What Does An Optician Do?

Opticians are the experts when it comes to crafting the lenses, frames and other devices that are meant to correct a person’s vision problems. Following the prescription given by the ophthalmologist or the optometrist, opticians help clients choose which among the lenses best fits their needs. When there are no ready-made lenses that would fill a particular prescription, opticians actually make the lenses. For instance, they have to make bifocals, trifocals or progressive lenses for people who want to see at two, three or more distances.

While opticians see to it that the client’s prescription is correctly met, they also have to ensure that it also meets the individual’s preferences especially where style and comfort are concerned. They guide the client in choosing the right lenses and frames based on their face shape, color and other factors. They also talk to the clients to determine what eyewear design and shape they would be confident in wearing before choosing or making the lenses and fitting them into the glass frame.

Aside from eyeglasses, opticians are also trained to prepare contact lenses or even prosthetic eyes for clients who have special vision needs. They also help them understand the various kinds of lenses and lens treatments today and what best fits their needs.

For instance, they can explain that anti-reflective coating is an add-on to lenses that minimizes lens reflections and makes glasses more comfortable or that aspheric lenses help correct the minor issues encountered by those wearing traditional lenses. Opticians also address the issues of clients who simply want their glasses replaced or repaired. They adjust and fix eyeglass frames as necessary and replace frames as well.

Opticians also help individuals choose specialty eyewear that will help them see better or protect their vision when performing different kinds of activities. These include computer glasses that help computer users avoid eyestrain, driving glasses that make it easier for drivers to see in bright light, sports eyewear that protect the eye from injury and improves clarity while engaged in a games or sports, safety eyewear and fashion glasses.

It’s important to understand that opticians in the United States are not allowed to diagnose or treat eye diseases. They will be making eye measurements which are integral in ensuring that the prescription is met and that the client’s vision problems are corrected. Accurate measurements— like the distance taken between the pupils of the eye— are also important to ensure the maximum comfort of the clients while wearing the glasses. For example, properly-fitted glasses for a person suffering from nearsightedness will allow him to see objects located far away better.

Opticians often work in the offices of optometrists and sometimes, in doctor’s clinics as well as in health and personal care stores and general merchandise stores. When working in stores that sell optical goods, opticians often do tasks that are related to the store’s business operations. They keep a record of the store’s sales, monitor prescriptions, check inventory and order supplies, products and equipment needed by the store. They also aim to provide the best customer service to their clients.

Career Spotlight: Optician

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