System For Ophthalmic Dispensing, Third Edition.
Clifford W. Brooks, Irwin M. Borish, Philadelphia, PA, Elsevier Butterworth-Heinemann; 2007. $109.00.
We both spend a large amount of time educating optometry students about ophthalmic lenses, frames, and dispensing, so we were delighted to have the third edition of this book cross our desks. It has been over a decade since the second edition was published and the field has progressed considerably in this time. Much of the material that appears in older textbooks has little relevance to modern practice. The authors concentrate on contemporary materials and designs and pay only lip service to topics such as glass and fused bifocals. Most of our review will highlight the differences from the previous edition. Specifically, we highlight the changes and how they will apply to practical applications.
Like the previous edition, the book is divided into two sections: the first on Ophthalmic Dispensing and the second on Ophthalmic Lenses. The photography in the new edition is in color and appears to be digitally enhanced allowing for more detail. This brings out the finer details which is really important since the textbook deals with small subjects and instruments. The color photography is an awesome addition and a clear improvement over the previous edition. Another important advance is the addition of reference arrows and dots to the photos and illustrations. These symbols help pinpoint the location at which adjustments are required and/or necessary. In the previous edition, the photos were black and white, sometime dark in nature, and the photo did not really explain the technique used. This change helps accomplish a better understanding of the method under discussion.
The new edition includes highlighted information boxes. This is new and we find it to be an excellent learning tool. Anyone needing a quick reference can go to the chapter, flip through, and quickly find the highlighted box representing the task at hand. These provide an excellent summary of a portion of the chapter covering the relevant task.
Chapter 8 includes an expanded section on rimless drillmounts which was much needed given the current prevalence of rimless frames. This is an important addition as the previous edition had limited illustrations regarding tool usage and technique. Chapter 10 has illustrations on how to hold a screwdriver. As simple as this may sound, using a screwdriver in the adjustment/repair process is an acquired skill and this added information will be extremely useful and is a welcome improvement.
Chapter 20 covers Progressive Addition Lenses and has many new or improved illustrations which help the novice better understand lens design. This is one of the most rapidly changing aspects of ophthalmic lenses and the text has been brought up to date removing information on discontinued lens styles, e.g., Sola Smart Seg, and adding new sections including free-form generating. An improved section on Near Variable Focus Lenses has been added.
Likewise, Chapter 21 on Anisometropia contains welcome changes. This section helps the reader to understand how an image appears to the patient—another excellent change from the previous edition. Details covered in this chapter will assist in designing and working with lenses to aid patients with this condition.
Chapter 24 on How Lenses are Edged is completely new to this edition and begins where chapter 5 leaves off. Chapter 5 covers ophthalmic lens decentration along with blank size and cut out issues. Chapter 24 has excellent detailed instruction and covers challenges a student may experience during fabrication and how to troubleshoot. We really appreciated this chapter.
The Chapter covering safety eyewear has been improved. The illustrations will help a student (especially a novice) better understand design and testing of safety lenses. An Appendix covering ANSI Z80.1 standards has been updated, improved, and is easier to read.
Overall, the third edition contains significant improvements. The two added chapters, Chapter 21 and Chapter 24, are most useful and the color photography has greatly improved the value of the book. We intend to use it as the primary text for our second year lectures and laboratories, recommending that all students purchase a copy. It will serve them well during their education and into their future professional careers.
Mark A. Bullimore
The Ohio State University College of Optometry