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Ilya Drozdov
Ilya Drozdov

Do You Need A Prescription To Buy Contacts


The FTC oversees and enforces the Fairness to Contact Lens Consumers Act and Contact Lens Rule, which requires eye care providers to give customers copies of their contact lens prescriptions once the lens fitting is complete.




do you need a prescription to buy contacts



You cannot order contacts without a prescription, at least in the United States. You will need to have a prescription written by a licensed optometrist or ophthalmologist to buy contact lenses. The seller will also verify your prescription to make sure it's valid.


This protection allows you to shop around for contacts, whether you base your decision on price, convenience, or any other factors. You do not have to order contacts from the location where you got your eye exam, unless you want to.


Once you have your valid prescription, NextDayContacts is a trusted seller of contact lenses that offers FREE OVERNIGHT shipping on all orders placed by their cut-off time. That means you can order today and wear them tomorrow!


Yes. In the United States, the FTC (Federal Trade Commission) dictates the rules for the sales of contact lenses. All contact lens purchases must be verified (aka: have a valid prescription) before the lenses are sold.


Yes. Walmart and most contact lens sellers have options of color contacts with and without prescription. These can help patients who want to switch up their look or those who like to wear them for their costume effect.


It is still essential to be taught how to insert, remove and clean the contact lenses. Most specialty brands for the unique costume looks (for example, red or black-out contacts) will require you to discuss these lenses with your doctor to ensure they are being made by a legitimate retailer.


There are many different types of contact lenses. Daily use lenses are lenses that people use and discard daily, while a person wears long-term lenses for longer periods, for example, every 2 weeks or monthly. The lenses that a person selects can affect the price and the number of boxes they need to order.


If you don't have their number, provide your doctor's name and the city where you had the exam, and Walmart can find the contact information we need to confirm your prescription. Your eye doctor is legally obligated to confirm the prescription within eight business hours; otherwise, the law allows us to assume the prescription is valid.


A minimum of one year, and up to two years in many states. Your doctor may place a shorter expiration time on your prescription, but only if there is a documented medical reason for doing so. If your prescription has an expiration date, you may want to ask your doctor to explain why they placed a restriction on your prescription.


Yes. The doctor may want to evaluate your eyes with the trial (fitting) lenses in place before releasing the prescription. They may also require you to pay for the fitting before releasing the prescription.


No. Your doctor can't require that you sign anything to release your prescription. In fact, if you had your last eye examination after February 4, 2004, your doctor should have handed your prescription to you on completion of the fitting, whether you asked for it or not.


Your eye care professional has to give you your contact lens prescription when they complete your fitting. They also should ask you to sign a confirmation that you got a copy of your prescription.


For a company that specializes in premium glasses, FramesDirect offers an impressive spread of contact lenses. The site offers more than 100 options and a range of dailies and weeklies for all sorts of prescriptions, as well as lenses aimed to comfort dry eyes or change eye color. One of the brand's many strengths is its service team staffed with optical experts, some of whom have been practicing for decades.


Discounts, promos and coupon codes are another hallmark of this site. New customers receive 20% off with a promo code, and they will price match up to seven days after the purchase date. They also offer a totally free online vision test to renew your prescription from home (with some exceptions), which is a big plus.


No. You always need an updated, valid prescription to order contacts online because they are classified as medical devices by the FDA. In general, the recommendation is to have your prescription updated every year or two.


Warby Parker doesn't just sell affordable and stylish eyeglasses -- the company sells contact lenses too. You can pick from Scout, Warby Parker's own contact lens brand, or get contacts from Acuvue, Biotrue, Air Optix, Dailies and other major brands.


A three-month supply of Scout daily contacts (a total of 90 lenses) starts at $47, which is a good deal for daily contact lenses. Depending on where you shop and the brand you use, prices online can vary from $60 to $200. You can get a six-day trial pack of Scout contact lenses to see if you like them before committing to a full supply.


Depending on your vision insurance, you may be able to use your benefits to pay for your Warby Parker contacts purchase. If your insurance company doesn't directly work with Warby Parker, you can instead file a claim with your insurance to be reimbursed for any qualified orders.


Lens.com's prices are often lower than other shops for prescription contact lenses. It has an impressive selection of brands -- including Acuvue, Air Optix, Dailies and Biofinity Toric for astigmatism -- plus it takes returns and covers the cost of shipping unopened boxes back.


As one of the best-known contacts stores, 1800Contacts stocks all of the most popular brands, and you can even get hard contacts through its call center. One CNET editor praised the company for providing customer service that went above and beyond.


Like Lens.com, you can text or email your contact lens prescription, which speeds up the ordering process. 1800Contacts also offers discount contact lenses for students and free shipping on all orders, and allows you to update your prescription through an online test (only available for adults between 18 and 55 years old). You can also buy colored contact lenses from 1800Contacts. If you need to exchange your unopened lenses for any reason, 1800Contacts will cover the shipping cost.


A popular source for cheap contact lenses among my fellow CNET editors is ContactsDirect, because it often sends out coupon codes to customers. It has a wide selection of lens type options, including multifocal lenses, colored contacts, soft contact lenses for dry eyes and toric lenses for astigmatism.


ContactsDirect offers returns on products that were purchased within one year if your eye vision changes and you need a vision correction from your doctor. ContactsDirect (and 1800Contacts) also sells contact lens solution.


Last but not least is GlassesUSA.com, which sells both contact lenses and glasses and will price-match other sellers. Like every other retailer on this list, GlassesUSA.com has all of the popular lens brands, including Acuvue, Biofinity and more, and offers free returns and free shipping on prescription lenses.


To get started, you'll need your contact lens prescription (more on that below). Simply search for the brand and model of contacts from your prescription at any of the stores above to find your specific lenses. Disposable contacts are sold in boxes, and most online shops give you a deal if you buy a six or 12 month supply, rather than one box at a time.


During the checkout process, you'll enter your prescription information to select the correct lenses and then submit verification of your prescription. Most stores allow you to upload an image or PDF of your prescription, or you can opt for the company to contact your doctor to verify it. This process can take as little as a few minutes or up to a few days if the store contacts your doctor. Once that process is complete, your order will be finalized and cleared to ship directly to you.


Yes. Contact lenses are medical devices that require a prescription for you to purchase them -- either online or in person. Before you start shopping, you'll first need to get an eye exam and contact lens prescription from your optician or optometrist. An eye doctor can help you determine the best prescription lenses for your specific needs, whether that's daily contacts, soft lenses, hard lenses, lenses for astigmatism or multifocal lenses.


Your eye doctor will also help you decide which brand of contact lenses will work best for you, and your prescription will include the brand name. That means you cannot buy a different brand if you find a better deal, but you can request a new prescription for a specific brand, at your doctor's discretion.


All of the stores on this list require a valid prescription to dispense your contact lenses, and they won't ship your order without one. Keep in mind that most contact lens prescriptions are only valid for one to two years (depending on your eyes and age), so if your prescription is expired, you'll need a new one to shop.


Disposable contacts will cost you more money in the long run over a pair of glasses. For example, Acuvue Oasys, one of the most popular brand of soft lenses, average around $25 to $40 for a box of 12 lenses at the stores above. That box of 12 is enough for three months (one lens per eye, thrown away every two weeks). That adds up to around $160 per year for contacts.


Pro tip: Right after your contact lens exam, it's almost always worth it to get a year's supply of your current prescription. Regardless of whether you're buying daily disposable contacts, monthly lenses or even multifocal contacts, buying in bulk will help you save money.


If your prescription changes sometime during that year, many of the retailers above will allow you to exchange unopened boxes with a new prescription. You don't have much to lose by buying a full year supply. Though it can be a higher up-front cost, you'll save money over buying one box at a time.


Your prescription can be found on the end or side of your contact lenses box, on the blister pack containing your lenses or on the piece of paper given to you by your optician after your contact lens fitting has been completed. 041b061a72


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