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Trusted optical practices across the country choose us to attract, convert, and retain more customers.

We want to do what we can to help alleviate stress at the front counter and give our patients the eyewear they want. The best way we’ve found to do this is by partnering with Sunbit. Sunbit has positively impacted sales and resulted in more upgrades.

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Your associates get hands on training. You get real-time reporting.

We come to you either in person or virtually to train and certify your employees to offer Sunbit technology.

You get assigned a dedicated Account Manager and Partner Success Manager that visits you either in-person or virtually to train and certify your employees to offer Sunbit technology. We’ll engage with your store often to ensure you have all you need to drive revenue and customer satisfaction with Sunbit technology. This includes marketing materials, training, and one-on-one coaching.

We provide digital marketing resources to help you get the word out on your website, social media, email marketing, and digital ads. We provide the creative, so your marketing teams are equipped from day one. Your team also gets access to our learn management system for refresher training and new employee certifications.

Through our partner portal you’ll see just how much incremental revenue you’re earning from Sunbit technology anytime you’d like. Get in-depth reporting about your store performance. We give you insights at the associate-level, store-level and group-level for multiple-locations.

Purchase price from 60-6,000. Interest-free for 3 months for all qualified customers. Payment term options of 3, 6, and 12 months. Annual percentage rate (APR) 0%-29.99%. Checking options does not affect a customer’s credit score. Customers must be at least 18 years of age (or higher as required by state law). Down payment required. State-issued ID, bank-issued debit card, and email address required. No application,pre-payment penalty, or late fees.

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After trying other financing options with modest success, this chain brought on Sunbit technology and saw a big return.

After trying other financing options with modest success, this chain brought on Sunbit technology and saw a big return.

“Sunbit is an excellent program for customers like myself on a tight budget. I needed a new pair of glasses and thanks to the help of Sunbit I was able to get a pair that I loved, even though they were a little bit more expensive.”

“The associate at the store was extremely helpful and explained everything thoroughly. It was a very fast process and the associate even had recommendations for me, so I ended up going with the 12-month contract. “

“I purchased some glasses and frames using Sunbit. The information presented to me throughout the application process was clear and broken down very simply. The website is very easy to use if you want to manage your payments on your own.”

“I purchased glasses for myself. The rep explained in detail my financing options and was very thorough in doing so. The process was very quick. I would have struggled to make this purchase if Sunbit was not an option.”

“I was able to buy a very nice pair of glasses using Sunbit. This is actually the first loan I have ever applied for aside from my car loan and I could not believe how simple it was. I’d love to use Sunbit again when I need it.”

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Help, I’m Seeing Stars: Photopsia Causes When to See a Doctor

When a cartoon character is hit in the head, often with a frying pan or by a piano falling from the sky, they are typically depicted with stars floating around their head. While a regular appearance in cartoons, people in real life may also find themselves “seeing stars” and for more reasons than just a bump to the head.

What Does it Mean to See Stars?

Many people report seeing stars in their vision for a variety of reasons, but this commonplace saying typically refers to a phenomenon know as photopsia.

Photopsia is a medical term that refers to a number of visual disturbances including:

  • Seeing stars
  • Flashes of light
  • Seeing sparkles in your vision
  • Bright spots in your vision
  • Seeing floaters- A floater is a shadow, line, or cluster that moves across your vision slowly.

Seeing stars in your eyesight or spots in your vision can occur quite frequently and for a variety of reasons; some are more alarming than others.

Why Am I Seeing Stars?

While the term seeing stars is often used to refer to the aftermath of a bump to the head, there are several reasons why people see stars or other related vision abnormalities. Depending on what makes you see stars, you may be able to ignore it, or you may require immediate medical attention.

Some causes of seeing stars or other symptoms of photopsia include:

  • Rubbing your eyes or sneezing
  • Head trauma
  • Migraines
  • Disturbances in the brain
  • Retinal damage or detachment
  • Pregnancy

Rubbing Your Eyes or Sneezing

Seeing tiny moving spots of light or another visual disturbance after rubbing your eyes or sneezing is quite common. They are connected to temporary physical pressure on the eyes that activate cells in your retina and consequently make you see light. Photopsia from rubbing your eyes or sneezing should be brief and is typically harmless.

Head Trauma

One of the most common reasons someone may report seeing stars is from head trauma. A sudden blow to the head can interrupt normal brain functioning and cause your neurons to fire spontaneously. Your brain may interpret these signals as lights, spots, or flashes. After head trauma, you should get checked for a concussion and do as your doctor advises.


Some people who get migraines will experience visual disturbances such as seeing spots, colorful lights, or floaters in their vision immediately before their migraine. This phenomenon is specifically referred to as aura and usually lasts for less than an hour.

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Other Disturbances in the Brain

While more rare, other brain disturbances outside of head trauma or migraines may cause someone to see stars including:

Often these issues will interfere with the brain’s normal functioning and cause random firing of neurons in the occipital lobe, the area of the brain related to vision. These signals can be interpreted as floaters, bursts of light, or spots in someone’s vision.

Retinal Damage

Retinal damage is another common cause of photopsia symptoms such as seeing stars or spots in vision. The retina is a layer of tissue in the back of the eye that senses light and sends signals to the brain. It can become inflamed, deteriorated, or sometimes even detached from the back of the eye. Diabetic retinopathy, a side effect of diabetes, can also lead to damage to the blood vessels in the retina and lead to seeing floaters.

In other cases, disturbance to the vitreous gel, a special gel in front of the retina that protects it, may lead to visual disturbances. Floaters in your vision may also be a result of loose vitreous gel floating in your eye. When the retina or vitreous gel is disturbed, it can interfere with the messaging to the brain and lead to perceived lights or stars in vision.

Retinal damage is serious and requires immediate medical attention. If you have diabetes, make sure you regularly get comprehensive eye exams so your doctor can monitor potential damage to your retina.


Because those pregnant may have elevated blood pressure or glucose levels, it can lead to floaters in the eyes or other visual disturbances. In some cases, this may be a sign of a serious issue, so it is important to talk to your doctor immediately if you are experiencing these symptoms.

When To See a Doctor About Stars in Your Vision

In some cases, the cause of seeing stars is harmless and symptoms are fleeting, but other times, it may require immediate medical attention.

You should see a doctor about seeing stars or other signs of photopsia if:

  • They will not go away
  • Both flashes and floaters are present in the same eye
  • They are becoming more and more frequent
  • You recently hit your head
  • It appears like a veil has been pulled over your vision
  • You are experiencing other symptoms like headaches or eye redness

No matter what causes floaters in your eyes or stars in your vision, it is important to seek medical attention if you suspect there may be a problem.

What To Expect When Seeing Your Doctor

When you go to optometrist for stars and floaters in your vision, your doctor will likely perform a variety of tests such as dilating your pupils or conducting an ultrasound. These tests are used to determine the root of the problem and give you a proper diagnosis.

Once you have a diagnosis, your doctor will work toward creating a treatment plan if necessary. Your care plan may include something as simple as resting your eyes or something more involved like eye disease management.

If you are seeing stars or other visual disturbances, it may be time to visit one of our offices. Contact us at Ideal EyeCare today to make your appointment. It is better to be safe than sorry when it comes to your eye health.

Retinoscopy Lecture

This video lecture describes the process of loose-lens retinoscopy from start to finish. You’ll learn the theory of how retinoscopy works to estimate glasses prescription, then run through 20 different patients with increasing complexity of astigmatism error. This is probably the best presentation on the internet to learn this difficult-to-learn skill:

ScreenShots/Notes from this Lecture:

Start with WITH motion You need to the retina reflection to be “with” in all directions. If you see “against” motion in the beginning, you might need to hold up a., or even a.10.00 lens in front of the eyes to get that “with” motion. Only then can you proceed without getting confused.

ADD power to neutralize reflex Slowly add more power (plus power) until you neutralize the red-reflex. If you see “against” motion, you’ve gone too far. If the patient has astigmatism, you may get different powers for each axis … don’t worry. Just set the lenses aside so you can calculate the prescription later. Remember: the sphere power is your first lens, the cylinder power is the difference between the lenses. The axis is the angle your light beam ends up at (see example below)

SUBTRACT working distance at end The last step is to subtract.1.50 from the sphere.

Dr. Timothy Root is a practicing ophthalmologist and cataract surgeon in Daytona Beach, Florida. His books, video lectures, and training resources can be found at:

89 Комментарии и мнения владельцев

Best explanation I have ever had on this topic, (I don’t know how many attempts I made to learn the retinoscopy in observing my prof) thanks!! Margherita Montali p.s. only a question: can you determine accurately the axis with the retinoscopy? I mean how can you be sure than what are you measuring, for example, in an axis of 60° instead of 70°? Because, I notice, in the prescription of glasses, normally the patient can appreciate a difference of 10°.

Thanks Dr. Montali, In answer to your question … no, I can’t always tell the exact axis using retinoscopy, though we can often get close. If I have an adult (who might notice these subtle axis issues) than I can usually get them up to the phoropter anyway. I start with my retinoscopy estimation, then using the phoropter I tweak my power and axis to the exact prescription. In kids, I just do the best I can and trust my retinoscopy. I like to put my final prescription in a trial frame to make sure the kid likes it (if old enough). Good luck!Tim Root

Thanks Dr. Root, yes I see. Can I take up your time once again? When I was student (in Italy), my prof told me it was the best technique to measure the refractives troubles. Now I am in Switzerland, and I continue to be surprise they prefer do another kind of measuration: once obtained the cycloplegia they use the autorefratometer. What do you think about? Best, Margherita M.

The autorefractor is fine … we use it in our clinic prior to refracting new patients and children (if old enough). It gives a good place to start before manifest refraction with the phoropter. Plus, technicians can use the autorefractor with minimal training. However, you can’t autorefract everyone … including young children, wheel-chair patients, or the demented. Also, the autorefractor is sometimes wrong or the machine refuses to take a good reading. In these cases, loose-lens refraction is the only way to go.

Brilliant approach, thanks so much. You are really making a difference in the ophthalmic education of many people across the world.

From the content point of view it look very good. Till I not seen the video. AK Singh FAculty Optometrist Quality Control Manager


the video was good and simple to understand, however we at the moment in classess work, slightly different to whats on the video, for exmple, we choose the most positive value between the two values as a sphere, then we use a negative cycl to correct for the astigmatism with axis at the positive sphere. however in this video, what type of technique is being used in the video positive cycl form or negtative, as im getting the impression its positive cycl form. for example: we have two different meridian powers 4.00 axis90 and 2.00 axis 180 4.00/-2.00/x90 subtract wrokin distance 5.50/-2.00×90 thats how we work it out

THNX Dr.DAVID. UR LECTURE IS REALLY HELPFUL… a small query. wud b kind of u if u cud reply… how do u select the the axis for spherical power from which the workin distance is subtracted in case of un-rule astigmatism? is it the first one whichever gives complete bright red reflex?

THNX Dr.TIMOTHY UR LECTURE IS REALLY HELPFUL… a small query. wud b kind of u if u cud reply… how do u select the the axis for spherical power from which the workin distance is subtracted in case of un-rule astigmatism? is it the first one whichever gives complete bright red reflex?

Thanks alot Dr. Tim. I’m an under grad and this video has become the standard study material for retinoscopy amongst all my friends. Have also seen all of your other videos. you made optha easy and interesting.

How do I get the audio portion to work? Am I required to purchase a video? Can I just buy a download? thanks!! Lynn S

it was a very good demo.thank u so much.but i would like to know how u would do it in a keratoconus patient and how to appreciate oil drop reflex. thank u

Big ( Thank you ) Dr. amazing, very interesting very nice very informant video. and for all your videos.

Brilliant lecture Dr Root. I think the best way to learn retinoscopy is using a practice model eye which you can make out of a toilet roll! Please contact me and I will send you some photos and more details. Clive Novis (South Africa)

could never have understood retinoscopy without this video.u’ve made it so understandabl that i’m so mch interested in smthn i earlier dreaded. Today as i did retinoscopy fr d 1st time,i cn only thank u fr d knowledge u’ve given.Thank u so vry mch.lukn fwd to more of sch videos.obliged to b ur student. al d best!!

you are making difference to many people thank you very much i am from Egypt and i have learned a lot thank you again.

iam an optometrist. i was see the vidoeo really iam fine. this teaching is not neglect in my life. thank u

hello doctor, Greetings from India. Thanks for the exhaustive explanation. very easy to understand ‘FINALLY’.i will be looking forward to see many of your videos and lectures. Thank you

hello doctor, Greetings from India. Thanks for the exhaustive explanation. very easy to understand ‘FINALLY’.i will be looking forward to see many of your videos and lectures. Thank you

hello.i have questions: how the distance between instrument and patient’s eye? what object seen by patient? how the distance? the the last one how if i want to use minus cylinder, any different method? thanks

I,m a beginner from srilanka.i,m interesting about your explanation and need to be a professional in the trade and want some more information about retinoscopy.

excellent lecture i am passing on this site to my fellow techs. I have switched from a cyl phoropter to – cyl, how do i find the astigmatic power now? thank you Rodney in Boston

Thank you for this lecturesiwant from you to increased your vedio about astigmatism.finally thank you.

Dear Dr. Root. You said the word “ALONG”the meridian right? so you need to convert it to ÄXIS” so if its along 90 or @ 90 and the AXIS would be 180? am I right? I’m sorry but I’m a little bit confused, as according to the book, they use the term “@”or ÄLONG” then should convert it to axis. Hoping for a quick respond regarding on this matter. Best Regards, Mark

Mark, In this video … I am using the “@” sign to mean “at.” In retrospect, perhaps I should have used the more traditional “x” sign or just spelled out “at” but I didn’t. I wouldn’t FOCUS on the words ALONG or AT if I were you. As long as you remember that power and axis are 90 degrees from each other, you should be ok. Tim Root

Hello Dr Root, Thank you so much for your AMAZING videos! They really help understand concepts from our ophthalmic technician training course! My doctor prefers minus cylinder, do you have instructions for doing retinoscopy in minus cylinder? Marissa

It was a really educational video. I really got a better knowledge at retinascopy. Thank you so much.

Marissa, Most optometrists work in minus cylinder (which is fine). I’m not used to working in minus cylinder, however, so I don’t plan on making a minus video instruction (these videos take forever to put together). Thanks!

Dear Dr. Root, Ive always believed reading up from a textbook is entirely different from whats to be practised, which is why I kept forgetting most of the things I read up prior to applying it in real life. Here, your lecture on something this interesting is as close as I could get to a practical experience. I hope to take it forward and learn the most from the foundation you’ve helped me ascertain. Thank you very much. Regards, Akansha Sinha. INDIA

Their vidz help me a lot for understanding many things obout ohpthalmology a speciallity that soon i want to doit. thanks.greeting from panama.

Thank you very much doctor,, But if i have faster and brighter reflex, is it mean i’m not far to the nuetrilize

Thank you very much doctor. After long time I understood how to do Retinoscopy. This video is very helpful to many Optometrist. Hope to see more of your lectures. Thank you!

Excellent. Concise and positive! We have a preference for starting with a working distance 1.50, neutralising the most with and then cyls. The rationale being that it minimises the probability of under-plussing due to the Px (particularly children) accommodating. …a great lecture and the visuals make this method totally clear. Thank you.

Brilliant Dr Root If you work in minus cilinder, jose, you must do the same process. You can use the second lens to obtain the sphere value(please, don’t forget to substrat 1.50) The difference between the fist and the second lens is the cylinder. Is always the same absolute value. And the axis: you can determinate the value adding or substracting 90 or using the first lens, not the second lens for test the axis Other way?,…. you can use the Optician tips for convert positive cilinder in negative cylinder. I’m sorry. I’m spanish and my English is not fluent enough, jose, but if you can speak my language, I could explain it with more detail. Regards Gerardo Bellas Spain

Very helpful. All my class-fellows prepared for our final Ophthalmology OSCE from this video. And Dr. Root, you are mad hot! ^_^

I’ve attempted for several years to learn retinoscopy. I’ve even had a workshop where I thought I finally understood the with and against, however that and no other means of learning ever stuck. It felt like learning calculus … having to memorize complex formulas to apply every step of the way. This is the first explanation/demonstration that flipped the switch on … and it be brightly lit rather than a flickering dimmer bulb that even moths weren’t attracted to. It finally makes complete sense. Sense enough that I’m wondering why it was so hard for me to get before. Thanks so much for putting this together! I’m taking my COT in 5 days and this was the last thing for me to learn … the only thing that has been holding me back for years!

Hi Dr, Firstly excellent video. 2ndly, what do u mean by writing down the rx as “at [axis in degrees]”? Is it the same as “X [axis in degrees]” for example 0.50 1.00 at 90 = 0.50 1.00 X 90 ? Thanks and keep up the awesome vids.

hello dr root some one ask me why we substract sphere only after doing retinoscope will you please give me the correct answer i should reply to the the person

I just recently did a COT practical exam (computer simulated) and part of the exam was various instructions that you would give to the patients prior to retinoscope and refraction? 1)Is telling the patient to keep both eyes open during retinoscope and refraction a required instruction? I figure since they are behind the phoropter naturally the eye not being looked at the moment would be occluded anyway, since one eye is always retinoscope and refracted first at a time. When one eye is done you go on to the other one and occluded the eye not being looked at. Am I right? 2) Is telling patient to keep both teeth together reguired during retinoscope and refraction?

The Best Places to Buy Glasses Online

After additional testing, including ordering glasses with single-vision and photochromic prescription lenses, we still think Eyebuydirect and Zenni Optical are the best online glasses retailers for most people.

People who want to use certain vision insurance benefits without having to file a claim after purchase, or folks who want the option to buy or get frames fitted (or adjusted) in a store, may prefer ordering from Lenscrafters or Target Optical, which also offer online-only ordering.

Depending on your needs and preferences, you can save hundreds of dollars by buying prescription eyeglasses online instead of through an optician. After performing more than 120 hours of research over four years, talking to eight eye-care professionals, and testing dozens of comparable frame-and-lens pairings from 12 retailers since 2017, we recommend that you start your online glasses search at Eyebuydirect. It offers an extensive, easy-to-search selection of quality frames, multiple lens and coating options, and affordable when compared with the prominent competition.

How we picked

We looked for online glasses retailers that offer generous return policies, allowing returns or exchanges for any reason.

We looked for retailers offering a wide variety of frame shapes and styles, including “alternative fit” glasses for people with low nose bridges.

Superior selection, consistent quality

Most everyone can find frames they like and lenses that suit their prescription at Eyebuydirect. are in the mid-range, and the return period is shorter than most, but our testers consistently rated Eyebuydirect glasses as being better than the competition.

Buying Options

With single-vision Rx eyeglasses starting at 13 and going up to 233 during our test period (depending on frame and lens options), plus a 14-day, no-questions-asked full refund policy, Eyebuydirect is a great place to begin your online glasses search. Confirming what we found in our 2018, 2019, and 2020 testing, the glasses we ordered from Eyebuydirect in 2022 were of high quality, and the company’s customer service was reliable. Although Eyebuydirect doesn’t offer in-home frame trials, we found that its virtual try-on tool provided us with an adequate representation of what the glasses we chose ended up looking like on our faces. Plus for around 20, the company offers two-day shipping for a wide variety of frames. (A 2020 test pair of single-vision prescription glasses arrived in just 33 hours.)

A budget option—sort of

It’s possible to score a great pair of prescription eyeglasses from Zenni. And judging by customer reviews, as well as our own testing, many people do, sometimes at astonishingly affordable prices. But this retailer offers only store credit or partial refunds for returns, making it a higher-risk choice.

Buying Options

If you’re comfortable taking a risk on a retailer that offers an inferior return policy, you may be surprised at how little you need to spend at Zenni Optical for prescription glasses that are on par with those you’d receive from an optician. Despite Zenni’s ultra-low prices, we found that it surpassed our expectations, sometimes impressively so. A tester who ordered 19 glasses from Zenni was perfectly pleased with them. Another tester preferred the 149 progressive-prescription glasses she received from Zenni to the comparable, 295 pair from a competitor. Zenni’s frame selection is the largest of all the companies we tested. If the glasses you order from Zenni don’t work for you, though, prepare to accept store credit (worth 100% of your original purchase price) or just half of your money back, excluding shipping.

Superior selection, consistent quality

Most everyone can find frames they like and lenses that suit their prescription at Eyebuydirect. are in the mid-range, and the return period is shorter than most, but our testers consistently rated Eyebuydirect glasses as being better than the competition.

A budget option—sort of

It’s possible to score a great pair of prescription eyeglasses from Zenni. And judging by customer reviews, as well as our own testing, many people do, sometimes at astonishingly affordable prices. But this retailer offers only store credit or partial refunds for returns, making it a higher-risk choice.

Why you should trust us

To learn more about buying prescription eyeglasses online, we spoke to Dr. Christopher Quinn, a past president of the American Optometric Association. And we interviewed seven optometrists, ophthalmologists, and opticians in person, by phone, or by email: Dr. Neil Pence, associate dean for clinical and patient care services at the Indiana University School of Optometry; optician Nancy Kirsch, director of the Essilor Eyewear Center at the University Eye Center and assistant clinical professor at the State University of New York College of Optometry; Dr. Camille Cohen, an optometrist in private practice in New York; Dr. Michael Chiang, a professor of ophthalmology, medical informatics, and clinical epidemiology at Oregon Health Science University; Dr. Jeff Pettey, vice chair of education at the John Moran Eye Center and an associate professor at the University of Utah Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences; Dr. James Salz, an ophthalmologist in private practice in Los Angeles; and Dr. Abdhish Bhavsar, an ophthalmologist in private practice in Minneapolis. We also consulted Alysa Bernstein, an attorney with the Federal Trade Commission’s Bureau of Consumer Protection.

Since 2017, we’ve spent more than 120 hours evaluating the websites of online glasses stores, comparing their policies, ordering and returning dozens of pairs of glasses, playing with fitting tools, and learning how to find glasses that fit—with or without being able to try on frames first.

I’ve worn glasses for more than 30 years and have been buying glasses online for over a decade. From fancy, 1,000 pairs sold by upscale Manhattan opticians who refused to fix my scratched-up lenses a mere month after purchase to 13 online specs that arrived bearing another person’s prescription, I’ve seen it all.

Who this is for

There are hundreds of places where you can buy prescription glasses online. We first eliminated any retailer that did not offer some form of try-on service, whether virtual or in-home, because ordering glasses online without a modicum of an idea of what they might look like on your face can lead to wasted time and money. Since regrets and mistakes are both inevitable, we culled any company that didn’t offer a no-questions-asked full-refund policy (though we made an exception for Zenni Optical, a retailer that stands out for its extensive budget-friendly offerings and rave customer reviews). And because cost-cutting is a key motivation behind buying online versus in person, we focused on companies that could sell us a variety of stylish frames fitted with single-vision prescription lenses for less than about 150.

In 2019, these parameters made it easy for us to narrow down our testing list to two promising online glasses companies that provided free in-home frame trials to customers in the US:

and nine that offered virtual try-on services:

In addition to the free in-home frame trials, Liingo and Warby Parker both offer virtual try-on services through their websites. Warby Parker also has an outstanding virtual-try-on app (iOS only).

In 2022, we retested Eyebuydirect, Liingo, Warby Parker, and Zenni. As they now offer virtual try-on options, we added Lenscrafters and Target Optical to our testing pool.

For this guide, we considered only glasses for adults. We did not test any frames or lenses meant for children, though Bonlook, Eyebuydirect, Firmoo, GlassesUSA, Jins, Lenscrafters, Target Optical, Warby Parker, and Zenni all carry kid-size glasses (Liingo and Lensabl do not). (Bonlook’s kids frames are only available in-store.)

Because you don’t always need entirely new specs—just replacement lenses—we also tried the BYO-frames, prescription-lens-filling service Lensabl.

How we tested

To find the best online glasses stores, in 2022 we shopped for, ordered, and returned prescription lens-and-frame pairings from each of the retailers we chose to test. We evaluated each retailer’s frame selection and lens options, virtual try-on experience, the overall ordering experience, standard shipping times (which ranged from two days to four weeks), and—crucially—return policies and processing.

In 2019, two test panelists—one who has a relatively weak single-vision prescription (- with moderate astigmatism) and prefers minimalist, wire-framed glasses, and another (me), who has a strong single-vision prescription (-6.7 with mild astigmatism) and gravitates toward plastic-heavy statement styles—ordered from all seven retailers we tested. A third panelist—who wears moderate progressive prescription lenses (with moderate astigmatism), and most often chooses statement specs made primarily of plastic—ordered glasses from the four best-performing retailers based on the first two testers’ evaluations.

Testers 1 and 3 had no idea whether they were trying on, for example, a 19 pair of glasses or a 145 pair.

Even though frames can cost a pretty penny, it’s usually the lenses that most affect the final cost of prescription glasses, with thinner, lighter ones potentially doubling or even tripling the total cost. The higher the lens number, the higher the lens index, and the thinner and lighter the plastic of the lenses. With the exception of Zenni, whose basic lenses have an index of 1.57, the “free” lenses in the frames of most online retailers have a standard index (1.50). (Lenscrafters and Target Optical have a base lens called “enhanced slim” that doesn’t have an index attached.) All of the retailers that we tested offered lens upgrades, with some offering lenses all the way up to an ultra-thin index of 1.84; these higher-index options generally cost much more, but they can be worth the upgrade, particularly in certain frame styles.

To make the strongest possible direct comparisons across brands, we had each tester choose near-identical frames and lenses from each retailer. Of course, there were some slight differences in styles based on the options each retailer offered at the time of our testing. For example, some of the wire-framed glasses that Tester 1 ordered were a slightly different shape than others. The anti-glare and hydrophobic coatings we ordered differed slightly from pair to pair, depending upon retailer offerings and costs.

Whereas I (Tester 2) was aware of the of each pair I was evaluating, Testers 1 and 3 had no idea whether they were trying on, for example, a 19 pair of glasses or a 145 pair.

Eyebuydirect Felix Iris Firmoo GlassesUSA Liingo Warby Parker Zenni Optical
Tester 1 43 (1.50 lenses) 128 (1.59 lenses) 19 (1.50 lenses) 35 (1.50 lenses) 119 (1.59 lenses) 145 (1.59 lenses) 31 (1.57 lenses)
Tester 2 45 (plastic frames,1.67 lenses); 111 (wire frames,1.74 lenses) 128 (plastic frames, 1.59 lenses) 21 (plastic frames, 1.56 lenses); 78 (wire frames, 1.74 lenses) 155 (plastic frames, 1.61 lenses); 102 (wire frames, 1.67 lenses) 89 (plastic frames, 1.59 lenses); 167 (wire frames, 1.67 lenses) 95 (plastic frames, 1.59 lenses); 175 (wire frames, 1.67 lenses) 19 (plastic frames, 1.57 lenses); 120 (wire frames, 1.74 lenses)
Tester 3 190 (1.74 lenses) N/A N/A N/A 278 (1.59 lenses) 295 (1.59 lenses) 149 (1.74 lenses)

Total spend, including best-available discounts wherever possible and outbound shipping, for a single pair of prescription eyeglasses with the above-noted options for each 2019 tester. 1 Felix Iris ceased operations in late 2020, just after our test period ended.

When we ordered my glasses (metal-and-plastic frames filled with comparatively stronger Rx lenses), we found that two retailers, Eyebuydirect and GlassesUSA, required that we order more-expensive lenses based on the prescription (costing an extra 79 and 70, respectively). Firmoo and Zenni allowed us to order basic lenses, with the option to upgrade.

Some of the glasses we ordered for me, Tester 2. Top row: Firmoo “P6080A” (left), Zenni “2023729” (right). Middle row: Liingo “Verona” (left), Warby Parker “Fitch” (right). Bottom: Eyebuydirect “Dame.” Photos: Rozette Rago

Thicker lenses are generally easier to spot in metal frames than in plastic ones. From left to right: 1.74 lenses vs. 1.50 lenses in the same “OMJ6820” frames from Firmoo; 1.57 lenses vs. 1.75 lenses in the same “7818019” frames from Zenni. Photos: Rozette Rago

Plastic frames typically hide thicker lenses much more effectively. At left, 1.74 lenses; right, 1.56 lenses, both set in Firmoo “P6080A” frames. Photos: Rozette Rago

Some of the glasses we ordered for me, Tester 2. Top row: Firmoo “P6080A” (left), Zenni “2023729” (right). Middle row: Liingo “Verona” (left), Warby Parker “Fitch” (right). Bottom: Eyebuydirect “Dame.” Photos: Rozette Rago

Finally, to test how the four most-promising retailers handled progressive prescriptions, we ordered near-identical plastic frame-and-lens combinations from each. In all of the acetate frames, the difference between the cheapest and best-available lenses was almost imperceptible. That’s largely because the all-plastic frames typically do a better job of “hiding” thicker lenses. We also found that the weight difference between these thicker basic lenses and thinner, more expensive ones was negligible, ranging from 0 to 2 grams.

In wire frames, however, the difference between thick and thinner lenses is generally much more visible. Even though many of the online glasses retailers we tested insist that upgrading to thinner lenses is about more than appearances, and that they can improve, as Felix Iris put it, “visual clarity,” the reality is not so clear-cut. “High-index lenses bend light faster, which causes a difference in perception that is not always ‘better’ or ‘worse,’” explained Pence of Indiana University. In fact, sometimes pricier, lighter lenses can distort vision more than thicker, basic ones. “When light goes through lenses faster, it’s like going faster in a car,” he continued. “ things can go wrong.” So if you’re wearing thick plastic frames anyway and are not concerned about an extra gram or two of weight, you may do well to skip paying more for thinner lenses.

Finally, we had an independent eye-care professional evaluate each pair of glasses, to be sure all of the prescriptions were accurate. All were within an acceptable margin of error.

Wiz Khalifa. See You Again ft. Charlie Puth (Lyrics)

Although we didn’t test them, all three of our picks sell prescription sunglasses. Eyebuydirect and Zenni Optical also offer photochromic lenses (we didn’t test this lens type).

On coupons and insurance coverage

Online glasses retailers know that shoppers love a “deal.” So most will gladly throw coupons and discount codes your way, essentially as soon as you start browsing their sites. In our testing, we used coupons and codes whenever possible. We did end up saving quite a bit of money this way, versus paying the full, published price—though whether we got any true deals is up for debate. Some tips:

  • Sign up for retailers’ newsletters as soon as you know you’re going to be looking for new glasses. Sometimes it takes a few days for the coupons to hit your inbox, and you want to be aware of “flash sales” and other money-saving opportunities.
  • When you find the frames and lenses you like, if you aren’t satisfied with the current coupon offerings, keep the pair (or pairs) in your virtual shopping cart for a while if you can wait to order. You may receive a retention discount: an extra markdown that some companies share with customers they perceive as being on the fence about their potential purchase. When we left glasses in our cart for a few days, Eyebuydirect, Firmoo, and GlassesUSA all sent emails with retention discounts that ranged from 15% to BOGO (buy one, get one free). During our test period, Warby Parker, Liingo, Zenni, and Felix Iris all sent reminder emails with no retention discount offers.
  • If you can’t find a coupon, consider chatting with the retailers’ customer service. I was able to snag 10% off our first Zenni order this way.
  • Consider choosing frames (through virtual try-ons or in-home trials) before your eye exam. That way, as soon as you have your prescription in hand, you’ll be ready to order using the best-available discount codes.

If you have vision insurance, retailers that participate in your insurer’s network may be able to bill the insurance provider directly, lowering your upfront cost. Otherwise, you may be able to submit an out-of-network claim for prescription eyeglasses you buy online. Check with your insurance provider to see how this applies to your benefits. Even though neither of our picks directly take insurance, customers with vision insurance can submit their receipts for out-of-network provider reimbursement. (For people who want to easily use vision insurance, even if it means paying a bit more overall, we recommend considering Eyeconic, Lenscrafters, or Target Optical, three retailers that are in network for a variety of insurers.

Returning online glasses

If the glasses you buy online don’t work for you, for whatever reason, return them! Really.

Ten of the 11 retailers we ordered glasses from offered no-questions-asked return policies. And indeed, though we did follow each company’s instructions perfectly, all accepted and processed our returns on time. The eleventh retailer, Zenni Optical, doesn’t offer full refunds but instead gives either 100% store credit (minus any initial shipping costs) or a 5% refund. We had no problems with our partial refund transactions at Zenni, nor did we have problems using the store credit.

Wondering what happens to returned spectacles? We asked each of the retailers we tested what they did with unwanted prescription glasses. Liingo said it reuses returned frames for its in-home try-on services, as well as donates glasses to various organizations. Eyebuydirect, Firmoo, GlassesUSA, and Warby Parker all said they partner with charities to distribute glasses to those in need. Zenni donates them to Lions Clubs International.

Our pick: Eyebuydirect

Superior selection, consistent quality

Most everyone can find frames they like and lenses that suit their prescription at Eyebuydirect. are in the mid-range, and the return period is shorter than most, but our testers consistently rated Eyebuydirect glasses as being better than the competition.

Buying Options

Of the 11 brands we tested, Eyebuydirect offers the most impressive balance of aesthetics and affordability. All of the prescription lenses we ordered were accurate, and our 2018, 2019, 2020, and 2022 test panelists all found Eyebuydirect’s extensive selection of more than 1,400 frames to be superior to all but one other company we tested (Zenni Optical). Although the company doesn’t offer in-home frame trials, we found its virtual try-on tool more than adequate. For lower single-vision prescriptions, the company offers a plethora of lens-thickness and coating options. Eyebuydirect does force customers with strong prescriptions to upgrade to thinner, lighter lenses, but the fee is nominal (30 to 50), especially after you apply a coupon (the retailer offers many). We found that most people can buy a stylish yet substantive pair of high-quality glasses with single-vision Rx lenses for under 100—even for stronger prescriptions. Those with weaker prescriptions should usually be able to find a pleasing pair for well under 50 when they use an on-site or emailed discount code.

Eyebuydirect’s superlative catalog makes sense considering that the company is owned by the world’s largest manufacturer of eyeglass frames and lenses, EssilorLuxottica. As a standalone company, Eyebuydirect has been in the online glasses marketplace for more than 15 years (among the online-only retailers we tested, it’s second in age only to Zenni).

Eyebuydirect can fill bifocals for an additional 29, on top of the standard lens prices, and progressives for an additional 49 or 89, depending on upgrade options. In 2022 we tested its photochromic lens option, which, for a cost of 99 and up (before any eligible coupons), enables eyeglasses to “transition” into sunglasses in the presence of sunlight. We found Eyebuydirect’s transitional lenses to be high quality and quick to switch to and from sunglasses.

Orders over 119 ship for free (orders costing less incur a 6 shipping charge). Eyebuydirect says glasses can take one to two weeks to produce and mail, but all of our test pairs arrived within seven days of ordering, save for the more-complicated progressives, which arrived within the promised two weeks.

Eyebuydirect offers two-day delivery on single-vision prescription glasses in more than 300 frame options, for an additional fee of 19 (though you can usually pay less with a coupon code). We tried this service and were pleasantly surprised to receive our order within 33 hours of placing it.

The 14-day “fit style guarantee” may seem spartan compared with the 30- to 90-day return policies of other companies we tested (it’s the shortest of them all, tied with GlassesUSA). But in most situations, two weeks should be plenty of time to figure out whether you like your new glasses. If you order more than one pair, the company will provide a prepaid label for you to ship the glasses back, no questions asked. If you order only one pair of glasses, the shipping costs are on you (though Eyebuydirect reimburses up to 6 of your expenses). Make sure to read the return instructions and all communication from customer service about the return process. We found that unless Eyebuydirect provided a prepaid shipping label, we were expected to put in a little more work to receive a refund than with other retailers, since the process is not automated. After paying to return the unwanted eyeglasses that did not come with a prepaid label, we had to reach back out to the company to ask it to provide a receipt and tracking number and again request a refund. In our experience, Eyebuydirect customer service reps work hard to get you to accept 115% store credit instead. We found the tactic somewhat annoying, but we had no trouble declining such offers and receiving full refunds, along with the 6 shipping credit, within two weeks.

The company offers a one-year warranty on all prescription eyeglasses.

Our long-term testers are happy with both their glasses and Eyebuydirect’s customer service. One tester did note that one of the screws that holds the lenses in place kept falling out, and while they didn’t reach out to Eyebuydirect about the issue, a local optometrist was happy to replace the screw for free. After that, the glasses went back to performing well.

Flaws but not dealbreakers

Eyebuydirect reported data breaches in 2015, 2018, and 2019. Following the most recent incident, reported in October 2019, the company issued a letter to customers stating that it was not sure whether any shoppers’ personal information had been compromised, and recommending that people monitor their credit card statements for suspected fraudulent activities. This, of course, is not ideal. But considering how common such occurrences are in e-commerce, we view these events as unfortunate but not necessarily disqualifying. In 2021, the company offered customers who reported fraudulent activity on credit cards associated with purchases at Eyebuydirect a year of free identity detection and identity-theft resolution services, a spokesperson wrote in an email. We will continue to monitor Eyebuydirect’s response to the situation.

In addition to Eyebuydirect’s shorter return policy than most and mandatory lens upgrades for stronger prescriptions, we don’t love that the company requires you to pay an additional 7 for anti-glare coating on basic 1.50 lenses (most retailers include this in the base price). Eyebuydirect also charges at least 3.50 for a glasses case (most companies provide a protective case and a lens-cleaning cloth by default). We also dislike the company’s mercurial coupon strategy, which can cause extreme fluctuations in the price of a pair of prescription eyeglasses, to the point where you almost never know if you’re getting the best “deal.” In an eight-week timeframe, as we were shopping around, Eyebuydirect offered varying discounts: anywhere from 15% to 50% off the total price of frames, lenses, or both.

The company always offers a 20% discount for students and veterans; this may or may not be better than another coupon and cannot be combined with other offers.

Although Eyebuydirect generally has strong Better Business Bureau customer reviews, some customer reviewers have cited poor customer service. A few Wirecutter readers have reported difficulty unsubscribing from the company’s promotional emails. A spokesperson said that anyone who experiences issues with the email “unsubscribe” function or updating the contact preferences associated with their customer account can contact the company directly in order to be removed from the distribution list.

What Do Optometrists Check During Eye Exams?

An eye exam gives us a comprehensive look into the total health of your eyes. Many people think they don’t need regular eye exams unless they have a vision problem—this isn’t true.

Eye exams are important for everyone, even if your vision is clear. They can help determine the health of your eye and reveal clues about eye conditions that could eventually result in vision loss.

But what exactly does an optometrist look for during these exams? How often do you need to see your optometrist, and how should you prepare? Our blog can help you explore the ins and outs of your eye exam.

How Often Should I Get My Eyes Checked?

The Canadian Association of Optometrists recommends adults get their eyes checked at least every 2 years, but many factors can require more frequent eye exams.

Our best practice at Eye Wellness is to have our patients come to see us every year. This baseline allows us to keep tabs on any eye diseases or health issues you may live with, or catch them before they cause damage.

How To Prepare

When you come in for your eye exam, we’ll need to make sure we have all your information up-to-date, including your recent medical history. Please bring to your appointment:

  • Your healthcare card
  • Your insurance information
  • A list of your current medications
  • Any current corrective lenses you wear (glasses or contacts)

Let us know if you’ve been troubled by any vision problems or if you’re coming in for a specific reason.

If you have diabetes or are looking for contact lenses, please let your optometrist’s office know when you book your appointment. There will likely be some variations to your exam in those cases.

What Tests Are Done During an Eye Exam?

There are many tests that optometrists run during a comprehensive eye exam. Each practice may have a slightly different routine, and there are different ways of performing each exam to get the same or similar information.

This list isn’t exhaustive, but let’s dive into some of the tests run during an eye exam and discover what they can tell you.

Visual Acuity Test

Your visual acuity is your ability to determine the shapes and details in whatever you’re viewing. This test is one of the most recognizable—it uses either the Snellen chart or the random E test.

The Snellen chart has lines of letters and numbers that get progressively smaller. You will view this chart from a distance away, and normally read until the smallest line you can see clearly.

The random E test is done with cards or a projection. A large letter E will be flashed, and you need to tell the test giver what direction it’s facing.

The visual acuity test measures the accuracy of your vision as a fraction, such as 20/20 or 20/40. The number 20/20 means you can see objects 20 feet away in the same way the average eye can see at that distance. 20/40 vision would mean you can see at 20 feet what the average eye can see at 40 feet.

Colour Blindness Test

A colour blindness test, or colour deficiency test, involves looking at a series of images made in two colours, often out of dots. With normal colour vision, the differently coloured image inside the larger coloured image is clearly visible. However, if you have a colour vision deficiency, the colours will not be distinguishable from each other.

pay-over-time, seen, optometry

Eye Movement Test

The eye movement test does exactly what it says—tests the range of movement of your eyes. You’ll be asked to follow an image, a light, or even your doctor’s finger in multiple directions with your eyes while keeping your head still. This gives your optometrist clues to how the muscles around your eyes are working.

Slit Lamp Exam

The slit lamp exam allows a closer look at your eyes. You will rest your forehead and chin steadily against the machine. Using a bright light and a low powered microscope, your optometrist will examine multiple areas of your eyes, including:

Digital images may be taken on your eye to monitor its health. Often you’ll need to have your eyes dilated for the slit lamp exam, which will open up your pupil. This can cause your eyes to be sensitive to light for several hours afterward but has no lasting effects.

The slit lamp exam can help diagnose many eye diseases and conditions, as well as injuries or any issues with your eye’s blood vessels.

Glaucoma Test

Glaucoma is a group of conditions that affect the optic nerve. It’s called “the silent thief of sight” because it often presents no symptoms until damage has already occurred. That’s why glaucoma tests are so necessary—they can reveal the state of your eyes, even if nothing feels amiss.

  • Tonometry, which measures the intraocular pressure of your eye.
  • Ophthalmoscopy, which lets your doctor examine the back of the eye (called the fundus.) This includes the optic nerve.
  • Perimetry, which helps determine your field of vision (see more below).
  • Gonioscopy, which allows the optometrist to see the angle of the drainage opening where the iris and retina meet.
  • Pachymetry, which measures the thickness of your cornea.

Visual Field Test (Perimetry)

Your visual field is the amount you can see while looking straight ahead. Perimetry refers to the edges of your vision (or your peripheral vision.)

A perimetry test uses a computer to output a series of lights. While resting your chin and forehead on the machine and looking straight ahead, the lights will flash in your peripheral vision, and you will indicate which you saw. The results build a map of your visual field.

Retinal Exam

The retina is the back of your eye, rich with blood vessels. This area can be affected by multiple conditions, including diabetes, glaucoma, and macular degeneration. Your optometrist will assess the health of your retina with a retinal exam.

This exam requires your eyes to be dilated. Once your pupils are open enough, a scan of the back of your eye will commence. These are ordinarily digital, and add another layer of detail to your eye exam.


Light refracting through your cornea is what allows us to see. A refraction error means the light entering your eye isn’t hitting the right spot in your eye to form a clear image. Refraction errors include:

Your optometrist can test your refraction by shining a light into your eyes (either manually or with a computer) and checking where the light is reflecting off your retina. This test is a significant part of how your corrective lens prescription is determined.

After the Exam

Be sure to ask your questions about the exam process or your results once the exam properly wraps up. You should leave your exam feeling confident that you understand what’s going on with your eyes.

Once we’ve answered any questions, we’ll build a care plan for you. This can include a revised prescription if you need glasses. Your optometry team will set an exam schedule that suits your needs, and prescribe any medications or corrective lenses. We also offer nutrition and physical activity plans that can help bolster your eye health.

If you need glasses, your optometry team will help you pick the perfect frames and fit your lenses.

Become a Partner in Your Vision Care

Booking regular eye exams is a great step towards taking charge of your eye care. Understanding your eye exam is even better. Your optometry team is here to help you manage your eye health. Book a comprehensive eye exam soon.