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Virtual eyewear, a new trend.

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With the excitement of the new millennium now 14 years ago, came a rush of technology. The world as we knew it and they way in which we meet significant others, socialize, and shop changed dramatically. Instead of phone calls, we now send a quick text or email, we keep up with our friends and the happenings in their lives via social networking such as Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. We can shop online for virtually everything. In other words we live in a virtual world. With the hustle and bustle we find ourselves in, it comes as no surprise to me the increase in ordering glasses online. It’s easy, right?

Go to a store, try a few frames on, then research online to find the “best deal”, type in your prescription, and some measurements, and voila- your order will be shipped within the week. But what is it you are really getting? What are the quality inspections regulated on your eyewear when ordered online?

It is my experience that cheap is cheap, period. To save a few bucks on a frame, and have lenses that are not made correctly is a waste. Vision is the primary purpose of getting a fashionable set of specs. When prescription eye wear is purchased at a local optical, you are not simply just paying for frames and lenses; you are paying for services. What possible service are those, you may ask. An experienced optician can not only make recommendations based on face shape, and coloring, acting as a fashion consultant, but the primary purpose of an opticians assessment of a frame is based upon the best lens design for you.

Now, you could choose to take the advice on the frame and order it online, however, you now find yourself needing several optical measurements that are imperative to not experiencing distortion, headaches, blurred vision, or pulling of the eye muscles. Pupillary distance is required on all a prescription orders and segment heights are an additional measurement required for multifocal lenses, where are those measurements supposed to come from? When we questioned online stores, we were told that the doctor or optical store provides them, when in fact doctors do not provide those measurements as a Pupilometer is not a standard instrument in doctors offices. I can’t speak for all optical stores; however, we train all of our staff to value their education. Just like an architect would not provide their floor plans for free, neither will we provide our measurements. Opticians go to school to learn how to fit and adjust prescription eyewear, that is part of the service that we provide to patients. Our stores philosophy is rooted in Colossians 3:23, ” Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, and not for men.” We put every ounce of education and effort to treat each patient individually, and not just an order number on a blue screen.

In addition, once you receive your glasses that have been ordered online, who is to say they are accurate? Vision is directly related to 80% of the brains activity. An optician hand inspects every order that is received before dispensing them to the patient. Dispensing, hmmmm, what exactly is that? A reputable optical will not just hand over your glasses and let you determine how they “feel”, they will put the glasses on for you and asses the fit. Dispensing is the art of custom fitting and adjusting the glasses, assessing the need of pantoscoptic or retroscopic tilts, temporal fit, length of the temples, as well as provide a snug, yet comfortable fit behind the ears, fitting them to the anatomical shaper of the patients face. Services of eyewear don’t end there, the average patient wears the same pair of glasses for three to five years. Glasses require regular nose pad changes and refitting to maintain optimal vision.

I challenge you to consider all this information and ask yourself, are these services worth a slight increase in price? While technology is convenient at the tip of your fingers, it will never compare to the personal attention, fit, and services provided by an eye are professional.

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