How to buy your next glasses online

The purpose of this article is simply to describe what you need to do to buy your first glasses online. I will not be recommending certain retailers as you can find that information in several of my other articles and also check out the links on the right side of this page. Buying glasses online may seem daunting at first. If you’re like me, buying and trying on prescription glasses has always seemed like a complex procedure best left to professionals. The truth is that if you know your prescription and have your existing rx goggles on hand, it is very easy to buy goggles online.

The seven critical numbers

First look up your current prescription. I keep mine in the health record in my filing cabinet. If you can’t find your prescription, go to where you last had your eyes examined and ask for a copy. Your optician, optometrist or ophthalmologist is required by law to release your glasses prescription to you. You now need to write down a few key pieces of information from your prescription (see example above – click to enlarge). Among other information, you should see three columns on your prescription: sphere, cylinder, and axis.

In the example above, these are abbreviated to SPH. CYL. and AXIS. These three columns have two rows, Right and Left. In the recipe above, this is simply abbreviated to R and L. Many doctors use the Latin abbreviations instead, which are OD and OS. OD means right eye and OS means left eye. Quickly jot down a copy of the six digits or just keep your prescription handy. These six critical numbers determine how your lens is cut. Any online eyewear store will ask for these six digits to be entered.

In addition to these six numbers, there is another critical number, the pupillary distance or PD. This is a measure, in millimeters, of the space between your eyes. In the example recipe above, you can see that the patient’s pupillary distance is 62. Write this number down as well, it is the seventh of your seven critical numbers.

One last measurement

A slightly less critical number is the length of your sleep. If you’re lucky, you’ll also see a temple length and bridge size in your prescription. If not, don’t worry, you can figure it out yourself. The temple length describes the length of the two bars that connect the glasses to your ears. It is measured from the point where the 90-degree curvature of your lens structure to the sidebars (springs) begins to the end of the temple, including the curvature. It is not measured from the inflection point of the temples because the “stub” between the inflection point and the lens structure is not a standard measurement.

Now grab some measuring tape (preferably the type of tape used for fitting and sewing as it is very flexible) and measure an existing pair of glasses that fit comfortably. An average temple length for men is 135mm or 145mm. For women, 130mm to 140mm is standard. If your tape only has inches, measure to the nearest eighth or sixteenth and multiply that number by 25.4 to get the measurement in millimeters. Temple lengths are generally available in 5mm increments such as 130, 135, 140, 145, etc. At most online eyewear stores, temple lengths are listed in a frame description and cannot be adjusted. Therefore, you need to find a frame with an appropriate temple size. This sometimes varies if you are on a site that specializes in designer eyewear where you have the option to enter your own sleep size.

Honestly, the size of the temple is not a big deal. I have glasses with 135mm temples and another with 140mm temples. Both pairs are comfortable. If for some reason you can’t think of a sleep size, don’t let that stop you from buying glasses online. Instead, just choose 140mm legs if you’re a man and 135mm legs if you’re a woman. Chances are that this length will be comfortable.

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What’s your style?

Armed with your seven critical numbers and an idea about your sleep length, start scouring the countless online retailers. Pick some favorite frames and open the individual pages in separate tabs or windows of your web browser. Just like trying on glasses at a standard store, you need to find out if the frame you like is right for your face. You could visit my post on the subject of face shape. If you have a nice oval face, you’re in luck, almost any pair will suit you. If you have strong, angular features, a round or rimless pair will look great on you. If you have a very round face, choose rectangular or hexagonal glasses. If you just want standard professional glasses, choose titanium rimless.

Using your trusty tape measure, you can compare other measurements of your existing glasses to what you see online. The bridge size describes the distance between lenses, the height describes the distance from the lowest point on the front of the frame to the highest point, and the lens describes the distance between the end of the bridge and the beginning of the temple. Some retailers also offer free virtual passes. This service, which I describe, allows you to upload a photo and put different types of frames on your face.

Place your order

So you’ve found the perfect pair of frames. Start the checkout process. You should see boxes where you can enter your prescription information (the seven critical digits). This will sometimes be in a table format similar to your recipe, or it can be a simple list. You also have the option to choose from a variety of coatings and add-ons. If you are going to wear your glasses day in and day out, I recommend choosing the anti-scratch and anti-glare coatings. These really make a difference and facilitate driving in the dark (anti-glare) and longevity to see clearly through your lens (anti-scratch). You can add the UV coating if you wish, although it is not essential. Photochromic tinting (also called “transition lens”) is also an option. Personally, I prefer to buy separate prescription sunglasses, but that’s up to you.

If you only wear glasses occasionally (perhaps in addition to contact lenses), or buy only Rx sunglasses that are not worn every waking hour, you may choose to save money by purchasing the extras over to hit. If you’re buying a pair for your accident-prone kid, it might not be such a bad idea to cut back on the extras, either. By avoiding coatings and other add-ons, you can also get a great pair of prescription glasses for less than $40. Once you place your order, you typically wait about 2 to 3 weeks for your glasses to be cut to size and delivered. The final product usually includes a hard case and a soft cloth for cleaning the lens.

In this I show a video of the exact product received from a popular online eyewear store.

Side note one: “Help, I don’t have a prescription!”

If it’s been a long time since your eyes were examined, or you just can’t get your prescription, it’s time to see an optometrist. While your local optometrist might charge $100 or more for a simple exam, discount stores like Wal-Mart or working-class optometrists often offer an eye exam for $40 or less. Grab your yellow pages and start calling. Chances are you’ll get the best price if you find an optometrist who has many clients without sight insurance.

Side note two: “How can it be so cheap?”

The price difference between eyewear online and eyewear purchased from a traditional retailer, or even Wal-Mart or Costco, is startling. An identical pair of titanium frames might cost $60 online and $220 at Wal-Mart. How is this possible? What about the quality? I will categorically state that the quality of eyewear received from most online retailers is equal to or better than the quality found at your neighborhood eyewear store or optometrist. The price difference is due to a number of factors, including the relative obscurity of online eyewear purchases, the fact that well-paid optometrists do not spend one-on-one time with the eyewear buyer, and the fact that insurance companies are generally not involved in online eyewear purchases, resulting in high prices. be discouraged.

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Give it a try. I guarantee that you will be satisfied with your online eyewear purchase if you follow the steps in this article.