Pupillary Distance Measurement

Pupillary distance (PD) is one of the measurements taken in the process of fitting your glasses. Pupillary distance is usually measured after your eye exam by a trained optician. We include it free for any of our patients who get an exam at our office, so please let us know if you would like us to take this measurement for you. If you did not get your exam with us but would like measurements taken to buy glasses elsewhere, it costs $10 to take your pupillary distance measurement and $25 for a complete set of fitting measurements.

The pupillary distance measurement is only one of the five measurements that an optician should be making when you get your glasses (the complete set includes: pupillary distance, optical center, tilt, wrap, and vertex distance). When you’re not asked for the other four, it’s not because they don’t matter. It’s because the pupillary distance is the only one that can be taken without a skilled optician first adjusting the frame to your face.

We’re always of two minds about releasing only a pupillary distance measurement. On the one hand, we’re not really excited about folks taking the prescription and careful measurements we’ve made in our office and getting glasses that don’t have much chance of being made correctly since all the measurements aren’t being used. But on the other hand, about half the time, the guesses on those other four measurements are going to be close enough that you’ll be able to get by and not really notice what you are missing, other than some peripheral distortion and maybe the occasional headache.

Other offices don’t release pupillary distance measurements at all because they don’t want to deal with folks who are unhappy with glasses they got online. Of course, neither do we. But, if someone wants to buy their glasses online, at least if we take a correct pupillary distance, then one of the five measurements will be correct. We’ve decided that 1 out of 5 is better than none out of 5. So, we cheerfully take pupillary distance measurements for anyone that requests them, we only ask that you have read this page and a little bit about glasses online so you’ll know what to expect.