Ask An Optometrist


Why would I buy in store when I can buy cheap eyeglasses online?

Answer: Online purchasing of glasses sometimes can provide the advantage of availability of certain frame styles and/or better price.  However, it can be a confusing process and it is certainly not for everyone, especially with a complex prescription including bifocal, progressive, and or high prescription which requires precise lens measurements to ensure proper vision and comfort.  These are best measured with the actual glasses physically on a person’s face and should not be estimated.  Depending on a prescription, a slight deviation or errors in measurements can cause misalignment of optical center of the lenses and the visual axis, regardless of the accuracy of the prescription, and ultimately lead to visual discomfort and eyestrain. Choosing a pair of eyeglasses is also best done in person.  Some optical websites even provide an option of superimposing images of your selected frame and your uploaded photo to provide you with a visual image.  However, this still does not ensure the actual comfort and fitting of the glasses. Frames have different widths and temple lengths. Physically trying the eyeglasses on your face will only ascertain the comfort and the proper fitting rather than ordering a pair merely based on measurements and visual attraction -Dr. Kim   Grace M. Kim, O.D.
Optometrist Grace Kim

Dr. Grace Kim

Clinical Advisor Panel Chair for America’s Best Contacts & Eyeglasses. Dr. Kim received her Doctorate from the Pennsylvania College of Optometry. Prior to entering optometry school, she worked as a research biologist at the Department of Microbiology and Immunology of the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences. She was involved in electron microscopy, ultramicrotomy and immunocytochemistry, in which fields she received acknowledgements and co-authored presentations, abstracts, and articles which were published in the Journal of Eukaryotic Microbiology. Following graduation, Dr. Kim joined National Vision’s America’s Best Contacts and Eyeglasses. Since 2007, Dr. Kim served as Chairperson on Clinical Advisory Panel. She is also a Doctor Mentor in which position she trains newly hired doctors and assist in conducting performance reviews on the Peer Review Committee. 

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11 Responses

  1. Marie says:

    I just ordered no line bifocals and i
    Am afraid the lenses are going to be thick. if i give you the prescription can you tell me how bad they will be. I have medium sized frames.

  2. Archie says:

    I’m a soft 20/20 with a reading only prescription; sphere +175right / +200left, DS – cylinder. My question is that I got three pair of cheap reading glasses, +125,150,175 and 200. I took the right lens out of each pair and replaced the lower (.25) in each right eye giving me three pair of glasses with the left eye stronger that the right e.g +125right / +150 etc. Am I over simplifying this or will this work?

    • Andy says:

      Thanks for your question Archie! Some people can get by with over-the-counter reading glasses, especially with their prescription not being particularly strong. That said, it is still important to have the lenses matched to your specific PD, or Pupillary Distance. If the PD in the glasses doesn’t match your eyes, this could cause headaches as your eyes are constantly trying to adjust. Switching lenses between frames could actually make the issue worse. Your best option would be to go into a store and have them measure your PD and the PD of your frames to see if they are similar. I hope this helps! Let me know if I can help you find a store or answer any other questions. Thank you!

  3. Pam says:

    I woke up with my eyelids stuck to my eyeballs. Opened them on my own & the right eye was painful & still hurts several hours later. Now I’m at work & seeing a shadow of letters on my computer screen. Could I have damaged my eye & should I see a doctor?’

    • Andy says:

      If you feel concerned about your eye or eye health, it’s always a good idea to get a doctor’s professional opinion. Could I help you find the closest America’s Best location and get you an appointment with the doctor, or do you have your own doctor that you would prefer to use?


  4. Tess says:

    I recently asked the doctor at the Wal-Mart eyecenter, where I have been a customer for the last 10 years, for my most recent eyeglass prescription. She said I was -750 in my left eye. Could she have meant -7.50, or are they one and the same? Thanks.

    • Andy says:

      It’s very possible the doctor left out or forgot the decimal point, but if you’re not entirely sure the best bet is to call the doctor’s office and have them verify that for you. Thanks for your question!


  5. Madeline Conway says:

    My name is Mrs.Conway. Ever sense I received my glasses last year.I spent over 800.00 dollars. They have a glare with anything and everything. I believe this is damaging my eyes. I orded no glare on both pair.I would appreciate it if you could do something about this. I also had scratch proof And one pair has a chips on them. I would like to know if something could be done with this. Thank you, Mrs. Conway

    • Claire Rozeman says:

      Hi Mrs. Conway, Thank you for reaching out to us about your glasses. If you don’t mind sending an email with your full name and contact information to, we’ll get a member of our management team to reach out to you about this issue. Thank you – Claire

  6. Stacy Bentley says:

    I recently purchased a pair of eyeglasses at one of your stores. I thought I liked them in the store, but now that I have them and wear them, I really don’t like them at all. Is there anything I can do about that?

    • Claire Rozeman says:

      Hi Stacy,
      Thanks for reaching out to us. We’d like for someone on our management team talk to you about your glasses if you’re comfortable with that. Please send an email to with your name, preferred contact information and the store you visited. We hope we can get you some glasses you do like!
      Thanks again! -Claire

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