Should You Really Splurge on Expensive Glasses?

Analysis of the performance data published on page 13 of the pre-seen information demonstrates the significant margins IC Optical realise on sales of designer frames and tints and coatings. I found an article that discusses the relative benefits of selecting a cheaper option of glasses, which focusses on a segmentation strategy to match customer needs to the range of frames offered. To access the article click here.

Gregory Ostrow M.D., Director of Paediatric Ophthalmology and Adult Strabismus at Scripps Clinic in San Diego is quoted as often referring his patients to online eyeglass retailers in order to access discounted prices. Such discounted retailers represent a threat to IC Optical. Customers can access a government funded eye test, obtain a prescription and then source glasses from an online retailer that can operate without the similar levels of fixed costs that IC Optical’s retail chain would incur.

Caveats inclided within the article include the assessment of goals, with Rebecca Talor M.D. recommending that athletic daredevils should invest in a pricier pair that can survive extreme sports to avoid being caught in the vicious cycle of buying specs that keep breaking and costing more in the long run. This links with a similar blog post I made on market segmentation (Vision Taken Seriously). Lauren Blieden M.D., also includes advice for those purchasing glasses online to not underestimate the importance of correctly identifying their pupillary distance to prevent double vision when wearing glasses.

Should You Really Splurge on Expensive Glasses?

Or are cheapie lenses good enough?

BYKELSEY BUTLER April 12, 2016

Tina Fey once famously said, “You could put glasses on a rotting pumpkin and people would think it was sexy.” She’s totally right: Frames are an awesome accessory. But when it comes to shopping for new ones, are more affordable options (say, under $100) from the likes of Warby Parker or Zenni Optical just as effective as the expensive pairs you’d find at your local optician’s office?

The short answer: In most cases, yes, cheaper glasses are A-okay, says Gregory Ostrow, M.D., director of pediatric ophthalmology and adult strabismus (a condition that affects eye alignment) at Scripps Clinic in San Diego. He often points his patients to online eyeglass retailers for the discounted prices.

Before shelling out any dough though, it’s important to assess your goals, says Rebecca Taylor, M.D., clinical spokesperson for the American Academy of Ophthalmology. If you’re an athletic daredevil, for example, you’ll probably want to invest in a pricier pair that can survive extreme sports. Otherwise, you’ll be caught in a vicious cycle of buying specs that keep breaking—costing you more in the long run.

And the more complex your prescription, the harder it is to get right, says Lauren Blieden, M.D., assistant professor of Ruiz Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Science at the McGovern Medical School at UT Health. So don’t go for a low-priced pair if you have severe nearsightedness, severe farsightedness, astigmatism, or other very specific vision needs, says Taylor.

Wherever you decide to buy your glasses, experts agree that having your pupillary distance—the space between the pupils in each eye—properly measured is super-important. This will ensure that the center of each of your lenses is in the proper place. This is something that’s done in-office if you’re buying expensive frames, whereas you’ll have to figure out that measurement yourself if you’re ordering online (and that may not be quite as accurate). If the measurement is slightly off, it won’t cause permanent damage, but it can still be a nuisance and cause double vision, says Blieden. So before you click “buy,” check the return policy to make sure you can have them remade or get your money back if they don’t fight properly. If you can afford it, ophthalmologists also recommend polycarbonate lenses, which are 10 times more impact-resistant than plastic or glass.

The bottom line: As long as you don’t have major eye issues (or a hobby that’s rough on your frames), getting a new pair on the cheap is eye doc-approved.



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