Changing labelling ways.
Since I began practising as an optometrist, over 40 years ago, it has been standard practice to use methylated spirits to remove varifocal lens markings and price label residue from acetate and metal frames.
However, over the past six months I have noticed that the surface on a well-known brand of acetate designer frames is disfigured by the slightest contact with methylated spirits.
We used to polish frames on a buffing wheel to remove slight blemishes as the mottling and colours went through the whole frame, but not now.
I contacted the company which manufactures the frames and they said no one else had reported the problem. However, its advice now is to use water to dissolve the sticky residue from price labels and to take varifocal lenses out of the frame to remove the markings and then reinsert them. This understandably creates a lot more work for professional staff. The quality of fake designer frames is getting better all the time--will it overtake the real thing?
Dropping quality for a quick profit is insidious and damaging to the reputation of our industry. This kind of short-termist approach may be acceptable for those who do not wish to stay long in the optical industry. However, for those of us who have chosen to spend their time dispensing quality spectacles to the public, this 'get rich quick' approach is surely only going to lead to a loss of faith amongst our patients.
Archie Toppin, optometrist, Glasgow