With IUB switching eye-exam insurance providers 2014, I’ve got to use my expiring eye exam benefit today.
Went to see 333-2020, Hoosier Eye Doctor, Dr. Joseph De Spirito, today, found through Google. They were out of appointments, but we able to fit me in, between the other patients, on Dec 31, 2013, no less, which was very nice.
I was surprised by the refraction exam he has performed on me, which was different to the prior refraction exams I’ve had done elsewhere. The main difference seems to have stemmed from the fact that he was more interested in getting a prescription as a whole for both eyes, instead of getting a prescription for each eye individually.
It included parts like showing an equally blurred image (or maybe a 3D-image, now that I think of it; well, probably a 3D-image of the eye chart, to be precise, but it was really blurry), to both eyes at the same time, and optimising for the same level of blurryness (yes, he did, in fact, proceeded only until the image(s) were equally blurry in both eyes!). I’m not sure what’s the literature behind this is, but he’s claimed to be a very knowledgeable specialist on eye-related headaches and stuff, and claims that he knows what he’s doing, specifically, optimising the prescription for the eyes to work together.
The result was surprising to me. First of all, unlike the prior failure doctor in Cupertino back January 2011, which prescribed me a much stronger prescription that an autorefractor at that time (congratulating me with a 20/15 vision, no less), plus with a wrong axis, resulting in great distortion along some axis (which she somehow ignored me telling her about, and which did conflict with the autorefractor, too!), this time around my first and final prescription was actually noticeable lighter than the autorefractor runs.
It also seems to be the case that one eye ended up with a prescription that was made less strong than what it would have been by itself, because of the supposed interaction with the other eye. (The idea being: because the left eye couldn’t get 20/10, no point in prescribing a 20/10-like prescription to the right eye, either; I like.)
Number-wise, autorefractor readings, from Japan-made NIDEK TONOREF II (which automatically moves around your face (unlike the refractor back in Cupertino, which, IIRC, had to be moved manually, thus interfering with the axis and PD measurements); TONOREF II also even measures the eye pressure, touchless through an air-based pressure test, very impressive, btw), were:
3,50 1,50 166
2,50 1,50 006
3,50 1,75 164
2,75 1,50 005
3,50 1,25 165
3,25 1,25 006
(It does measure PD, but seems to be only 1mm precise (e.g. it varied between 66 and 67, whereas my proper pd is 66,5), plus, also lacks an individual measurement for each eye, as it doesn’t know where the centre of your nose/face is.)
I’m actually surprised at some major differences. :-) Note to self for next time: when doing this testing, probably should make sure to not wear the eye glasses, maybe even for the whole day prior to the eye test; otherwise, there’s probably a much higher probability of the eyes skewing closer towards the prior prescription, even if it’s not the best one otherwise, since the test is quite quick, and muscle memory is not.
The final prescription today, 2013-12-31, was:
-3,25 -1,00 160 32,5
-2,50 -1,50 014 34,0
Whereas the eye glasses I’ve been mostly wearing, since April 2011, were, according to the reading of another NIDEK machine:
-2,75 -1,25 164
-1,75 -1,00 010
Which were ordered 1 April 2011 as:
-2,75 -1,25 168
-1,75 -1,00 012
Plus, the “office” glasses, Nike 7011 Rocky Tan, ordered 12 May 2011:
-1,75 -1,25 168
-1,00 -1,00 008
Basically, long story short, I’m quite pleased that this time around, I ended up with a prescription that’s actually less strong than the autorefractor, and also when in doubt that more dioptres were needed, fewer were chosen. The explanation of the prescription being for the two eyes made perfect sense. I very much like the idea that instead of prescribing a very strong prescription for one eye, to make it have perfect 20/15 or better, at the price of a bigger difference in dioptres with the other eye, a prescription matching the other eye’s 20/20 was chosen instead; this goes in line with my own amateur testing where I’ve decided to get an ADD +1,00 +0,75 for the office glasses as above, to decrease the R/L difference to 0,75 from the needless 1,00. (On the wishful thinking side, I now wish my first glasses didn’t have a 0,50 difference between R/L, either, then I’d probably wouldn’t need a 0,75 now.) Might give this new prescription a spin, for a change!
Anyhow, I think it was a worthy exam, although it’d still be interesting to see a prescription that’d be 0.125-dioptres precise, or, hey, who needs that, better go outright to the high-definition eyeglass lenses, with the digitally scanned and fitted prescription up to 0.01 dioptre, like the Zeiss i.Terminal that a Sight Optometry optician in Mountain View on Castro St, bragged to me about. Plus, the actual autorefractor that is able to make 0.05-dioptre measurements, what they seem to be calling a Zeiss i.Scription, made by the Zeiss “i.Profiler plus” autorefractor.
Being the owner of two shops, Dr. Joe has confided that he has estimated that in 10 years, he’d be out of business, with fewer people buying glasses from him by the day, and with the eye exam reimbursements covering fewer and fewer operating expenses. On the other hand, I was pleasantly surprised that there was no hard push for me to purchase any eye glasses there, he never even remotely suggested it, and the staff only offered it as an option, not acted as if it’s a requirement. But, if they really want to grab people’s attention, I think they might want to investigate those digitally scanned and individualised prescriptions that even take all sorts of measurements of the frame itself, and the fitting of the frame on the patient; otherwise, their frame/lenses product is simply a mere commodity, and indeed, why would anyone pay for a frame and lenses there, if much cheaper options of the very same quality (and perhaps even faster turnaround) are already available everywhere else, for as low as pennies on the dollar?