Buying eyeglasses online might appear the natural thing to do, given all the other things that we now purchase this way, but you do need to be careful of a few points.
The traditional method of purchasing eyeglasses should ensure a good outcome. In an ideal world your optician takes all the necessary measurements, guides you through all the choices you need to make and the extras you can purchase. These include different types of lenses, different lens thicknesses, lens coatings and lens tints. When the eyeglasses are ready you return to collect them and the optician makes any adjustments necessary to make sure they fit properly. However in the real world it is in the optician’s interest to sell you as many upgrades as possible and the outcome can be a shock to your wallet.
If you have decided to get eyeglasses online the first thing you need is an up to date prescription. The web store will explain how to read the prescription and enter the details but if you have problems you can usually fax or email a copy. You will also need your PD measurement which is the distance between your pupils in millimeters. This is not usually included in a prescription but if you are having a new eye test done you can ask for it. It is very difficult to measure your own PD but web sites usually give instructions so you can get someone else to do it if necessary. Supplying the correct information will ensure that the eyeglasses supplied are the same as you would get anywhere else.
The advantages of purchasing eyeglasses online are:
- Large savings can be made – This is the major factor as savings of up to 70% can be made compared to purchasing in a bricks and mortar store.
- Larger choice of frames available – Web stores can stock a large range of frames as they are not limited by display space and have a large turnover.
- No Pressure – You can take as long as you want to decide on your frames and what extras you really need.
Disadvantages of purchasing online:
- You cannot try on the frames before buying – There is no one to advise you on what will work for you and be comfortable to wear. The best way to proceed is to base your choice on your existing frames and get something fairly close. They will have their size printed on them – three numbers indicating the lens width, bridge size and temple length in millimeters. Some sites allow you to upload a photo and then “try on” the frames to see how they will look.
- There is no one to adjust the frames when you receive them – sometimes it is necessary to make adjustments to ensure a proper comfortable fit. Web sites will offer advice but if an adjustment is necessary you will either have to do it yourself or seek help from a local optical store (who will likely charge a small fee).
Given the savings available it is well worthwhile buying eyeglasses online. If the points above worry you, you might consider trying out a store and the system by buying some basic eyeglasses first e.g. prescription sunglasses.
Although there are some disadvantages to buying eyeglasses online the same does not apply to buying contact lenses online. In this case you are always buying replacement lenses with the brand being part of the prescription. So here you get exactly the same product but at a much lower price.
You might also consider looking at how to improve eyesight naturally using eye exercises and dietary changes. This is somewhat controversial but has helped many people.