Ordered new glasses

A while ago I asked about opticians. Thanks for the pointers. On the basis of the feedback I got from a coworker, this morning I took my prescription over to Optometric Associates of Pittsburgh, who seem to have the right amounts of customer care and attention to detail (and proximity doesn't hurt). So far, thumbs-up. (Of course, the real evaluation won't be possible until the glasses come in.)

The optician I met with, Jan, asked me what I was looking for in frames; I said my priorities were lens size/shape, fit, and "not garish", and all other properties were solidly second-tier. I said I wanted lenses no smaller than my current ones because these are my do-everything glasses (not into separate reading/computer glasses), and asked her to turn those comments into recommendations.

I was pleased that for every frame she pulled, she started by having me put it on so she could check the fit of the bridge and withdraw any that weren't right. (I have a small bridge, apparently.) Of the four frames she handed me three were good candidates, and my explanation of why the one wasn't led to some of the other options.

She had been doing this much just by looking. At this point she measured the lenses on my current glasses and the top candidate; the new ones are exactly one millimeter bigger in each of length and width. Score; the current ones turned out to be 1mm smaller than specified. :-) (We had been talking about the size-weight tradeoff; too small and I wouldn't be able to see, but I was mindful of being too heavy, too.) The shape of the new ones is pretty similar to that of my current ones.

I told her that bifocal placement was very important to me (had problems with that in the past), and that one of my current lenses is good and the other is a smidge high. She said the difference was obvious, though the folks who made the glasses had claimed it didn't exist; it turned out to be a difference of half a millimeter. She measured the distance between my pupils with a machine rather than a ruler, explaining that it was more precise. (Having now read a bit about it, I'm glad to see that it "reads" my eyes rather than depending heavily on my maintaining focus in one area. One of my eyes wanders and is hard to keep on target sometimes.)

She was very friendly and accommodating when I explained past problems I've had and would like to avoid. She explained the quality-control process ("you won't even see the glasses until I've confirmed all these measurements are exact"). Even if that's just part of the patter, I left feeling confident. Now I just have to wait a few weeks.

Stats you probably don't care about (for my own records): lens height 37mm, width 52mm; bifocal "28 flat-top"; PD right 28, left 27; preferred length of side-piece 135. Lenses are ordinary plastic, not one of the fancier breeds that can involve distortion. Also, two-year warranty on scratch-coating (last time was one and it failed at 13 months). She will try to get the transition treatment in brown (amber) rather than gray but doesn't know if she can (it depends on some property of the prescription).

Net savings after paying for insurance: $229. So worth buying the insurance in years when I intend to buy glasses. (The plan pays for glasses every other year, so I skip alternate years. I wonder what my employer pays toward this policy.)