Where to Get Eyeglasses Prescriptions Filled: A Guide for Australian Parents

Where to Get Eyeglasses Prescriptions Filled: A Guide for Australian Parents

25th Jun 2023

If your child needs glasses, you might wonder what options you have for filling the eyeglasses prescription. Many people mistakenly assume the only option available to them is to order glasses from the optometrist they go to. Hopefully, you'll be pleased to know there are quite a few other options out there, and in this blog post, I'll give you a rundown of some of the alternatives available to you.

First, how about we bust the myth that you must buy your frames and lenses from the optometrist who prescribed them? While this is undoubtedly a convenient option, it mightn't be the best for your budget, and the selection of frames mightn't be appealing. And let's face it; you want your child to be comfortable and confident with their glasses, so finding frames they love is a big deal.

Buying glasses online

One option for filling your child's eyeglasses prescriptions is ordering glasses online. Several websites allow you to choose frames, enter the prescription details, and they'll ship the ready glasses to your door! Many even offer a "virtual try-on" experience where you can upload a photo (or use the computer camera in real-time) to try the frames on for size and style - kids love this!!

There's no doubt getting your child's eyeglasses prescription filled online can be a convenient and cost-effective solution, but a word of warning. Glasses are a medical device and as such need to be fitted correctly. Virtual try-on can be fantastic but it doesn't replace physically trying on glasses and ensuring a proper and accurate fit. This is particularly important for babies, toddlers and younger children. Also, as I'll discuss below, not all lenses are created equal, and some online vendors might cut costs by using inferior quality. As with all online purchases, make sure you do your research and read reviews.

Buying frames online, then filling at another optometry practice

Alternatively, another approach is buying frames online or in-store and filling them at a your own or a different optometry practice. By doing this, you might be able to save money on the frame and still have peace of mind knowing the prescription is being filled correctly. This can be a good choice if you're looking for a personalised experience or if your child has a more complicated prescription. Of course the fitting issues can arise so be sure you're confident in the fit before buying online. 

Filling at another optometry practice

No matter how much pressure they might put on you, you are not obliged to fulfil your child's glasses prescription at the optometrist you have them tested at. If you can't find an appropriately fitting pair of glasses at their practice, or you want to shop around, you are more than entitled to. The testing optometrist must provide the child's prescription to you, so you are then able to see what's available at other practices. Simply take the prescription to another practice and see what frames are on offer. 

Lenses are a consideration

When it comes to time to choosing lenses, you'll be presented with a whole lot of options, so it's good to have a basic understanding of the different lenses available. The two main types are single-vision and multifocal. Single-vision lenses are used for distance, reading or intermediate use (e.g. computer use), while multifocal lenses offer a combination of these distances within one lens. Your decision will need to consider when the glasses will be worn - will they be for a specific purpose, such as looking at the whiteboard in the classroom or for reading, or will they be required all the time? And you'll also need to think about what type of material you want the lenses to be made from. Polycarbonate is generally recommended as it's lightweight, impact-resistant and offers 100% UV protection - great for kids! But you might also consider photochromic lenses that darken in sunlight (you might know them as Transitions lenses) which can be handy if your child needs indoor and outdoor glasses.

So many choices and decisions, but getting your child's eyeglasses prescriptions filled doesn't have to be a stressful experience. Whether you order the glasses online or visit an optometrist's practice, plenty of options are available. By taking the time to do some research, you should be confident that you're making the best decision for your child's eye health.