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How to Dispense Eyeglasses as an Optician

Updated April 17, 2017

Opticians dispense glasses with protocol that is similar to the way a pharmacist dispenses medication. The prescription lenses of a patient's glasses must be made according to an eye doctor's exact specification. Opticians go to school for several years or apprentice with a licensed optician to learn specific skills and protocol that is needed to dispense glasses, including using equipment to verify lens prescriptions, taking measurements, making adjustments to frames and caring for many different types of frames and lenses.

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  1. Verify the lenses are made according to the doctor's prescription. Use a lensometer, an optical machine that reads the lens power. Optician protocol is to always check the right lens first, then the left. If the patient has a bifocal prescription, verify the bifocal is placed correctly in the lens.

  2. Check that the frame is the exact size and style that was ordered from the lab for the patient. Verify that the eye size, bridge size and temple size match the original order form.

  3. Place the frame on the patient and ask him to make sure the glasses are in a comfortable place on the bridge of his nose. Check the temples -- the part of the glasses that fits over the ears -- to make sure they follow the natural curve of the ear. The bottom of the temple should not press into the head or the patient may develop headaches from the pressure. Discuss any changes that need to be made in the way the frame fits.

  4. Remove the glasses and adjust the frames, if required. Give the glasses back to the patient.

  5. Ask the patient if the frames and prescription are comfortable. Give him a reading card to check the bifocal, if necessary. Discuss the adaptation period for his specific type of lenses and prescription.

  6. Instruct the patient on the cleaning and care of the frames and lenses. Remind him to keep the glasses in a case when not being worn to help protect the frame and lenses from damage.

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Things You'll Need

  • Lensometer
  • Reading card

About the Author

Beth Richards, a freelance writer since 2002, writes about health and draws from her 25 years as a licensed dispensing optician. She has authored several books, writes for national magazines including "Country Living" and "Organic Family" and is a health and wellness features writer for several publications. She is earning a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Maryland.

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