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Thinking of ordering glasses online?

In this day and age, you can order just about anything online; including eyeglasses.

But before you place that order for $8 eyeglasses, what should you consider?

Quality

There are quality options in all facets of life, from car companies to shoe manufactures… to eyeglasses. Of course you don’t expect your $10 tennis shoes from Walmart to last more than a year. But you do expect your $150 Nike shoes from Scheels to stand up to the test of time.

Same goes for glasses. There are frame materials that are cheap, bend easily, don’t hold their shape, and don’t hold lenses well. And there are frame materials that have been engineered specifically for eyeglasses.

There are lens materials that have a lot of distortions and reflections, and will scratch easily. And there are lens materials that offer crisp optics and good durability. For example, you notice if a mirror doesn’t have a quality reflection. You can tell it’s been cheaply made and thus causes distortions in the reflection, making you look taller than you are, or wider than you are. The same goes for optical lenses.

Cheap” and “Quality” are two attributes that do not go together.

Accuracy

We personally check every single eyeglasses order before it is given to the patient. We want to make sure what we ordered is what you are receiving, and making sure all of the measurements are correct. We’ll also fully adjust them to your face before you walk out the door.

If you order your glasses online …. Who is going to check to make sure you have the right prescription? Who is going to make sure your bifocal is in the right spot or make sure the lenses are centered for your vision? How are you going to fix the online glasses if something is not right? How much is shipping going to cost you to send them back and forth? Who is going to adjust the glasses for you? What sort of warranty do they have if they break in a week?

These are all things you have to consider with your eyewear if you choose to order them online and do-it-yourself.

Safety

This is probably the most important aspect to consider about online eyeglasses.

In order for companies to offer extremely cheap glasses, they are usually manufactured in other countries and then shipped to the U.S. When companies do this, they will often try to sneak by the safety regulations set forth by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI).

There are rules that eyeglass lenses have to follow. One such rule is the “drop ball test”. A 5/8 inch steel ball is dropped from 50 inches. The lens is supported by a neoprene ring. The lens must NOT break in order to meet the standard. Here is a video from Ray Ban that demonstrates this test (and see what happens to a lens that shatters from the test):

 

This is vital for your eye safety. If you are struck by an object, your glasses should serve as a protective barrier …. and not an additional projectile object. On a side note, safety-grade glasses used in various industries have even higher impact requirements they must meet.

Here’s what’s scary: In a report from the American Optometrist Association (AOA), some online companies have as many as 70% of its lenses fail the impact resistance tests (average of 45%) even though they claim to have certification, or had inaccurate prescriptions. One company even had every single one (100%) of their children’s lenses fail the impact resistance test. Is that what you want to put on your child’s face?

Online Eyeglasses are Buyer Beware

Consumers have the power to purchase their eyewear wherever they see fit. However, if you choose to purchase them online, remember that they are cheap for a reason. And are you are willing to take those risks?

 

 

Top image by Flickr user Alifiyan Rosyidi (location) used under Creative Commons Attribution-Sharelike 4.0 License. Image has been cropped and modified from original. Image rights state commercial use and modifications allowed when image was obtained on 1/16/18.

The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.