Top 10 Questions and Answers About Loupes

ErgoPractice News – Jan/Feb 2024
By Jin Chang PhD


When making a purchase, particularly one that can have a positive impact on your health and well-being, it’s only natural to have questions. To assist you in making informed decisions, we’ve compiled a list of 10 questions and our responses. However, we understand that each person’s needs and concerns are unique. If you find yourself with additional questions that haven’t been covered in this month’s issue of ErgoPractice News, feel free to reach out to your local representative. To learn who your local rep is, click here, or to reach out to your international distributor, click here. Your health and satisfaction are our top priorities, and we’re here to ensure you make a confident and well-informed loupe choice.

Question #1

What are working distance caps and the benefits they provide?

Answer: SurgiTel’s patented working distance caps (Figure 1) allow clinicians to change their working distance (the length between the loupes and the subject area) for varying procedures or they can be used to increase the reading Rx power. Working distance caps are very beneficial to clinicians because they help to reduce the maintenance costs and minimize downtime due to sending in your loupes to get the working distance adjusted due to the natural aging of eyes.

Figure 1: Working distance caps for Galilean and prismatic loupes.

Question #2

What are some important factors to look for when purchasing loupes?

Answer: Efficiency: A larger field of view allows the user to see more of the patient or work area, reducing the need to reposition themselves or the patient.

Comfort: It contributes to ergonomic comfort, as it reduces the need for excessive head movement which can lead to neck and back strain or musculoskeletal disorders. Our adjustable nose pad options help to evenly distribute the weight of the loupe across the nose bridge as well as prevent common fitting issues, leading to a more comfortable fit.

Depth of field: By having an optimized depth of field, you may be able to work faster, easier and more comfortably. With proprietary optical designs and assembly technology, SurgiTel can achieve a greater depth of field across all magnifications. To learn more about depth of field and how to maximize it in your loupes, you can read the October 2018 issue of ErgoPractice News.

Question #3

What is my ideal working distance?

Answer: Working distance is tailored to the individual, such as if you are sitting or standing, whether your posture is ergonomic, and your height. For example, the working distance for a shorter clinician will be smaller when compared to the working distance of a very tall clinician. On average, we have found that someone who is 5′1″ will have a working distance of 15″, someone who is 5′ 8″ will have a working distance of 18″, and someone who is 6′ 1″ will have a working distance of 20″. A discrepancy of just a few inches can have a significant impact on your comfort and health.

Note: With an increase in the working distance, an increase in magnification is needed to see the same amount of detail (Figure 2). With a longer working distance we recommend increasing your magnification. If you are currently working in a non-ergonomic posture when you change to a more upright posture your working distance will increase.

Figure 2: The same visual size of an object shown at different magnifications. 

Question #4

What are the benefits of the Ergo Fit Nose Pad (EFNP) system?

Answer: With the EFNP system, the space between the oculars and eyes can be optimized, eliminating most fitting issues such as eyelashes touching the oculars, fogging lenses, and peripheral vision being blocked by the oculars. Additionally, the weight of the loupes can be distributed over the nose bridge evenly.

Our nose pad design allows for greater adjustability and fine-tuning, so the clinician can truly customize their fit and get the very most out of their loupes. SurgiTel provides a choice between silicone and rubber nose pads to accommodate individual preferences.

Question #5

SurgiTel offers a wide range of loupe types. Which loupe type will work best for me?

Answer: This will depend on what you are trying to accomplish. Front-Lens-Mounted (FLM) loupes allow the clinician to adjust anything and everything. This means that if you are a veterinarian you can adjust your loupes so you are working ergonomically on every patient, big or small. FLM loupes could also serve as a pair of backup loupes for the office, as their adjustability makes them truly ergonomic for anyone, provided there is either no prescription or a minimal one.

Through-the-Lens (TTL) loupes are custom to your face and facial features. They offer the widest field of view out of all our mounting options. Our hybrid TTL loupes give you the flexibility of a steep declination angle without the limiting vision that is experienced with deflection loupes. SurgiTel hybrid loupes also offer a more natural vision compared to deflection loupes. To learn more about our hybrid TTL loupes, click here.

The ErgoDeflection loupes offer the best possible ergonomic positioning and is customized to allow the user to work in an optimized working posture.

Question #6

As a surgeon, I perform certain procedures standing up and others sitting down, each with a different working distance. What would you recommend?

Answer: Consider utilizing our working distance caps to effortlessly tailor your working distance, promoting ergonomic work whether you’re seated or standing. Surgeons can use the same loupes for detailed exams with shorter working distance caps and regular procedures with longer ones, promoting good posture in any situation. SurgiTel’s interchangeable working distance caps allow surgeons to tailor their working distance for various procedures.

Question #7

My lenses are fogging up, what are your recommendations?

Answer: To help reduce fogging, first adjust the Ergo Fit Nose Pads by pulling the nose pad arms away from the frame. If this does not help, see our cleaning tip below.

Cleaning Tip: Wet a cleaning cloth, put standard dish soap on the cloth. Rub the dish soap into the cloth, then set it aside to fully dry. Use your breath to fog up the lens, then using the dried cleaning cloth clean your lens as normal.

Question #8

What is the benefit of sending my loupes in for a tune up? How often should this be done?

Answer: Over time your loupes may need a detailed cleaning and alignment inspection, this can catch issues such as a misaligned ocular that could cause eye fatigue and headaches. Neglecting the maintenance of loupes can lead to frequent repairs, premature replacements, and compromised performance, all of which can have significant financial implications. Because SurgiTel loupes have small replaceable parts, it allows us to offer a Tune Up program to help clinicians maintain their loupes and keep them in great condition (click here to learn more). To keep loupes working like new we recommend that clinicians send their loupes in for a tune up at least once a year. By understanding and implementing this practice, clinicians can prolong the lifespan of their loupes, maximize their efficiency, and ultimately achieve substantial savings in the long run.

Question #9

If I wear 2.5x readers, and I am interested in 2.5x loupes, shouldn’t I go higher in magnification?

Answer: No, loupe magnification is linear and you reading glasses are diopter. The difference being, with diopter you are not enlarging the image by the number on your lens (I put on my +2 readers and show that my ring is not 2x its original size, but with my readers on I can see the ring at an appropriate distance instead of having to hold my hand very far away to see it more clearly). With linear magnification, you are enlarging the image by that number. And linear allows you to have that detail at a distance that supports an ergonomic position.

Question #10

I don’t have a real prescription; I only wear readers. Do we need to include that in the loupes?

Answer: Yes! The loupes respond the same way our eyes do to a reading add. For instance, if you don’t have your readers on, do you have to hold something farther away to see it better? Yes. The loupes will be the same. If I measure you for 18” and we don’t include the reading add in building the oculars, you will probably have to back up to 20/21” to see clearly. Loupes are made for 20/20 vision. Without the Rx your working distance will not be correct.