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How To Buy Contact Lenses

Aug 18, 2007
There are 75 million contact lens wearers worldwide and 31 million in the U.S. alone. Be careful about buying cheap contact lenses, they may not be the quality you want; discounted quality contact lenses are the most desirable. 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.

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.

Rigid gas permeable lenses tend to be less expensive over the life of the lens since they last longer than soft lenses. Although easier to handle and less likely to tear, rigid gas permeable lenses are not as comfortable initially as soft contacts and it may take a few weeks to get used to wearing the RGPs, compared to just a few days for soft contacts. Rigid lenses generally give you more clear vision.

There are also a few rigid gas permeable lenses that are designed and approved for overnight wear. Rigid lenses don't absorb chemicals, unlike soft lenses which will soak up residue from your hands like soap or lotion. The length of continuous lens wear depends on the lens type and your doctor's evaluation of your tolerance for overnight 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. There are two general categories of contact lenses - soft and rigid gas permeable. Keep in mind contact lenses are often more complex than appears to be.

Soft lenses also come as disposable products, that is, used once and discarded, or as planned-replacement lenses. Extended wear contact lenses are used for overnight or continuous wear ranging from one to six nights or up to 30 days.

Check out how long the online supplier has been in business before you buy. Compare prices - get quotes from two or three online and offline suppliers. 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.

Buy your contact lenses from a supplier you're familiar with and know is reliable or have name familiarity. 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. Rebates may be available from the seller, from the manufacturer, for first-time contact lens wearers and for individuals who buy lenses and get an eye exam.

When you place your order make sure your lenses are available and not out of stock, because you'll need them now. 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. 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.

Extended-wear rigid lenses can cause unexpected, undesirable, reshaping of the cornea. If your eyes become red or irritated, remove the lenses immediately and consult with your doctor. Always throw away disposable lenses after the recommended wearing period.

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. Getting a proper fit is essential; contact lenses that are poorly fitted can lead to eyesores, eye inflammation, and eye abrasions. 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 eyecare professional. 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. If you're looking for cheap contact lenses, you may find that cheap materials or other ways of cutting costs will affect the quality you'll want for your precious eyes.
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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