How to buy Glasses Online

How to buy Glasses Online

How to buy glasses online


In order to buy glasses online you will need a copy of your eye prescription. This needs to be a current prescription from an eye examination carried out within the last two years. You can get a physical copy of the prescription from your optometrist or get them to email you a copy.

Your eye prescription chart will have a sphere value for the right eye and left eye measured in Dioptres. The bigger the value the higher the prescription power. If your eyes are astigmatic there will also be a cyl power and axis. If you are 45 years old or older there will be an Addition power under the main power and this is a reading glasses prescription.

If your prescription is older than two years old is in not legally valid in many jurisdictions and won’t be accepted. It is best to get an up-to-date prescription in any event so as to avoid eyestrain from potentially using glasses that are too weak or too strong.

An important part of the prescription is the pupillary distance. This is the distance between the pupils of your eyes in millimetres. This is important as it ensures that your eyes are looking through the optical centre of the lens. Looking through any other area of the lens can cause a prismatic effect and affect your binocular vision. 


Choose an online retailer

The next step is to choose an online retailer to buy from. There are a few things to look out for to ensure you are buying from a reputable company. It’s a good idea to have a look at the reviews of the glasses on the website. Having mostly 4 and 5 star reviews is an important aspect to look our for.  If the website has a virtual try-on tool it is very useful to see what the glasses will look like on. They use augmented reality technology which gives a very accurate visual representation of the glasses on the face.

A site that has free worldwide delivery and free returns is desirable and if it is run by an optometrist who can assist with eye related queries that is ideal.

We obviously recommend that you buy your glasses online with us here at Sapphire Eyewear!


Choose your frames

Finding the frames that suit your face is an important aspect of the process. The  first step is to identify what your face shape is. You can use this guide to then see what style or shape of glasses will suit your face best. The idea is to choose a shape that attenuates your good features and hides any flaws. For example if you have a round face it is a good idea to choose a square or rectangular frame that sharpen your softer features.

Sometimes having too many frames on offer can be confusing and takes a lot longer to choose. If you know the shape and the colour that you like first then it makes it much easier to narrow down your frame choice.

Using the virtual try on tool is well worth it to get a good idea of what the glasses will look like on.

These tools using virtual reality allow you to look in different directions to see what the glasses are like at all angles.

If you have a large prescription you will have thick lenses at the edge of your glasses if you are short sighted or in the middle of your lenses if you are longsighted then it is better to choose glasses that are smaller vertically as it will reduce the thickness of the lens.



Choose your lenses

The next step is to choose the type of lenses. All of our glasses at Sapphire Eyewear come with blue light lenses as standard. If you don’t wear glasses normally and don’t have a prescription you can choose non-prescription glasses that will not have any power but will have blue light filter lenses. Ready readers are glasses that have a reading or magnification lens. These are great if you need a little help focusing up close when reading, looking at your smartphone or on your laptop. You need to choose the power of the glasses that start at +1.00 and go up to +2.50. The worse your eyesight is for close work the larger the magnification power you need. All our ready readers at Sapphire Eyewear also come with blue light lenses and this is great when using digital devices as it reduces the strain on your eyes caused by the blue light. Once you have chosen the required lenses the next step is to upload your prescription to the website or you can simply email a copy of the prescription at a later stage.

How to read an eye prescription

Broadly speaking your glasses prescription will be for near-sightedness, farsightedness or for reading glasses.

If you are near-sighted you can see clearly up close at short distances but objects will appear blurry in the distance.

Your prescription will be a minus value and might look like this -2.50 DS

If you are farsighted you can see clearly in the distance but have trouble focusing up close.

Your prescription will be a plus value and might look like this +1.75 DS

DS stands for Dioptre Sphere and stands for the power of the lens.

If you are over 45 years old you will most likely need a prescription for reading up close. This happens everybody at some stage but usually you begin to notice it first in your mid-forties.          This occurs even if you have had perfect vision all your life.                                                                     Your prescription will begin with a +1.00 and it will increase gradually as you get older.

Glasses prescription explained.

Your glasses prescription chart may look like this

 blue light glasses prescription chart

A prescription chart like this with just one number for each eye means that the back of your eye is perfectly circular in shape and one requires correction using one focal point in the lens.


If you have astigmatism your prescription chart will have more details such as cylinder and axis.

This occurs when either the front of the eye or the back of your eye is not perfectly circular in shape but slightly oval instead.

The prescription chart in this case will look a little like this






Right Eye





Left Eye





In this case the main power in the right eye for example is -2.25 DS with an extra -0.75 DS of power along the 120 degree axis

The third type of prescription chart is for someone who just needs reading glasses, otherwise known as presbyopia.

The prescription chart will look something like this






Right Eye





Left Eye






In this situation the distance vision is perfect as plano signifies no power required. The Add section represents the prescription required for reading and is generally the power need for seeing clearly at the persons habitual reading distance which is normally between 35cm to 45 cm away.

Presbyopia occurs around 45 years of age when crystalline lens hardens and becomes less flexible and therefore is not able to change shape sufficiently to clear your vision for close up objects.

If a person has a distance prescription and an “Add” such as in this example

then the reading power necessary is the sphere power added to the “add” power so for the right eye in this example the reading power necessary would be +4.00 Sphere -1.50 Cyl 10 Axis

This is often written like this +4.00/-1.50 x 10

OD v’s OS

What is the meaning of OD on an eye prescription?

OD is the latin abbreviation of Oculas Dextrus meaning the right eye.

What is the meaning of OD on an eye prescription?

OS is the latin abbreviation of Oculus Sinister meaning the left eye.


What is your pupillary distance?

Your pupillary distance is the distance between your pupils.

It is the distance between the centre of the pupil on one eye to the centre of the pupil on the other eye.

It can also be measured from the temporal aspect of the iris on the right eye to the nasal aspect of the iris on the left eye.

How do I find my pd on my prescription chart?

Your pd will be a distance in millimetres usually between 57mm and 70mm

The average is 62mm.

It will normally appear at the bottom of the prescription as pd=62mm



Review Shipping and Returns Policy

Reviewing the shipping and returns policy is a good idea to avoid getting surprise charges.

Have a free returns policy is a nice safety net to have as you have the security of knowing if the glasses you choose don’t suit you, you can return them easily with no fuss. Free exchanges is also nice as you can choose a frame that is a little bigger or smaller if you need to. Its best to get in contact with customer support to guide you and help you choose the frames that best suits your needs and style. Free worldwide delivery is also desirable.


Complete Your Order

You are now ready to complete your order. Non-prescription glasses can usually be dispatched immediately but prescription glasses need to be sent to the lab to have the prescription lenses inserted and can take 5-7 days. When you receive your glasses it is important to allow a day or two for your eyes to adjust to a new prescription. This is normal especially if there has been a significant change in your prescription from the previous pair of glasses. You may also need to adjust the frames slightly for a more snug fit.


Pupillary distance        

Your pupillary distance measurement is the distance between the two pupils of your eyes measured in millimetres. The recording of this measurement on your prescription has become a contentious issue with the rise of online glasses. Many opticians will not enter this value on the prescription eye chart because they would like the customer to buy glasses with them and don’t want to make is easy for them to buy glasses online. Its always a good idea to ask for this to be included on your prescription eye chart as you are entitled to this information.