Wednesday, November 23, 2022

Three is two, two is one

Last March, if you recall, I went for a long-overdue exam with an optometrist and got a new pair of glasses.

I am absolutely blind without my glasses, and wanted to make sure I had a pair in reserve ... y'know, just in case.

But everyone knows the Rule of Three: Three is two, two is one, one is none. With only one pair of backup lenses, I wanted to get another spare pair.

But holy cow, glasses are expensive – especially glasses ordered through an optometrist. I know I got hosed on the pair I ordered, but at least it meant I got an up-to-date prescription.

In fact, that was something I insisted upon – having my prescription written down. They were a little reluctant to provide it, because doubtless they knew exactly what I planned to do; namely, order glasses online. I took the prescription card home with me and carefully stored it in a place where it wouldn't get lost.

The one measurement every optometrist will always deliberately omit (when providing a client with their prescription) is the pupillary distance – the space between the pupils of the eyes. This allows the manufacturers to add the correct nose bridge to bring the proper focus for each eye. Presumably they omit this critical measurement to discourage ordering glasses online. Aha, but Older Daughter had already looked up online how to do this.

So Don found a form online, sat me down, and measured the distance between my pupils. He measured twice, just to be sure.

Then I logged onto Zenni Optical, selected some frames I liked, input my prescription ... and was kicked off. It turns out the particular set of frames I liked wouldn't accommodate a prescription as dramatically bad as mine.

Okay, onward. I found another online eyeglass provider called Eye Buy Direct and repeated the process. Select the frames, "try" them on the virtual models provided on the website, and input my prescription details. Bing, bang, boom – done. The cost (including shipping as well as a case) came to about $80, dramatically less expensive than the pair I got through the optometrist. But were they any good?

The glasses arrived literally within a week, and the answer is yes, they're great!

"Order another pair," Don urged, so I did. This time I got a discount for ordering a second pair, and my total came to about $50.

Now I have three spare pairs of prescription eyeglasses, which gives me great comfort. And kudos to Eye Buy Direct for an excellent product, cheap prices, and fast turn-around.


  1. Hi Patrice,
    I use to buy from Eye Buy Direct, until I saw the following this past summer
    I agree the prices are good, and the service is fast. I just don't think I can continue to buy from a company that supports their agenda.

    1. Whelp, didn't know about that one....

      - Patrice

  2. I also will be needing a new pair and will look into the on line purchasing options. Thanks for the tips. As far as the LGBTQ+ and whatever, I will bet they all support this agenda, capitalism dictates to make as much profit as possible, not practicing as many ethics as possible. Certainly worth a look see.

  3. Big Zenni fans here. We refuse to purchase eyeglasses at the exorbitant prices at an optometrist's office. We always graciously and firmly request our prescriptions, and laugh to scorn their refusal to provide the pupillary distance, since we know very well how to measure that ourselves, haha! Zenni even includes a little measuring ruler with their glasses now.

  4. I used to spend a fortune on glasses. I had extreme close up lenses naturally; I could literally read the number of dots in the printing on paper. I also had cataracts that I was born with. I got contact lenses at 13 and that changed my life a lot-although you still need glasses as a back up. Well, time passes, and my cataracts got to the point that they needed removed. I opted for the intra-occular lens implant. It changed my world! The doctor can place either the eagle eye lens with long distance reading or a close up lens. I chose the eagle eye and for me to see soaring distances crystal clear was mind boggling! I need reading glasses but I can get those over the counter. Modern medicine really has produced some miracles.

  5. Thanks for this Patrice! I've literally spent this week researching online glasses so I would have a back up pair. (or two)

  6. The online glasses sellers don't seem to offer progressive prescription lenses (aka line-less bifocals), or if they do, they are as expensive as store-bought glasses.

    1. I get progressive bifocals from Payne Glasses. They are pricier than non-bifocal prescriptions but still significantly less expensive than purchasing through the optometrist. I've been very happy with mine...I've gotten a few pairs though them, and sunglasses too!