Shopping online can be extremely convenient. With a few clicks you can be comparing one price to another, and search for a cheaper or a higher-end option. You have an endless amount of styles at the end of your fingertips, and honestly, who wouldn’t love that? However, there are some things to take into consideration when purchasing frames online.
Everyone’s face shape is different, therefore, every order is a custom made item. When purchasing a pair of new glass frames, the buyer needs to keep in mind their face shape as well as the intent to which they need glasses. Just purchasing a pair of frames on a whim could lead to a pair of frames that do not fit right, or show your face in an unflattering way. Leaving you to revert back to your old frames while the new ones begin to collect dust.
The advantage to purchasing glasses at a traditional optical store is that you have an Optician standing by your side to guide you through the decision-making process. Opticians are there because they know the right questions to ask, and sometimes they can help you make the decision so smoothly that you aren’t even aware you had made a choice. Unfortunately when ordering online you will not have the same level of guidance, therefore, the decision process may be a bit more overwhelming.
None-the-less, the convenience of online buying may still peek interest with you. If you do decide to order glasses online there are a few things you need to keep in mind.
ACCURATE PD MEASUREMENT
In order to have the perfect fitting frames, there are a few measurements you will need to ensure that custom fit.
Pupillary Distance or PD is the measured distance between your pupils in millimeters. A PD measurement is used to determine the optical center of your eyeglass lens. The purpose of this measurement is to allow you to have the truest vision aligned with your pupils. For purchasing eyeglasses online you will need this measurement in order for your glasses to be customized to you. The simplest method is to have your optician take all your measurements for you before you venture online. Or you can take the plunge and dive into the online stores that provide you with step-by-step instructions on how you can measure your own PD in a mirror or with help from friends.
IMPORTANCE OF COMFORT
Although style is important when choosing glass frames, comfort is of utmost importance. If glasses are not measured to fit the bridge of your nose you may experience the frames being too large for you face and slipping. On top of being annoying, frames that slip may also cause frequent headaches because you are not looking through the optical centers of the lenses. While on the other hand, if your glass frames are too small you will experience pinching at the sides of your head right at your temples, or a discomfort on your nose and behind your ears. Which would be equally as annoying.
UNDERSTAND YOUR LENS MATERIAL OPTIONS
It is important to keep in mind that prescription strength and weight of lenses will also play a factor into whether your eyeglasses will be comfortable and look good. There are four different lenses that you can have your prescription made from.
Plastic: As the most economical choice plastic is recommended for those who have lighter prescriptions up to +/- 1.75.
Polycarbonate: Recommended for those with an active lifestyle or for children, as they are impact resistant. Polycarbonate lenses are great for prescriptions up to +/- 4.00.
High Index 1.67: High Index 1.67 lenses are 45% lighter than plastic lenses and are recommended for those who have prescriptions up to +/- 9.00.
High Index 1.74: High Index 1.74 is the thinnest and lightest material and are recommended to those who have high prescriptions.
UNDERSTAND YOUR LENS COATING OPTIONS
The purpose of anti-reflective coating is to eliminate glare caused by artificial light such as that produced from computer screens, headlights, and fluorescent lighting. The benefit of having this coating on your lenses is the reduction of eyestrain and fatigue. If you are an individual who works in front of a screen all day, this may be a great option for you.
UV coating will protect you from UVA and UVB rays, and will not change the appearance of your lens. This coating is important for the overall health of your eye.
PURCHASING BIFOCAL LENSES
Purchasing bifocals or progressive lenses online has additional challenges. Fitting for multifocal lenses requires additional measurements creating a very intricate process. Most online sites do not offer bifocal and progressive lens options due to the added steps. The limitations of online ordering may lead to you receiving a pair of lens that are not optimal for your visual needs. If you do decide to purchase your bifocal or progressive lenses online however, it may be a good idea to email and inquire about the ordering process.
Purchasing eyewear itself is very much an individual decision, as you will have the final say of which eyewear fits into your lifestyle best. If you do decide to go ahead with purchasing eyeglasses online just be sure to have all the proper measurements, and understand the full process.
If you would like to have your measurements a head of time, consult a Dr.D’Orio and Associates Eyecare Optician.