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Do We Accept Prescriptions From Other Optometrists?

In this week’s newsletter, we explore your options when using a prescription from another practice and what the risks are for using an “outside” prescription.

Short answer, Yes.

We do accept your prescription for your glasses from another practice or optometrist. However, we do recommend to have your optical prescription filled with the same optometrist. There are numerous benefits in doing so.

Understanding Your Warranties

Having your glasses made elsewhere often voids the warranty on your prescription glasses. If the prescription you’ve provided from another optometrist, and you then have difficulties with the lenses, there is little to be done from the optical supplier side of things.

For example, imagine yourself in a clothing shop to get a customised, tailor-made suit. The tailor does all the measurements required to make your suit. Then you take the measurements and have your suit made elsewhere.

The external tailor offers you another measure and quote, but you’ve decided not to as you’ve just done so not too long ago. Your new tailor then makes the suit according to the measurements you’ve provided. When you pick up your tailor-made suit in two weeks, you realised the suit doesn’t fit you well, and after spending a considerable amount of money, you feel short-changed with the entire experience.

The external tailor can only do so much in this particular transaction. He/she could only verify the measurements are correct, and that’s the end of it. He can’t comment too much about the fitting as he/she hasn’t personally done the fitting. He’s not obliged to give you a refund because quite frankly, he/she did what you asked him to do.

There’s more to an Optical Prescription

Every time you update your prescription for your glasses, you and your optometrist discuss your vision needs and requirements. A prescription is just the measurements of your eyes to provide you with the best vision you can achieve for the distance and near. Different lens recommendations often form an essential part of the discussion to provide you with the best optical appliance for your situation. An optical prescription may state the lens properties for the distance and near vision. And given a particular lens option, what glasses are to be used with your unique prescription?

For example, you might be a full-time office worker, spending most of the days in front of the computer screen. As a part of your prescription, it has the lens details for the distance vision and near vision. Your optometrist has discussed with you during the consultation that you needed an office progressive lenses to help with eye fatigue when using your computer. After your consultation, you couldn’t find any frames your optometrist has stocked and asked for your prescription to be printed out.

You take your prescription to another optical supplier and have your glasses made with progressive lenses. However, they’ve made your lenses as a standard full progressive multifocal lenses which are optimised for both distance and near vision. You picked up these glasses and tried them in front of your computer. After wearing the glasses for a couple of minutes, you realised it isn’t helping your eye fatigue or computer eye strain.

Understanding your Lenses

Not all optical suppliers stock the lenses you require. Especially if you need specialised lenses for your workplace. Ordinary lenses such as single vision and multifocal lenses are supplied in major optical outlets. However, depending on your requirements, you need a specialised (digital surfaced) single vision lenses and customised multifocal lenses.

At Capital Eye, as an independent optometrist, we have access to the entire world’s collection of different specialised lenses for your needs. These lenses are fully customised to how you wear your glasses. Not only this will give you the utmost clarity, but also reduce the “adaptation time” of wearing a new prescription.

If you take your prescription elsewhere to get the lenses made, and the particular type of lens that was recommended during the consultation isn’t available at this new optical supplier, then they would recommend something that’s closest to what you needed. This quite often is a hit or miss situation, and you may end up not being able to use your new glasses, even though your prescription is correct.

Recommendations When Using Outside Prescription

  1. Discuss your situation in detail. If you bring in your recently updated glasses prescription, you need to tell with us exactly what was discussed during the consultation and what lenses were recommended. At Capital Eye, as an independent optometrist serving the Canberra community, we have access to local and oversea lens laboratory to supply most lens requirements.
  2. Bring in your previous glasses if it was merely an update of your prescription to similar your previous glasses.
  3. Bring in your previous and current prescription. This would help us to determine the reason why a particular lens was prescribed, especially if the lens type recommended was different from your previous prescription.

The Bottom Line

Quite often, it is your best interest to have the lenses supplied by the same optometrist that has given you your prescription. This is to ensure the continuity of care is passed down from the clinical consultation to dispensing of your optical appliances.

Sometimes, the optometrist you visit doesn’t supply optical appliances like glasses or contact lenses. In this case, you are forced to have your lenses made elsewhere. We understand that no practice can stock all the frames that would cater for everyone. At Capital Eye, we are more than happy to make your prescription lenses for frames sourced elsewhere. This is to ensure your lenses are fitted appropriately for your situation, as well as taking full advantage of the lens warranty.