If you're having trouble with your glasses, keep in mind that you definitely can get prescriptions filled inaccurately or with bad quality lenses. The first thing that usually happens if you go back to an optometrist and say you're not comfortable with your new glasses is that they'll check the lenses, so getting bad ones isn't that unusual.
Maybe most opticians are just fine and I had some bad luck. However, if you're having any kinds of problems seeing, you really don't need to make them worse by going to an optician who's not going to give you the best possible glasses.
I know from experience that it is not that hard to get:
- inaccurate lenses (that weren't my prescription)
- bad lenses (progressive lenses with obvious wavy distortion, or glasses with the focal points in the wrong place)
It's not just the big chains that might cause you problems. I've only had 3 bad experiences with opticians over the last few years, but 2 of them were in optical centers associated with optometrists' offices.
Some optometrists will make you glasses themselves I'm not sure how to find a good optician. If I was looking now, I'd ask a lot of questions, and see how much explanation, as well as answers, I got. The best opticians I've found are the expensive, small offices with inconvenient hours. In my opinion, they're worth the time and money - you use your glasses every day. It's a stupid place to cut costs.
I'd look for people with training, experience, and who will take the time to talk knowledgeably to you. I'd stay away from opticians who don't tell you about any lens brand, material or other options available, at least if you ask about them, or say that you've had trouble with glasses in the past.
From what I've read, optometrists and opthomologists are
legally required (at least in the U.S.) to give you a copy of your prescriptions, so you should always be able to choose your own optician. And you should definitely always get and keep copies of your prescriptions, no matter who's making your glasses.