An optician is a technician who makes and checks lenses, glasses, and contact lenses. They take a prescription from an Ophthalmologist or optometrist and make the glasses or help choose the correct type of contact lens in terms of fit and how hard/soft.

Note that they cannot prescribe lenses or anything, not even eye drops. All they do is take your prescription and grind out the lens. Simple job, requires less training than an optometrist or Ophthalmologist.

All they do? That's all they do?

All an optician does is take the prescription order from the doctor's office, decipher hir handwriting, call them back and tell them why this particular 'scrip is impossible. Then they compute the Rx, and select the proper base curve to give a pair of glasses with the least amount of distortion.

Then the work ticket has to be double checked for errors, the lens blank must be selected and rechecked. The shape of the frame needs to be measured as well.

All done? Barely begun.

Coat the front of the lens with tape. Attach it to a small round metal block with hot wax. Put it in a CNC machine called a generator and take several mm off the back side. (That's for plastic or polycarbonate. For glass, use a hand-operated machine.) Locate the tooling. Put sandpaper on the tool, load it on a cylinder machine which grinds more material off the back of the lens at 300 rpm. Change the emery pad to felt and run on another cylinder machine, with polish.

Apply scratch-resistant coating to the lens. Clean it, measure it (with a lensometer) for proper curvature and axis. What's axis? If you have astigmatism, take your glasses off, look through one lens and slowly rotate it. You will see a distortion. This squashing compensates for your deformed cornea.) Now cut the lens to fit the frame, (if it's a glass lens, harden it with heat and/or chemical processing), dye it to the correct tint, apply AR coating, and insert it into the frame.

Wash it again. Make sure the billing is correct and ship it to the doctor.

And that, my friends, is all an optician does. It's a simple job that required very little training. Uh huh.

Op*ti"cian (?), n. [Cf. F. opticien. See Optic, a.]


One skilled in optics.


A. Smith.


One who deals in optical glasses and instruments.


© Webster 1913.

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