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Things to know when buying prescription glasses


More than half of the population on the planet needs some kind of vision correction. And most of them fall for the comfort and results of eyeglasses. Millions of prescription glasses are sold each day across the globe. This has made the eyewear market a billion-dollar industry.

Where many people have experience in buying spectacles, there are some first-time glasses users that need some guidance.

Shopping for glasses isn’t as easy as shopping for clothes. If you get the wrong prescription or frame fitting, you’ll have to compromise with your vision. Does that sound like something you want for yourself?

Buying eyeglasses involves a few simple steps. Let’s read about them one at a time.

Steps to buying glasses

No matter if you’re looking for a basic pair of designer prescription glasses, there are some steps you need to follow. If you’re about to shop for your first ever pair of glasses, we hope these steps make things easier for you.

Have your prescription

Well, it’s an obvious thing that buying glasses for vision correction will need you to have your latest prescription in hand. If you’ve recently had an eye test, then you don’t need to visit your eye doctor’s office before placing an order.

However, if it has been a good long time since you’ve had your eyes checked, then it’s better to have an eye test first and then proceed to buy glasses.

Having the correct prescription on the lenses is important if you want to get the best vision out of your glasses.

Most optometrists provide you with a written copy of your prescription after you have an eye test. If they don’t do so, ask them to provide you with the same. Make sure you have your prescription copy when you’re buying glasses whether online or offline.

Have other important measurements

You can’t buy just any size of clothes when you’re shopping, can you? If the clothes don’t fit, what’s the point of having them?

In the case of glasses, you can’t afford to get the wrong frame size. Not because you won’t look good but because you won’t get that perfect vision you were rooting for.

You need to have your face width and the width of your nose bridge with you if you’re shopping for online specs.

You can take these measurements all by yourself. But, if you need help, just visit your nearest optical store and ask the optician to measure your face and nose width. They might charge you some fees but it’s more important to get the numbers accurate.

One more measurement that is more important than any number is your PD (pupillary distance). It refers to the distance between the centres of your pupils in each eye.

Eyeglasses work by placing the optical centre of the lenses right in front of your pupils to give you that unfragmented vision. If the placement is off even to some extent, you’ll struggle to look through your new glasses.

Know your face shape

This step has more to do with the style appeal of your glasses than vision correction. Knowing your face shape will help you shop for frames that look better on your natural symmetry.

Here are different frame suggestions for different face shapes.

Round face

A round face has rounded features such as a curved jawline and full cheeks. The length and width of the face are almost the same.

Geometric frame styles such as rectangle or square silhouettes are favourable to your face shape. They’ll add some angles and edges to your soft features and balance out your look. Cat-eye glasses are also a smart option.

Square face

People with a square face shape have a prominent jawline and straight cheekbones. To make sure that you don’t look too intimidating to people, you can tone down the angles of your face with round glasses. Aviator glasses look the most appealing on square face shapes.

Oval face

An oval face is considered to be a versatile candidate as it can pull off every frame style. From round to rectangle to cat-eye, their balanced features look great in every frame style. However, mind frames are either too round or too angular for your face shape. They will throw off the balance and won’t suit you that much.

Heart-shaped face

A heart-shaped face has high and pronounced cheekbones with a pointy chin and a narrow forehead. To balance things out, you need cat-eye glasses or browline specs that are wider at the top. You can also try frames with embellished top rims to take attention away from your pointy chin.

Diamond face shape

A diamond face shape is similar to a heart-shaped face except it is narrow around the eye area. Top-heavy frames with exaggerated rims are the best option for you.

Oblong face shape

An oblong face is slim and long. Anything oversized will do the job of hiding the length of your face. Frames with abstract patterns will keep the attention on your eyes. Steer clear of narrow frames as they will give away the endless length of your face.

Consider the types of lens you want

Although the choice between single vision and varifocals isn’t exactly a choice and is dictated by your prescription, you have freedom over the lens coatings you want.

Lens coatings are effective add-ons to your optical lenses that enhance the vision and performance of your glasses. For example, a blue light coating prevents you from vision damage related to screentime. Also, having an anti-glare coating will help you see clearly in bright light environments. This add-on is even more useful when driving at night.

Some retailers offer these coatings for free with their glasses while others charge some amount of money for them. When comparing different retailers, make sure you also compare the cost of these coatings available with them.

Pick a retailer

If you’re buying glasses from a nearby optical store, it’s fine. But, many people choose to buy glasses online as the wide choice in frame styles available at online eyewear stores.

If you’re also considering the online option, then you need to pick the right retailer. Read the customer reviews and shop around to see which retailer offers your desired frame style at the best price. But, don’t compromise with quality for a cheap price.

Once you’ve decided where you want to buy from, fill in the necessary details the website may ask regarding your prescription and facial measurements.

Many eyewear websites have a virtual try-on filter so you can try on the glasses in real-time and pick the best one for you.

Read the policies

Do not place an order before giving a quick check to the retailer’s policy. Do they provide same-day delivery? And what about the return policy?

Online shopping doesn’t always turn out the way you want it to. If you end up not liking the product, will you be refunded in full?

Place the order

Now that you’ve gone through each of the policies and services available with the retailer, feel confident to place your order. You’ll be glad to have the newfound vision and see everything in a clearer picture.

Eyeglasses are an investment in your vision. If you’ve been having visual disturbances for a while, don’t delay and visit your eye doctor right away.

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