Thinking about buying your glasses online? Or from a big chain? Read this:

Have you ever bought or thought about buying your eyeglasses and sunglasses online? Ever wonder if this is doing damage or causing further issues for your eyes?
One of our most popular Facebook posts in recent past was titled 10 Reasons to Avoid Cheap Glasses (see article here:

The reason it was so popular is easy to see (pun intended!) – everybody likes to save some money. But do you know why those glasses are so cheap? Probably not.

Typically with those online and large chain glasses quality is much lower than with a private retail optical – the frames are mass-produced with cheaper materials. This also means that if your frame breaks or needs a lot of adjustment it is likely to not be fixed or even possible to adjust. With a quality frame, replacement parts, fixes, and multiple adjustments can often be made without consequence. These issues may seem small but the details make all the difference.

The bigger issue with quality actually relates to the lenses. Cheaper lenses are often old technology or old designs. Even some large chains will say they are selling brand name lenses but often the lines of lenses being sold are not the “professional” lenses being sold at private retailers. This means that the scratch coating and/or anti glare coating you paid for are not as good as what a private office would sell. Same goes for prescription and clarity in the lenses – prescription is often not as exact and the clarity will decrease due to cheaper materials. Prescription and fitting are probably the two most common issues we see with online glasses. Some prescriptions need to be very exact – even moving or twisting a lens 1 degree can make or break a prescription. Those places you are ordering glasses from online? They aren’t as precise as a private retail optical would be. Sometimes that means more issues adjusting to the glasses, more eyestrain, or making your prescription worse and sometimes that means you aren’t seeing as well as you should be. Also, when you order those glasses online and give them measurements they are not likely to be in the proper placement as nobody is measuring with the frame on your face and fitting the frame where it should be prior to those measurements. Having a licensed optician fitting your glasses ensures that you pick a frame that fits properly, fits your face properly, and ensures that your prescription is made accurately as well as that all fitting measurements are exactly where they should be in that lens. Lenses and frames fitting properly with proper measurements = increased clarity and less eyestrain.

All the same things above apply to sunglasses as well and some even more so. Sunglasses can be even worse for your eyes if you are not buying a good quality pair. Why? When you put dark glasses of any kind over your eyes your pupils (the black parts of the eyes) adjust by getting larger to allow more light to come into the eyes so that you can focus better. If you are using poor quality sunglasses your pupil is allowing more bad wavelengths of light in that can damage the eyes. Good quality sunglasses do more than just provide 100% UV protection – they also protect your eyes from violet and blue light wavelengths of light – the kinds that can also cause damage.

Moral of the story? When it comes to online glasses and large retailers – you get what you pay for. A private retailer and a licensed optician will be able to help you pick the perfect frames and lenses for your needs and give you the comfort and clarity you deserve. Your eyes will thank you.

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