Ophthalmology & Optometry/Lenses damaged?


QUESTION: I have two pairs of matching frames one with regular lenses and one with computer lenses. I recently broke a stem on my daily pair so I took my computer frames to the optical
Shop at my optometrist and asked them to switch lenses. When the lady gave them back to me my daily lenses, now in the better condition but exact frame were cloudy and certainly not sharp anymore. They are the kind that darken in the sunlight and I'm guessing they have a coating, though I'm not positive. Is there something the person likely did that caused this problem? They were fine when I gave them to
her to switch lenses. They did have a strong chemical smell on them and I'm also wondering if they were heated???

ANSWER: Scott,

If the lenses you have that change color are not glass, and unless you specifically asked for glass they would not be, the coating that changes them from light to dark is, for all intents and purposes, on the surface of the lens.
If heat was used to remove the lenses or adjust the frame after the lenses were installed, as in the case of a plastic frame, too much exposure to that heat can do exactly what you described.

As for the “strong chemical smell”, there are several chemicals that come to mind, acetone and a chemical neutralizer to remove tints that is sometimes used, with varying degrees of success, to remove light scratches both produce strong smells.

Acetone should not be used as a cleaner and NEVER used on certain materials because it “fogs” the lens by ruining the surface coatings. An odd smelling chemical would be the bleach or neutralizer. In reality nothing can repair a scratched lens. If we scratch one we throw it away, the lab cannot even remove them. But sometimes you can get just enough, let’s call it “melt”, to make the edges of the scratch appear less noticeable.

Another possibility is that one of the frames was slightly smaller than the other. It is not at all uncommon that two identical frames are not exactly the same. Sometimes heat is applied to the slightly smaller lens and it is flattened to make it fit more securely into the frame. That heat a pressure can also do what you describe.

None of the things I mentioned are appropriate unless the customer/patient is advised that in the course of the attempt damage may occur. And even then I would not do most of what is listed above. Some people will do whatever they can to “help” even when the odds are way against them.

So while I cannot say for sure what happened I can offer some possibilities.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Thanks so much for the great answer. The lenses are fairly old and I'm of for some new ones so I'm not terribly distressed about it. I had read online that the coating can possibly be removed with armour etch. Is that true? Or is there another way for me to remove the coating to make them clear again for a few week as I wait for an optometrist Appnt and a new pair? They indeed are not glass.

It took me a few days to answer this because I went to the store to see what over the counter chemical we used to strip AR off. I could not find it but it was always a hit or miss proposition. It could ruin the lens as quickly as it could strip the AR off it.  

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Robert Sobotor LDO


Eye Glasses: fit, adjustment, and function Frames and Lenses: materials, benefits, limitations,progressive vs. bi-focal and adaptation Contact Lenses: tips on wearing, insertion and removal, comfort and proper cleaning and care Visual Complaints: Whether you have a history of unresolved visual complaints, never had a pair of glasses “feel right” or “I saw better out of my old pair” I can help troubleshoot visual complaints resulting from new glasses by determining, based on your observations and feelings, what the likely causes are and explaining them to you in a way that gives you a clear understanding and a shorter adaptation period. Contact lens Care: Tips and suggestions that I have used to teach first time contact lens wearers, even pre-teen and adolescent children, to quickly give them the skills and confidence to put in and remove their contact lenses. Tips on getting them in fast in the morning and out quickly at night without having that itchy feeling when you remove them. I can explain to you the makeup of the tear layer and how it can directly affect the comfort of your contacts based on little thing like computer use, heating and air in the car and office, that cloudy afternoon vision or dry feeling later in the day. Lens Recommendation: Based on your prescription I can advise what lens materials and designs are best suited to your needs and which ones to avoid as well as direction on frames designs that would complement the selection. Proper Frame Adjustment: I can help identify the problems associated with painful glasses that pinch, or squeeze. I can help you avoid getting a pair of glasses that constantly slide down your nose no matter how many times you get them adjusted. I can teach you what to look for in a frame that is right for you. I can explain how to look for a good quality frame that is not the most expensive in the room. I cannot diagnosis disease, prescribe or offer price specific advice or information.


My background is as a Licensed Optician with over twenty years experience. I have had industry-specific work published and held management positions with the largest optical retailing companies. I have had operational oversight of the dispensaries of both Ophthalmologists and Optometrists I have also held management positions in optical manufacturing to include specialty design RGP's and surface manufacturing, lens coating, and edging of spectacle lenses. My bench work, adjustment and repair, is in the tradition of the Guild opticians - focused on quality. I am proficient in all facets of eyewear, spectacle and Rigid Gas Permeable contact lens manufacture and modification. I provide an extension of the doctor’s standard of care throughout the entire dispensing process as I work with the patient to understand their diagnosis and develop the best solution toward remediation.

Eye Care Professional Magazine The Price Bluff- Relationship based business http://www.ecpmag.com/1webmagazine/2008/01jan/content/independent-ECP-pricing.asp Size Matters- The application of ANSI standards http://www.ecpmag.com/1webmagazine/2007/10oct/content/size-matters.asp

Licensed Dispensing Optician 1991 The American Board of Opticianry (ABO) certified 1990 National Contact Lens Examiners (NCLE) certificated 1991 Georgia State University 87-88 Oglethorpe University 03-04

Awards and Honors
Lens Crafters Presidents Pin for outstanding customer service

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