Is Buying Glasses Online A Good Idea?

  • By Germaine Shock
  • 30 Dec, 2016
It’s no secret that we are living in a digital world. So many of our mundane tasks can now be carried out either partially or completely online, and thanks to advances in internet security, shopping online is safer and easier than ever. You can even buy most of your groceries from the comfort of your couch! But is online shopping appropriate for everything? Take popular internet glasses retailers for example - with your sight being so important, is buying glasses online a good idea? Let’s take a look at some of the pros and cons of shopping for lenses and frames online. 


Cost Effectiveness

Perhaps the biggest lure of online glasses retailers is their affordability. Shoppers are able to purchase a completely new pair of glasses for sometimes half of what they would pay at a physical optical shop or Optometrist’s office.


Another big pull towards shopping for glasses online comes from the sheer convenience of it. There’s no appointment needed, no waiting, and no need to even change out of your pjs. Most online retailers also have apps available that allow you to virtually try on their frames by uploading a photo of yourself. Some will even send you a few pairs of your favorite frames to make sure you pick what will look the best on you.

eye glasses sitting on a laptop computer

More Frame Options

For those concerned with staying on top of the latest trends, look no further. While most traditional optical stores do a great job of this and are typically able to order something in if they don’t have what you're looking for, they are still somewhat limited in capacity. However, since online retailers aren’t limited by space, they will usually have a larger range of options to select from.

 This sounds pretty great right? But is it too good to be true? Keep reading…



In a study conducted by the  American Optometric Association (AOA) , the Optical Laboratories Association, and the Vision Council, almost half (44.8%) of the varying 200 pairs of glasses ordered from popular online retailers had incorrect prescriptions or safety issues. Furthermore, only 154 of these glasses were even received! The errors in prescriptions ranged from incorrect measurements and missing bifocal powers, to adding or leaving off lens coatings, and every scenario in between.

A big part of these prescription errors likely stems from the lack of crucial measurements that would ordinarily be taken in person when purchasing glasses from your Optometrist. For example, seg height measurements are what lets the laboratory making your lenses know how far up or down your bifocal power should sit. A good majority of the time, this measurement is just estimated when ordering online since accurately measuring it yourself is nearly impossible and the number will vary depending on the size of your frame.

Fit and Adjustments

While some online optical shops offer to mail you a few of their frames to try on before you make a purchase, this isn’t the majority. Frames come in so many different size specifications and styles that it makes it difficult to ensure a proper fit from sight alone. Furthermore, there are typically one or two adjustments that will need to be made to keep your frame from sliding down throughout the day even if the frame itself fits. This is especially true of plastic frames that can sometimes lose their original adjustments due to body heat.

closeup of young woman wearing eye glasses


Another area of concern when ordering glasses online is safety. Around one fourth of the glasses ordered and received in the previously mentioned study actually failed impact testing. This is especially dangerous for children since kiddos are more prone to accidents such as falling and getting hit in the face while playing sports. If the lenses aren’t up to par with impact resistance, they can shatter causing potential for an extremely dangerous situation. However, when glasses are ordered through an Optometrist or reputable optical shop, lenses that fail impact testing are discarded and remade until they pass.

Cheaper Cost = Cheaper Materials?

While ordering glasses online might be convenient for your pocketbook, the savings usually come at a bigger cost. When a retailer offers a dramatically lower price than its competitors, it is generally because they are utilizing lesser materials. This could mean having a frame that is in constant need of repair or lens coatings that chip and peel.  

Lost In The Mail

The potential for your glasses getting lost in the mail is also a cause for concern as mentioned earlier, only 154 of 200 pairs of glasses ordered online during the study were even received. When ordering from Precision Vision you will always be notified of any delays and our optical team keeps a close eye on all orders ensuring nothing gets lost or looked over.

The Outcome

Just weighing the pros and cons, it would seem that buying glasses online has more risk than reward. However, we understand that some of these details might carry more weight than others and you might be completely ok with taking a few risks to purchase an inexpensive pair of glasses. Should you decide to throw caution to the wind, just make sure to do your research. Find out the retailer’s return and refund policies in case your glasses arrive and you aren’t able to see out of them or they don’t fit properly. Also try to order from a reputable retailer with good reviews that at least lets you try the frames on first.

And if you’ve decided that saving a few bucks isn’t worth the potential headache (literally), come see us at Precision Vision of Edmond and let us help you fall in love with a pair of glasses that will give you the best vision at a great price. You can even wear your pjs in if you want!

close up of blonde woman wearing a polka dot eyeglass frame

Did you find this post helpful? Be sure to share with your friends!


By Germaine Shock 06 Dec, 2017

Do your friends often comment on your ‘unique’ choices when it comes to matching colors and patterns? Being fashionably challenged might not be entirely your fault (or it could be). You might be having an extra difficult time due to color blindness.

Color blindness is actually somewhat of a misuse of the word as those affected by the condition can actually still see color - just with a more limited palette. Color vision deficiency is actually the more accurate term. However, there is a rare form of color vision deficiency known as achromatopsia where you are in fact completely devoid of color in your world- but we’ll get to that one a little later. For now, let’s start with the basics.

By Germaine Shock 01 Aug, 2017
By now most all of you have likely seen or are at least familiar with a solar eclipse. Without getting into too much of the scientific details, a solar eclipse happens when the moon moves between the sun and earth during its orbit causing a partial or complete blockage of our view of the sun. Although a solar eclipse only lasts for a few minutes, its thrilling impact will stay with you for much longer.
By Germaine Shock 20 Jul, 2017
School's out for summer! With a little extra free time and flexibility in your schedule, now is the perfect time to  bring your kiddos in for their eye health exams. Most parents will logically assume that since their child hasn’t had any complaints, they must not be having any problems - or that their child is simply too young to need an eye exam. Think again! 
By Germaine Shock 06 Jul, 2017
Sometimes when it comes to kiddos, you’ll find yourself navigating through some gray areas. For example, determining how much screen time is too much - or how old they should be to watch that scary movie. These definitive numbers are so hard to pinpoint simply because no two children are the same. They all mature at different rates, and we as parents have to adjust accordingly. Fortunately, here are a few tips to help in one of those gray areas -  figuring out if your child is ready for contact lenses.
By Germaine Shock 23 Jun, 2017
We have all made a questionable decision or two at least once in our lives. However, when it comes to your eyes and vision, this is one area where it is always better to be safe than sorry. Here are a few of the most common mistakes made by contact lens wearers and a safer alternative to keep those peepers healthy.
By Germaine Shock 14 Jun, 2017

More than likely if you are reading this, you’ve experienced the strange sensation of an eyelid twitch. It can happen anywhere, at any time, and almost always stops the moment you try to point it out to someone else (and of course resumes the second they turn away just to make you look extra crazy). Well you aren’t crazy - at least in this case - eyelid twitches are a real thing!


Better known in professional lingo as “myokymia”, this twitching sensation is the result of involuntary, spontaneous, rippling muscle contractions. These spasms can actually occur in almost any of the muscles in your body. When relating to the eyelids, myokymia is most common in your lower lids but can happen in your top lids as well.

Eyelid myokymia is typically very temporary. The twitching will usually only last for a few minutes, but in some rare cases can last for a few days or even weeks.

Your doctor will likely advise you that there is no cause for concern as common Myokymia resolves on its own without the need for treatment. Other than causing mild annoyance, the eyelid twitching shouldn’t cause any long term complications or interference with your vision.
By Germaine Shock 01 Jun, 2017

Do your eyes ever feel dry and itchy? Do you ever experience eye fatigue, redness, blurred vision, or excessive watering? You could be suffering from dry eyes - especially if you live in Oklahoma City which ranks as the 17th driest city in the U.S. And despite the name, dry eye isn’t just an annoying feeling - it’s a legitimate chronic eye disease that affects an estimated 4.88 million Americans over the age of 50 alone. And since another estimated 89% of the population have never even heard of Dry Eye Syndrome, it’s easy to see why some would just write off those annoying symptoms as a normal part of their lives.

By Germaine Shock 16 May, 2017

In honor of Mother’s Day kicking off Women’s Week, the Eye- Q blog has decided to dedicate a post solely to women’s eye health related issues. So what makes women’s eye health so special? Women are actually more commonly affected than men by a number of ocular health issues including dryness, cataracts, age related macular degeneration, and complications from autoimmune disorders such as Sjogren's or lupus. Furthermore, according to Prevent Blindness America, 66% of people who are blind or visually impaired are women.

Let’s start with that statistic - why are women more at risk for eye complications than men?
By Germaine Shock 05 May, 2017
May is healthy vision month - and as we draw nearer to the official first day of Summer, what better time to discuss one of the most commonly overlooked parts of eye health - UV protection. Most of you are probably fully aware of the negative effects UV rays can have on your skin, but did you know the sun can be just as damaging to your eyes?
By Germaine Shock 25 Apr, 2017

No, it’s not a typo. Sjogren’s - pronounced show-grins - is a type of autoimmune disorder that causes inflammation and damage to various parts of the body; most commonly the tear and saliva glands. This damage results in symptoms ranging from dryness and discomfort to difficulty swallowing and can even affect the lungs and kidneys.

So why exactly does this happen? Let’s start with a quick health lesson. The immune system is responsible for fighting disease and killing harmful viruses and bacteria. However, with autoimmune diseases, your immune system has a hard time knowing when to stop fighting and mistakenly attacks your own body. With Sjogren’s, your exocrine glands - the glands that secrete moisture such as saliva, sweat, tears, breast-milk, gastric mucous, etc - become the main targets.
More Posts
Share by: