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Purchasing eyeglasses online may offer convenience to consumers, but according to the American Optometric Association (AOA), the consequences of making an incorrect or uninformed purchase could cost patients more time and money in the long run.
Eyeglasses are an investment in your health and must be custom-fitted not only to be comfortable, but also to meet particular prescriptive needs, which only an eye doctor and optician can determine.
“Without visiting an eye doctor, patients run the risk of purchasing eyeglasses online with an improper fit or receiving the wrong prescription altogether,” said Dr. Alison Halpin. “Ultimately, patients can expend more time dealing with order mistakes and making returns than had they simply visited their local optometrist in the first place.”
An AOA study published in 2011 with the Optical Laboratories Association and The Vision Council reinforces the drawbacks of online orders. The study concluded:
• Of 200 glasses ordered online, only 154 pairs were received
• 44.8 percent had incorrect prescriptions or safety issues
• 29 percent had at least one lens fail to meet required prescription
• 19 percent of adult lenses failed impact resistance testing
• 25 percent of children’s lenses failed impact resistance testing
Purchasing eyeglasses from a local optometrist is the AOA’s first and foremost recommendation, but if patients are still interested in making a purchase online, be warned that consumers need to do their homework before making a final decision.
“If a consumer believes that ordering a pair of glasses online is in their best interest, it is important for the consumer to be fully informed regarding the potential pitfalls in doing so,” Halpin said. “The peer-reviewed study revealed that nearly half of all glasses ordered online had either prescription errors or failed to meet minimum safety standards. Personally, I find that very scary. Patients deserve better than that.”
Be advised to consider the following factors before making a purchase online:
The fit and material of
How the eyeglasses fit is critically important — if the fit is incorrect, not only can a patient experience discomfort, such as pinching and headaches, but can also cause additional vision problems.
Consumers also need to consider the various options available for the lenses, and what is best for their particular prescription and lifestyle. Lenses come in various materials, such as traditional plastic, as well as thinner, lighter materials. Other considerations are the different coatings and treatments available such as non-glare coatings and photochromic lenses.
The accuracy of the prescription
Just because the eyeglasses “look right” on a person’s face doesn’t mean the measurements are correct. Pupil distance (PD) determines where to place the center of each lens in your frames to customize the optics to your eyes. This measurement is necessary to ensure the eyeglasses serve your vision needs properly.
Consumers need an optometrist or optician to provide the PD and ensure precise measurements. However, the PD is not part of your prescription and not normally provided unless you ask for it. Your optometrist or optician can even legitimately charge for the service of providing your PD. The measurements needed for multifocals can only be accurately made once the frame is selected and properly fitted to your face, so typically this measurement is simply estimated for eyeglasses available online.
The retailer’s policies on purchases
• Returns: What is the website’s return policy if you are not satisfied with your purchase? How will the website deal with issues of prescription inaccuracies or other mistakes (wrong lenses coatings, wrong color, etc.)?
• Warrantees: Does the online retailer offer protection against lens scratching, how long this may be covered and what needs to be done to replace scratched lenses. How long is the frame warranty? What about children’s frames?
• Shipping: The cost and timeliness of shipments varies. Who pays for shipping returns?
• Pricing: Are protective eyeglass cases and cleaning cloths included, or are they “extras” added to the cost?
• Insurance: Some websites do not accept vision insurance. If you have a Flexible Spending Account (FSA), check to see what’s required to accept this as payment.
• Maintenance: Some websites provide a contact for this and may offer online tips for minor adjustments, but it might mean shipping your glasses away and being without them until the service is completed and they are returned.
For more in-depth detail about factors to consider before purchasing eyeglasses online, visit www.aoa.org to read a brochure offered by the AOA.
As the leaders of primary eye care in the United States, doctors of optometry are crucial in helping patients achieve optimum eye health and vision, and are the best resource to offer the highest quality eyeglasses.
Saratoga Cycling Studio Has Many Options For A Healthier You
SARATOGA SPRINGS – Jerry and Angela Amedio have a brand-new 1-month-old they are dying to show off to you!
Yes, behold their new, cheerful (complete with a festive purple color scheme and an in-studio mirrored disco ball), expanded location at 422 Broadway. The Saratoga Cycling Studio (SCS) is Saratoga Springs only official Spinning® facility – originally established at 24 Hamilton Street in 2012.
In addition to extra cycles, the new studio has, or is moving in equipment to deliver a variety of workout options, including:
- One hour spinning: Where an instructor guides you, but where you go at your own pace and resistance
- TRX suspension trainer: A workout system that leverages gravity and your bodyweight to perform hundreds of exercises
- Powerhouse spin: 45 minutes on a bike combined with floor exercises
- Spin fit total body: 30 minutes on the bike and 30 minutes off the bike with exercises that incorporate weights, bands and balls
And there are other combinations and class offerings as well. See saratogacyclingstudio.com/class-descriptions for all the options.
In just their first month since opening the new facility and due to increased demand, Angela reports that she has hired four new instructors since we sat down for this interview just three days earlier! So the instructors page on the website will have to be updated, but the current roster as is includes some highly credentialed local fitness professionals including: Brie Cramer, Diane Ryan, Gail Picillo, Jennifer Giuttari, Laura Newell, Lyndsay Meilleur and MacKenzie Liptak – in addition to Jerry and Angela themselves.
Angela is about to enter some rarified company. She recently returned from Miami where she took classes and is now classified as a Spinning® Master Instructor Candidate. “I still have one more thing to complete, but I’m almost there!” She said. “Hopefully, I’ll be training the trainers by this fall.”
To give you an idea what this means, when certified, Angela will be just one of only 150 Master Instructors in the world! Not bad for someone who says on her bio that “ten years ago I found myself signed up for my first cycling class. I snuck into the back corner and was scared to death!”
By comparison, Angela estimated that there were perhaps 200,000 certified instructors worldwide – one of who is her husband (of six years) Jerry, who is also a local attorney. Interestingly, Angela is a paralegal who helps in the office, making this a family affair times two.
The modern equipment of the Saratoga Cycling Studio is complimented by their website’s online reservation and payment system. “While walk-ins are available when there is space, the best way to assure your spot in one of the more popular classes is to reserve it,” Angela advises.
The studio is running some special programs in concert with their new location. For individuals, if you buy a summer unlimited monthly program (at $69.99/month) you will get an extra week free. For businesses, the Saratoga County Chamber of Commerce has named SCS a “Healthy Saratoga Initiative Ambassador,” and there are sliding scale discounts for chamber members depending on the number of employees in a given firm. Discounts are also available for sports teams and other groups.
Also, the low-impact aspects of much of SCS’s workouts make it ideal for physical therapy and rehabilitation applications. “We are also able to verify for insurance purposes,” Angela said, so this may be covered depending on your policy.
On the horizon for SCS is the official grand opening, which we’ll be happy to announce, as well as a schedule of – wait for it – rooftop workouts on top of the beautiful Washington building!
Can you say photo op?
Saratoga Cycling Studio
422 Broadway, Suite 3
Priority Reservations: SaratogaCyclingStudio.com
SARATOGA SPRINGS — Residents of Saratoga, along with the thousands of tourists that flock to the race course every summer may be curious why there are dozens of five-foot statues of pointe ballet shoes on display all over town.
MALTA – Dozens of officials and supporters of both Saratoga Hospital and Albany Medical Center gathered today for the ribbon cutting of the first joint collaboration between the two facilities, Malta Med Emergent Care.
WILTON – For EMS crews responding to a medical emergency, every second is crucial to their patient’s well-being. Advances in cellular technology are now allowing ambulances to relay medical information to hospitals faster than ever before, which could make all the difference for a person whose life might be in jeopardy.