Today you can get about anything online with a click of a button, from clothes, electronics, and even groceries. So why not get contact lenses online? Unlike a pair of shoes, there is a lot more that goes into the fit of a contact lens that sits on the front surface of the eye.
Contact lenses are a medical device—that pose some risk to the patient—and are regulated by the FDA. It may seem more convenient and more affordable to buy contact lenses online, but before you decide to take the leap without a valid contact lens prescription you should know the risk.
The Risks of Buying Contact Lenses Online
There are some key concerns when it comes to buying contacts online—especially when you buy from a website that does not require an appointment. Here are the risks to know about.
No fitting appointment
If you order contact lenses online without a prescription there is no way to ensure that the contacts fit your eyes correctly or if the prescription is correct. During a contact lens fitting appointment the doctor makes sure the prescription is correct and they will check if the lenses fit on the eye properly. A too-tight fit or too loose of a fit can cause the lens to be uncomfortable and cause a decrease in oxygen permeability if the lens is too tight.
An important part of the contact lens exam is the educational portion. This is where the wear schedule is discussed depending on the type of lens (monthly, bi-weekly, daily), the proper technique to disinfect lenses, and the risk of complications. Education is important because it empowers contact lens wearers to safely wear lenses and the knowledge to know what to do if complications arise.
Contamination Or Fakes
If you buy contacts online from a non-reputable dealer, there is no ensuring that the company is FDA regulated. This can mean the contact lenses can be counterfeits or not FDA approved. This can increase the risk of eye infections that can lead to blindness.
If you do buy contact lenses online it is very important to buy from a reputable supplier in order to reduce your risk of eye infections and other complications.
Before you buy online make sure you have these items:
- A valid contact lens prescription which requires you to make an appointment with your eye care provider to update your CL prescription. Contact lens prescriptions are valid for 1 year so be sure you schedule an exam annually.
- The brand, type of lens, and powers to match up before you submit your order. Remember contact lens prescriptions are only valid for the prescription written.
When you get your contact lenses in the mail double-check that the prescription you were given was accurate and the contact lenses are not expired.
At Gem state family eye care we believe in giving our patients the best eye care possible. If you need an updated contact lens prescription, make an appointment today and we can discuss your options!