There’s a reason those shoes you’re wearing are your go-to: you can slip them on and know they’ll feel good, look good and work well.
And while you can order shoes online, it’s only once you put them on that you know whether they will pinch your toes or create blisters on your heel. “We all have our favourite pair of shoes – they’re our favourites because they’re comfortable and fit so well for what we want them to do,” reflects Abbotsford optometrist Dr. Joanne Hankey, from Complete Eyecare. “Your eyewear is the same.”
In fact, while online eyewear options might seem to offer savings and convenience, there are a few significant reasons to think twice. Like those shoes, it begins with the fit.
“People seek professionals for their eye exam, but when it comes to buying glasses, they tend to think of it as a product, and go into ‘shopping mode.’ But there are so many places a pair of glasses has to fit you to feel comfortable and help you see properly. Nothing can replace the expertise of trained and experienced professionals to guide your choice (think orthotics, or dentures, or custom athletic equipment!).
For example, not only does the shape and size of the frame matter, but also the fit – how a frame fits the shape of your nose or how it sits on your ears.
While we – and online tools – tend to assess how glasses look from the front, it’s also important to evaluate from the side, Dr. Hankey adds, explaining that the distance and angle the lenses sit from your eyes affects how well you’ll see.
Trying on frames also allows you to feel the weight and texture of a frame. It also allows the trained fitter to adjust the frame and take the measurements that make THAT pair into YOUR pair of glasses.
All these factors can mean the difference between a long-lasting, successful purchase and an uncomfortable, expensive mistake.
“Why not invest in the time and expertise to get eyewear that fits. After all, you have to live with your decision for quite a long time.”
Building convenience into the process
On the other hand, Complete Eyecare recommends using their online store to allow existing clients quick and easy contact lens re-orders.
Simply register, order and pay, and the lenses will be shipped to you at no extra charge. “For people purchasing contact lenses, we’ve proven over and again that our prices compare well, so we encourage our patients to enjoy the convenience of re-ordering their contacts from our webstore,” Dr. Hankey says.