Monday, October 17, 2005

Expired eyeglass prescriptions

Once again hello,
Before we start with today's topic, on a personal note, you may or may not know that I live down here in Southern Louisiana, Lafayette to be exact.
And, unless you have been in a cave for the last month you know that we have had a few little storms going on down here!
We have all been a little busy down here, and resources are pretty strained, I sure hope the rest of hurricane season will be quiet for us, and for everyone for that matter, we could use a break.
As you know my blog is for the purpose of education not a political blog like a lot of blog's out there, but man, I could sure write some political views about what has really been happening down here versus what the national media is telling the rest of the country.
But I am going to let that go!

As always, thanks so much for your comments, the last post was fun wasn't it!
The reason I like comments so much is because it gives me new subject matter for more posts.
Today's posts will be an answer to one of the comments in the last post.
The question was asked:
How about filling expired eyeglass rx? Is there a Fed reg limiting time on eyeglass rx's? I only found the reg. for Contacts. for example, patient comes in, wants new eyeglasses, file shows has not had recent exam and rx is 5 years old...can it be filled? Do you have legal right to refuse? or just give duty to warn statement regarding having routine eye health exam? should patient sign waiver of liability if filling old rx?

The answer is, No, there is no federal regulation mandating how long an eyeglass prescriptions is good for.
But, there is a federal regulation mandating that before you make a pair of glasses you have a current prescription, but the Dr. decides how long to make the prescription good for, just like any other prescription medication.
So... If the doctor that gave you your eye exam puts an expiration date of 12 months on the prescription then that's how long it is good for.
12 months is pretty much the standard, although some eye doctors use 18 months, and every once in a great while you will see a prescription that is good for 24 months, but you don't see those very often.
And there is no waiver of liability for filling an old RX.
If you walk into a optical shop with an outdated prescription by law they are not supposed to fill it.

Especially in my case where I am an independent optician which is basically like being a pharmacist for eyewear, and all my prescriptions are what we call an outside RX.
I can not fill that 5 year old RX, or I would be in deep trouble.

Now I am not going to say that this doesn't happen sometimes,
Here is the scenario:
If you buy your glasses from the same guy who gave you the eye exam and it has been 13 months or so since your last exam, and you tell them, I am not going to get an exam right now, the doctor has the option to go into your patient file and extend your prescription so he doesn't lose your business and at least sell you a pair of glasses.
He wrote the original prescription, so he can modify it if he sees fit.

But when you take your prescription to either an optician like me, or another doctors office, or discount place of some sort, they cannot change the expiration date or fill the prescription if it is past due.
That's also the definition of outside RX
whenever you are getting your glasses from someone other than the place you got your exam.

It's the same thing with contact lens prescriptions, the doctor decides how long the prescription is good for and when it is time for you to have a new exam.

As always hope today's posts was helpful,
keep those comments and questions coming, that's what this blog is all about.

Thanks for stopping by, see you next time.

Ben Ramsey A.B. O.C.
a.k.a….. mobile eye Guy