HOUSTON – Back to school usually means new glasses if your student needs them to see, but maybe you’re not comfortable shopping for frames and getting fitted during the pandemic.
There are a lot of online sellers of eyeglasses now. We wanted to find out if buying glasses online is a good idea for younger children and, if so, which online retailer has the lowest prices.
Are online prescription eyeglasses the same as what you get in a retail store?
Let’s talk first about the lenses since this is the most important part of prescription glasses. When you order glasses online, you have to type in your prescription from your eye doctor so the lenses can make made for you. Make sure you find out your pupillary distance from your ophthalmologist or optometrist. You will need this number.
In 2015, we ordered four pairs of glasses with prescription lenses from Zenni Optical and Eye Buy Direct. We took the glasses to professor of ophthalmology Dr. Robert Feldman at UT Health/ UT Physicians. He tested the accuracy of the lenses and found all four were made perfectly and matched the prescriptions we gave the companies.
Feldman said if you have a complicated prescription or a lot of astigmatisms, there is a greater chance of error ordering lenses online. When we asked him what has changed in the online glasses industry since our test five years ago, Feldman sees more of his patients using these services.
“It hasn’t changed a lot,” he said. “I think it’s gotten easier and a lot less expensive.”
How much can you save?