Optometrists use sets of diagnostic lenses to determine prescriptions by placing them in front of a patient’s eyes and asking the patient to read under different light conditions. If you are considering a job as an optometry technician, sometimes called an ODT, you will likely be charged with helping the optometrist you work for to keep their diagnostic lenses in order.
Understanding the Order. While diagnostic sets do differ, most have similar orders. Usually, a diagnostic set will be a large, shallow wooden or plastic box full of felt or velvet lined slots. On the left-hand side is usually the lenses in the minus range. On the right are lenses in the plus range. In the upper middle will be specialty lenses, such as those that contain prism and those that add astigmatism correction in a wide variety of degrees.
Cleaning the Lenses. Once you understand how the lenses are arranged in their case, your optometrist will provide you with the proper cleaning supplies. Some use a vinegar solution to clean the lenses, while others use commercially-available lens cleaning solutions. Carefully wipe each lens to remove fingerprints and allow it to dry before placing it in its slot. If you are cleaning the entire set at once, you may want to lay them out on a lint-free towel to dry. This will allow you to clean them all quickly.
Handling Diagnostic Lenses. All diagnostic lenses are surrounded by a metal frame with a small tab for handling. Always handle the lenses by the metal lab to avoid smudging the lens. This will save you plenty of cleaning time and avoid scratches on the lens surface.
Working for an optometrist as his or her technician can be an awesome job. By following these tips, you can keep the set of diagnostic lenses clean and in order at all times.