Watch the Doctors of Optometry Canada (a trademark of the Canadian Association of Optometrists) videos linked below to learn more about the following questions that many people wonder about. All questions are answered by fellow Canadian Optometrists. All videos will open in a new window.
Questions about Eye Exams
Questions about Children
Questions about Ocular Health
Questions about Glasses
Questions about Contact Lenses
Questions about LASIK (Laser Surgery)
General Information Questions
Purchasing Glasses and Contact Lenses Online
Will you give me my prescription if I want to purchase online?
Absolutely. It's your right as a consumer to be able to take a copy of your prescription anywhere you choose, including online. The one caveat here is that your glasses prescription and your contact lenwatchs prescription are NOT the same thing! There is a process to fitting contact lenses that ensures they fit you safely, comfortably and provide good vision. Once a contact lens prescription has been determined you can have a copy of it as well.
Isn't online way cheaper?
Surprisingly online is not always cheaper. Our contact lens prices are very competitive and about the same as online. PLUS we also have manufacturer’s rebates that can save you as much as $100 off your contact lens supply! As a result, buying contact lenses from us is often cheaper than online! You can get glasses for less online, but our next point addresses why that might not be ideal.
Why is online cheaper for glasses?
There are several answers to this question.
- Firstly, the frames we offer are all current models and all come with 2 year manufacturer's warranty. Many online stores offer discontinued frames, do not have warranties and in some cases even sell counterfeit products!
- Our lenses are also of an excellent quality; we only offer the very best lenses. Any lens purchased from us comes with at least a one year manufacturer's warranty. We also ensure that any lens purchased through us has all the correct measurements, the correct prescription and we also double check that the lenses are made correctly.
- Studies done in both the United States and Canada have found that about 50% of glasses purchased from many online retailers do not meet minimum safety standards, have a prescription different from what was ordered or do not have the correct measurements. Our trained professionals will ensure that any glasses purchased online from us will be exactly what you ordered.
- If you have any problems with your glasses after you purchase them from us, you are able to return and we will help rectify the problem; this is part of the ongoing after-purchase service you get when you purchase from us. If you purchase glasses online, you have nowhere to go.
Do things like PD and fitting heights really matter?
The short answer is yes.
- Your PD (pupillary distance, the distance between your eyes) is VERY important. If measured incorrectly you are likely to experience headaches, eyestrain, blurred vision and possibly even double vision. It won't kill you, but it won't be pleasant and you certainly won't like your glasses. The PD is measured at the time of purchase by a trained optician, optometric assistant or optometrist wherever you are purchasing your glasses. This measurement will differ depending on what type of glasses you’re getting; reading glasses vs. glasses for driving.
- Your fitting height is where the optical centre of the lens sits. With digital single vision lenses, bifocals and progressives fitting height, PD and all of the many other measurements taken need to be done perfectly to provide you with the best possible vision. Most online retailers use an average measurement that works for most people and assume that will work for you as well. That can compromise how well your glasses work for you. Those measurements can also vary depending on how you hold your head, where and how you wear your glasses and what activities you do while wearing glasses. Those are all things that simply cannot be known with an online sale.
Why should I come in to pick out glasses instead of purchasing online?
At Saugeen Shores Family Eye Care, we really don't love online glasses sales; glasses are just way too personal! Even if the measurements are identical from one frame from to another you can't guarantee that they will fit you exactly the same (much like a size 6 at one store is not the exact same size a size 6 from another store or how one pair of pants may fit completely differently from another, even if they're the same size just because of how they're cut). Even if we ignore the issue of not knowing if a frame fits you properly, choosing what lens is best and what coatings are right for you is complicated. Online ordering systems have simplified the process significantly, but there are literally hundreds of different lens and coating options available. Our job is to help you find the right lens and this is almost impossible to do online. That’s what our trained professionals are for!
Finally the measurements we take really matter. Your PD, fitting height, frame wrap and pantoscopic tilt may not be the most important measurements we take but if they're wrong you're going to notice and you won't be happy. Letting us properly and professionally measure them helps to ensure that your glasses come back to you perfectly.
What's the difference between ordering contact lenses from you or from online? Aren't they all the same?
Contact lenses from us and contact lenses ordered online SHOULD be exactly the same. Unfortunately this isn't always the case. The majority of contact lenses sold online are completely legitimate but occasionally counterfeit lenses bought by online companies from a third party enter the market. These are labelled the same as the contact lens brand you may be wearing, but when you try to use them you instantly notice the difference. Contact lenses are also a medical device that must be stored in proper conditions. If they are left in a warehouse that is too hot or too cold the contact lenses can be damaged resulting in an increased risk of infection or corneal damage, as well as decreased comfort and vision with the lens.
AN ONLINE SHOPPING OPTION
We know that for some of you it's just easier and more convenient to shop online and that's what you prefer to do! We don't want you to feel left out, so we've partnered with EyeShop.ca to provide you with an online option.
What's the difference between buying online from EyeShop.ca and online from someone else?
Here are the major differences:
- EyeShop.ca has hired trained, professional opticians that will make sure that what you order is what you receive. If you’re ordering contacts, they will also verify your prescription and will call us directly if there are any questions or concerns.
- EyeShop.ca works WITH us. If you're having trouble with your new sunglasses or contact lenses or you see an error in your order, you can come to us so that we can help you!
- If you purchase your contacts through EyeShop.ca, you still have access to all of those great manufacturer’s rebates mentioned earlier; just like shopping in our office.
- All contact lenses and vision care products sold on EyeShop.ca come directly from the manufacturer. Ordering contact lenses elsewhere online may mean you aren't getting quite what you think you are.
Why does EyeShop.ca require a prescription from me? I can order contacts and glasses online elsewhere and just type in my prescription.
Current legislation does allow you to order contact lenses and glasses online without a recent prescription. Optometrists and opticians are not allowed to do the same thing! We are required to have a current glasses or contact lens prescription prior to providing you with glasses or contacts. There are several reasons for this.
- Comprehensive eye exams examine much more than vision. Without a yearly exam, potentially blinding eye disorders could be missed.
- Your prescription can change and cause problems like headaches and eyestrain even if the vision seems fine. EyeShop.ca agrees that an up to date prescription is needed to give you the best and safest contact lenses.