16 CFR Part 456 ; Agency Information Collection Activities: Review; Comment Request Ophthalmic Practice Rule (Eyeglass Rule): FTC Project No. R511996
I am an eye doctor. Providing patients with eyeglasses is a difficult and important process. From the prescribing, to the customized lens surfacing and edging, to the individual frame selection and frame adjustment, each step requires precision and expertise. It is a hands-on, person-to-person process. Each human being's eyes and face are unique, and lenses need to be aligned directly in front of the pupils to focus properly. Providing eyeglasses online is a very bad way to do this. Obviously they are not able to adjust the frame for the patient, which is an essential part of dispensing prescription eyeglasses, but when the seller never even meets the customer, the instances of error drastically increase. When errors are made, the customer's only outlet to complain is the prescriber, who had nothing to do with the sale of the eyeglasses. Optometrists are routinely burdened by the bad practices of internet-based eyewear companies. They are able to charge low prices because they have doctor's offices to clean up their messes for free. Their errors wastes our time, undermines our credibility, and harms our small businesses. Eyesight is a valuable asset. Internet glasses are bad for America. Properly corrected vision is crucial in almost every occupation. Would you rather the driver of your car be wearing glasses that were purchased from a website or glasses that were fit by a professional? What about your children's bus driver? Please ban internet sales of prescription eyeglasses. They are a custom medical device and should be treated that way by our society.