Ordering Contacts and Buying Frames Is Easier Than Ever Through LVHN Optical Effects
BY EMILY SHIFFER
If you wear glasses or contacts, from time to time you will need to order refills or buy a new pair of frames. With many online services and stores offering convenient virtual experiences for these needs, you may be tempted to sign up. But by doing so, you are likely missing out on critical services and technological advances that may only be provided by visiting your local optician.
We asked David Monte, optician at LVPG Ophthalmology–Fogelsville Optical Effects, to answer a few questions about Lehigh Valley Health Network's (LVHN) Optical Effects and the benefits of buying your contacts and glasses from LVHN opticians. With over 30 years of experience, Monte shares his wisdom with us.
What are the benefits of being seen by an optician for contacts and glasses versus buying them online?
Monte: With an optician who has close to 30 years' experience, there is a much different patient interaction in a medical office setting than at a big box retailer and especially buying online. First and foremost, we work with our patients one-on-one, whereas at a larger retail store, patients/consumers are usually self-helping when looking at frames. Additionally, the staff member may not be a certified optician, and a lot of times key details pertaining to patient orders are missed. I am a licensed and ABO (American Board of Opticianry) certified optician and have had extensive training in the proper fitting of eyeglasses and contacts, and with knowledge of lens options.
How has LVHN’s Optical Effects adjusted in the COVID era?
Monte: We are putting patients' safety first. We prefer patients to have an appointment to select eyeglasses so that we can designate the proper time to allow for our full attention to their eyeglass needs. Also, we make sure all the frames are cleaned and disinfected before and after trying on.
When buying contact lenses, why might LVHN patients benefit from the personal service at Optical Effects versus ordering from an online service?
Monte: When I am filling a contact lens prescription, I am always checking if the Rx given is valid and not expired. Contact lens prescriptions are valid for one year. The reason for this is patient safety. If contacts are overworn, infections and/or damage to the cornea can occur. We will also offer a patient extra contacts in the event of an emergency. An online provider will just fill a prescription and may not check if the Rx is expired or if the details given are correct.
And what about purchasing glasses?
Monte: When buying eyeglasses at our office, you will be provided with all the latest premium options and technology available, such as premium lens coatings. Premium Lens Coatings by Crizal protect your eyes from UV light, nighttime glare and blue light. If a patient wears progressive lenses (no-line bifocals), we use Varilux brand lenses, which is an industry leader in the creation of progressive lenses and offers the latest technology in design. These lenses are custom-made based on a patient's prescription and eye measurements that are taken when being fitted. That is critical for patients' vision and comfort.
Some of the lenses offered online are of a generic design and do not have the custom adaptability that premium lenses offer. Lenses are also not measured by a trained optician. When buying online, consumers must provide the measurements on their own.
And, of course, buying eyeglasses online takes away the whole personal experience of having a prescription filled. I make sure that the frame selected fits properly and meets the requirements of the individual’s prescription and maintains a fashionable look.
Overall, buying eyeglasses is an individual experience. Every patient’s face, prescription and lifestyle is different. We take the time necessary to ensure all the criteria in selecting eyewear is met and making our patients satisfied.
For questions or to schedule an appointment, call 484-273-4390. Learn more here.