Optometrist Rochester: Should You Buy Contact Lenses Online? (2023)

All About Ordering Contacts Online

At Rochester Optical, we know that many contact lens wearers may be interested in ordering contacts online. There are pros and cons to doing so, and we will outline them in today’s blog post to help you make the best decision for your vision! If you have any questions about contact lenses or would like to schedule a fitting or eye exam, contact us today!

With the ubiquity of online shopping, it’s a wonder why anyone bothers to go to the store in person anymore! From clothes and kitchen items to food and cleaning supplies, you can place orders on company websites, through delivery services, and even by signing up for a subscription. When it comes to contact lenses, online vendors and subscription services are an increasingly more common avenue through which to obtain these vision-correcting products. While ordering online may be convenient and in come cases more affordable, there are a few factors to consider before you hit submit on that shipment.Optometrist Rochester: Should You Buy Contact Lenses Online? (1)

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Are You Sure That Contact Lenses Are Right For You?

If you’re considering ordering contact lenses online, then you most likely already know that you want to wear them. However, there are many reasons one may choose to wear eyeglasses instead of contacts, even if you are already using contacts. Some factors to consider when choosing between eyeglasses and contact lenses include:

  • Lifestyle and activities
  • Cost
  • Convenience
  • Eye conditions and comfort
  • Personal style and preference

To learn more about each of these topics before switching to or away from contact lenses, check out our Contact Lenses vs. Eyeglasses page on our website! If you’ve decided that contacts are right for you, keep reading to learn more about ordering your lenses online.

Have Your Eyes Been Checked By An Optometrist Recently?

It’s important to schedule an eye exam before ordering contacts online. Not only will you know if you need to update your prescription, you’ll also be able to find out if you have any eye conditions that may prevent you from comfortably and safely wearing contacts. Conditions such as astigmatism require special lenses in order to achieve proper vision correction. Talk to your eye doctor if you notice that even with eyeglasses or contacts, your vision in one or both eyes feels “off.” Even in the absence of existing conditions, if you wear any corrective lenses, it’s a good idea to visit your eye doctor annually to ensure your vision is stable and your eyes are healthy.

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Is Your Contact Lens Prescription Up To Date?

Right now, take the time to look at different objects around you while you have your contacts in. Is everything clear and crisp? Do you struggle to see objects that are far away or close up? What about text in books and on screens? If anything feels “off” about your vision, be sure to schedule an appointment with an optometrist to ensure your prescription is current before ordering contact lenses online. The last thing you want is to be left with a six-month supply of lenses that don’t correct your vision completely!

Have You Been Fitted For Contacts And Tried Multiple Brands?

Being fitted for contacts by a qualified eye care professional is the next step after you’ve received your current prescription. Contact lens fittings are crucial, as they help you learn which materials and brands work best with your eyes. By visiting an optometrist, you can try out a variety of contact lens types with differing levels of softness and moisture content. Your eye doctor can often send you home with a week of trial contacts from various brands so you can make a decision based on real-life wear and use. Some subscription contact lens companies offer a trial period as well, and this can be a great way to test the waters before committing.

Do You Trust The Company Selling Contact Lenses Online?

Many online vendors are safe and secure, but it’s important to make sure the company from which you order your contact lenses is reputable. Search the web for customer reviews and experiences, and browse the company website for signs of credibility. This could include contact and location information, a clear customer support channel, proper spelling and grammar, an updated website design, or an About Us page that contains details about the company and their history. The more of these features the company exhibits, the more likely it is to be safe and legitimate.

(Video) Contact Lens insertion and removal video

Does The Company Offer Active Customer Support?

If you need to return or exchange contact lenses after you order them, you may be out of luck or left waiting a long time before you can complete the process. Online retailers can vary greatly in their return and exchange policies, so be sure you fully understand your options if you are unhappy with a purchase. One benefit of ordering contact lenses through a local optometrist is that return and exchange policies are often more flexible, because the focus is on you as the patient, not making contact lens sales.

Do You Want To Use Vision Insurance On Your Purchase?

If you have vision insurance, one common benefit includes an allowance for contact lenses. Online contact lens sellers rarely if ever accept vision insurance, though there may be options for submitting your claim to insurance manually. We recommend that anyone who wishes to make use of their insurance-provided contact lens allowance should go through a local optometry practice. The staff at Rochester Optical can help you know exactly what your insurance will cover, and you won’t have to handle any of the paperwork.

Ready To Order Contact Lenses Online?

If you’ve decided to order contact lenses online, we simply recommend that you find a safe, reputable seller. Before you order, be sure to get an eye exam and ensure your prescription is up to date. At Rochester Optical, we are happy to provide you with a professional, friendly eye exam before you buy contact lenses online. If you change your mind and would like to place your order through us to ensure you receive comprehensive customer care, contact lens trials, and insurance benefits, we’re happy to help! Contact our office today, and we’ll get you on the path to comfortable, clear vision!

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Is it OK to buy contact lenses online? ›

Is it illegal to buy contact lenses online? No. But be sure to use your prescription when purchasing contact lenses online to ensure you're getting the right fit for your eyes.

Do I have to buy my contacts from my optometrist? ›

Here's what to know: You don't have to buy glasses or contact lenses from your eye care professional. You have a right to go and find the style (for glasses) and price that work for you somewhere else, in person or online. Having a copy of your prescription lets you do that.

What is the new contact lens rule? ›

In 2020, the FTC amended the Rule, which you can find here. The Contact Lens Rule requires prescribers to give patients a copy of their contact lens prescriptions at the end of a contact lens fitting, even if the patient doesn't ask for it.

Do optometrists stock contact lenses? ›

Large Inventory

Some optometrists maintain that the convenience of having a lens in stock promotes patient loyalty, ensures a sale and ultimately dissuades patients from filling their prescriptions at a big box store or online retailer.

Why are contact lenses so cheap online? ›

While online contact lens retailers cut costs by operating remotely, they have considerable marketing budgets to fund. In addition, optometrists are able to receive very competitive wholesale pricing on contact lenses, allowing them to resell them at great rates.

What is the best place to buy contacts online? ›

Lens.com is one of the largest online contact lens retailers. It carries a wide variety of brands—Acuvue, Biofinity, Dailies and many more—and stocks more specialized contacts for those who use toric, bifocal or multifocal lenses.


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