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Should I order my eyeglasses online?

Warning, Warning, Danger, Danger!

I wanted to touch base on what can be a very touchy subject for some people. I’ve worked in the Optical industry for about 10 years now, and I can tell you that in my honest opinion you should never order your eyeglasses online!

Here is why

Online definitely offers convenience from the comfort of your home. Armed with your prescription that you picked up at your local eye doctor, you are sitting snuggled up on your couch with your laptop poised and ready to search the web for the perfect pair of glasses to match your style and budget. Why not get your glasses online? You say to yourself, after all, you purchased all of your Christmas presents online and they were delivered to your home three months before the holiday! Now that is convenience. But be careful, ordering glasses online isn’t like ordering your sons playstation4 or getting the latest style of Joe’s Jeans your daughter has been telling you about for the past month.

Eyeglasses are a custom fit! Each pair should fit your face just right and meet your specific prescription requirements. Your Optometrist and Optician must work together to determine the proper requirements to ensure a proper fit and clarity of your new eyewear.

The truth is, there  really is a lot more that goes into a pair of glasses and it takes a lot of training, and continued education to fit a pair of glasses. There are lots of options. High index, Polycarbonate, Cr39, Trivex, Single Vision, Progressive, Lined Bifocals or Lined Trifocals, Computer Lenses- Single Vision or Multifocal, Ant-ireflective Coating, Transitions, Polarized or Tinted lenses? The list goes on and on.

Your Optician makes a  recommendation based on your visual needs, your personal style, your face shape, the frame measurements, your Pupillary Distance, and the length of progression or Seg Height in Multifiocal lenses. Your Online retailer cannot get this measurement correctly! You have to have the frame on your face and have a trained Optician get these measurements. Online retailers just guess at this and have no way to know if you will see correctly! And honestly if they cared, they wouldn’t sell eyeglasses online for this very reason.

How safe are they?

The following is from the AOA.

AOA Study Finds Issues With Safety, Prescriptions
When it comes to buying eyeglasses online according to a recent study by the American Optometric Association (AOA). Conducted last year with the Optical Laboratories Association and The Vision Council, the study discovered an alarming rate of problems with prescription compliance and impact resistance. Nearly half of the eyeglasses (44.8 percent) had incorrect prescriptions or safety issues.
Researchers had 10 individuals order two pairs of glasses, including pairs for both adults and children, from each of 10 of the most popular online optical vendors. In all 200 pairs were ordered, with frame styles chosen in the midrange options for each vendor, in varying frame materials, lens styles and prescriptions.
Only 154 pairs of the orders were received. The study
then analyzed lenses, including measurement of sphere power, cylinder power and axis, add power (if specified), separation of distance of optical centers and center thickness.
Several pairs were delivered incorrectly such as single vision instead of bifocals or lens treatments were added or omitted. Nearly three out of 10 (29 percent) pairs had at least one lens that failed to meet the required prescription, a problem typically found and corrected when ordered through and delivered by an optometrist. Nearly one-fourth (23 percent) of the lenses failed impact resistance testing, which highlights a major safety issue. Children’s glasses performed even worse, with 29 percent failing impact testing.

Is this enough to scare you?

As a mom to a six year old and two step children I am very frugal and I will go to the Dollar Store as much as I can to save a buck, but you will never catch me ordering mine or my children’s eyeglasses online!

– Amanda Heger Optical Manager/ Certified Optician