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Before You Buy Your Glasses Online. Read Me.

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Ever buy online glasses and wonder if you’re doing the right thing for your eyes? Sure, you will spend 20 bucks and save money, but there’s a reason why my glasses are better than yours. Well, if you bought them online that is.

The glasses I prescribe and sell at my practice are markedly better than anything you can get online. There are quite a few things that go into the “right” glasses. And the purpose of getting the right glasses is to solve a problem, to be comfortable and to provide clarity. How many times have I heard how my patients can’t see likety split with their glasses while driving at night?! Cringe. Car crash.

  1. First the right frame has to be selected. Can’t be too wide. Can’t be too tight. Also the way the frame sits on your ears and nose can affect the tilt of the lens, called pantoscopic tilt. So important to getting that lens properly positioned in front of your eyes for the best optics. Read: clarity.

  2. Lenses. There are so many options. An experienced optician will know what material to pick based on your prescription, eyeglass frame size and what you need them for. Also sometimes certain prescriptions don’t work with certain frames. Have coke bottled lenses? Well, there are tricks and ways to hide that. And BTW, those lenses from online shops? They cost $2 and not worth operating heavy machinery in.

  3. Computer Eyestrain. There are single vision lenses for computer eyestrain and there are progressive lenses for computer eyestrain. We do quite a bit of digital lenses for computer eyestrain, and in these cases, the measurements have to be accurate to the mm and done on each eye separately. Eyes never behave and tend to move around when these measurements are done. Again, an experienced optician will know what to do. Most importantly, what I’ve noticed quite a bit from online glasses (and el cheapo glasses for the matter) . . . the lenses are of such poor quality that they cause computer eyestrain. Ugh!

  4. Non-Glare lenses. Having a good quality anti-glare product on your lens will make computer work easier. Less strain when you’re seeing through beautiful optics and a crystal clear lens. The products sold on the internet are cheap, because you do get what you pay for. The coatings will peel off, scratch easily and cause eyestrain. Coatings offered at your optometrist’s office are so good, they come with a 2 year warranty. Non-glare coating scratched because you were a clutz and dropped them? No problem. An amazing optometrist hack  . . . We’ll fix it and not with just a new coating, but an entire set of brand new lenses.

So before you go online, think about what your eyes really need. Comfort. Clarity. Accuracy. And an added bonus . . . you’d be supporting your local small business where the money goes back into your community and jobs. Because, #shoplocal. Let’s do this!

PS: If you’re at Vision Expo West 2016, please stop by the We Love Eyes booth #23101. Would love to meet and collaborate on future blog post ideas.


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  • Written by Tanya Gill

    Dr. Gill is also a member of the Ocular Surface Society of Optometry. In addition to her Doctor of Optometry, Dr. Gill also has a BA in Integrative Biology and a BS in Vision Science, both from UC Berkeley. Go Bears!
    In 2015, Dr. Gill developed and founded We Love Eyes, which is a green cosmetics company that produces eyelid and eyelash cleansing products that are natural, non-toxic, and vegan.

    More Articles by Tanya Gill

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