The basic steps to prepare yourself for ordering online are:
1. Get your eyes checked, so you have a full, up-to-date prescription
2. Have your eye doctor or assistant give you your PD measurement
3. Get some measurements of your existing frame(s)
4. Find a frame online
5. Choose your lens
6. Order and wait for your glasses to arrive.
It is recommended that you have your eyes checked every 1-2 years, for an up-to-date prescription. Make sure that after you have your exam, that you receive it from your doctor. Afterall, you have paid for this test and your prescription is rightfully yours.
Ask your eye doctor or assistant to help you record your PD (or Pupillary Distance) measurement on your prescription. This is a simple measurement that they can take which is the distance between the centers of your pupils and is recorded in millimeters. Your eye doctor normally would use a machine that can automatically record the PD measurement while you look into a binocular-like device. The average adult’s PD measurement is around 63mm while a child’s measurement is around 54mm. If you get a separate measurement for your right and left eye, simply add them up to get your PD measurement. If you need to measure your own PD, place a ruler (in mm) on the bridge of your nose and get someone to help you measure the distance between the centers of your pupils with your eyes looking into the distance. It is also possible to measure the PD by yourself or even by taking a photo of yourself while holding a ruler below the bridge of your nose.
Take some measurements of your existing frames, especially if you have a particular frame that you like. Oftentimes, you will notice that the measurements are stamped inside the temple or on the bridge. Usually, there are 3 measurements in such a form: 53 17-140. 53mm being the Lens Width, 17mm being the Bridge Distance and 140mm being the Temple/Arm Length. Another important measurement is the lens height which you should take manually. Some people prefer shorter lens heights while others prefer larger lens heights. Progressive eyeglasses should have a minimum lens height of 26mm. When choosing a frame online make sure the measurements of the frames you are perusing are similar to the measurements you have taken of some of your existing frames. But remember, the measurements do not have to be exactly the same. It is only a good guideline, so you do not get frames that are grossly too large or too small for your head size. If you don’t have any existing frames, or this is your first pair of eyeglasses, you may find a nice fitting pair or two at your local shop, and record the measurements down. Remember, the measurements should be stamped directly on the inside of the temples.
Look for a frame to purchase online, and take into consideration what style you are looking for. Frames come in several styles including: full frame, rimless or semi-rimless. You may also be particular when it comes to the material of the frame which can range from steel/alloy, acetate/plastic, bamboo, wood or titanium.
Input your prescription details onto the given form and choose the appropriate lens for your frames. If you don’t understand your prescription, send and e-mail to your online vendor to see if they can decipher it for you. As a general rule if your sphere power is between +6.00 to -6.00 you can use the mid-index 1.56 lens. For sphere powers between +6.00 to -8.00, thin index 1.61 lens may be appropriate. For sphere powers between +8.00 and -12.00, high index 1.67 lens are recommended. Ultra high index 1.74 lens may be needed for more extreme sphere powers due to the thinness of the lens. Your lenses should include, anti-reflection coating, anti-glare, anti-scratch and UV coating. If you require additional lens surfacing, such as Photochromic lenses that darken when exposed to the sun’s UV rays or need Polarization, you may ask your vendor if they offer this service.
Order your glasses and use a credit card or payment service such as PayPal for a convenient transaction. Your glasses should arrive at your doorstep within 4 to 10 business days of your order being shipped. For some special prescriptions the lenses may take several days to process before being shipped out. In any event, it is always wise to be patient. Your order will arrive and you will be pleased at the amount of money you saved and what a great experience it is to order online.