Buying Glasses Online

Online shopping isn’t the devil and we’re not here to tell you that it is 😛
The convenience of online shopping is undeniable!

But some things in this world still benefit from the human touch, and we feel eyewear is one of them.

Like everything, it comes down to making an informed decision, and we hope that this article is at least some food for thought!

6 things you miss out on when purchasing eyewear online

1. Accurate Measurements

Precise measurements are required to ensure your glasses work properly with your prescription.

Not taking these measurements correctly will ultimately cause your lenses to focus light on your retina incorrectly, leaving you with blurry vision (or even a sense of nausea if you have a mild-to-strong astigmatism).

Some lenses even require ultra-precise measurements that can only be done in-store, so you basically also lose out on different lens choices online.

Truth be told: some prescriptions are mild enough that these measurements need not be overly precise (2-3mm off won’t affect much)…

But: … often, a prescription requires precision down to the 1 or half-millimeter! And that’s just for pupilar distance. If your prescription has prism or a high cylinder (for astigmatism) there are other measurements that need to be taken and later verified.

2. Quality Assurance by a Registered Optician

A Registered Optician keeps an eye on where your product comes from, and ensures it meets quality standards. We put your glasses through a 16-point check (or more, depending on the type of eyewear). I don’t get that from my mechanic.

Truth be told: I have seen some good glasses come from online sources…

But: …I have also seen glasses purchased online with:

  • one lens made of a different material than the other
  • one lens with anti-glare coating and one without
  • huge axis issues
  • thicker-than-necessary lenses given material and Rx
  • poor fit of lenses in the frame
  • Most common issue:
    • PD, Axis, Aesthetics of edging (cutting lenses into frame)

More on the sorts of quality checks we perform can be found in How Your Glasses Are Made

3. Access to Personalized Fittings

There are several options when fitting your lenses into your frames based on how you plan to use your glasses.

Do you golf? Play pool? Are you a welder that has to look up a lot when doing your work? Does your workstation have several computers?

The different fittings required for these special uses (i.g. height and corridor considerations) don’t cost anything. They’re simply part of the conversation when dealing with an actual human 😉

4. Complimentary Fittings and Adjustments

Glasses need to be adjusted–often. 

It’s not about the quality of the frame; it comes down to the fact that glasses go through a lot of wear! (See here for tips on caring for your eyewear)

Unadjusted glasses will be uncomfortable and begin to hurt after some time.

Symptoms of unadjusted glasses:

  • Areas of the face feel pinched (nose, behind the ears)
  • Glasses keep sliding down the nose
  • The nosepieces are discoloured or bent
  • Glasses feel unbalanced
  • Difficulty finding distance/reading areas in progressives
  • Blurry vision and headaches

Buying in-store gives you access to free, unlimited adjustments for your eyewear. After all, you paid for your glasses–why not have them look and feel great?

5. A Professional Opinion

Do you know which coatings are hydrophobic or which blue-light filters are already built right into the lens? Do you know what a free-form lens is and if you really even need one?

Having a Registered Optician in your corner is the difference between paying blindly for something you may or may not need and getting a tailored, quality product that covers your personal needs and budget.

Also, since we sit and look at frames and faces all day, our professional opinion will also keep you looking up-to-date and stylish!

6. Long-term Care

With each new prescription, your Optician can track your vision. 

Not always, but sometimes there are tell-tale signs, or red flags that jump out to an Optician. Little hints let us know if you’re developing a dominant or weak eye, if cataracts are in your near future, or if sudden changes to your vision may be cause for further concern or investigation.

The Take-home Message:

Putting together a pair of glasses is not a process to be taken lightly. That’s why Registered Opticians are trained and licensed, and keep up-to-date with new lens technologies though continuing education and re-certifications.

If price is an issue, talk to us. Let us know what your budget is. You’d be surprised at the range in products that an independent can offer.

And if quality and service are also priorities, please please PLEASE see a local Registered Optician (whether or not it’s us!)

Thanks for reading!