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How Taking Accurate Measurements Every Time Saves Money and Impresses Patients

Not to mention setting your independent eyecare business apart from online retailers and big box opticals.




MEASUREMENTS ARE THE very thing that makes or breaks a pair of glasses. Seems like a no-brainer then that we use the correct ones. Simply mark where the fitting height should go and take binocular PD … yet, at so many offices seem to not only miss the bar on this, but some scoff at the very idea of taking the few seconds to take accurate measurements. It never ceases to amaze me how this can happen and how many of us can’t see how this one small step sets us apart from online sites and big optical. Let me suggest some ideas and hopefully help more of the profession understand the importance of these basic steps.

I often get asked to explain how measurements set a small optical apart from the bigger stores and online. It’s honestly very, very simple: to the customer it shows we take the time to do it right and we care about how their glasses are made, especially when we communicate it to them. We all know there is more to making a set of spectacles than simply taking the binocular pd and splitting it down the middle. We also know that proper placement of multifocal lenses is vital, but we often don’t pay the same attention to single vision lenses. Most people in glasses only see, at best, the pupilometer when someone tells them to look into it, maybe they place a mark on the lenses and then nothing else. Imagine how they’d feel when it is explained to them and how much trust is earned from them doing these small and simple steps.

That is the visible part that sets an independent practice apart from other places. It’s quick simple and extremely effective. Yet on the technical side there are even more reasons.

If we look at Prentice’s Rule we see how poor measurements will induce prism both horizontally AND vertically in single vision lenses. An example is if a prescription is just one diopter different in each eye and the eyes sit five millimeters above the geometric center, we see we get 0.5 diopters of prism yet if we go by ANSI standards, we only have .33 diopters of tolerance. While the horizontal it’s more forgiving, it can still impact the user experience, especially with multifocal lenses where we often have 1.0 to 1.5 millimeters of tolerance per eye.

The effects of sloppy measurements for the new glasses owner can range from feeling like they are constantly walking up hill from a low fitting height and having to tilt their head up to read or down to see distance from a poorly fit pal to headaches from induced prism. Things we see constantly from online sales that take literal seconds for us to avoid. We keep our patients happy by avoiding these situations, showing our skill, elevating our office, and reducing our remakes.

And that last part is huge: reduced remakes, a.k.a. lower lab bills and less waiting for the person. Again, this is a no-brainer win/win for all. While seemingly obvious, taking those seconds can save money on the monthly lab bill because even if they don’t charge for the first remake they do charge for shipping and now those fun fuel surcharges.


In short make sure your staff not only know how to fit lenses from single vision to progressives properly but is taking the time to take all those measurements and making your office stand out.

Jason Boldt has been in the optical industry for more than 20 years. He started in a LensCrafters lab and has worked in every aspect from lab, to tech, to management, to consulting, and repping. He is ABO and NCLE certified, a Georgia LDO, and is currently working on an ABO advanced certification. Email him at


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