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It’s Time to Reconsider Buying Glasses & Contacts Online

We’re in an era of buying everything online. Even things that people said would never make sense to buy online are becoming commonplace. Trying on clothes in the store has been replaced with great online return policies, finding the perfect mattress has been replaced with glitzy startups using “space-age materials” and going to the grocery store has been replaced by some kind of magic only Amazon fully understands.

Now sure, there are some good reasons to buy online, but when it comes to glasses and contacts, there’s just no substitute for the personal care and attention we offer at Eye Medical Clinic. We’re talking about your vision after all!

The Problem with Online Contacts

This is the easy one. The two big reasons you should choose to purchase contacts from your optometrist: expertise and quality.


An important choice when considering investing in contact lenses is which lens material will best meet your needs for your unique lifestyle.

Do you cycle? Hike? Work at a computer all day? Are you disciplined about routines and schedules or more relaxed? All of these things and more will need to be considered because different types of lenses and lens materials lend themselves to different preferences and lifestyles.

While soft lenses, especially the disposable variety, are most popular because of wearing ease, there are instances where a hard lens may be a better choice. The experienced optical team at Eye Medical Clinic can help you find the contact lens that will work best for you.

And if you’re in the “hard to fit” category, Eye Medical Clinic can help. Our experienced optometrists love to help individuals just like you find a contact lens that is comfortable and effective.


Speaking of quality, many people think the only way to truly save money is to take a serious drop in quality. It should be no surprise that we don’t recommend that drop in quality, but seriously, we could write an entire blog on why not to skim on contacts.

The short story is every single side effect associated with contacts is more likely to occur in older technology. From dry eye and discomfort to eye infections, you can expect an all-around worse experience from discount contacts. Be especially wary of bottom-dollar prices from less-established companies because you’ll more than likely end up buying contacts with technology that’s two decades old. Yes, we said TWO DECADES!

By far, the best thing about buying contacts with an optometrist is that you’ll get to try on the contacts and know if they meet your needs. Remember, you’re going to be wearing these contacts almost every day, so you should be sure they’re perfect for you. Thankfully, you can trust Dr. Deane and the entire Eye Medical Clinic team to help you in that department.

The Value of Buying Glasses In-office

So the conversation about glasses is a bit more complicated. We can understand the appeal of rock-bottom prices on glasses. Even if you just want a backup pair – but it’s very true that you get what you pay for.

And if glasses are your “daily driver”, it’s even more important that you buy them from a reputable source.


The fact is, no matter how fancy a digital try-on tool a website has or the home try-on options they offer, there is no comparison to having a vision expert in your corner when you’re looking for a pair of glasses.

Not only does trying on glasses in-store offer you the input of an expert, but it also means you can trust that you’re getting the best glasses for your vision. We’ll touch on this more in a bit, but the quality of your vision comes down to more than your prescription. An expert like those at Eye Medical Clinic can help you find exactly the right glasses for your vision. Having served the Santa Clara Valley for over 70 years, we have a wealth of knowledge and experience…something you just won’t get when purchasing glasses and contacts online.

A common misconception is that the retail part of an eye care center doesn’t care about patients in the same way as the doctor does during the exam. That couldn’t be further from the truth! In reality, the optical team is in place to help you find a great style that meets your visual needs, fits your face well and complements your features – all for a price that makes sense for you.

That quality extends to after your purchase if/when you run into issues. When you buy online, you’re essentially on your own once you have your glasses in hand. But when you come into our office, we’re happy to offer many simple services such as:

  • Repairs
  • Deep cleaning
  • Fit adjustments
  • Screw and part replacements


The next thing you can expect is quality. Now, we have to be fair, some online retailers offer quality glasses, too. But, when you visit Eye Medical Clinic, you can rest assured that only the highest quality glasses are available.

We work with top brands to ensure we carry the latest styles using only the highest quality materials. So whether you want to go classic or trendy, you can be sure that your glasses will last.

Pitfalls of Buying Online

Truth: there are some serious downsides to buying glasses online that you need to know about.

First of all, it’s very common for glasses to be outright wrong. This study by the AOA shows 44.8% of 200 glasses purchased online had incorrect prescriptions or didn’t pass impact testing. Specifically, 29% percent had incorrect prescriptions. Additionally, many of the glasses didn’t have the extra coating that was requested.

When you purchase from Eye Medical Clinic, we will check all of these things so you don’t have to worry about receiving an improper pair of glasses.

But aside from that, even in a world where you get exactly the pair of glasses you order, there are other things to consider. First, there is the pupillary distance. This is the space between the centers of both your eyes, and it has to be measured correctly to result in a properly fitted pair of glasses. If it’s incorrect, then it can feel like one of your eyes is being pulled “off center”. Our team has the expertise and technology to make this a non-issue.

Another big factor is the lens shape. Depending on the quality of your vision, smaller lenses may limit some of your field of vision. Equally important is the fit of the glasses themselves; certain frames work better on certain faces (both in how they look and how they correct your vision.) These are just a few examples of why it’s so important to have personal care and attention when buying new glasses.

Luckily for you, combining your eye exam with a glasses fitting at Eye Medical Clinic can do wonders for the look, feel and performance of your glasses.

Ready for Some Help Choosing Your Next Frames?

So there you have it – all the reasons you should visit your optometrist before you jump online to buy glasses or contacts. The team at Eye Medical Clinic looks forward to serving you!

Schedule today by clicking the button below, or schedule an appointment by calling 408.457.7311.

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