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Should I Buy Glasses from My Optometrist?

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Optician putting a new pair of prescribed and quality eyeglasses on a female patient.

The convenience of online shopping has eliminated the need for people to go into stores to buy anything from groceries to eyewear. We understand the allure of buying glasses online, but there are a few things you should consider before clicking that “Proceed to Checkout” button.

As eye care professionals, it’s our responsibility to ensure that you continue to have crystal-clear vision during your annual eye exams. When you buy eyewear from online retailers, we can’t guarantee that you’re getting the best corrective options. 

You Can’t Try on Glasses Online

This is one of the more obvious reasons we recommend purchasing your glasses from an optometrist. We know many online retailers allow you to virtually try on glasses, but the results are unlikely to be very accurate.

Like when you see that great shirt online but when it shows up it fits you completely wrong, the same applies to your glasses. Some frames may look great on the model online, but your face shape can affect which glasses frames you choose, which can be easier to see in person.

After all, you’re going to be wearing your glasses most of the time. Going to your optometrist’s office will allow you to get a true sense of where your glasses sit on your face, as well as their comfort.

Online May Not Be Cheaper

The perceived lower cost is probably the most compelling reason for people to buy glasses online. Most people, however, are unaware that purchasing glasses from your trusted eye doctor isn’t only the best way to find a great pair of glasses but also results in lower costs, and excellent customer service before and after your purchase.

You can also find higher-end glasses online at a lower price, but the price difference is usually due to frame and lens quality. Online retailers can charge customers less because they mostly carry cheaper frames and spend less on labour.

However, “you get what you pay for” really applies here. Again, high-quality eyewear brands are available for purchase online, but for the most part, ordering glasses online results in lower-quality eyewear that doesn’t quite work as it should.

Many online sites appear to offer great deals, free shipping, and a desire to save you money, but there’s no way of knowing if that is the best price available. Only someone with extensive experience in the eye care industry can provide you with an accurate estimate of cost and quality.

A man feels eyestrain on eye glasses he bought online. He took off his eyeglasses, holding spectacles in his hands massaging his eyes, having blurry vision or sight problems.

Your Prescription Could Be Off

According to consumer studies, nearly half of the lenses ordered from online retailers arrive with some sort of error. Because online retailers may not be able to accommodate specific prescriptions, prescription errors are more common.

After entering all of your information and ordering glasses from an online retailer, you wait a few days and hope for the best. If the prescription is incorrect, you have to start the process of returning them and waiting for a new pair.

When you order glasses from your optometrist, they can check the prescription of the lenses before you take them home. And if there are any problems, they can be resolved right there.

Pupillary Distance

When you need glasses, your optometrist will measure your pupillary distance. The pupillary distance is the distance between the centres of one pupil and the other. 

When wearing glasses, the pupillary distance is critical for optimal vision. This is because your pupil should be perfectly aligned with the optical centre of every lens. If the measurement is off, the optical centre will still be at the centre of the lens, but it won’t line up with your pupil.

Instead, you’ll be using a different part of the lens, causing almost everything to be out of alignment. Your ability to focus properly may suffer as a result, and proper focussing is the goal of glasses! An incorrect pupillary distance can cause:

  • Headaches
  • Tired eyes
  • Blurry vision
  • Double vision
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea

Quality of Care After Your Purchase

When you order online, you always assume the risk of warranties and returns. Some online retailers are trustworthy and have a reasonable return policy, but this isn’t the case everywhere. Online shopping increases your chances of becoming a victim of a scam, and it can be difficult to distinguish between genuine bargains and outright lies.

When you buy eyewear in person, you have actual people to hold accountable if something goes wrong. If your glasses aren’t working for you or break due to a flaw, most optometry practices will correct the error and provide personalized care to fix and solve your problem.

Find Your Next Pair of Glasses at Total Focus Optometry

Your glasses are as distinct as you are. As enticing as it is to save money by ordering your glasses online, it’s important to consider the cost, which could be:

  • Your time
  • Your money
  • Proper vision

We always advise patients to purchase their eyewear from a physical store with an optometrist. This allows for accurate measurements to be taken, allowing you to fully benefit from the clarity and comfort of your new prescription.

If you need a new pair of glasses, schedule an appointment with us. We can show you a variety of frame options and ensure your prescription is accurately correcting your vision.

Written by Marley Jaxx

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