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Buying Discount Contact Lenses - What To Know

Aug 17, 2007
With a contact lens prescription in hand, it's possible to buy your contact lenses from stores, the Internet, over the phone, or by mail. Ophthalmologists (M.D. or D.O.) are eye surgeons who study and treat eye diseases and can also perform the duties of optometrists; optometrists (O.D.) examine eyes, diagnose and treat vision problems, and prescribe eyeglasses and contact lenses and in most states they also can prescribe medicine; opticians grind and dispense eyeglasses and in some states dispense contact lenses. There are 75 million contact lens wearers worldwide and 31 million in the U.S. alone.

Now it's easy to order the perfect contact lenses online at a great discount. Among the many kinds of contact lenses you can buy are: novelty, colored, crazy, Halloween, special effects, theatrical, costume, scary, glow in the dark, wild eyes, mirrored, black, white, and red.

Keep in mind that contact lenses are often more complex than appears. Rigid lenses don't absorb chemicals, unlike soft lenses which will soak up residue from your hands like soap or lotion. Some doctors prescribe disposables as planned-replacement lenses, which are removed, disinfected, and reused before being discarded.

Disposable lenses don't come with instructions for cleaning and disinfecting, while those labeled specifically for planned replacement do. The length of continuous lens wear depends on the lens type and your doctor's evaluation of your tolerance for overnight wear. 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. Extra-thin soft lenses are on the market for very sensitive people. There are several types of lenses including: soft contact lenses, rigid gas permeable lenses, extended wear lenses and disposables.

With planned-replacement lenses, the doctor works out a replacement schedule tailored to the needs of each patient. While the ability to hold water increases the oxygen permeability of soft lenses, it increases their fragility quotient as well.

When you place your order make sure your lenses are available and not out of stock, because you'll need them now. 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. Focus on value, not just the price; most people looking for the best price are really looking for the best value.

Always ask what rebates are available. Always buy from a reputable company; you can buy contact lenses without a prescription, but the company is selling you a prescription device as if it were an over-the-counter device violating FTC regulations by selling you contact lenses without having your prescription. 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.

When you receive your order, if you think you've received an incorrect contact lens, check with your doctor or eye care professional right away; don't accept any substitution unless your eye care professional approves it. Wherever you buy, shop for quality and value and don't forget you want to do what's best for your eye health. Make sure you have a current, valid prescription when you order contact lenses.

Soft extended-wear lenses bind down on the closed eye, but they are porous and allow some tears through during sleep; because they have so little form, their binding has very little effect on the shape of the eye. Extended-wear rigid lenses can cause unexpected, undesirable, reshaping of the cornea. Under the binding down of a rigid contact lens during sleep, the flow of tears and oxygen to the cornea is reduced; lack of oxygen leaves the eye vulnerable to infection.

The FDA has approved extended-wear lenses for use up to seven days before removal for cleaning; but there are risks with use of extended-wear lenses even for one night. Heat disinfection is the only method effective against the microroganism Acanthamoeba keratitis, a common culprit for contact lens wearers, and it also kills organisms in and on the lens case. 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.

Remember to use only contact lenses that are FDA-approved and only if prescribed by a licensed eye care professional. If you lead an active lifestyle, contact lenses can provide you with close to natural vision. Shopping for contacts online will save you a lot of money; contact lenses are deeply discounted.
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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