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Save Your Eyes - Don't Buy Cheap Contact Lenses - Nurse's Guide

Aug 17, 2007
Be careful about buying cheap contact lenses. They may not be the quality you want. Discount, quality contact lenses are the most desirable. In the U.S. contact lens marketplace, 82 percent of contact lens wearers wear soft lenses, 16 percent wear rigid gas-permeable, and only 2 percent wear hard lenses. The choice of which lens is right for you should be based only on an examination by your doctor or eye care professional, not over the phone

Before you buy contact lenses from anyone other than your eye care professional, it pays to be a wise, informed consumer first. Ophthalmologists are eye surgeons who study and treat eye diseases and can also perform the same duties as optometrists. Optometrists examine eyes, diagnose and treat vision problems, prescribe eyeglasses and contact lenses and in most states they can also prescribe medicine. Opticians grind and dispense eyeglasses and in some states also can dispense contact lenses.

Disposable lenses don't come with instructions for cleaning and disinfecting, while those labeled specifically for planned replacement do come with them. It's important for your eyes to have a good rest, without the lenses, for at least one night following each scheduled removal. There are two general categories of contact lenses - soft and rigid gas permeable. The soft lenses are easier to adjust and are much more comfortable than rigid lenses because they conform to the eye and absorb and hold water.

The expiration date for your lens prescription is currently set by your state requiring a one-year or two-year renewal. If your state has not set a minimum expiration date, government regulations set a one-year date unless your eye doctor determines there's a medical reason for less than a year.

If you live a very active lifestyle, the night and day type of breathable lenses will allow 30 hours of continuous wear. Soft lenses also come as disposable products meaning used once and discarded, or as planned-replacement lenses. Rigid gas permeable contact lenses are more durable, are resistant to deposit buildup, and generally give a clearer, crisper vision. Some eye doctors prescribe disposables as planned-replacement lenses, which are removed, disinfected, and reused before being discarded.

The length of continuous lens wear depends on the contact lens type and your doctor's evaluation of your tolerance for overnight wear. Extended wear lenses are usually soft contact lenses and are made of flexible plastics that allow oxygen to pass through to the cornea.

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 contact lenses. Always ask what rebates might be available. Before you buy online, check to see if there are any testimonials on the online supplier's website.

Focus on the value, not just the price. Most people, who are looking for the best price, are really looking for the best value. Get a feel for how the retailer handles customer service calls in the event you have any problems after your order arrives. And check out how long the online supplier has been in business before you buy.

When you receive your order, if you think you've received an incorrect contact lens, see your doctor or eye care professional right away. Don't accept any substitution unless your doctor or eye care professional approves it. You can buy contact lenses from an eye doctor, on the Internet, from an optical store or a warehouse club. When you place your order make sure your lenses are available and not out of stock, because you'll no doubt need them right away.

One sight-threatening concern is the infection Acanthamoeba keratitis, which is caused by improper care of the lens. This hard-to-treat parasitic infection's symptoms are similar to those of corneal ulcers. Make sure to replace your contacts as recommended by your eye doctor because they will wear out as time goes by. Be aware that extended-wear contact lenses - rigid or soft - increase the risk of corneal ulcers, which are infection-caused eruptions on the cornea that can lead to blindness. The symptoms include vision changes, eye redness, eye discomfort or pain, and excessive tearing.

Note that getting a proper fit is essential. Contact lenses that are poorly fitted can lead to eyesores, eye inflammation, and eye abrasions. A basic rule: never swap your contact lenses with anyone else. Soft extended-wear lenses will 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.

And shopping for contacts online will save you a lot of money. Contact lenses are deeply discounted. If you're looking for cheap contact lenses, you might find that cheap materials or other ways of cutting costs will affect the quality you want for your precious eyes. LASIK or laser surgery and its risks can be frightening and much too expensive for some people. Contacts provide a safe, comfortable and time-tested alternative.
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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