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Don’t buy your glasses online

Attentive optometrist examining female patient on slit lamp in ophthalmology clinic

Attentive optometrist examining female patient on slit lamp in ophthalmology clinic

Optometry Australia says you're putting your vision at risk.

Australians who buy their prescription glasses online are putting their vision at risk, according to peak body Optometry Australia.

The warning from Optometry Australia comes off the back of a UK study, A Comparison of Spectacles Purchased Online and in UK Optometry Practice, which found the majority of glasses deemed unsafe or unacceptable were bought online. The most common issue was the fit of the glasses.

“Glasses are one item you should try on before you buy as every face varies and not all frame shapes suit every face shape. No one wants to end up with ill-fitting and uncomfortable frames that do not suit them," said Simon Hanna, a resident optometrist at Optometry Australia.

Ill-fitting frames are just one concern. Those opting for the convenience of over-the-counter or online prescriptions run the risk of doing serious damage to their eyes.

It's important that those needing glasses get regular check-ups and don't rely on older scripts because our eyes change as we get older.

"Between the ages of 45 and 65 your prescription is likely to change significantly every few years. While it might be convenient or cheaper to fill an old prescription online, using an inaccurate prescription will only compromise your vision and quality of life," Hanna said.

The UK study found that 79% of those surveyed would visit an optometrist for their next pair of glasses, despite the relative ease and lower costs of buying online.

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