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Should I Buy My Glasses Online?

Thursday, March 20, 2014 @ 07:03 AM
Author: Amit Mathur

Purchasing glasses online can seem like a more convenient way to buy as opposed to at a brick-and-mortar store, especially with such a large selection at your fingertips. It makes perfect sense, since most items can be quickly and safely delivered to your home without a single issue. However, don’t let the free shipping and discounts sway your choice because there are a few things you need to consider first. Read on to find out more about why buying glasses online isn’t necessarily better than going to the store or optician to choose a pair.

Finding the Perfect Fit

While it might be easy to purchase a video game, toaster, shirt or handbag from an online shop, remember that eye glasses require customization. This involves a complex and detailed process of shaping, polishing and edging the lens to ensure the proper thickness, curve, angle and wrap. If you buy glasses at an optician, the lenses will be customized for your eyes and generally high quality. With an online purchase, there’s no way of knowing how the glasses were handled or finished, and at what quality level. The frames are also customized. If the frames are too big, they can slide down or move around. Small frames might squeeze the sides of your head, or rub the bridge of your nose or behind your ears. Both of these things are a real annoyance and might cause headaches and eye strain. The frames should be a certain distance and the center should align with the center of your pupils. While you can find this measurement yourself, it might be difficult and frustrating to do so.

Matching the Lens Prescription

If you have your current prescription handy, you can choose or enter the information when you purchase the glasses online. While it seems convenient, there are often times that the company gets the prescription wrong or won’t have your specific prescription available. Since the process for finishing lenses is very precise, a small mistake can leave you unable to see properly and returns aren’t that easy to do. It would be extremely annoying to have to make a trip to the post office to ship back glasses that don’t have the proper lenses, since the entire purpose of ordering online was to avoid an extra trip. If you are ordering your glasses online, read the return policies carefully to prevent a headache in the future if you aren’t satisfied with your purchase. Many times, you’ll have to pay return shipping.

Special Considerations

One of the biggest pluses of buying glasses at an optometrist is the experience and knowledge they can offer you. If you are undecided, the optometrist might be able to recommend you certain styles that work well with your face shape and features. If you need a stronger prescription with heavier lenses, they might able to provide you with recommendations that provide more comfort without sacrificing style. An optometrist is there to assist you in the process, so you’re more likely to be satisfied with your selection in the future. If you wear bifocals or require special lenses for astigmatism, the chances of a perfect match with your prescription are not ask likely with an online purchase. You’ll have to answer more questions and provide more information, which can be confusing and result in an inaccurate match.

Styles and Choices

If you purchase your glasses online, you’ll likely have hundreds of thousands of choices at your disposal. Even though this is a big benefit, there is one big drawback to this – you can’t try them on. Some companies offer features that allow you to upload a photo of yourself to “try on” the glasses, but it’s not the same as looking at yourself from different angles. A photo is a flat view of yourself, and you won’t be able to see the subtle nuances and dimension or depth of your features when viewing the glasses in a photo. In addition, you can ask others for their opinion when trying on the glasses, and you might get a few suggestions. You’ll also be able to feel the weight of the frames, as well as compare comfort between pairs. Some sites might not have the best quality photos, so you might be surprised when you receive the package in the mail and the glasses aren’t exactly what you expected.

How Safe Are Eyeglasses that Were Ordered Online?

In many cases, eyeglasses ordered online don’t match with the prescription given. This can be a real problem, causing headaches, eye strain and blurry vision. In some cases, the lenses don’t meet the recommended impact resistance specifications, so that can be a dangerous situation if your lenses were to break. It is possible to have the glasses you ordered online adjusted at an optometrist. While not all glasses that you can buy online are unsafe, you’re more likely to encounter this type of problem that at an optician. If you’re skeptical of the quality of an online purchase, take them to an optician for adjustments. Remember, though, that all optical retailers are created equal. There are many corporate, independent and private practices out there and they all provide varying levels of service, so do some research before choosing one to visit. You can look online for reviews or ask friends and family to suggest an optician.

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