Optometrists ensure your glasses and contact lenses properly correct your vision and attend to your eye health needs, as well as suit your fashion sense.
Our dispensaries offer a wide variety of frame, lens and contact lens styles and brands. However, not all glasses or contact lenses are created equal. Some eyeglass lenses provide clearer vision; some are more scratch or impact resistant. Contact lenses come in different sizes, shapes and materials that can provide greater comfort, allow more oxygen to your eyes, or provide a better fit.
Buying your eyewear from a doctor of optometry will ensure your glasses and contacts are professionally fitted to provide optimal vision, comfort and eye health. Contact lenses that don’t fit correctly, or are not properly used and cared for, can cause serious damage to your eyes.
Your prescription, provided by your doctor of optometry, is only one piece of information that is used to determine the final composition of, and how well you see with, your new eyewear. During the normal process of selecting and being properly fitted for your new eyeglasses, your optometrist will determine a number of things to make sure your new purchase is properly custom made to give you clear and comfortable vision, while ensuring sure you look great.
Please be aware of the many risks associated with purchasing contact lenses or glasses online. A studyfound that almost half of eyewear ordered online failed at least one parameter of optical or impact testing.
Working with your doctor of optometry from the initial optometric eye exam to the final fitting ensures you receive accurate, quality-manufactured eyewear best suited for your eyes and your lifestyle.
Buying Contact Lenses Online
Purchasing contact lenses online comes with risks to your vision and eye health. It is important to remember that every contact lens product is unique and designed for a particular purpose. This includes everything from material, curvature, fit, oxygen permeability, deposit resistance, moisture content and lifespan.
Use only the care system recommended by your doctor of optometry. You should see your optometrist yearly to monitor the health of your eyes and receive personal consult on your contact lens needs. This includes seeking immediate care if you experience any discomfort or vision change, and reporting any problems that may arise.
Please be advised: just because you have a prescription (new or old) does not mean you will get the appropriate product for your unique eyes, unless you make your purchase from an eyecare professional. Remember that contact lenses are medical devices that sit directly on your eyes and can cause problems if improperly fit or monitored.
There are a number of risks associated with online ordering:
- Some sites do not verify the prescription. Without proper verification, one risks wearing an optically incorrect or improperly fitting lens.
- Many online sites (including those based in Canada) sell products that have not been approved by Health Canada. The safety of these lenses has not been tested.
- Lenses from overseas may be exposed to large temperature changes in uncontrolled warehouses or transportation vessels. This can affect the integrity of the lenses that can lead to potential eye health issues.
- Overseas distribution channels may have grey market (counterfeit) product. There are no controls to ensure that Internet sites only source lenses directly from the manufacturer.
- Replacement and exchange privileges may not be available with an online vendor.
By working with your doctor of optometry, you can ensure:
- The proper contact lens prescription, curvature, and modality based on lifestyle needs, and measurements of your eye curvature, tear chemistry, and prescription.
- The appropriate selection of care system and solutions based on compatibility with different lens materials and compatibility with your eyes.
- Professional monitoring to ensure optimum eye health, good vision, and comfortable wear.
- Updates with new lens technology that may better suit your particular vision needs or lifestyle demands.
Buying Glasses Online
If you have thought about purchasing your next pair of prescription eyeglasses online, there are a few things you need to know.
Ordering eyeglasses online may seem easy, but it is very different than ordering your average consumer item. It is important to know that your optometrist is trained in the proper fitting, measuring, manufacturing and dispensing of eyewear. When ordering online, the untrained consumer is, in essence, taking on the role of a trained optical dispenser. This includes taking critical measurements and making critical decisions with respect to frame, lens and material selection. There is an inherent risk associated with making these determinations without the proper skills and education. Your prescription given to you by your doctor of optometry is only one piece of information that will determine how well you see with your new eyewear. During the normal process of selecting and getting properly fit for your new eyeglasses, your optometrist is determining a number of things to make sure your new purchase is custom made to give you clear and comfortable vision while making sure you look great. Some of those things include:
- Accurately measuring the distance between your pupils so that your new lenses will be properly located in the new frames relative to your eyes;
- Selecting the right size of frame for you;
- Selecting the right shape of frame for you;
- Determining what curvature of lens to use;
- Determining what type of lens material to use;
- Determining what coatings to use on your lenses that best suit your needs;
- Determining the height to place the optical center of the lens in your frames;
- Measuring how high to place the bifocal or progressive (if you wear a multifocal lens); and
- Properly adjusting the frame to your face.
If all of the above are not chosen specifically for you, it’s not uncommon to have problems with your eyewear that may be immediate or develop after using your new eyeglasses for an extended period of time. Common complaints regarding improperly ordered or fit eyewear can include headaches, fatigue, an “eye pulling” sensation, nausea, as well as pain or pressure marks on your nose or around your ears.
A September 2011 study by a research professor at Pacific University College of Optometry in Oregon found that 44.8% of eyewear ordered online failed at least one parameter of optical or impact testing. In addition, 28.6% were out of optical tolerance. As a consumer, you have a number of choices when it comes to purchasing eyewear, including online. Working with your optometrist from the initialoptometric eye exam to the final fitting will ensure you receive accurate, quality manufactured eyewear that is best suited for your eyes and your lifestyle.