Article Date: 7/1/2013

Refraction Vs. Prescription

Refraction Vs. Prescription


Welcome to the encyclopedia of patient scripts, or “Scriptopedia,” where you, our readers, submit specific scripts that you or your staff have used with great success in your practice. Each script is presented with the goal of either increasing patient education or the dispensing of a product or service. This month’s topic: Talking refraction vs. prescription.

“It is important to note that the numbers at the form’s top are just part of your prescription. The other details are instructions for the optician regarding my recommendations for the best lens material, optimal lens design and lens treatment options.” (Note: I likely cover recommendations with the patient too). “Following these instructions ensures the time spent determining your prescription provides vision with your new glasses that is as clear and comfortable as it was in the exam room. An experienced optician follows these instructions. Also, here is detailed information for computer glasses and sunglasses.” — Ann M. Hoscheit, O.D., F.A.A.O., F.A.A.R.M.

“Which prescription do you want? Indoor glasses, sunglasses, computer glasses or other task-specific glasses?” Then, explain the features of the prescription that are important, and specify them on the prescription pad. A good example is UV ophthalmic lenses: “This lens blocks the UV light reflecting off the back of the lens. We have recently learned that a great deal of harmful UV reflects off the back of the lens. This lens is part of the prescription to protect your eye, vision and the skin around your eyes.” Also, provide brochures explaining the [lens and/or frame] features. — Peter Shaw-McMinn, O.D.

“Tell me how you use your vision during the day at home and at work, so I can make the best lens recommendations for you.” Post-testing: “From the testing, I can see why you are having the vision problems you described to me. There are several solutions available to you to solve these problems. While all-purpose progressives work for many of your daily activities, they become less effective for computer use as we get older. I recommend that you have a separate pair of computer glasses designed specifically for that task.” Draw a picture, so the patient can see the difference in lens design. “They [computer lenses] are available in a variety of materials, but for your prescription, I would use polycarbonate because it is thin, light, blocks UV and is extremely impact resistant. It’s the safest lens material available. We make all our lenses with an anti-glare coating to improve night vision and eliminate reflections. It also prevents scratching and makes it easy to clean.” This could lead to other recommendations like updating their all-purpose glasses with digital lenses, polarized lenses for outdoor activities, contact lens trials to experience freedom from glasses and so on. — Dave Ziegler, O.D., F.A.A.O.


AUGUST: Infectious Disease
SEPTEMBER: Introducing Office Technology
OCTOBER: Discussing Allergy


Please submit to Jennifer Kirby, senior editor of Optometric Management, at for possible publication. OM offers an honorarium for published submissions.

Optometric Management, Volume: 48 , Issue: July 2013, page(s): 46