Recently, my wife Debbie ordered a new pair of progressive lenses for a sleek titanium frame that she’s had for a few years. The surfacing, edging and mounting were done by a reputable wholesale lab.
After trying the new lenses on, Debbie, who is a high myope, said the optics were fine. But looking in the mirror, she immediately noticed a pale white ring surrounding both the right and left lens that spoiled the look of the clean line of the frame. This had not been the case with her previous pair of lenses, which had only a slightly less strong prescription. These lenses were grooved rimless.
What caused the rings? I showed the glasses to my optician, who said the effect was caused by seeing the inside wall of the groove. The groove was too deep and not wide enough so that the edge of the frame was only slightly inside the groove and all the white of the wall showed when viewed from the front. If the inside wall of the groove had been cut at a lesser depth and at the right width, it would have made the outside wall less visible. He suggested I have the lab remake the lenses.
Re-dos are a fact of life in the lab business. All labs, no matter how excellent their technical capabilities may be, have to re-do a job occasionally.
In this situation, the surfacing work was well done, resulting in an accurate Rx that passed final inspection. There were no obvious physical defects such as chips or scratches. However, the flaw might have been caught before the lenses were sent to the customer if the final inspection at the lab had included a cosmetic inspection that assessed the glasses from an aesthetic standpoint. An inspector with a sharp eye can catch flaws others will miss. With proper training, the production team can then learn to eliminate the flaws or at least minimize them.
The same point can be made for opticians and other dispensing staff. Whether you’re dispensing glasses fabricated at a wholesale lab or in your back room, it’s important to consider how the glasses will look to the person wearing them. If possible, get a different person to do a final cosmetic inspection than the one who checks the accuracy of the Rx. Look at the glasses with fresh eyes, as a patient would. If a re-do is in order, it’s always better to take care of it yourself and spare yourself the embarrassment of having the patient ask for it.
Group Editor, Lenses and Technology