■ BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVE: To compare visual outcomes for used glasses versus ready-made spectacles in the treatment of refractive error. ■ PATIENTS AND METHODS: In this prospective, comparative case series, undilated refractive error screening examinations were conducted over a 5-week period. Patients with bilateral refractive error were treated with used glasses and ready-made spectacles powered to match their prescriptions. Snellen visual acuity was measured with no correction, best (manifest) correction, unrefined autorefraction, used glasses, and ready-made spectacles. Main outcome measurements were the mean visual improvement from uncorrected acuity and median final visual acuity after treatment with used and ready-made spectacles. ■ RESULTS: One hundred forty-one patients ages 18 and older with bilateral refractive error were examined. Uncorrected visual acuity in each eye improved an average of 4.5 lines with best correction, 4.0 lines with used glasses, and 3.5 lines with ready-made spectacles, with used glasses demonstrating a statistically significant advantage over ready-made spectacles (P < .001). The median visual acuity in the better eye improved from 20/60 uncorrected to 20/25 with all types of glasses. In patients with less than 1 diopter of anisometropia and greater than 1 diopter of astigmatism in each eye (49%), the ready-made spectacles performed equally as well as the used glasses (P = .95), improving vision an average of 3.9 lines for a median final visual acuity of 20/25 in the better eye. ■ CONCLUSION: Although both were effective, used glasses are better than ready-made spectacles for improving vision loss due to refractive error.
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