Seeing Through The Convenience

With there being over a thousand progressive lens designs on the market, we understand how confusing it can be for you. We will try to explain the difference to give you better clarity.

Short corridor, long corridor, hard design, soft design, digital, conventional, budget, premium, etc… No wonder our patients look confused when we explain progressives!

The Potential Pitfalls of Shopping for Spectacles Online

The Internet has fast become one of the most influential global forces. While it has helped open people up to amazing opportunities throughout the world, it has also demonstrated similarities to Pandora’s Box. Some things are better left unopened; or at least reserved for a trained professional to open. This is especially true of the burgeoning online health and medical industry. Specifically, online consumers and Internet shoppers now have virtually unfiltered, unrestricted access to prescription spectacles with a critical gap in safety standards and compliance regulations. Because of this, we’d like to highlight the following study’s investigative observations: Safety and Compliance of Prescription Spectacles Ordered by the Public via the Internet (The authors of the study are: Karl Citek, O.D., Ph.D., Daniel L. Torgersen, MBA, MS, Jeffrey D. Endres, ABOC, and Robert R. Rosenberg, O.D.).

This study explores the process of ordering prescription glasses through Internet vendors as well as the actual delivery of these items to public consumers, primarily measuring compliance with the optical tolerance and impact resistance requirements for eyewear dispensed in the United States.

In total, 200 eyewear orders were purchased through online vendors by 10 different participants in the study. The orders were evenly divided to account for important variables such as lens and frame materials, lens styles, and refractive corrections. Ten individuals ordered 2 pairs of spectacles from each of the top 12 highest traffic-ranking spectacle-vendor websites in order to best replicate the average consumer experience for online spectacle shopping.

The results are nothing less than frightening. Approximately 45% of the spectacles sent from the online vendors directly to the consumer/study participant failed at least one parameter of optical or impact testing (e.g. omitted product features, failed impact testing, inaccurate optical parameters). That’s almost half of the population sample whose visual needs were not satisfied and their personal safety jeopardized.

And thousands of patients are unaware that spectacle lenses that provide refractive correction are classified by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as Class I Medical Devices. This means that a valid prescription written by a licensed physician is required and that certain standards must be satisfied. And what’s equally concerning is that there doesn’t seem to be a noticeable, vigilant presence or industry watchdog monitoring this type of online activity.

Instead, the items are allowed to be shipped directly from the online vendor to the patient. This means there’s no apparent quality control measures. Traditionally, eyeglasses are sent from the manufacturer direct to the optometrist’s office. This protocol ensures that the patient benefits from a proper dispensing process, making sure that their new eyeglasses pass all of the requirements, are safe to wear and will promote the best vision health.

We do our best to maintain a warm and genuinely friendly atmosphere while serving our patients as efficiently as possible, getting you back on your way as quickly as possible without ever sacrificing your quality of care. Of course, we understand that you’re very busy and that may create enough stress to make the online-prescription alternative quite tempting. One needs only to apply some perspective here and consider all the time and money that you will save by having your eyeglass needs taken care of properly the first time. And since you simply can’t put a price on optimal vision health, opting for a discounted price online from an unsafe and unknown source definitely isn’t worth it.

Technology continues to gift us with some truly wonderful capabilities, taking us to new heights; many of which were once thought impossible. Unfortunately, while modern technology has helped promote a higher quality of life around the world, it bears both the gift and the curse. A consistent trend throughout today’s technology industries is the demand for convenience and immediate gratification. Of course, we can applaud technology’s ability to help us save a significant amount of time every day, but this time-saving fever has been breeding dangerous impatience and imprudence. Therefore, it’s especially important for everyone to do their part and spread awareness. Friends don’t let friends buy eyeglasses from strangers online!


All Online orders are currently being directed to our Calgary Location. Please allow one extra business day for processing if you are ordering from Olds or Sundre Eyecare. If you have requested an in store pick up and you are a patient of Olds Eyecare Clinic or Sundre Eyecare Clinic a staff member will reach out to confirm your pick up location. We are currently doing curbside pick up at both our Olds and Bonavista locations.

Contact Us

5202 50th Avenue
Olds Alberta T4H 1P5
Tel: 403.556.6068Fax: 403.556.6337