Buying Contact Lenses: Comparing Your Options

Back in the days, contact lenses had several limitations. There was only one type of contact lens available – hard lenses. You had to boil your contact lenses every night in a special cleaning machine. When you removed them, they had to be stored in a special case submerged in a solution designed to keep them moist and clean.

More limitations were involved with obtaining contact lenses. You could only obtain them from a licensed eye care professional. Many people, such as those with astigmatism, were often told that they were not eligible for contact lenses.

These days, there are a number of options for contact lenses – hard lenses, soft lenses, even colored lenses. You can obtain contact lenses from any one of a number of locations. Each option has its advantages and its disadvantages.

Eye Doctors

Just like in past decades, it’s still possible to obtain contact lenses from eye doctors. Doing so makes it more likely that your prescription will be correct. It is also easier for an eye doctor to make adjustments if your prescription changes or if there are problems with your lenses. However, obtaining your lenses from an eye doctor is generally more expensive than using any other option.

Optical Chains

In recent years, optical chains have emerged to offer a low-cost alternative to eye doctors for obtaining contact lenses. Some optical chains have opticians on staff, or work in collaboration with opticians in nearby facilities, making it possible for you to obtain your prescription and order your lenses in a single trip. However, optical chains usually are not equipped to handle serious problems with your eyes or with your lenses. This means that for other than routine care, you may need to make an appointment with an eye doctor.

Mass Merchandisers

Mass merchandisers represent an even more inexpensive option for obtaining your contact lenses. Some mass merchants work in cooperation with opticians who can prescribe lenses for you. However, many mass merchandisers do not have that capacity. This means that you must make an initial visit to an optician to obtain your prescription. It is also up to you to ensure that your prescription is up to date when you obtain new contact lenses from a mass merchandiser. In addition, mass merchandisers almost never have facilities available to take care of problems with your eyes or your lenses.

Online Retailers and Opticians

Online retailers represent the most convenient way to obtain your contact lenses. You simply enter your prescription information on your computer and your contact lenses are delivered to your front door. In many instances you can receive your contact lenses within a week or even one or two days. The prices for online retailers are generally cheaper than those for an eye doctor.

However, ordering from an online retailer requires you to provide your prescription. If you don’t have one, you will need to schedule an appointment with an optician to obtain a prescription. Online retailers may not be able to fill your prescription if you require specialty lenses, or may require long delays if they are able to fill specialty prescriptions. You are also totally responsible for keeping your prescription up to date or dealing with any difficulties with your eyes or your lenses.

Chelsea Miller is an eye care consultant. She enjoys blogging where she gets to pass on her insights online. Visit the Lenstore UK website for more information.

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