The Association of Optometrists (AOP) has responded to the Mirror’s article ‘How to halve the price of your glasses and contact lenses without compromising your eyes’ brandishing it irresponsible as they believe the advice is fundamentally unhelpful to patients buying prescription eyewear.
The AOP would like to make consumers aware that getting the right pair of glasses, with a prescription that suits the user, and that fits well and is comfortable, is often far more complicated than it seems.
In a survey of more than 1000 UK Optometrists, almost 90% concluded that patients are more likely to experience problems if they buy their lenses somewhere other than where their sight test was conducted.
More than 8 in 10 stated they had seen patients with such problems in the last year.
Over half of optometrists surveyed also reported seeing patients who had issues when they had bought glasses or contact lenses online – such as poor aftercare guidance or ill-fitting products.
Clinical and Regulatory Officer at the AOP, Henry Leonard, said: “Many patients understandably view their prescription as being either ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ but there are many factors involved in the prescribing and dispensing of tailored visual correction wear. The lenses and the fit of the glasses work together towards a good or bad result.
“Glasses are bespoke items, tailored to individuals’ needs, and not all frames or lens types are suitable for all people so it’s important that a patient gets a professional service which optimises their vision and lifestyle. When buying glasses, the things to consider are – purpose, vision correction, quality, fit, comfort and eye health. It is very often better, as well as easier, to have glasses dispensed where the sight test is conducted.”
A spokesperson for Penzer Opticians said, “So buyer beware is the clear message. Given how important a person’s eyesight is, we find it amazing that anyone would seek to cut corners, take risks and look for a ‘cheap fix’ whilst potentially jeopardising their eye sight. Looking after one’s eyes is vitally important.
“We pride ourselves at Penzers for providing great service, quality eye tests and all at a realistic and reasonable cost to our patients, many of whom have been coming to us for years.”