Eyeglasses can be very costly, and it can be tempting to think about picking up cheap over-the-counter (OTC) reading glasses or sunglasses or trying an online eyewear service or a cut-rate eyeglasses kiosk at your local mall for prescription glasses. While the low prices these places offer can be very attractive, many people find that low price and value usually do not go hand-in-hand. In this article, we will explain why cheap glasses can be very costly. Read on to learn more.
OTC sunglasses can be damaging
Drug-store sunglasses may look very much like the high-quality glasses available from your optician, but very often the materials are inferior and UV blocking ability is weak or non-existent.
It’s hard to choose the right drug-store reading glasses
While OTC reading glasses can provide accurate vision correction for computer use and reading, it can be very hard to determine the right level of correction. A professional optometrist can test your vision and determine exactly what you need. Wearing the wrong glasses can damage your eyes; additionally, OTC reading and computer glasses often do not protect your eyes from the potentially damaging blue light that comes from digital devices.
With cheap prescription glasses, you may be on your own
If you purchase your prescription eyeglasses from an established optometrist, you can count on him or her to be there to help you if you need an adjustment or repairs. Mall kiosks and online sellers are notoriously fly-by-night. You may find that there is no one to help you if all does not go well with your cheap spectacles.
You get what you pay for
The quality of materials used in cheap eyeglasses is often very poor. Frames may be less durable, lenses may scratch, become cloudy or break much more easily than high-quality frames and lenses from a qualified optometrist’s office.
Workmanship may be shoddy
Established optometrists have lenses made by wholesale optical labs that have access to the best materials and equipment. These labs specialize in creating eyeglass lenses, and they guarantee their work. Online retailers often make the lenses themselves in their own private labs which are not nearly as well-equipped or sophisticated as large, wholesale labs.
You may not have the option for customization
Cheap glasses may be cheap because they offer only basic lenses and frames without such necessary additions as scratch resistance and various specialty lens coatings. Additionally, you may not be able to choose the materials for your lenses, so you may just have to make do with whatever is available.
Frames may look very different “in person”
When you look at glasses frames online, it can be hard to accurately determine size and color. Many people report that the glasses they fell in love with when shopping virtually ended up being much bigger or smaller than expected and an entirely different shade.
It is difficult to determine durability and weight online
If you have a heavy prescription and/or if you are purchasing for a child, you should definitely go to a qualified optician for advice on materials and frame designs and a proper, in-person fitting. Children need very durable frames, and if a heavy prescription is involved, it’s very important to choose the right lens materials for wearability.
Inferior materials wear out quickly
Glasses made with cheap plastic may bleach in the sunlight. They may become brittle and break easily. The exterior may become roughened and shabby looking in a very short period of time.
Low-quality materials may be dangerous and toxic
Cheap plastic and metal can cause skin allergies and discoloration. Poor quality plastic may leach carcinogens into your skin and cause you a world of trouble. Eyeglasses frames made in countries with low environmental regulations may contain lead or other dangerous substances.
Selection may be excessively and needlessly vast
Online purveyors of spectacles often brag that they can offer you thousands of choices. The fact is, there are only so many combinations of features a set of frames can have, and having thousands of choices in inferior glasses frames is not necessarily a benefit.
Fitting can be very difficult
Online glasses shops often provide a virtual fitting tool that shows you how the frames you choose should look on a picture of you. This is a cute idea, but it’s not really an accurate way to determine whether a set of glasses frames will sit right on your nose or feel right over your ears and along the sides of your head.
One or two pairs of high-quality glasses deliver more value than a bunch of cheap pairs
Many people think that it’s better to get lots of pairs of cheap glasses to go with every outfit, but in the long run, this is a poor decision. It’s better to invest in a couple of pairs of well-made glasses that go with anything than to sink a bunch of money into a gaggle of trendy specs. When you do this, you are very likely to end up with a drawer full of broken glasses and very poor vision, indeed.
Purveyors of cheap eyeglasses are not doctors
People who make cheap glasses are typically “one-trick-ponies”. They have the equipment and the knowledge to deliver a basic product per specific guidelines. They usually do not have the knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary to address complications and concerns.
A real optometrist can help you make smart choices to suit your lifestyle, your level of vision and your budget. He or she can prescribe just the right specs for sports, reading, driving, computer work, sewing and more.
Cheap glasses may have no warranty
High-quality eyewear from a qualified optician is usually guaranteed, and you can typically count on being able to locate the optician if you do have problems with your glasses.
You can count on high-quality, well-made eyeglasses to help you achieve your highest level of vision while providing protection from eyestrain and UV radiation.