Family Eye Health & Contact Lens Center

All About Vision – Seeing More Clearly

Study: Buyer beware -online spectacle orders may not meet compliance

on December 20, 2011
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The Journal of American Optometric Association and the Vision Council recently conducted a study to evaluate 10 of the most popular online eyeglass vendors sites, to see how they performed within the industry standards. The study involved 10 participants who ordered two pairs of prescription glasses, including pairs for both adults and children. These orders were then evaluated in terms of sphere power, cyl power, axis, add power, horizontal prism imbalance and impact resistance testing. Of the 154 pairs evaluated 28.6% had at least one lens fail tolerance standards for at least one optical parameter, 22.7% had at least one lens fail impact testing based on center thickness. Overall, 44.8% of the spectacles failed at least 1 parameter of the optical or impact testing according to the study. Patients do not receive the benefit of ensuring an accurate prescription or proper frame fit. It was noted that patients who purchase eyewear without the assistance of a trained professional may not receive a product of equal performance, value or safety. Even though online retailers may effectively market the cost savings associated with the online purchase of eyewear, consumers should beware, as this study points out. The lack of oversight and quality control can lead to inferior products that could be potentially harmful. These important quality checks are performed on eyewear products when dispensed by licensed professionals to assure the safety and accuracy of the prescription.

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