Thursday, August 31, 2006

Eye exams

So, my glasses kind of broke today. I went to get my eyes checked and get new glasses and I am confronted anew with the pressure and stress that comes along with saying which is better, "number one or number two?" You know what I'm talking about: you're sitting in the chair with this huge machine over your face (which smells kind of funny and makes you wonder whose face was in it last and how they clean it), and the doctor goes from one lens to the other, asking which one makes the little illegible letters on the lighted sign on the other side of the room more clear.

I'm often not entirely sure if number one or number two is better. I make a random guess. I'm sure that inside, the doctor is laughing at me because, in fact, they are the same and this is some funny experiment to see if people, under pressure, will come up with an answer or a preference when the two options are identical. Or what if the doctor asks "1 or 2?," I pick 1, then he does another set that's exactly the same lenses (but I don't know this) and this time I pick 2. I look like an idiot.

Oh, and why in the world is there a "high prescription fee" for glasses if you have particularly bad eyes? That's just stupid.


ahaney03 said...

You're funny =)

We wipe the back of the phoropter (the thing w/ the lenses) with alcohol to clean/disinfect.

The thing where you pick 1 or 2 is refining your prescription for those patients with astigmatism. It's actually a cylindrical lens when flipped one way adds .25 to the power and when flipped to the other side subtracts .25 When we get close to your actual cylindrical correction, both axis and power, both choices will look essentially the same.

Its not a psychological experiment, except to analytical folks like you =)

And high prescription fee? On the glasses or the exam itself? For contact lenses this is a common occurance b/c of the difficulty of fitting toric lenses, but for glasses? That seems fishy. Unless that was on the ordering of your actually glasses and perhaps they used high index materials to grind your glasses, instead of having very unattractive thick lenses

Jennifer said...

Ahh... good to know! I was sure that I was the subject of some experiment.

And, I do actually think the high prescription fee was on the glasses. And, yeah, I don't want super-thick lenses, but I also don't want to pay a bunch of money for it. *sigh* Oh well.

ahaney03 said...

Yeah...its kinda mean. But unfortunately since high prescriptions are uncommon, the demand doesn't call for a high supply of hi-index lenses, so the cost shoots up so we can turn a buck.

And this concludes this week's optometry lesson for sociologists! =)