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Most people who have ordered prescription military eyewear have had some difficulty filling out the DD-771 ordering form, finding all of the necessary information on a SF 600 is rare. This article is designed to help the Independent Duty and General Duty Corpsman serving with operational units. More importantly, it will reduce the chance of anyone having their order returned for incomplete information.
The interpupillary distances (PD), both near and far, are important for all orders. This measurement is where the patient will look through their glasses. If it is incorrect, prism will be induced and the patient will experience visual difficulties. Obtaining a PD should be done while the patient is seated. At the same eye level and maintaining a distance of about 18 inches away, place a PD ruler (NSN 6540012505737) on the bridge of the patient's nose. Positioning the left index finger directly below your left eye, instruct the patient to look at the tip of your finger. Line up the zero mark of the PD ruler with the inner limbus (where the sclera meets the iris) of the patient's right eye; to do this, you must close your right eye. Now instruct the patient to follow your left index finger as you cross over and reposition your finger below your right eye. Note the PD ruler marking at the outer limbus of the patient's left eye; this is the measurement for the distance PD. For the near PD, open both of your eyes. Instruct the patient to follow your finger to your nose. Without moving the ruler, note the position of the outer limbus of the left eye. This measurement is the near PD.
Look in the patient's record, or check the patient's current eyewear. Stamped on the frame front, temporally or on the bridge, are two numbers with a square in between. The first number is the eye size, and the second is the bridge size. Ask the patient if the frame is comfortable. A good fitting frame should rest comfortably on the nose. Eye size should be large enough that the temples are straight back from the hinges; no impressions should be left on the temples of the patient's face. The top of the frame should be slightly farther away from the face than the bottom of the frame, and should not rock back and forth.
If the smallest size is too wide, or it does not rest on the patient s bridge (because the bridge is flat), adjustable nose pads can be ordered. Standard temple length is 4 1/2 inches (145 mm). There are two sizes printed on the temple; the first is from the hinge to the bend, and the second is from the hinge to the end of the temple. Use the first number when ordering and this will avoid confusion. A proper fitting temple is one that has the bend positioned on the top of the ear, or just slightly behind it.
The last measurement that may be needed is the segment height. Have the patient place the frame on his/her face, and ensure it is level. Have the patient look straight ahead. Using a PD ruler, measure for bifocals from the top of the lower eyelid to the bottom of the frame. For a trifocal, measure from the bottom of the pupil to the bottom of the frame. Be sure to measure for both eyes; segment heights may vary due to placement of frames on the patient's face.
Bureau of Medicine and Surgery
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