Common Questions When Ordering Glasses Online

The Internet has made our lives both easier and more complex. It opened up a world where we can shop from the comfort of our own home and has eliminated some of the risk factor previously associated with shopping online. Buying glasses online, while still a relatively new concept, has made the optical world turn on its head because the Internet created an environment for low prices and easy returns. Even though buying glasses online is through to be easier than traveling to your local eye doctor, there are still many questions associated with shopping for prescription glasses online. The information that follows helps answer the most common questions that occur when ordering glasses online.

What do I need in order to buy glasses online?
While every site is different, the three most common things you need are an updated prescription, a method of payment – usually a credit card or PayPal, and an address to ship them to. It’s important to note that you will need a prescription for eyeglasses – not a prescription for contact lenses. The two prescriptions are usually different so it’s important to ask your eye doctor for your eyeglasses prescription.

How do I find the right size frame?
You have two options: use your current frames as a guide if they fit well or ask your optician to measure you for glasses, then make sure he or she writes the numbers down. With either option, you’ll be left with three numbers. For this example, we’ll use the numbers 50, 17, 140. The number 50 tells me that my lens is 50mm wide – you can vary between 1-2mm in width on your lenses and still have a good fit. The number 17 tells me my bridge (nose piece) measures 17mm wide, you can go up or down 1mm on your bridge width but any more is not recommended. The last number, 140, tells me that my stems are 140mm long – if your temples fit well, do not change this number. If they feel loose, subtract 5mm. If they feel tight, add 5mm.

I don’t feel comfortable entering my prescription by myself, what do I do?
Most online optical stores give you the option to insert your prescription in one of three ways: through the site, via fax, or through a scanned copy sent by email. If the site you’re looking at doesn’t offer the other options, leave the site immediately and find another site to shop from. Once you fax or email your prescription, one of the optical technicians will take it from there. Before sending your prescription, double check to see if your doctor included your PD (pupil distance). If not, ask your doctor to tell you the number. Otherwise, you will wind up with the national average PD which is 63mm.

Buying glasses online doesn’t need to be complicated – just make sure that when you order glasses you have an updated prescription on hand before ordering. You can always use the site’s virtual mirror to try on the glasses before you buy them – it’ll help you see what the glasses may look like on your face. Additionally, check out the company’s return policy before ordering – just in case you don’t like the glasses, it’s helpful to know the return policy because every site varies and you’re buying a product that is made to fit your specific prescription, so the company may not give you a full refund.