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Thread: Anti Reflective Lenses

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    Arrow Anti Reflective Lenses

    Here's a curious question. For the first time ever, I tried anti reflective lenses. After approximately 3 months of wear the anti reflective coating began to come off the left lens. I mainly wear contacts so my glasses wear is mainly at night and early morning. I clean my glasses every morning before storing them in their case for the day.

    The lenses have only been cleaned with a lens cleaner marked safe for anti reflective lenses or with plain water and then dried with a clean cotton diaper only. Nothing else ever touched them. I'm very protective of my glasses.

    The manufacturer who made my lenses wanted the lens back to recoat the lens. Ok, the lenses are still in good shape and not scratched; I won't be charged for it and it won't count against my one time yearly scratch warranty. However, I'm inconvenienced as I have only one lens to see with when wearing my glasses part time for 2 - 3 days. As a mainly contact lens wearer I only have one pair of glasses - the old ones had green screws and I threw them out.

    So far I am extremely unimpressed with AR and don't know if I'll buy into that again. Since the lens edges were polished, I can't tell if the AR is doing any good as I can still see prism lights out of the sides of my glasses. The only advantage I can say about AR is when someone else looks at me they can see my eyes without glare.

    Regardless of how much the employees at the optical place "understood" how I felt we (I) seemed to be at the mercy of the lens manufacturer. I purposely went to a smaller optical place (no cold chains for me) to avoid the chain mentality of the WalMart's only 90 day scratch guarantee and other move 'em in move 'em out tactics. It's surprising how many optical places WILL NOT offer a one year scratch replacement, from the swanky expensive optical salons to the bargain basement variety.

    My questions:

    Is this common with anti reflective?

    Is it common to send the original lens back to the manufacturer and inconvenience the customer when the problem clearly is a manufacturing defect caused by their materials?

    Any replies, words of encouragement, or chain recommendations welcome.

    Thanks for reading my post,

    Dannette

    :( :) :bbg:

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    Master OptiBoarder Texas Ranger's Avatar
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    Smilie

    Dannette, we used to offer that type of AR process and dealt with many people for many years with your story, but haven't in about four years, when Essilor brought the CRIZAL process AR to the USA from France. we offer two years of lens replacement for Crizal AR lenses. that is indeed remarkable! it is not a "strip and recoat" warranty, but we replace the entire lens, at no charge...I am sure that some quality-minded opticians in your area can get you Crizal lenses. that includes "scratching"; I've yet to see one of these lenses delaminate(peel/flake) we fit 95% of of pts with Crizal and have replace about 5% over a 4 year period. it is a "premium" process, and a bit more costly, but well worth it. they are also easier to clean than most AR lenses.

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    Bad address email on file John R's Avatar
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    Arrow Re: Anti Reflective Lenses

    Dannette said:
    Is it common to send the original lens back to the manufacturer and inconvenience the customer when the problem clearly is a manufacturing defect caused by their materials?
    Well this side of the pond (UK) it is, as most lenses that have a AR coat on are not suppiled by the coating companies. Some coaters seem to be worse than others for these sort of problems, seems to be the luck of the draw. Most coaters offer a 1 year guarantee all though some do go to 2 years, but its not for scratching just faulty coating.
    I personally have a pair of Pentax AR coated lenses that are 5 years old and the coating is as good as new, shame about the scratches though....
    I cant understand why you need to clean the lenses every day though, only when dirty should be enough. If they are just dusty then a rinse under a running tap should do the trick.

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    Moderator - Joann Raytar Jo's Avatar
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    Re: Anti Reflective Lenses

    Dannette said:

    My questions:

    Is this common with anti reflective?

    Is it common to send the original lens back to the manufacturer and inconvenience the customer when the problem clearly is a manufacturing defect caused by their materials?
    As Texas Ranger has said, it all depends on the coating. While, as with almost everything made today, there is a chance that a product may defective, how common that problem is depends on the quality standards of the manufacturer. High quality coatings usually come with 1-2 year warranties. Yes, some wholesale labs require a lens be seen before being replaced; however, it is up to the Optician who sold you the lenses to make sure you are inconvenienced as little as possible.
    It's surprising how many optical places WILL NOT offer a one year scratch replacement, from the swanky expensive optical salons to the bargain basement variety.
    Scratches are an entirely different creature than a peeling coating. Your lenses were defective not scratched and it is good to see that they weren't counted against your warranty. Often lenses are scratch resistant, some more so than others, but nothing is scratch proof. Scratch resistant lenses do put up with everyday wear longer than uncoated lenses but scratches are usually inevitable.

    As far as a scratch warranty, you could use your car finish to make a comparison. You recieve your car with a clear and brilliant finish. Over time, especially if it is wiped while it is dusty, swirls may show up from cleaning cloths. Would you return your car a year later because it has cleaning scratches in the finish? Would your car dealership warranty a car from cleaning scratches a year later?

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    OptiBoard Professional bren_03825's Avatar
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    Thumbs up A/R

    I've always had great luck with our A/r coatings, and Crizal is from what I've seen and heard one of the greatest around. Except for being twice as expensive as any other coating, and unfortunately, the labs around me that do it, will only do "free" strips and recoats. They wont replace the lens. I've also had great results with Zeiss Super ET Claret a/r, and Pentax will send you a variety of stock CR-39, poly, and high index 1.6, 1.66, etc with Pentax A/R, and they will replace the lenses, as long as you have the envelopes they came in, no questions asked, for a full year, as often as needed. The only A/R's that I've seen with peeling and scratching problems, have been the wholesale labs "in-house" A/R coating, and we decided Long Ago, to stop ever using those.
    :cheers:
    Brendan :cheers:

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    Dannette:

    I may be the only person on Optiboards that agrees with you. I have had more patients that were happy to get rid of AR that the last place they went to sold them than I have had that appreciated AR. In my occupation as optician I cannot wear AR for 6 weeks without scratching it no matter what I do to my instrument eye pieces. A lens that is too delicate to be cleaned many times a day is too delicate for most people.

    The only times I "push" AR is for patients that appear on television, a few lawyers that want "the patient to look them in the eye." And patients that have it already and like it, or request it.

    This attitude costs me a lot of money in lost AR sales and I realize this.

    Now while they do improve AR coatings every year, and the coatings recommended by other replies are all good the AR coaters have yet to live up to thier claims. We don't need frames or coatings that will be infinitely replaced when they break several times a year. We need stuff that does not break, so we don't have to be bothered with claiming the warranties.


    Chip:shiner:

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    Lightbulb

    chip anderson said:

    We don't need frames or coatings that will be infinitely replaced when they break several times a year. We need stuff that does not break, so we don't have to be bothered with claiming the warranties.
    Chip,
    Yes, I agree with you. I appreciate your reply.

    John R.,
    Thank you for your reply too. I clean my glasses every day because my eyelashes drag across the lenses and make fluttery eyelash marks on the lenses. I've tried wearing my glasses further away from my face but it just doesn't feel right.

    Jo,
    Thank you for your reply. If I bought a brand new car and the paint or the clear coat started to peel off after 3 months of ownership, yes I would insist it be repainted or re-coated. Besides I don't buy a new car every 1 or 2 years like I do glasses nor do I use my car to see through. These weren't scratches I asked to be removed, but an extra coating (product) I was sold that didn't last 3 months.

    Scratches:
    For whatever reason, and for many many years most glasses have come with a scratch warranty of one year. Some shops charge extra for this, some charge a set fee if replacement is requested, some shops have the cost built in so it "seems free". Some shops even determine if you can get replacaement lenses depending where the scratches are - if not in the line of sight you don't get it. I've bought many pairs of glasses and I've called many shops asking about prices and policy. Sometimes I use the scratch warranty sometimes I don't, but I like knowing it's available if needed. I'm in my late 30s and not as likely to scratch my glasses like I did when I was a kid.


    I welcome all your replies and I've learned quite a bit just by reading this board. Who knows you may change my mind about paying the extra $ for the overpower, but I don't know about those pricey frames.

    thanks again for listening,
    Dannette:D

  8. #8
    OptiWizard
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    Hello Dannette,
    I am a big fan of AR coatings, in fact I have became "addicted" to them. I cannot stand to wear lenses without AR. I have had only one pair that had a backside crazing problem and that was 5 years ago. It was mainly my fault, I left them in my car parked at the airport top deck long range parking during mid summer.
    AR technology has really came a long way in a short time. The technology is complex but with simple rules. If the coating lab is aware of the history of the lens (lens materials, hardcoats etc) and then follows the process disciplines of lens inspections, equipment and room cleanliness, temp and pH of chemicals in the cleaning line and machine operating sop's for that product, you should receive a state of the art AR coated lens.
    Part of my job is working with AR manufacturers and major independent coating centers making sure that my companies new products are compatable with AR coatings right from the R&D inception of that product.
    From working with the AR manufacturers and their affiliated lab partners, I learned early on that the root cause of many failures is that the AR Coating Facility receives surfaced lenses from another lab or source, but have no idea what the lens material is or it had a less than pristine lens process quality. Lack of information on a specialty lens can certainly cause grief downstream. It is imperative for the lens supplier (processing location) to furnish a complete paper trail history of that job with the AR facility to ensure a good finished job.
    The Crizal, Carl Zeiss Foundation, Satis Endura, UTMC and new Leybold processes all have strict process disciplines to follow. The successfull independent coating centers follow the same strict disciplines for their in house propietary AR brands and achieve the same great results.
    They all require information up front to achieve the desired premium product.
    Do not give up on AR so soon. You are right, the inconvience of a botched job is great and really should not happen. But like they say, vote with your feet, insist on a dependable source by asking what the remake rate of that locations dispensed AR. If that locations dispensed AR failure is out of whack with the labs overall return rate maybe your provider will review their routine on how they send in lenses and how the lab handles the job.
    regards to all,
    Jim Schafer
    Jim Schafer
    Retired From PPG Industries/
    Transitions Optical, Inc.

    When you win, say nothing. When you lose, say even less.
    Paul Brown

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    Master OptiBoarder Texas Ranger's Avatar
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    Smilie

    Bren_ you said that Crizal is twice as expensive as other AR, and the labs around you will only strip and recoat; both statement are untrue, though I know opticians that CHARGE twice as much for Crizal, it does not COST twice as much. Crizal process lenses can NOT be recoated due to the nature of the technology. I have been fitting Crizal lenses with great success for four years; at about 140 per month; pts love it, it does not scratch under normal wear, it does not flake or delamenate. it is easy to clean, and they have never failed to replace pts lenses, without inspecting them first! we warranty about 8 pair/month; and those folks do not have to send their lenses in, or be without them, we have the replacement lenses processed as a new order, uncut, then return the damaged lenses to the lab after the replacement lenses are dispensed; yes, the billing and crediting paperwork is a hassle, but folks don't have to be un glassed! during the time we used another process that required "re-coating", it was several times that the coating lab "lost" our pts lenses, or sent us someone else's lenses back(how embarrassing!!) those situations cost us lots of credibility and good will... The Crizal lenses are absolutely no problem; and I do believe that the Zeiss AR has a one-year "replacement" warranty, and their Foundation AR has a 2 yr. but I would never again fit an AR that has just a "strip and recoat" warranty. I did hear a couple days ago that WalMart has gone to the Zeiss AR. I feel very "safe" fitting an AR process that people see better, look better, and are protected by a great "replacement" warranty, so, I am not selective about who to offer it to, everyone should have it! and, most people don not object to the extra cost! but, by all means, let "them" make that choice, you might be pleasantly surprised!

  10. #10
    sub specie aeternitas Pete Hanlin's Avatar
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    First, let me disclose that I am an employee of Essilor Lenses (the company which produces Crizal (TM) lenses). Having said that:

    Crizal comes with an absolutely fabulous warranty. If you are dissatisfied with a Crizal lens- for any reason- the lens cost is refunded to your Eye Care Practicioner (who, in turn, should provide a refund to you). If the lens does peel or scratch, the Crizal lab that supplied your order will make a new pair of lenses (you do not lose use of your lenses).

    The post that said their lab would only strip and recoat the lens is curious, because- as another poster pointed out- Crizal cannot be stripped. Additionally, the Crizal lab providing your lenses is required by contract to provide new lenses if you manage to scratch your lenses. If anyone is having trouble having the Crizal warranty honored by an authorized Crizal lab, please feel free to contact me.

    Finally, in my particular position, I am privy to all of the consumer questions, complaints, etc. that come to our company. Having looked over the history of our Crizal responses, I can honestly say the vast majority of consumers contacting us simply want additional cleaning cloths because they've worn out their original cloths!

    Before coming to Essilor (I've only been here a week), I was in a Private Optometric Practice. I read all the Essilor ads about how great Crizal AR was and thought "Yeah, sure." It was only over the past year that I started to sell the product as an Optician- and I NEVER saw a Crizal coating fail- ever. Even on my own lenses (which I abuse and neglect) I have only managed to accumulate a small collection of hairline scratches that are virtually unnoticeable.

    Anyway, there is an admitably biased view on AR coatings. Before writing off AR try Crizal- if you don't like it, you'll get a refund (and if you don't get a refund, contact Essilor at 1-800-ESSILOR and ask for Pete Hanlin's extension).
    :)

    PS- Don't let them polish the edges of your next pair of lenses with AR- it just defeats the purpose of the AR, IMHO...

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    Moderator - Joann Raytar Jo's Avatar
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    Dannette said:

    Jo,
    Thank you for your reply. If I bought a brand new car and the paint or the clear coat started to peel off after 3 months of ownership, yes I would insist it be repainted or re-coated. Besides I don't buy a new car every 1 or 2 years like I do glasses nor do I use my car to see through. These weren't scratches I asked to be removed, but an extra coating (product) I was sold that didn't last 3 months.
    Dannette, I think you mis-understood. I did agree that you recieved a defective product that should have been replaced and not a scratched product.
    Scratches are an entirely different creature than a peeling coating. Your lenses were defective not scratched and it is good to see that they weren't counted against your warranty.
    I think my post got confusing when I posted a reason why scratch warranties are so inconsistent between stores. Sorry, no matter how careful a person is, hairline scratches on most lens materials are almost unavoidable. One day they will probably create a super scratch coating that doesn't scratch but we haven't seen that day yet. Since scratches are so inevitable, I think folks may see fewer warranties that cover scratched lenses as a free replacement. Of course, this also clues customers into a "buyer beware" warning. Be wary of claims that lenses are scratch proof as no such creature exsists.

    Sorry to go back to my car finish analogy but you still have to treat every plastic or polycarbonate lens as if it were a brand new car finish no matter what the coating. Flush lenses with warm, not hot, water to rinse any dust and debris off. Blot water off with a soft cloth then use a clean soft cloth to buff off any streaks that are left. Paper towels contain too much wood fiber unless they are ultra soft so try to avoid using them. Just like the finish on a car, if you wipe lenses dry they, will get swirl marks from the cloth you use to wipe them with. Even after doing all of this, the lenses may still eventually scratch.

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    OptiBoard Professional bren_03825's Avatar
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    Pete, I fergot that you got on board with essilor. Cool. The labs that I have dealt with, At least as of a few months ago, could only get crizal a/r on essilor lenses ie ft-28 w/scr & ar would cost me 19+7+35=61.00 dollars. I can get a base ft-28 @ 9.50+5.00 scratch+20 Zeiss a/r +34.50. Local Essilor owned wholesale lab would only honor a once only replacement, or free strips and recoats they told me. I shal continue to shop around, I never disputed crizals quality, but when I need to charge 80-90$ compared to 50-60, it seemed no comparison to my bottom line. I hope to find a more honest wholesale lab, and offer 3 great a/r coatings in the future.
    PS if I call you point me in the direction of a good wholesale lab. I dont mind paying for quality to give to my patients, but I also don't feel like getting ripped.
    PPS I sell about 40-60% a/r on average, partly because I guarantee to my patients that I only deal with quality coatings, and I have never had in 8 years since I had been using Zeiss any pt come back saying they could get a crizal coating for under $ 90 from any competitor within 5 town radius.
    Brendan :cheers:

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    OptiBoard Professional OptiBoard Bronze Supporter
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    What got me price wise, was that when I worked with Lenscrafters, we charged the same amount for Reflection Free that private practices in the area were charging for Crizal. I don't know if reflection free has gotten any better in the year that I have been out of the lab, but at the time I was returning upwards of 30-40% of everything I received from them. I developed a severe animosity towards reflection free in my time at LC.

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    The optical place I purchased my lenses from charged me $48 for AR.

    On their business card quoting the break down of the lens costs, Pearle listed the option of anti-reflectant at $35 or Crizal at $72.

    If I go for AR again I will choose a place that uses Crizal. Basically I didn't want to pay the top cost for something I'd never tried before. I chose the middle. I read somewhere that most consumers choose the middle.

    When I purchase my next pair of glasses I will be more informed and better able to make a choice that's right for me.

    Thank you everyone who posted to my thread. As usual everyone was very informative.

    Dannette


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    sub specie aeternitas Pete Hanlin's Avatar
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    I don't know if reflection free has gotten any better in the year that I have been out of the lab, but at the time I was returning upwards of 30-40% of everything I received from them.
    In defense of Reflection Free, one of the things that distinguishes Crizal (and any other premium ar coating) from other AR coatings is control of the substrate and lens surface. In other words, failure on a RF coating may not be the coating's fault- if the surface to which the AR is being applied is bad, the quality of the coating will suffer accordingly.

    As has been pointed out, Crizal is only applied to lenses that have been fabricated by a lab associated with the Crizal process. Therefore, the coating can be fine tuned to be an optimum match for the substrate (and the quality of the surface to which the coating is being applied can be controlled as well).

  16. #16
    From what I understand, the scratch resistance of the lens is only as good as the last coating applied. Since AR goes on last, its quality will naturally affect the quality of the scratch coating.

    In my experience, Crizal is miles beyond the competition for both durability AND effectiveness. And no, I don't work for Crizal.:D

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    Forever Liz's Dad Steve Machol's Avatar
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    eyevay said:
    From what I understand, the scratch resistance of the lens is only as good as the last coating applied. Since AR goes on last, its quality will naturally affect the quality of the scratch coating.
    Yes and no. Probably the biggest factor in the quality of the AR coating is the hard coating underneath. Think or AR as an extremely thin sheet of glass (which essentially it is.) Now imagine this sheet of glass on a foam slab. Now imagine another coating on a concrete slab. Which AR coating do you think will be more durable?


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    Wave

    Dannette said:
    John R.,
    Thank you for your reply too. I clean my glasses every day because my eyelashes drag across the lenses and make fluttery eyelash marks on the lenses. I've tried wearing my glasses further away from my face but it just doesn't feel right.
    Dannette,
    I quess that you have long lashes then and use a lot of mascara :D , Next time you go for a pair of glasses tell them that your lashes are touching the lenses and they should be able to sort the problen out either by requesting a higher base (perscription permitting) or by fitting your glasses further from your face (would require a slight change in perscription to allow for this).
    This is something that should have been picked up by the person dispensing the glasses.

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    eyelash curve

    this reminds me of a funny incident. We got a request from one of our accounts asking for an eyelash curve on an Rx that was a - 2.00 OU , so we ground them on a 7 base. About a week later they asked us to grind them on a 4 base and , oh yeah " Don't forget the eyelash curve! Hard to believe I work in a liscense state. ROFLMAO
    Kevin

  20. #20
    OptiWizard
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    So many issues, so little time...

    As Steve noted, the top layer of an AR coating is Silicone Dioxide, essentially glass, quite hard but incredibly thin, equivalent to about 4" of snow on top of the Empire State Building. Likewise, he noted that the substrate the AR is applied upon is quite important to the scratch resistance of the AR...glass being the best, scratch resistant coated plastic next (Crizal falls into this class), and naked plastic the worst.

    The issue of delamination is another animal, more appropriately another species! There are a plethora of causes but, the incidence of delamination is quite low now, less than 1%. That said, and to reinforce what Jim Shafer noted, the best prevention is to use full disclosure when sending lenses to a coating lab; the more they know about the lenses, the better they can do their job. Dannette, you didn't mention but was the delamination on the front, back or both sides?

    Lastly, stripping and recoating SHOULD BE AVOIDED AT ALL COSTS! Many (most?) coating labs really don't want to recoat a lens as the resultant quality is dubious at best. Many labs (my old one included) do not require the lenses to be returned as the complete RX is redone including the AR to avoid the above problems. Check around.

    Lastly, there generally is a relationship between quality and price and while most consumers may choose the middle, and based upon the fact that most specs are worn for at least 2 years, a quality AR at $80 only equates to about 11 cents a day. Not a bad investment for better vision and appearance.

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    Jim G,

    I don't know if the delamination was on the front, back or both sides. At first I thought I hadn't cleaned my glasses very well and when I realized it wouldn't come off, I wasn't sure what was wrong. I guessed it was the AR and that was confirmed when I returned to the optical shop. Two days later I was informed my lenses would't be back in 2 days as I was initially told they would be. Thankfully I was put in touch with Carl, the man who actually works with the lenses. He cut a lens in an RX close to mine and put it in my glasses. My recoated lens should be in today. Thank you Carl. :)

    Dannette

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    Master OptiBoarder mullo's Avatar
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    Dannette said:

    He cut a lens in an RX close to mine and put it in my glasses. Dannette
    Are you saying he put a lens in that was "just" close to your actual Rx?? Hmmm..........and have you considered a second pair of glasses. If you can't do without them, perhaps you should look into a second cheaper emergency pair for these situations. I have clients that have a high plus or minus Rx and can't do without their glasses. When the "emergency" happens, they have no backup. Another option is a pair of contact lenses. I've seen a few people break their glasses on Xmas Eve and have no alternative. They spent their Xmas day half blind...........YUCK..

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    Mullo,

    Yes, the RX was just close and I was glad to get it too!

    I wear contacts full time, glasses at night and early morning. I've always had several pairs of old glasses hanging around and they were so out of date and had green screws etc. that I chunked them when I purchased my new contacts and glasses. Bad luck for me. :hammer:

    My glasses are back up to my contacts, but as I near the end of my 30's I find myself wearing my glasses earlier in the evening hours that when I was in my 20's. (My current pair are destined to be my back up glasses when I purchase new ones.) Yes, I am considering a 2nd pair of glasses now that it's been a while since I paid for an eye exam, new contacts, and new glasses.

    Carl, bless his heart, suggested polycarb over high index for a less expensive pair. I'm pretty nearsighted so I'll probably get the high index anyway (probably not the AR though). Looking at magnetic clip on sunglasses or the kind that gets darker in the sun. Funny as long as I've worn glasses (30 years), I've never tried any of these "newfangled" processes. Probably because I've worn contacts for 24 years.

    Dannette

  24. #24
    Bad address email on file GatorGirl's Avatar
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    Brendan

    I want to make sure what you said. Did you say you got Crizal on a ft 28? What material?

    I deal with Milroy every day and there are certain ft's you can not get Crizal with.

    I hope you find a diffenent lab to deal with. Something sounds fishy.


    christina

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    Moderator - Joann Raytar Jo's Avatar
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    Dannette said:

    Yes, the RX was just close and I was glad to get it too!

    Carl, bless his heart ...
    Dannette,

    I took a look your other thread about polished lenses and I am not so sure you should be blessing anyone's heart at the establishment where you bought this pair of glasses. Firstly, they polished your lens edges and probably charged you for it without letting you know. You didn't like the edge treatment and it appears they didn't do anything about it and if you want it removed you must count it against your one free redo.

    Secondly, you mentioned that your "lenses are single vision, high index with UV, anti scratch and AR coating." If you were charged for UV coating on high index lenses, then you were ripped off. UV protection is built into high index plastic and polycarbonate lenses and additional UV protective coatings need not be applied.

    Lastly, you have been given the runaround over the defective AR coating. I am not saying they weren't telling you the truth about sending the lenses back to be stripped and recoated but they didn't seem to react at all to the fact that you were unhappy and inconvenienced. A set of loaner lenses should have been suggested earlier on and they should have been made to your Rx, not close to it. If you told them what you have told us here, in this thread, they should have even given you the option to upgrade to a better coating and just charged the difference since it has only been three months. They are working to keep their cost to the minimum more than working to keep you happy.

    ... suggested polycarb over high index for a less expensive pair
    Since you are sensitive to your edge polish, be very careful with your frame size if you decide to go with polycarb. You will want to cut away as much of your lenses' steep back curve as possible or you may experience aberrations which will bother you. Based on you posts, I believe you have a good deal of correction for astigmatism; let me know if this isn't the case.

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