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Whether it is your first time to buy and use a dental loupe or you have been using it for years, you will need to adjust it from time to time to meet your requirements. Today, we are going to talk about how to properly adjust your dental loupes.
We will split this post into two different parts since we have two different types of loupes available- the TTL loupes and the flip-up loupes.
Adjusting the through the lens loupes
Through the lens (TTL) loupes are custom made to fit your needs and requirements. The optical barrels are drilled directly into the carrier lens and all your requirements such as your interpupillary distance and prescription are also already built into it. -The optical barrels are also angled in a position that will provide you a better view of your area of focus and allow minimal forward head tilt. Needless to say, you do not need to adjust the PD, angle of declination, and prescription (if you have any) manually as they are already fixed into your loupes.
As for the prescription, you may need to have it adjusted whenever needed. Your prescription may change over the years and if you have it added to your loupes, you may also need to have it adjusted. You may contact your loupe manufacturer so they can do the necessary adjustment for you. But first, you need to see your ophthalmologist or optometrist know your latest prescription.
To fit the loupes into the size and shape of your face/head, you simply need to adjust the earpieces. The earpieces of the Schultz loupes are bendable and can be adjustable to any angle.
The nose piece is also made bendable and adjustable so it would be easier for you to fit it into your nose or perhaps to adjust them at your desired position for enhanced comfort.
To let your loupes sit higher on your nose, simply bring the nose pads closer to each other. To keep the loupes a distance away from your eyes, bring the nose pads farther from each other. For those with a wider nose bridge, you can just open the nose pads and adjust them to fit your needs.
Adjusting flip-up loupes
Unlike TTL loupes, flip-up loupes need to be adjusted manually to fit your needs especially in terms of interpupillary distance and angle of declination.
* Installing the head strap
First, take the head strap and install it on the earpieces. To install the head strap, simply slide the ends into each of the earpieces. Keep sliding down with steady pressure until you reach the portion where the strap begins in the earpiece insert. This may need a little pushing.
* Adjusting the nose pads
The next adjustment that you need to do is the nose pads. Schultz nose pads are bendable and can be adjusted depending on whether you want the frames to sit higher on your nose or sit further down on your face.
If you want the frame to sit further down on your face, simply bring the nose pads apart. Whilst, if you want the frame to sit higher on your nose, you can just squeeze the nose pads together.
Moreover, if you have a thinner nose bridge, you will have to bring the nose pads closer to each other. Or, if you have a wider nose bridge, you can open the nose pads so your nose will fit perfectly.
* Fitting the frame into your face/head
The next thing you should do is to fit the frame into the shape and size of your face/head. Schultz optical loupes also come with a pair of bendable earpieces. This makes it easier to have the frame perfectly fit your face. To do this, simply adjust the bendable earpieces in an angle according to what your needs are. Once done, you can proceed to adjusting the optical barrels.
* Adjusting the interpupillary distance
Before adjusting the loupes, you will need to remove the lens covers. You also need to remove those covers every time you use the loupes and put them back once not in use. The lens covers are designed to protect the lens of the loupes.
Check the location of the PD adjustment knob. In Schultz optical flip-up loupes, the PD adjustment knob is located on the top portion of the hinge mechanism. The knob will bring the optical barrels closer or farther apart. What you want to do is to adjust it before using the loupes to match with your interpupillary distance.
If you wear the loupes for the first time, fold the telescopes down and line up your pupils with the line that passes through them. One major advantage of flip-up loupes is that they offer a lot of range of PD adjustments, making it possible to cater to many different users. You can choose to bring the telescopes or optical barrels just underneath your pupils, or perhaps let them sit a little further from your eyes or in any position you would like.
To start with, bring the optical barrels completely out and farther apart from each other to the maximum extent. Look at your hands at a distance or position that’s similar to your operating field.
Looking through the loupes, you will see two different circles with different images. This is because the optical barrels are positioned away from each other. What you are going to do next is to hold and turn the PD adjustment knob and slowly bring the optical barrels closer until such time the images become concentric and you have only one circle of vision through both loupes at once.
* Adjusting the angle of declination
The next thing you should do is to adjust the angle of declination. Another great thing about flip-up loupes is that you can easily adjust the angle of declination manually by simply moving the optical barrels up and down. Before doing so, make sure that you are sitting or standing in an upright, neutral position. Then adjust the optical barrels to the most comfortable angle. The ideal angle of declination is 20 degrees or less. This angle provides you a better view of the focus area and requires only minimal downward head tilt while still keeping a neutral, upright, and comfortable sitting or standing position.
* Adjusting the working distance
The dental loupes are made with specific working distance. And your loupes also come with the measurement of your working distance. So, there is really no need to adjust the working distance.
However, in order to see a clearer image in crisp detail, you have to move your hand up and down while you are still sitting in an ergonomic posture. Continue moving your hand up and down until such time you see the image more clearly. If you still can’t, try to gently and slightly turn the PD adjustment knob again.
Once you are able to perfectly visualize the area of focus with much more clarity and the telescopes are already set with your PD, tighten up the screw underneath to hold the position.
After doing above-mentioned steps, your new loupes are already well-adjusted and you can now use them.
Adjusting yourself to working with dental loupes on
If it is your first time to use the dental loupes, you may face difficulties as you go through the learning curve regardless of whether you are using TTL loupes or flip-up loupes. But as you continue to get accustomed to using the loupes, you will notice that these initial difficulties will slowly fade away.
For starters, it is advisable not to use the loupes for a couple of hours straight right away. The best practice to getting through the learning curve is to use the dental loupes for 10 to 20 minutes only and then operate with normal vision and without the loupes for a few hours. Then use the loupes again, remove them after 10 to 20 minutes, and do the normal operation. Do this for the entire first week.
On the next week, you can increase the time you wear and work with the loupes. For instance, use them for 30 to 40 minutes each time. Gradually increase the time until you are totally adjusted to working with loupes.
Please note though, that it is normal to see a blurry image as you move the optical barrels closer or farther apart or up and down. This is because you are still trying to adjust the loupes to match your PD and the ideal declination angle. And, you have not adjusted your working distance yet.