When it comes to buying eyeglasses online, according to a recent study by the American Optometric Association (AOA) conducted last year with the Optical Laboratories Association and The Vision Council, the study discovered an alarming rate of problems with prescription accuracy and impact resistance. Nearly half of the eyeglasses (44.8 percent) had incorrect prescriptions or safety issues. Researchers had 10 individuals order two pairs of glasses, including pairs for both adults and children, from each of 10 of the most popular online optical vendors. In all 200 pairs were ordered, with frame styles chosen in the midrange options for each vendor, in varying frame materials, lens styles and prescriptions. Only 154 pairs of the orders were received. The study then analyzed lenses, including measurement of sphere power, cylinder power and axis, add power (if specified), separation of distance of optical centers and center thickness. Several pairs were delivered incorrectly, such as single vision instead of bifocals or lens treatments were added or omitted. Nearly three out of 10 (29 percent) pairs had at least one lens that failed to meet the required prescription, a problem typically found and corrected when ordered through and delivered by an optometrist. Nearly one-fourth (23 percent) of the lenses failed impact resistance testing, which highlights a major safety issue. Children’s glasses performed even worse, with 29 percent failing impact testing.
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Source: American Optometric Association (AOA), www.aoa.org