Contact Lenses: A Buyer’s Guide
You have gotten your prescription and are now trying to figure out the best place to buy your contact lenses. You are confident about the safety and quality you will get buying from your eye care health professional, but you wouldn’t mind saving some money, either. If the contacts are just as good from an online service or a warehouse store and are cheaper, why not get them there? Here are some considerations to help guide you through your contact lens purchase.
First of all, a prescription for eyeglasses is not the same as a prescription for contact lenses. For glasses, you need to know how much and what type of correction each eye needs. Since contact lenses fit directly on your eye, your contact lens prescription also has to have information about certain dimensions of your eye. In other words, you need to be fitted for contact lenses, and that part needs to be done by an eye care professional. You will probably purchase at least your first lenses, or an initial disposable pair here.
After that, you are free to purchase anywhere that sells contacts, of which there are thousands. What next? Determine which factors are most important to you. A low price is good, but if the source from which you are buying your contact lenses rarely has your brand or prescription in stock, it’s not going to be very convenient. If your health insurance has vision coverage that helps you offset the cost of contact lenses, will the provider bill your insurance directly, or do you have to pay up front and submit a claim yourself? Customer service is also important. This is not a toaster oven or CD you are buying. If your order is wrong, or you have another question or problem, you will want to make sure you can get a hold of someone now, and preferably someone who is knowledgeable enough to help.
Even which provider has the lowest price can vary depending on different factors. For example, an online distributor may have the best price for some brands, but not necessarily all. If your eye care professional offers services that give you discounts for either your eye exam or your contact lenses if you get both in his or her office, the overall cost may be less than getting the eye exam and contact lenses from separate sources.
If you consider these questions before choosing your contact lens provider, you are more likely to get the right lenses, when you need them, for the best price. And isn’t that all you wanted in the first place?