The benefits of buying eyeglasses and contact lenses online are obvious; why walk to the local optician when you can make your purchase from the comfort of your own home. However, there are some less obvious drawbacks to buying glasses or contacts online according to the Chicago Tribune. Here are some things you should consider:
1. People who buy glasses or contacts online are more likely to neglect their eye health and skip their eye exam. The optometrist or ophthalmologist is out of sight and out of mind for those who prefer to shop for eyewear online. “Regardless of where you buy eyewear products, you should put your eye health first,” says Dr. S. Barry Eiden, immediate past chairman of the American Optometric Association.
2. Most people don’t know the distance between their pupils, or pupillary distance, off the top of their head. You will get that measurement most accurately if you’ve gone into an optometrist’s office for an eye exam and you can’t order and accurate pair of glasses without it.
3. Though some ecommerce websites allow you to try on frames virtually, most of those methods don’t give you the most accurate impression of how you will look once the frames arrive. The same applies for contact lenses, although in that case, it’s the feel of a pair of contacts that matters more than the appearance, unless they are fashion contact lenses. If you go to a physical optical store, they will often adjust your glasses for you for free, but it’s unfair to ask a store owner to do that if you purchased them online.
To make up for all these downsides, many online eyeglass and contact lenses vendors offer lower prices than their brick and mortar counterparts. But going to a physical store has the advantages of greater speed, reliability, and service. It all depends on what you value more.