To whom it may concern:
This letter is a testimony regarding the differences between a state with a Licensing Board and a state without one. My name is David and I have been in the optical business since 1985. I have worked as an optician in Texas, Tennessee, and North Carolina. I worked with private practices as well as in corporate retail stores. I know how prescription lenses are made and am very knowledgeable of ANSI standards.
In a non-license state, I have witnessed jobs that do not pass inspection being dispensed to the patient. The glasses would be given to the patient even when they were found incorrect at the final inspection in order to reduce markdowns. Sometimes the glasses would be cut and edged, then handed to the patient with the knowledge that the lenses were not compliant with ANSI standards. These methods were employed to reduce extra work and to save the company money in the process of making the glasses. In a non-license state, no one has to be trained to inspect and reject glasses that are not made according to ANSI standards. There is no one to turn to when you are seeing this kind of irresponsibility and atrocities occurring at the lab and the dispensing tables.
The main problem is that since there are NO laws dictating or holding opticians accountable for their work in these non-license states, glasses are often given to the patient whether they are correct or not. Due to this indifference, many optical businesses prefer to hire people with No experience in optics so that their payroll may be lower. These workers sit in a dispensary taking orders daily from patients, handling and dispensing glasses with no supervision from a certified optician or a certification qualifying them to do so themselves. They cause multiple problems to patients that receive the incorrect prescription in their glasses. This can cause auto accidents due to their incorrect glasses or patients not being able to get used to their glasses because they are the wrong prescription so they just stop wearing them! Let us remember one thing alone: Our sight is Very Important!! If we cannot see, we cannot enjoy life the way we could with a properly prescribed, made, and dispensed pair of glasses!!
How is it that in Texas there are License boards for cutting hair and giving massages, but not for dispensing prescription glasses? Is a massage or our hair more important than our eyesight? If you must have proof, I have a challenge for you. Go into a non-license state and have 100 pair of glasses made in different Optical Shops. Then go into a licensed state and have 100 pairs of glasses made with the same prescription and compare. The facts will speak for themselves!!
It is obvious to me that a Licensed Optician has much more knowledge of optics than a non-licensed employee with some basic training. This is up to you. It may turn out that someday you or someone you love is the one wearing the glasses with the incorrect lenses. I have seen the differences and speak out of experience. Please support the TDOA with your membership and donate to the optical PAC to protect your license and your livelihood!
David Santos, Optician