There are a lot of bargains on the internet, and eyeglass frames and lenses can be ordered for a fraction of the price compared to your local optician. However, be sure about exactly what you are getting because a prescription is only part of the information needed for a properly fitting pair of glasses and if they don’t work out, it might be difficult to resolve issues and get a refund.
What is the IPD?
When you order glasses from the internet, the seller will normally ask you to send the prescription as well as an “IPD”.
The IPD is the Inter-pupillary distance . This is a measure of how far apart the center of the pupils of each eye are from each other. In theory, this allows the seller to manufacture the lenses in your frames so that they are centered over your pupils. In reality, each eye is slightly farther or closer to the nose from the other and also sits at a slightly different height, and may also be set back from the other. For small prescriptions and single vision glasses, these differences are not significant so small deviations don’t matter.
Complex prescriptions – especially with high astigmatism or progressive bifocals need to be exactly centered over the pupil. Most faces are not completely symmetrical so unless the measurements are taken with the frame on your face, the lenses might not be sit properly and cause eyestrain as well as poor vision.
With bifocals, the upper edge of the bifocal has to be aligned to each pupil and the height (segment height, or seg height)will depend on the size of the frame. This is another source of error if the measurement is not taken without the glasses on your face in real life conditions.
How we handle your eyeglass prescription
Your eyeglass prescription
If you have undergone “Refraction” as part of your eye exam at Medical Vision Institute, you will always have access to your eyeglass prescription which is generally valid for up to two years after the exam, and can be filled by any licensed optician.
We are happy to fill your prescription on our premises and can offer outstanding value as well as the benefit of guaranteed satisfaction. We will adjust and fit the glasses to you personally and perform any necessary re-checks or remakes free of charge within 30 days of you receiving the glasses.
We have concerns with the use of internet based eyeglass vendors who offer to fill your prescription if additional measurements know as Pupillary Distance (PD) is provided along with a copy of the prescription.
Fitting eyeglasses properly involves precise measurements, unbiased advice based on your needs and skillful adjustments of the frame and lenses. Since Internet vendors do not actually meet with you in person they can’t provide those services. We provide all the optical services at no additional cost for patients who buy eyeglasses at Medical Vision Institute, but we can’t provide them for glasses purchased elsewhere.
While this method may succeed for small prescriptions without bifocals, it is unlikely to result in a properly fitting pair of glasses for most of our patients.
Medical Vision Institute requires that an optician make specialized adjustments and take precise measurements before ordering spectacles. These measurements should be taken by the optician involved in manufacturing the spectacles. Providing a pupillary distance measurement only is inconsistent with our mission to provide optimum vision care and optimally fitted spectacles.
Therefore, we cannot guarantee an internet based spectacle correction when a specialized optician is not available for the fitting process due to internet based sales. We will not be responsible for internet based laboratory errors in making spectacle lenses.
To avoid confusion and disappointment with glasses purchased elsewhere, here is a list of services we provide and those we do not. Please check with the eyeglass vendor to determine return and refund policies in the event problems occur.
We provide only two services for eyeglasses purchased outside of our office:
- PD or pupillary distance – a measurement of the distance between your eyes taken with a pupillometer, not a ruler. This will be given with your eyeglass prescription upon request.
- Prescription verification – we will verify the basic lens parameters in new glasses to see if it matches your prescription. We will also recheck the refraction test to confirm the prescription is correct if necessary. This will be done at no charge within 30 days of a new eyeglass prescription. We will not troubleshoot optical measurements taken by others. Visual problems may result if a correct prescription is made with inaccurate optical measurements. Correction or changes in the glasses will be up to you and the eyeglass seller.
The following services or measurements are not available if you purchase glasses elsewhere. These measurements should be provided by the person selling the glasses.
- Segment (seg) height
- Vertical optical center
- Eye size
- Bridge size
- Temple length
- Frame model and color
- Lens material and index
- Multifocal design and brand
- Optional lens features – such as tints, coatings, etc.
- Eyeglass dispensing adjustment
- Education and training on lens and frame features and care
- Ongoing adjustments
- Minor repairs