don't squint during the exam. Squinting can be such an automatic response to not being able to read something that you don't even realize you are doing it. Most examiners watch for it, but they may have missed it this time.
posted by soelo at 7:53 AM on June 14, 2016

For making sure you get a good Rx in the future, practice saying "I don't know" and "I can't tell".

SO IMPORTANT. I realized at some point that I was treating vision tests like school tests, in that I wanted to prove I could do it! Not knowing the answer is failure!

It is still very hard, psychologically, for me to say "I don't know", but it is also the only way to get glasses that actually correct. Also, I have to school myself not to squint when looking through the machine. If I'm squinting, then I'm defeating the point of the test.
posted by a fiendish thingy at 10:06 AM on June 14, 2016 [2 favorites]

(Why is squinting bad?)
posted by nebulawindphone at 11:29 AM on June 14, 2016

Squinting changes your vision in two ways-- by altering the shape of the lens, and limiting the amount of light getting in. I don't want glasses that correct my squint-vision, I want glasses that correct my normal vision. But if I squint during the exam, then I am getting incorrect results.
posted by a fiendish thingy at 11:55 AM on June 14, 2016

As others have said, learn not to squint or try hard — the correction you need for daily life is the correction that works when you look at things normally, not when you're straining to make it work.

It might help to let your eye doctor know up front that you have a tendency to do this. One of mine admonished me "Your problem is that you seem to think you should have better than 20/20 vision! Stop trying so hard!"
posted by Lexica at 12:05 PM on June 14, 2016

My doctor told me as a teen that with the way most people's astigmatism (in particular, but other visual field deformities too) works, squinting will actually "cover" the misshapen part of the eye - that's why squinting often helps*. When you are trying to get vision correction, you want it to correct your natural unstraining vision.

(*But not me, because my astigmatism runs up and down rather than side to side)

Like others have said, this isn't a school exam you want to ace, this is a diagnostic mapping to actually figure out how jacked up your eyes are, in what manner, in what part of the eye structure. If they don't get those measurements right, the assistive device they make from the measurements won't work right.
posted by Lyn Never at 12:45 PM on June 14, 2016

Nthing the "don't squint". Nonono! As to your question, a month is pretty long, but I recently had the same thing happen and both my optometrist and Warby Parker seemed totally comfortable fixing it for free. Warby didn't even charge me shipping for the second pair or the return of the first!

I really think this is normal. Good luck!
posted by metasav at 6:08 PM on June 15, 2016

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