While the vision examination and determination of the lens prescription form the basis for correction of vision defects, the efficient solution of vision problems is dependent upon numerous other equally important factors. The suitability of the frame as well as the way that the lenses are manufactured and dispensed has a major effect on the comfort and efficiency of the final spectacles. This is similar to designing a building. Failure to control the quality of workmanship and materials will have a major impact on the finished structure.
The experience of a recent patient illustrates this point. While on a business trip to Sydney he misplaced his multifocal spectacles. Because he urgently needed a replacement pair, he contacted us for the prescription, which was faxed to him. When he returned he came to see me because he was having great difficulty reading with the new spectacles. Although the lens power was reasonably accurate the lenses were incorrectly aligned. This prevented the two eyes from coordinating making reading uncomfortable.
In addition to dispensing errors, the lens prescription only provides the “strength” of the lenses. The efficiency of the final correction may need to be modified for specific purposes. For example, spectacles provided for playing golf would be different from those for general use even though they may both be dispensed to the same prescription.
There are numerous benefits to having spectacles dispensed by the prescriber including having one person with a detailed knowledge of the visual needs and ocular condition taking overall responsibility for a successful outcome