Online shopping is becoming more and more common. So the obvious question arises: Is it safe to buy contacts online?
There are many reasons not to buy online, and to instead get your contact lenses from an eyecare professional.
Quality issues: Contacts ordered online are far more likely to have some sort of quality issue, such as the wrong power, than those purchased directly from an eye care professional.
Lack of professional assistance: Optometrists are trained specifically to fit contact lenses properly and to assist you in choosing what is right for you. The fitting process in particular is extremely important in making sure your contact lenses fit properly and remain comfortable for you to wear. Even more problematic, improperly fit contacts can lead to discomfort and even infection. Lenses purchased online cannot be as precisely fit to your eyes as lenses bought in a physical location can be.
False Promises: There may be times when you think you are ordering one thing but actually receive something completely different. Suppose that you ordered a lens made out of a certain material and received something entirely different.
Zero Education: When buying contacts from an optometrist, you'll receive proper eyewear education, such as how to put them on and take them off properly. Without proper education, online buyers are vulnerable to health issues like poor hygiene and improper storage.
Ultimately, the most important thing for patients to understand is that online activities are generally not controlled or supervised by regulations or laws. In the absence of professional eye care, you simply cannot guarantee the quality of the contact lenses you'll receive. This puts your vision at risk.
Major online contact lens company fined $3.5 million: The Department of Justice ordered an online contact lens company, Hubble contacts, to pay $3.5 million for selling contact lenses online without verifying the subscriber’s prescription, improperly substituting Hubble’s own brand of contact lenses for those prescribed by consumers’ eye care practitioners, and procuring what was falsely portrayed as independent consumer reviews. When buying contact lenses it is important to know that the person selling to you is first and foremost concerned about your health and vision and only second profit.
The prescription for your lenses is the most important thing to have to make sure you get safe lenses that provide the vision correction you need. Even the most advanced systems for online prescriptions cannot provide for you what a visit to an eye care professional can, and they cannot be relied upon.
Improperly fit contact lenses are not just a problem with vision, they also can lead to infections and in extreme cases more serious harm to your eyes and vision. It is critical that you have a contact lens evaluation with an eye doctor to receive your prescription for contact lenses