Buying Eyewear Online vs. Buying Eyewear In-Person

If you need to use prescription eyewear to see clearly, you definitely aren’t alone. According to the Vision Council, an estimated 75% of adults use some sort of vision correction, with around 64% choosing glasses and 11% opting to wear contact lenses, either exclusively or in conjunction with glasses.


Glasses are a great choice for prescription eyewear. With so many to choose from, it’s fairly easy to find a pair that suits your budget, your face, and your style. In the past, it was a given that you would visit your eye doctor to pick your frames and lenses and have your glasses fitted. However, that’s no longer necessarily the case. With the COVID-19 global pandemic having changed the way in which we do many things, many people are surprised to learn that they can now buy glasses online as well as in-store. 


How Does Buying Glasses Online Work?

Buying glasses online is a lot like ordering anything else. The first thing is to narrow down the retailer that you wish to buy from. Your regular eye doctor may have their own online store and many people who buy online prefer to do so from a tried and trusted provider, rather than a retailer that is online-only.


Once you’ve selected your retailer, you’ll be able to search the available frame styles and colors online, usually putting these into your virtual basket before moving onto lens options. This is equally as important since there are many lens types, and some may be more suited to you than others. For example, anti-glare lenses are recommended for people who do a lot of driving, while extra-durable lenses are a great choice for people who play sports or work in certain environments.


At some point in the process, you’ll also need to enter your prescription information. This will be available on the paperwork provided by your eye doctor. It’s essential that you enter this accurately, otherwise, your glasses will be wrong. You’ll also be asked to provide a measurement of the distance between your pupils which will help ensure that the lenses are placed properly in the frame and will align with your eyes correctly when worn.


Once you are satisfied everything has been entered correctly, you’ll be able to check out and order your new glasses!


How do I Know if My Glasses Will Suit Me if I Buy Online?

For many people, this is the main difficulty with buying glasses online. When you are going to be spending a lot of time wearing glasses, you want them to suit you and to flatter your appearance. When you buy in-store, you get the benefit of trained professionals helping you to choose glasses that both look attractive and fit well.


That’s not to say that online stores aren’t trying to replicate this. Many have developed a ‘virtual fitting’ element on their website that enables you to upload an image of your face and see different glasses superimposed onto it. Some even let you try on different glasses in 3D. However, as helpful as this can be, it doesn’t replicate the same experience as buying in-store.


What are the Benefits of Buying Eyewear In-Person?

Obviously, the biggest advantage of buying eyewear in-person is the one-to-one customer service you can expect to receive from your retailer. By being in-person, you can sit and discuss your preferences for eyewear with a trained and experienced professional who will be able to offer their valuable opinion as to the right choice of eyewear for you. They can provide different frames and colors for you to try on, as well as talk you through the different lens varieties and your lifestyle to help you choose the best type for your eyewear.


Accuracy is another key benefit of buying eyewear in person. A large percentage of glasses bought online are estimated to have issues, from incorrect prescriptions caused by human input error, to a poor fit. It’s also very hard to measure your own pupil distance accurately, whereas the team at your retailer can do this precisely on your behalf. If you make any mistakes, you may not be eligible to return your glasses meaning that you could end up having paid for prescription eyewear that’s not effective, and, in some cases, could even cause you more problems with your vision.




Find out more about the pros and cons of buying eyewear online or in-person today by speaking to our experienced team at Drs. Dobbins & Letourneau Eye Care in Lawrence, Kansas. You can call us at (785) 843-5665 today.

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