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Tips on How to Buy Prescription Glasses Online

With the whole COVID thing, it is getting more and more common for people to buy things online, even buying groceries online is becoming a norm. But what if someone wants to get something a little more customized? Like glasses? Things get a little tricky there.

Buying everyday sunglasses is still not that big of a deal, but if prescription glasses come into question, it does sound a little unusual to get them online. After all,  these days many people are getting their customized glasses in a day or two when ordering online.

With that thought in mind, we have compiled this list of 8 tips to help clear up the process of buying prescription eye-wear.

  1. An up-to-date prescription 

Normally, the validity of an eyewear prescription is two years for adults and one year for the young. If a person’s prescription is outdated, he/she will need to go to their optician and get a new prescription.

2. Understanding one’s prescription

With the prescription update out of the way, next comes its understanding. Here are a few abbreviations that one should be familiar with before ordering glasses online.

  • Oculus Dexter (OD) is used for the right eye.
  • Oculus Sinister (OS) is used for the left eye.
  • SPH/Sphere describes the power of a lens, the -/+ sign indicates whether it is farsightedness or nearsightedness. 
    • Plus sign (+) indicates farsightedness.
    • Minus sign (-) indicates nearsightedness.
  • ADD In the case of bifocals, ADD is the number of lens power for the bottom part of the multifocal lens.
  • Cylinder/CYL – The lens power for astigmatism.
    • Axis describes the angle for the cylindrical power of a lens.

Note: Prescriptions for contact lenses cannot be used for prescription glasses.

3. Measuring Pupillary Distance

Lenses on prescription glasses have an optical center. To get the truest vision from these lenses, the optical center should be aligned with the pupil. The pupillary distance or PD comes in here. Self-measurement of PD is a bit tricky. Generally, it falls between 54 to 68mm.

Most opticians measure the PD during eyesight examination but usually, they exclude it from the prescription. It is important to ask them to mention it on the prescription if they have not already.

4. Selecting the right Frame

Selecting a frame can be tricky. One of the most common mistakes people make when shopping for a frame is that they just go with whatever they like. But it is a bit more complicated than that. A frame should complement the face shape. Not all frames suit all face types. A round frame will not suit an already round face. The rule of thumb is to get the opposite of the shape of the face.

5. Picking the style to go for

Liking a pair is one thing, them fitting someone’s style is another. One of the first things that need to be considered before getting anything is whether it suits the style a person is going for. After all, glasses are something that will be worn all the time. A student or a creative professional can rock bright colored and unusual shaped glasses but not a businessman.

6. Knowing the size

Everything is secondary, the main purpose of the eyewear is to position the lenses properly in front of the eyes. Which is why people need to get the right-sized eye-wear.

If a person already has a pair of glasses that fit him well, he can simply use them as a reference. If he does not have a pair already, his face’s width is what will help him find the right size. It would be best to refer to a frame size chart for that.

Most glasses have their measurements printed on the arm or the bridge. Sunglasses are not a good candidate for this as they are normally oversized to protect the user from the sun.

7. What add-ons to get?

Most people go crazy when it comes to add-ons, and that can lead to a really expensive pair. The best way to go about it would be to know one’s choice of add-ons and only getting those. People do not usually need those scratch-proof lenses or those polycarbonate lenses. Similarly, they do not need that anti-reflective coating, unless they work on a computer all day.

Buyers should know that the stores will always try to upsell them. They must know what they need and get that only.

8. Ordering a micro-fiber cloth and a case

Out of all the add-ons the website may provide, getting a microfiber cloth and a case is always a good idea, especially if the anti-scratch coating has not already been bought. These add-ons are a lot more inexpensive than the other options and keep the glasses protected.

 

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