Glasses: More than meets the eye

Remember the days when you had to wait a couple of weeks for eye glasses to arrive on island.

Well those days are gone. At Cayman Lenscrafters you can now get eye glasses fitted in less than a day.

Located in the Seven Mile Shopping Plaza on West Bay Road, the company offers vision examinations, a full service lens laboratory (for manufacture and repair); same day service; a large selection of designer frames and contact lenses.

Partners Dena Scott and Michael Church oversee the company with the assistance of lab technician William Moore and receptionist Dara Scott. Dr. Joanna Soutter is the optometrist.

There is really no age limit when it comes to wearing glasses.

To be fitted with glasses, initially you will meet with your eye doctor for a complete medical evaluation and eye history to determine whether you need glasses.
Eyeglass lenses are usually classified into one of four categories: single vision, bifocals, trifocals or multifocals.

Single vision lenses can be used to correct nearsightedness, farsightedness or astigmatism.

Bifocal lenses have two parts: the upper part normally used for distance vision and the lower part used for near-vision tasks such as reading.

Trifocal lenses have three different focus areas: the top for distance vision, the centre for intermediate vision, and the bottom for near vision.

Multifocal literally means “having more than one focus,” so bifocal and trifocal lenses are actually types of multifocal lenses.

Eyeglass lenses are glass or plastic optical items that fit inside eyewear frames to enhance and/or correct the wearer’s vision.

They come in a variety of shapes to match frames and thickness and contour of each lens will vary on prescription.

Examination

Before lab technician William Moore selects the appropriate blanks, Ms Soutter takes you into her office for a full eye examination. She looks at the structure of the eye through different lenses, checks for diseases, detects, identifies and establishes whether you are farsighted or nearsighted and gives a prescription for the type of vision correction required.

How the lens are made

Optical laboratory technicians cut, grind, edge, and finish lenses, according to the specifications provided by the optometrist.

The appropriate lens blanks are placed in the prescription tray along with the customer’s chosen eye glass frames.

A blank that corresponds to the patient’s prescription must be chosen. The rest of the prescription is ground into the back of the lens.

The first step is to place the lens in a lensometer. This instrument locates and marks the optical centre.

Adhesive tape is affixed to the front of the lens to keep it from being scratched during blocking.

The blocker contains freebond, which fuses the block to the lens blank. The blocks hold each lens in place during grinding and polishing.

Next, each blank is placed into a lens generator; the grinding machine grinds the appropriate optical curves into the back of each lens.

After the grinding the technician gets a lap tool – a mould correspondent and the lenses are placed in the fining machine with each lens in the appropriate lap. The lens are rubbed in a circular motion against an abrasive pad made of soft sandpaper and smooth plastic pads as water flows over the lens. This is called wet sanding which usually takes a minute and a half.

The lens is left for a few minutes and placed in the fining machine. The fining machine rotates the pads with liquid polish over the lenses.

After the lens is removed from the fining machine the block is gently detached. The tape is removed from each lens.

The lenses are again inspected for the proper optical prescription.

An edging machine then contours the frames so that the lens will fit.

If the lenses require tinting they are dipped into the desired treatment or tint container

The treatments and tints available include various sunglass tints and colours, ultraviolet light tints, durability and impact-resistant treatments and scratch-resistant treatments.

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