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Eyeglasses- does your state have this law?
Old 08-14-2016, 07:14 AM   #1
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Eyeglasses- does your state have this law?

DH's regular eyeglasses (he has a separate pair for computer use) have a break in one stem and he wanted to get them repaired. We went off to Costco and found, not surprisingly in this throwaway world, they can't be repaired. And, because of a state law, new frames means a new vision exam and, probably new lenses. It's illegal to use a prescription more than a year old and he's probably had those glasses for 3 years.

We'd encountered this earlier when living in KS, but now it seems inane. DH was recently diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia. He's 78 and probably has less than a year to live even though he's getting treated for it. Now he's faced with a choice of getting an eye exam and new lenses he doesn't want or need, or living with a pair of glasses repaired with duct tape.

We're fortunate. We can afford an eye exam and another pair of glasses, especially at Costco. DH is still ambulatory; he just wears out easily. This law really rubs me the wrong way, though. To me, it's meant to protect the revenue stream of the eyecare business.

Do all states have this law?
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Old 08-14-2016, 07:32 AM   #2
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Not sure if my state has such a law. But you can order online. You just key in the numbers of your old prescription. I'm sorry about your husbands situation.

Zenni Optical | Affordable Rx Eyeglasses Online
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Old 08-14-2016, 07:35 AM   #3
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I'm sure that every state does not have the same law(s) concerning eyecare.

What happens is that in each state there are a number of organizations that go to state capitol and work to convince legislators that changes to law are in the best interest of citizens. Depending on the state, you may have watchdog and consumer organizations who watch out for these dealings, and make sure actual facts are being used.

I've noticed, based on watching in-laws age, that "the system" is completely one-sided, and you can have very little impact on cost and appropriateness of care.

I would take him to Costco, get it done, and help him enjoy life.
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Old 08-14-2016, 07:38 AM   #4
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I'm so sorry to hear about DH's illness.

I have no idea but it appears the Supreme Court might be on your side.

http://www.livestrong.com/article/19...tion-contacts/

New contact lenses require eye exams but not glasses. Ask the optician for a copy of the old prescription. Then go somewhere else for new frames. He may need new lenses though.

It doesn't sound like there would be a state law, as the Supremes weighed in on this.


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Old 08-14-2016, 07:52 AM   #5
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I doubt there is such a law anywhere. Just a moneymaker, pure unadulterated BS.

The optician can measure the existing lenses' power(s) if bifocal. Or look up the the past prescription. Has to measure the PD (pupillary distance) the distance between the centers of the eye. This is to know how to de-center the optical center of the lenses in the frame, such that when the glasses are put on the eyes are not looking through some other area of the lens, thus creating a prism. Which is sometimes prescribed. In those cases there is also an optical axis to consider and correct for. That is a long story. Optician also has to consider Vertex and a bunch of other stuff.

The above are all parts of the Optician's licensing The people who fit eyeglasses. exam. Optical chains like to provide full employment to the optometrists. Optometrists are licensed to examine eyes but are not licensed to treat diseases. Opthalmology is an MD specialty, can perform surgery and treat diseases.

Anywhoo, if they insist it is a law, ask them to provide the cite. Or look up the optical licensing authority of the state and ask. No substitute for facts.

PS. My late brother was an optician, I spent a lot of time helping out in the shop making eyeglasses, Long ago I used to be able hand grind lenses to fit into frames. A lost art/skill. Nowadays it is all done by automated lens grinding machines, typically with diamond coated grinding wheels.
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Old 08-14-2016, 07:55 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Dawg52 View Post
Not sure if my state has such a law. But you can order online. You just key in the numbers of your old prescription. I'm sorry about your husbands situation.

Zenni Optical | Affordable Rx Eyeglasses Online
^ What Dawg said.

I ordered a new pair of glasses yesterday using a two-year old prescription.
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Old 08-14-2016, 08:03 AM   #7
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Thanks for the fast answers! We'll probably go the Costco route; as I said, money isn't an issue and it's the most expedient solution, other than requiring an eye exam. The previous optician is in our old city, 17 miles away, and I doubt they'd provide the old prescription via a telephone request. I was never thrilled with them, anyway- they steer you right to the expensive designer eyeglass frames (the number of designers, celebrities, manufacturers of other stuff lending their name to eyewear tells me it's big money). After that there are the add-ons: progressive lenses, special coatings, better plastic, an extra charge for progressive lenses in narrow frames, etc. I've had enough of them.

It will, however, be fun to grill the Costco people on just what law they're claiming to uphold.
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Old 08-14-2016, 08:05 AM   #8
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In state of NJ, there is this question on state site:

Quote:
Eyeglass Questions

1. When can an optometrist release a patient's eyeglass prescription?

After the completion of a patient's comprehensive eye examination, and upon the patient's request, a copy of the patient's prescription for eyeglasses shall be given, free of charge, to the patient or to another optometrist, ophthalmologist, or ophthalmic dispenser acting on the patient's behalf.
NJ State Board of Optometrist Frequently Asked Questions

So, the guidance is pretty strict. If you come back in a year, or call, another comprehensive exam is required. It is inconvenient, and I can complain, but it is understandable.

When you go back, start a conversation. Maybe you can get the PD since this is probably the last exam. Then you'd have a prescription and PD, and can order online.

Last time I ordered, I had the prescription (free exam from spouse employer) and figured out my own PD. COst $75 or so for new glasses with clip-on sun shield. Contrast that with daughter experience taking her prescription to one of these box stores. Cost her a lot of money for glasses and prescription sunglasses. Nothing but problems, and she broke one set. The cost to put lenses in an alternate pair was astronomical.

Just break the chain and get your prescription and PD when possible.
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Old 08-14-2016, 08:29 AM   #9
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Is it just glasses? I always thought that DR'S prescriptions for anything are at most good for a year?

I'd never even heard of it with eyeglasses, that's plain silly. I can understand with meds, PT, and other prescriptions. Glasses no.
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Old 08-14-2016, 11:10 AM   #10
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+2 on the Zenni Optical option.

You can get a nice pair of glasses for about $50. If you have a prescription you like (no time limit) just enter the information online, it's easy.

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Old 08-14-2016, 11:13 AM   #11
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I buy them online from Zenni optical. You can put in any prescription you want. There is no check for how old the prescription is and since I tend to stay at the same prescription for years before needing a minor tweak, they just keep the prescription on file and send the same unless I specifically put in a new prescription.

Your state optometrists must have a very effective lobbying organization if they managed to get that law passed. I've never seen anything like that in any of the states I've lived in.
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Old 08-14-2016, 12:41 PM   #12
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I took an eyeglasses prescription to Costco. It had expired (one year). The Costco employee told me that the prescriptions can be good for two years - and that I could ask my optician to rewrite the prescription with a new expiration date of two years from the exam.

Did that, took it back to Costco and got the glasses.
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Old 08-14-2016, 12:47 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by spncity View Post
I took an eyeglasses prescription to Costco. It had expired (one year). The Costco employee told me that the prescriptions can be good for two years - and that I could ask my optician to rewrite the prescription with a new expiration date of two years from the exam.

Did that, took it back to Costco and got the glasses.

Definitely worth a try- I'll see if t works! I'm in our former city once a week, anyway.
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Old 08-14-2016, 12:59 PM   #14
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From FTC website: https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/article...contact-lenses

Quote:
How long is my prescription good?

Prescription length for eyeglasses and contact lenses is determined by state law. As a general rule, a contact lens prescription should be good for at least a year, unless your doctor has a medical reason for making it shorter. Eyeglass prescriptions often are good for a year or two, but state laws vary.

Your eye health changes over time, so it’s important to have regular exams. Do not try to purchase glasses or contact lenses with an expired prescription.
(emphasis added)

I wonder if the place where you originally got the frames can order a new stem from the makers of the frames and then just unscrew the bad stem and install the new one. Absent that or your plan with Costco, Zenni may be a good way to go.

Good luck.
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Old 08-14-2016, 04:23 PM   #15
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I filled an eye prescription that was 4 years old with no problem at all.
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Old 08-14-2016, 04:46 PM   #16
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I filled an eye prescription that was 4 years old with no problem at all.
I did the same, but I think the prescription was 6 years old. Shortly after that, I went to Walmart and had a new eye exam and found that it only changed a very small amount.

I use Zinni for new glasses and ReplaceALens (Denver - mail in my frames) for using the Nikon titanium frames I have.
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Old 08-14-2016, 10:18 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by pb4uski View Post
......
I wonder if the place where you originally got the frames can order a new stem from the makers of the frames and then just unscrew the bad stem and install the new one......
Exactly, the arm can be ordered and it's 1 screw to replace it.
Possibly since frames have names on them you can find it on the internet and order the arm.

Where did you get them, and why are the frames not guaranteed ?
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Old 08-15-2016, 03:56 AM   #18
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Georgia's law expires eyeglass prescriptions after two years, but repairing frames with old lenses wouldn't be affected; it affects only the grinding of new lenses afaik.
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Old 08-15-2016, 05:19 AM   #19
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I've been buying my glasses online with no problem for many years. In one instance, though, when returning some glasses that didn't work out (money back guarantee) eyebuydirect requested that I include a copy of a current prescription as a condition for the refund.
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Old 08-15-2016, 06:21 AM   #20
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Your state optometrists must have a very effective lobbying organization if they managed to get that law passed. I've never seen anything like that in any of the states I've lived in.
+1

I think it must only be the OP's state. Which state is that? I've never heard of it before
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