Vision Specialists
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Vision Specialists

The glasses that traveled 37 miles

And why you should just order them from us

Jane came to Vision Specialists of Michigan with one goal in mind: to find a nice pair of glasses that were stylish, comfortable, and provided her with good clarity.

She got what she came for — eventually. But it was hardly in the manner she expected. It was a full 4 months before she received her glasses, during which time they would travel a combined distance of more than twice my daily commute.

Not that our service was lacking in any way. No, the unexpectedly hectic process of receiving her glasses would come courtesy of a third party manufacturer. We present the full story here, both as a word of warning about getting your prescription filled elsewhere, and as a testament to this particular pair of glasses, whose memorable journey around town would put the most adventurous urban explorer to shame.

First, some background. Our clinic carries a wide variety of frames, ranging from common brands like Ray-Ban and Oakley to luxury brands like Gucci. If this selection isn’t extensive enough, our opticians are glad to look up the specific frame requested and order it online.

Once the frames are selected, we send an order to our trusted manufacturer, which grinds the prescription down to specifications. From there, our own lab works its magic. The lenses are cut and edged according to the shape of the frames, checked for quality assurance, and are typically ready to be picked up within a week and a half.

This process is tried and tested. But sometimes, the patient prefers to take a copy of their prescription with them in order to have the glasses made somewhere else. Typically, this is because they have a certain frame in mind at another vendor.

Far be it from us to get in the way of a love-at-first-sight situation with a particular frame. But we’ve found that other manufacturers consistently get our prescriptions wrong, especially the highly-customized prism and tinted lenses that are frequently prescribed at our clinic.

We always mention this fact to patients if they decide not to have their glasses made in-house. Luckily, in most cases our warning doesn’t apply. But of course, there are always exceptions: as in the notable story of Jane’s glasses.

The case of the traveling glasses starts with their journey from the manufacturer to Jane’s house. Putting them on for the first time, Jane immediately felt that something was wrong: she couldn’t stand to wear them for more than a minute. She came to our clinic and had them read — sure enough, they had been made incorrectly.

If you’ve ever tried on another person’s glasses, you know how uncomfortable and disorienting it can be. In Jane’s case, the problem was that the cylinder and axis corrections were too strong for her eyes, causing them to strain and over-fatigue. If the prescription is far enough from exact, this can lead to blurred vision and headaches.

So the glasses were sent back to the manufacturer, completing their first round trip.

Trying them on a few weeks later, Jane still found the glasses difficult to wear. She swore that she felt more prismatic correction than expected. Measuring the lenses at our clinic, we found her hunch to be correct. An adjustment of the axis had induced some prism into one of the lenses. In short: fixing the first problem had led to a second problem.

At this point, Jane — ever the sweet and empathetic lady — started to feel like she was burdening us with all these visits. But we ensured her that it was for the best. Getting your glasses made perfectly is crucial, not least because many of us quite literally live in them. Besides, what’s the point of getting a comprehensive eye exam done if the glasses you end up wearing aren’t exactly what the doctor prescribed?

The glasses were sent back to the manufacturer again, completing round trip number two. It was only after the second adjustment that they arrived with the right specifications and Jane was able to wear them comfortably. By then the summer days had transitioned into late autumn. Jane wore a sundress when she ordered the glasses; she needed snow-shoes by the time she could wear them.

The moral of the story? Go for the convenience of our in-house service and get your glasses made right here in our lab, where they’ll be cut, edged, and double-checked just meters away from our lobby. Who knows — it might spare you several trips back and forth and a few months’ worth of waiting.



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