CUTTING THE COST OF PRESCRIPTION GLASSES

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As consumers become more and more online savvy we are seeing an increase in consumers looking to buy their prescription eyewear through a website. In this guide we look at the pitfalls of buying online and explain that unless you have a clear understanding on how to complete a websites complicated prescription forms we recommend avoiding risk as you could easily end up with an expensive pair of prescription sunglasses or frames that you simply can't use. For a simpler and cost effective way, read on...

1. HOW NOT TO DO IT

Once you have finished having your eyes tested you will receive your prescription, this information is broken into left eye and right eye and can look quite complicated to the untrained eye however it's actually quite basic and unfortunately not all the information required to purchase eyewear online is provided.

To start with your opticians will refrain from entering the PD (Pupil Distance) measurement from your prescription, often as an attempt to prevent you from going online. This means anyone looking to purchase lenses will have to work out their measurements at home. Most websites retailing eyewear are great at giving customers a downloadable tool or step-by-step guides on how to measure a PD reading yet they are rarely accurate and errors can be very costly. The problem is in the detail and if you submit a PD reading that you have done at home and the resulting lenses are uncomfortable to wear you will occur costs to have this made right.

Another faux pas is in the material used to make the lenses as you will be asked to choose from a drop-down menu when making your purchase. Those with a very weak prescription may, depending on the curve and depth of the frame, be okay with a basic plastic material which is often marketed as free however this is an area of risk. The problem lies with matching the lens material to the fame as this is governed by your prescription strength. An example of how not to do it  would be to put a medium to strong prescription into a popular sunglasses shape such as an aviator. The depth and curve of the frames shape means the resulting lens would be thick on the edges and heavy in weight which would look very unsightly and no doubt uncomfortable to wear. This really is a minefield as there as so many variables when matching a prescription to a lens material and then to a frame shape.

Our final point is with the 'type' of lens you wish to purchase, namely single vision (distance or reading), bifocal or varifocals. To determine the prescription is correctly fitted into the frames and ensure the user receives an accurate reading you need to be wearing the frame and have the position of your pupil marked central on lens. This is obviously impossible if you are buying the frames virtually and can only be done if the frame is dispatched to you first to mark the centre of your pupil, which you cannot do alone. You would then need to send the frame back to have the prescription fitted and then once again to you to try on - all of which rack-up in terms of postage costs.

2. HOW TO DO IT

To buy prescription frames in a cost effective way you let the professionals do what they do best, namely fit your prescription into a frame. Traditionally opticians would test your eyes, assist in choosing a frame and then shape and fit your prescribed lenses to the frame - charging you a marked up profit on the frame, service and the lens build. Not anymore.

With high-street competition becoming more fierce opticians are now forced to be more flexible and will test your eyes and fit your prescribed lenses to a frame that you take with you into the store. This means the huge marked-up profit they traditionally make on a designer frame is no longer part of the sale meaning you are free to buy your frame at a discounted price online.

Simply buying your frame from a trusted online retailer such as Discounted sunglasses means you make an incredible saving on the cost of your frame. By taking the frame to an opticians to fit your prescribed lenses means you will be saving a small fortune!
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