[AMA] I Work in The Optical/Optometry Industry, Ask Me Anything!

I work in the optical industry but can't reveal what company i work for or what position I am in, everything else is a go.

Comments

  • +1 vote

    Are the cheap readers I can buy all over the place as good as the very expensive ones from the optometrist? (I need 1.5x both eyes the same. )

    • +1 vote

      depends on your prescription. if your prescription is all spherical and your eyes are average distance apart then you can use OTC readers. but at the end of the day, OTC readers wont hurt your eyes and are better then nothign at all

  • +4 votes

    Specsavers have an issue over putting my Pupillary Distance (PD) when I request my prescription. I know I am entitled to a copy of my records - whats the big deal? Of course I am going to source from a cheaper place (I'm a member of OzBargain) - but they are my records so just hand them over already!

    • -6 votes

      I know I am entitled to a copy of my records

      Honest question - are you really?

      •  

        A current affair or a news media show ran this scam years ago Big W are one of the few that will give you the report.
        AFAIK your entitled to a free eye check every 2 years.

        •  

          You aren't entitled to any free eye checks as it is up to the Optometrist to choose to bulk bill you or not (as with a GP for example). You can receive a rebate for a Comprehensive Eye Test every 3 years (if <65, it was previously every 2 years).

          However, many Optometrists will choose to bulk bill more often (e.g. as "follow up" consultations for about 50% less) to get you in the door and sell glasses. Since even a full rebate is ~$65 for a minimum 20 minutes work you can see how testing alone wouldn't cover the day-to-day running costs of a clinic. This is why places like Specsavers often ask people to come back every year (Health Insurance), regardless of their eligibility for a Comprehensive Eye Test.

      • +1 vote

        gave you a +, Pd's aren't part of the records. they're a dispensing measurement.

        you go to a restaurant, you pay for the food, you're not entitled to the recipe.

        • -1 vote

          I don't need a recipe to go to another restaurant and ask for the same dish, assuming they make the same dish, which in the case of specs, they do.

          from what you say below, PDs ARE part of the prescription, along with the lense type and all the other details. You've been paid to provide a prescription, now give it to me and I'll get it filled anywhere I like.

    • +2 votes

      PDs aren't usually checked by high-volume clinics like Specsavers as part of the test due to pressures in ensuring tests are conducted as quickly as possible (typically 20 minutes). That's not to say that they are doing a bad job, just that tasks like measuring PDs are typically aren't a necessary for checking the health of the eye and assessing the correction required.

      However, measuring PDs isn't difficult - as you'll actually see that in the vast majority of clinics it's typically measured by the Dispenser when purchasing (e.g. with a ruler or some faux-fancy machine) not the Optometrist.

      Just hold a ruler across your brow and have someone take a photo (further than arms length in a well-lit room) - then measure from the outside edge of one pupil to the inside edge of the other (easier than the middle).

      • -2 votes

        this is not exactly correct

        PD's are automatically dialed in. when they do the auto-refractor the machien is able to detect optic centres and see how much horizontal shift betwen the 2 eyes. the data of the autorefractor goes to the refractor head.

        the problem with PD's that particular PD is left eye to right eye rather then left eye to nose and nose to right eye. not that its a significant difference but for peopel with mroe complciated eye problems such as eye turns, giving a one number PD rather then LPD/RPD is wrong.

        • +2 votes

          I can't comment about how your particular clinic works (OPSM?) but machines like autorefractors are great tools for approximating prescriptions (to save time at the beginning of the test) they are simply not reliable enough to rely on their readings alone (which is why multiple readings are taken) - same goes for PD measurements from such machines. Also, many (smaller/boutique) clinics don't have the budget for such a machine and have to rely on the "old fashioned" way.

          The additional problem to the above is that PDs are actually to the centre of the frame, which is not necessarily the centre of the nose and will be further dependent on adjustments. Note I'm not saying that an Optometrist should always dispense Bino - just that for the original post, it is completely fine to use Bino for simple scripts (e.g. <4.0D, not Bi/Tri/Multi/Aspheric, low/no Astig, no prism, etc.) if you are ordering online - asking people without experience to measure mono PDs is too much IMO.

          For the vast majority of people, bino PD is fine and sometimes preferred (e.g. preference or under-correcting) but for most people the difference of a few MM makes absolutely not perceptible difference to the patient - which is why Mags/OTC are so popular.

      •  

        The ruler method is very innacurate, there are better instructions online.

        What I ended up working out myself: cut some pieces of cardboard with pinholes at different distances. The one where the viewing window of both circles lines up when focusing in the distance is correct.

        Even between retailers the pd differs substantially… Close enough is good enough as long as you don't have complicated lenses.

    •  

      yup, they did it to us as well.
      However, this is an easy problem to solve.
      Aliexpress/ebay have PD rulers you can use to measure it yourself.

  •  

    Honest answer - yes I have this in writing from Optometry Australia.

    •  

      Including your PD? Or just your prescription?

      •  

        No - I actually contacted them directly.

        • -1 vote

          Sorry, I stealth-edited. Did you say prescription information or specifically your PD? (and as mentioned above, did SpecSavers even measure your PD?)

          •  

            @HighAndDry: Specsavers have an issue over putting my Pupillary Distance (PD) when I request my prescription.
            Yes they do measure my PD.

            •  

              @Moomt: Ok, that wasn't my question. Is PD specifically part of your prescription information required to be provided to you per Optometry Australia?

              • +2 votes

                @HighAndDry: My question to OA

                Can you please confirm, if I have a PD which has been measured by my optometrist – am I able to request this when asking for a copy of my prescription?

                Answer from OA

                Yes, you are right. If PD was measured by your optometrist, you are able to request a copy of your records / prescription that has PD info included.
                You are entitled to a copy of your records by law.

                •  

                  @Moomt: Ok cool. Did you take this to SS? Seems pretty black and white to me.

                  Edit: I think someone gave you wrong information. See here:

                  https://www.optometryboard.gov.au/documents/default.aspx?rec... (warning: PDF link).

                  Under "1.2 Content of a Prescription", it says:

                  The minimum requirements for a spectacle prescription
                  include lens powers and prism (e.g. sphere, cylinder, axis
                  and addition as necessary). The interpupillary distance may
                  be included.

                  Still, I think accepted/best practice is that it should be given. shrugs

                  •  

                    @HighAndDry: "Optometrists may not routinely include the PD in a prescription…inter-pupillary distance are not required to be included in the prescription. However, the PD should be provided to the patient if it was measured"

                    https://www.optometryboard.gov.au/documents/default.aspx?rec...

                    In most practices, the optometrist will not measure your PD, instead it is a part of the dispensing process. Obviously, thats the trade off for purchasing glasses online, you dont get the professional service along with it.

      •  

        I worked for SS. PD isn't included in the prescription, as it's taken by the dispensers, not the optometrist. You can go in store to ask to see records of glasses you've purchased there and there'll be PD's recorded for each pair. That's not printable though, but you can just note it down. If you haven't purchased glasses from that place then there'll be no PD records.

    •  

      They gave my pd to me when I asked for my script like 3 years ago

  • +9 votes

    Ask Me Anything

    If we're only allowed 100ml of liquid onboard a flight, couldn't terrorists just combine all their liquids together to make one big liquid?

  • +1 vote

    Ask Me Anything, but it appears I may not respond?

  • +3 votes

    how pumped are you for new years in 14 months time?

  •  

    For someone with astigmatism in both eyes, would laser eye surgery be recommended? (if at all possible)

  •  

    What is a typical markup on optical frames?

    •  

      frames are anywhere between 5 and 30 dollars for lower end.

      higher end stuff can be like up to 300 a piece (but these sell for 1k+ for frames)

  •  

    how much does hoya base lens cost - is it still $1<? ;)

  •  

    Any way to get frames back to their original shape after being bent?

    They never feel as comfortable or look as symmetrical ever again, sadface.

    • +1 vote

      yes i know specsavers are happy to adjust the frames. better yet go back to where you go them from.

      adjusting frames is seen as a marketing tool to win loyalty.

      •  

        Nice, will do. Thanks for the reply.

        • +1 vote

          I always talked crap about customers who would bring in glasses of different brands into specsavers to have them adjusted. Technically, they're not even customers because they didn't shop there, just using their resources for free.

          You should go back to where you got the glasses from first, because Specsavers wouldn't know what material your frame is and if it's heatable. If it breaks during bending then they won't be held accountable.

    •  

      I would recommend bending your face to match

    •  

      Go to an optometrist shop. Most will warn you that we might break your frame but the risk is low, and they will probably tell you if the frame looks like it's about to break (you can (usually) tell)

  •  

    Hi going away,

    I work an office job where I stare at the computer screen for about 45 hours a week.
    Coupled with hayfever my eyes are in a state of always being tired and I've developed some pain in my right side where the "eye bag" is when pressed.

    Do you think I should go to a doctor or an optometrist, or should I just take some rest and stop looking at ozbargain on my days off?

    •  

      optometrist. if you're over 30 and you're on the computer that long theres glasses for you

      you need visual hygiene too, look it up.

  •  

    Are all laser eye clinics equal? Or are some laser butchers and some laser artists?

    •  

      absolutely but good luck figuring out whos who. everyone tries to keep professional and not trash talk surgeons

  •  

    The optom kept trying to sell me a retina photo scan for keeping track of baseline changes. Is it worth paying for?

    •  

      depends on who you are. if you're healthy young then eehhhh maybe.

      over 35, yes.

    • +1 vote

      Opsm charges for retina photo scans but specsavers is free

      •  

        Different type photos, it's like comparing ct scans with mri, look like they do the same thing, but they are totally different.

        •  

          Please enlighten me, what are the different types of photos that those two businesses offer differently? Other than OPSM having an ultra wide DRS compared to Specsavers' but they're both the same "type" of photos. Both offer OCT.

          •  

            @Omitsukasa: I usually get the wide field from OPSM, and better image quality and also provide a close to complete record of the wholr back of the eye. AS I do only have one good eye, so good quality records are more important for me. I don't mind paying $30 for this photo, I value my sight more than anything else.

    •  

      Plenty that do free retinal photos.
      Would recommend sticking to one practice though.

  •  

    Worst Place I ever went was Big W.

    They got the prescription wrong 3 times.
    Convinced me into tri-focals (a disaster for me)…

    Then when I thought it was right, found out it was still wrong when I went elsewhere later..

  •  

    Is Bachelor of Vision Science with a Master of Clinical Optometry at UNSW worth it?

  • +1 vote

    What pathway did you take to become an optometrist?
    Is the pay decent?

    •  

      pay is shit, don't do it for the pay.

    • +2 votes

      the pay is decent, this guy obviously has a conflict of interest because he doesn't want competition in his field

      •  

        for all the effort you have to put in and hours you have to do, no.

        if is money you're after - do a profession that deals with money.

    • +2 votes

      Pay is indeed decent.

      • +1 vote

        Pay is very good - I know a 1st year graduate pushing 100k

        • +1 vote

          I have many friends in the industry , they do not make no way near that. Bare in mind, they work the in major cities.

          If you really want money, become a dentist, your salary will range from 50k to 250k gross income (sole trader) . Since your income is 30 to 40% commission. Its also a 5 year degree. Or work in the mines, you will earn six figures only doing a short apprenticeship.

          • +1 vote

            @minotaurian: Optometrists and Dentists are the highest paid graduates in Australia.

            The median for both as a graduate is 80k.

            I think your friends are lying to you so you don't make them shout you lunch every day :p

            "According to Graduate Careers Australia’s 2015 report, dentistry and optometry had a median starting salary of $80,000, followed by medicine on $65,000, education on $61,000, and engineering, earth sciences and mathematics on $60,000."

            •  

              @Mysterymeat: optometrist pay in sydney even for experienced is 80-90k capped out. its not alot when you have to pay for self-education, equipment and conferences.

              • +1 vote

                @goingaway: That's interesting.

                I have a friend that works for SpecSavers (Sydney Metro) as a PGY1 graduate and they offered him $100,000 p.a.

                I saw his employment contract.

                It might never get any higher than that which is depressing.

                Dentist and Optometrist graduate still earn more than Medical Graduate without the same pressure to, you know, not kill people.

                Not sure if there's any solace in that.

                •  

                  @Mysterymeat: That friend must be damn lucky, I've seen all my colleague contracts from specsavers, graduate earning was 60k to 70k in metro Melbourne to Greater metro for 38h of work including weekends. I do feel bad for them, I drive trucks week days only, and still have much higher earning potential than these guys and I didn't waste 5 years at uni.

            •  

              @Mysterymeat: Those numbers do not accurately at describe the earning potentials of each profession.

              For one, the number of those surveyed was not enough to get a good gauge of actual earnings and it doesn't state the working hours and location, whether private or public. I know for a fact a lot of optometrist work in rural areas as new grads, this on itself inflates actual earnings. If I wanted to work rural, I would rather work at the mines, higher salary with higher cap and less time studying.

              Another point is that the survey include earnings of intern doctors and intern pharmacist. Their income does not reflect their actual earnings when they become full fledged health professionals. If you want to understand which job pays better, your best looking at the whole picture than just graduate salaries.

              For a 5 year degree or 7 years? At Melbourne uni, earning 80k is not a lot, and I know in fact the earning potential rarely goes above 100k. You're seriously better off becoming an businessman, engineer(minimg, chemical) , doctor or dentist. Might earn less initislly, but the ceiling is much higher

          • +1 vote

            @minotaurian: I worked in that industry. New grads were getting at least 80k.

        • +2 votes

          and most likely stay that way for the rest of their life.

          theres no potential for salary increase, in fact, recently due to the opening of 2 new optometry schools, has driven salaries down due to supply.

          the new optometry schools were said to increase rural enrolment for country eye care when reality is, city students will move to study.

  • +4 votes

    Does touching yourself really make you go blind?

  •  

    i've never seen an optometrist working in the ICU. Why is this?
    Is the font size of your retail store name larger than a regular store such as kmart. If not why?

  • Top