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Contact Lenses - Save Money With These Helpful Shopping Tips

Aug 17, 2007
In the U.S. contact lens marketplace, 82 percent wear soft lenses, 16 percent wear rigid gas-permeable and only 2 percent wear hard. Contact lens wearers are usually surprised and happy with the level of comfort that lenses provide. All correcting contact lenses must have a valid prescription from an ophthalmologist or optometrist.

You'll want to take simple precautions to make any lens purchase safe and effective. Always buy from a reputable company; you can buy discount contact lenses without a prescription, but the company is selling you a prescription device as if it were an over-the-counter device, in violation of FTC regulations - selling you lenses without having a prescription from you.

Bifocal correction is possible with both soft and rigid lenses. Soft lenses also come as disposable products, that is, used once and discarded, or as planned-replacement lenses. In some models, each lens corrects for near and distance vision and in others, one lens is for near vision, and the other is for distance.

Soft contact lenses are made of soft, flexible plastics that allow for oxygen to pass through to the cornea. While the ability to hold water increases the oxygen permeability of soft lenses, it increases their fragility quotient as well. Rigid lenses generally give you more clear vision.

Extended wear lenses are usually soft contact lenses; made of flexible plastics that allow oxygen to pass through to the cornea. If you live an active lifestyle, NIGHT & DAY breathable lenses will allow you 30 hours of continuous wear. You can mark rigid lenses to show which lens is for which eye; they don't rip or tear, so they're easy to handle.

Soft lenses have the added benefit in that soft lenses aren't as likely as rigid lenses to pop out or get foreign material like dust underneath. Rigid lenses don't absorb chemicals, unlike soft lenses which will soak up residue from your hands like soap or lotion.

Ask about prices at your doctor's office when you have your eye examination, or during a follow-up visit after you get your prescription. Carefully check to make sure the company gives you the exact brand you ordered, the name of the lens, the power, sphere, cylinder, if any, axis, if any, diameter base curve, and peripheral curves, if any. Check out how long the online supplier has been in business before you buy.

When you place your contact lens order, request the manufacturer's written patient information for your contact lenses; it'll give you important risk and benefit information as well as instructions for use. Focus on value, not just the price; most people looking for the best price are really looking for the best value. Buy your contact lenses from a supplier you're familiar with and know is reliable or has name familiarity

If you have an insurance plan, the insurance plan's seller's prices may or may not be better than what you can find elsewhere; this should be just one option when you're shopping for lenses. Check to see if you have a health insurance plan that includes vision coverage. There are many good contact lens retailers now on the Internet making their lenses available at a good discount for prescription and non-prescription lenses.

The risk of corneal ulcers for people who keep extended-wear lenses in overnight is 10 to 15 times greater than for those who use daily-wear lenses only while they are awake. When the eyes are open, tears carry adequate oxygen to the cornea to keep it healthy, but during sleep, the eye produces fewer tears, causing the cornea to swell. Daily-wear lenses are removed daily for cleaning and are a safer choice, provided they aren't worn during sleep.

Always throw away disposable lenses after the recommended wearing period. Extended-wear rigid lenses can cause unexpected, undesirable, reshaping of the cornea. To be sure your eyes remain healthy you shouldn't order lenses with a prescription that's expired or stock up on lenses right before the prescription is about to expire; it's much safer to be re-checked by your eye doctor.

If you prefer the way you look without glasses or find glasses to be cumbersome and awkward, contacts can provide the ease, convenience and comfort you need. If you haven't had a check-up in the last one or two years, you may have problems with your eyes that you're not aware of, or your contact lenses may not correct your vision as well as you'd like. Make sure you've done your homework before you buy any pair of contact lenses.
About the Author
For more information on color contact lenses and where to buy discount contact lenses visit http://www.VisionNurse.com Helen Hecker R.N.'s popular website which offers tips, advice and resources, including information on LASIK eye surgery, sunglasses, eyeglasses and affordable quality contact lenses
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