Why buy contact lenses online?
Many of us buy everything online, from a simple box of pencils for Back to School, to the most expensive and modern 3D printers. The convenience of the online shopping experience is undeniable, so why wouldn’t we buy contact lenses online too? If you’re an experienced wearer, and you already know what brand and what type of lens works for you, there’s no reason to not consider it. Your options will be far less limited, and so will your schedule for buying. You can even sign up for a periodical shipment of your supply and be sure to always have it when you need it.
What is important is that you always consult an optometrist first. All contact lenses must be bought with a valid prescription, even online. An advantage to that is that then the prescription is always saved in the system, so you simply sign in, add your product to your cart and you’re good to go. Ifyou don’t have a prescription with you, some stores can even contact your doctor directly, and not only verify, but actually get the actual prescription, saving you time for other things.
However, don’t let comfort fool you into risking your eye health. Always scout for the best retailers, as we have done, and make sure everything they sell is legit. For example, if a website doesn’t ask you for a prescription, it’s probably best to stay away. Prescriptions only last a year, so you will still have to get checked and measured every 12 months. These are non-negotiable parts of wearing contact lenses.
Types of Contact Lenses
Daily contact lenses are meant to be worn for a single day and then thrown out. Because of this, they are considered to be very safe, since there is no care needed and no risk of exposure. However, they can be costly depending on the brand and model, and there are some environmental concerns (though it’s not that simple, as we’ll show below).
Unlike daily contacts, weeklies (which can mean either one or two weeks) are meant to last a lot more time, but they do require upkeep to clean and keep sterile. You have to store them in a case and change the solution on a regular basis (depending on the brand and model). It’s very important to stay on top of these routines in order to keep your eyes safe—and the internet is rife with horror stories of what happens when you don’t. Normally, the cost will be lower for these than for dailies, but that will also depend on the brand, model, and even the store. You’ll also need to take into account the cost of saline solution to store and clean your lenses.
Monthlies represent pretty much the same advantages and disadvantages as weekly or bi-weekly contact lenses, but they tend to be even cheaper. Remember, though, the longer you keep a pair of contact lenses, the higher the risk of exposure to bacteria from your surroundings.
Normally, you shouldn’t sleep with your contact lenses on, but with extended wear contacts you can. These are designed precisely for wearing for prolonged periods of time without having to worry about upkeep. However, they are not for everybody, and just like with weeklies and monthlies, there are risks. The longer you keep a contact lens on, the higher the possibility of bacterial infection. Although some are designed to be worn for up to 30 days, it’s good to give your eyes time to breathe before then.
Rigid Gas Permeables (RGP)
As the name implies, RGPs are rigid contact lenses, as opposed to their soft hydrogel counterparts (the most popular option nowadays). They were the standard up until the 1970’s, and some people may feel they are outdated. However, due to their design, they still provide better vision correction and allow more oxygen to get into the eye. A notable drawback is that, due to that same rigidity, they are uncomfortable and move around the eye more frequently. There are also studies that suggest change in the shape of the cornea, such as flattening, with the use of RGP’s, although it tends to go back to its original shape.
In an attempt to give consumers the best of both worlds, hybrid contact lenses have a rigid center that delivers RGP-level correction. Their advantage is that they have a soft hydrogel border for more comfort, in contrast to what’s probably the rigid contact lens greatest drawback. Still, they’re not perfect. Hybrid contact lenses are pricier, are still more uncomfortable than soft lenses, and can affect the shape of the cornea just like RGP’s.
Toric lenses are meant to correct astigmatism. To the naked eye, they mostly differ from regular lenses in their oval shape. The expert description you’ll find almost everywhere will refer to it as the slice of the side of a donut, instead of a slice from a ball (which represents a regular, “circular” lens). This is so that they won’t rotate when you blink, since they have different corrective characteristics across their body.
Scleral lenses were specifically designed for people suffering from keratoconus, a condition in which “the cornea becomes thinner, distorted and scarred,” according to Dr. Jan Bergmanson. He explains that although people with keratoconus don’t actually feel the deformation of the cornea, this distorts the vision in particular ways, and it does make the fitting more difficult in a more advanced stage. That’s where the scleral lens comes in. They’re hard, RGP lenses that cover the entire cornea and part of the sclera (the white part of the eye) in order to work around the protuberance.
Although less common, custom lenses are definitely an option, and they can be soft, rigid, and even toric. They are ideal for practically everybody, as no eye is the same, but they are especially recommended for people whose shape is noticeably different or whose vision requires very specific corrections. In order to make custom contacts, the eye is tested more thoroughly. While a regular eye test uses a keratometer and only measures three areas in the surface of the eye, the process for making custom lenses analyzes thousands of points in order to manufacture the most precise lens possible for your particular vision.
Contact Lens Maintenance
While a lot of people are deterred from using contact lenses due to fear, Dr. Andre Stanberry, who has experience in both private practice and hospital-based optometry, says that “most complications are going to occur because of contact lens misuse.” According to Dr. Stanberry, other issues are rare, and both current and future users should focus more on what they can do to ensure their own safety. He emphasizes not wearing lenses for longer than they’re meant for, which he cites as a frequent cause of discomfort and infection. He also mentions not bathing or swimming with your contacts on, as well as avoiding sleeping with them in. Although extended wear contact lenses are meant for overnight use, he says that “sleeping with any lenses in does increase the risk of infection,” so keep that in mind, and consider giving your eyes time to breathe by not reaching the exact limit on the prescription.
When we contacted Dr. Jan Bergmanson, a leading researcher on keratoconus and eye shape, both he and Dr. Stanberry agreed on the importance of correct measurements before buying contact lenses. Dr. Stanberry says that using non-prescribed contact lenses “significantly increases the risk of infection and other complications.” Bergmanson explained: “if a lens does not provide a proper physiological fit that allows for normal breathing, then you can have a number of things happen to the eye.” Not only will it affect oxygen access, but a bad fit can actually damage the surface of the eye and, if left untreated, lead to microbial keratitis, an infection of the cornea.
Even though these situations may feel distant or unlikely, there is no reason to take chances when it comes to something as essential as your vision. Keep in mind the serious consequences that can result from not following your doctor’s guidelines all the time.
Contact Lenses Do's and Don'ts
Dispose of your daily contact lenses on a daily basis.
Don’t wear your contact lenses to bed, unless you have extended-wear contact lenses approved by your doctor.
Replace your case at least quarterly (every three months).
Don’t use contact lenses over their approved period. Every product has a lifespan, and you should respect it, especially when it goes directly on your eye.
Use the recommended amount of solution to care for your weeklies and monthlies.
Don’t use expired contact lenses, because of the same reason cited above. Why risk it?
Get checked and measured periodically by a licensed optometrist.
Don’t ever clean your contact lenses with your mouth, this is an easy route to infection.
Follow all of your doctor’s instructions.
Don’t clean them with tap water either, use the approved solution.
The Environmental Impact of Contact Lenses
Disposable lenses have been in the crossfire of environmental debates for some time, and with good reason. It’s a tiny piece of silicone that you throw in the garbage or down the drain on a daily basis. The big question is: how to reduce that environmental impact? The answer is complicated. Every type of eye correction pollutes the earth in a different way. Dailies, for example, are thrown into the trash every day, and sometimes down the drain. This waste ends up in landfills, and turns into microplastics that harm marine life or helps form sludge that affects bodies of water.
Biweeklies and monthlies, on the other hand, affect the environment even more due to their use of saline solution. While dailies are packed in their cases with liquid, once you use them, they don’t need to be re-soaked. That means you don’t need a couple of plastic bottles full of chemicals every month. The effect of these plastic bottles is very similar to the effect of daily contacts as a whole, and some solution itself is rather toxic due to the use of glycerine. Even though contact lenses represent 0.5% of personal pollution, it’s still significant, and both users and makers should take responsibility.
Manufacturers have started taking action. CooperVision, for example, has reduced a significant amount of the water used in their manufacturing processes. Bausch + Lomb and Johnson & Johnson created recycling programs to minimize the amount of lenses that go in the trash or down the drain. On the consumer’s part, we should all be aware of the options and separate contacts from the rest of the trash, rather than flushing them down the drain.
Which brand contact lens is best? ›
- Bausch & Lomb Soflens 59 Contact Lenses.
- Freshlook One-Day Color Pure Hazel Powerless.
- Soft Eye Diamond Eye 3 Pair.
- Bausch & Lomb Optima38 Contact Lens.
- Clear Contact Lens Monthly Power.
- Acuvue 1 Day Moist Daily Contact Lens.
Acuvue. The Acuvue® brand is among the most highly recommended and top-selling contact lens brands. There is a good chance that you have seen commercials on television for Acuvue contact lenses. They make a wide variety of lenses, from daily, to overnight lenses, to lenses for astigmatism, and many others.What contact lens Do most doctors recommend? ›
Acuvue Oasys For Astigmatism
These lenses are made from silicone hydrogel, the most breathable contact lens material. Trusted by many eye doctors and is one of the most popular contacts available. Available for the Acuvue rewards rebate program.
TOTAL30 (Alcon): A monthly replacement lens launched in August 2021, this lens is made of lehfilcon A, has a Dk/T of 154, and uses water gradient technology to ensure patients are still comfortable wearing the lenses at the end of the 30 days.What is the highest grade of contact lens? ›
The highest level of corrective power for monthly soft contact lenses is about -12 Dioptres (bear in mind that the average prescription for short sighted people is -2.00 Dioptres), and is available from both Purevision 2HD and Biofinity.What brand of contacts last the longest? ›
- Best Overall: Air Optix Night & Day Aqua.
- Runner Up: Biofinity Monthly.
- Best Weekly Lenses: Acuvue 2.
- Best for Astigmatism: AIR OPTIX for Astigmatism.
- Best Multifocal Lenses: Bausch + Lomb PureVision 2 Multi-Focal.
Bausch & Lomb ULTRA Contact Lenses
The ULTRA lenses by Bausch & Lomb check off two important boxes, which is why they're our pick for best overall. They're made from silicone hydrogel, which not only keeps eyes moist but also allows more oxygen to pass through than other materials.
Different brands of contact lenses are made from different materials, and just because another brand has a similar base curve and diameter does not mean it will fit the same. Wearing the exact brand that you have been prescribed will help prevent medical problems and allergic reactions to the different materials used.What is the most popular type of contact lens? ›
Soft lenses are hands down the most popular type of contact lens. Approximately 90 percent of contact lenses worn in the U.S. are soft lenses. Most of these are silicone hydrogel lenses, which transmit more oxygen to the surface of the eye than conventional hydrogel lenses.Is it healthier to wear glasses or contacts? ›
Glasses have a slight advantage over contacts when it comes to screen use, if only because wearing contact lenses can exacerbate dry eye and other symptoms of computer vision syndrome. There are also glasses lenses made specifically for computer use.
Which contact lens is best monthly or yearly? ›
Monthly contact lenses are eco-friendlier because you will be throwing out fewer lenses compared to dailies. You usually only use 12 pairs every year if you choose monthly contacts, resulting in less waste that ends up in landfills.What contact lenses does Kim Kardashian wear? ›
Kim really like to play with her eye color. And it appears that she's obsessed with the golden contact lenses as she has worn them out more than once a week.What contacts does Jennifer Aniston wear? ›
Although she also wears glasses, Jennifer Aniston usually opts for blue contact lenses. Her artificial azure eyes contrast nicely with her blonde-brown hair. This gives her a striking appearance. While there is some debate on her true eye colour, most fans believe her eyes are actually brown.What contacts does Kylie Jenner use? ›
Kylie Jenner wears Solotica Color Contact Lenses! Kylie Jenner has been spotted numerous times wearing Solotica in different colors and styles. Kylie's blue eyes are Solotica Hidrocor Ice, Solotica Hidrocor Crystal, and sometimes Solotica Natural Crystal.What level of contacts is legally blind? ›
Simply put, if your prescription is -2.5 or lower, this means that you are legally blind. Visual acuity of -2.5 is equivalent to 20/200 vision. Visual acuity of -3.0, for instance, means that you have 20/250 or 20/300 vision.What are the 3 types of contact lenses? ›
- Soft Contact Lenses. Soft contact lenses are made of soft, flexible plastics that allow oxygen to pass through to the cornea. ...
- Rigid Gas Permeable (RGP) Contact Lenses. ...
- Extended Wear Contact Lenses. ...
- Disposable (Replacement Schedule) Contact Lenses.
Visual acuity less than 20/200 is considered legally blind, but to actually fit the definition, the person must not be able to attain 20/200 vision even with prescription eyewear. Many people who would be legally blind without eyewear can function well in everyday life with appropriate glasses or contact lenses.How many years can you wear contact lenses? ›
A new lens will last about three years before it expires. You should never wear a lens that has expired. Provided that you care for them properly, contacts you've opened should last a day, two weeks, or a month, depending on the manufacturer's suggested wear time.Which is better Air Optix or Biofinity? ›
Biofinity has a higher oxygen permeability than Air Optix Aqua. In addition to this, it caters for a wider prescription range with Biofinity XR and therefore could be considered a better lens for these reasons. They both fall within a similar price range but with Biofinity also being slightly cheaper than Air Optix.How many years are contacts good for? ›
For that reason, all packaged contact lenses will have a printed expiration date. Usually, the expiration date is ~4 years from the date of packaging.
Which lens looks best for eyes? ›
Opaque coloured tints are the best choice if you have dark eyes. For a natural-looking change, try a lighter honey brown or hazel coloured lens. But if you really want to stand out from the crowd, opt for contact lenses in vivid colours, such as blue, green or violet.Who has the best eyesight in the world? ›
Eagles are thought to have the best eyesight of all; their eyes are as many as eight times sharper than ours. We don't do too badly either. Our vision is four to seven times as sharp as those of cats and dogs and 100 times sharper than that of a mouse or fruit fly!What's better daily or monthly contacts? ›
Monthly lenses are more cost-effective than dailies if you wear contacts every day. It's also ideal for people who switch between glasses and contacts multiple times a day. You can clean and place them back again when needed, unlike with disposable lenses that must be discarded after use.How do I choose the right contacts? ›
- Get an up-to-date prescription from an eye doctor. ...
- Visit an online retailer offering contacts. ...
- Select the contacts to purchase. ...
- Complete the online purchase and upload a copy of the prescription.
Why can't I just get any brand of contacts I want?” Unfortunately, no. Aside from getting a contact that fits your eye perfectly (not all brands make lenses in every size), different lens materials may be more comfortable/effective for your specific vision needs.Which contacts are better for astigmatism? ›
Toric contact lenses are often the best choice for contact lens wearers with an astigmatism, because they're specifically designed to address the problem. The special shape of a toric lens creates different refractive, or focusing, powers that can help correct either a corneal or a lenticular astigmatism.Does brand matter for contact lenses? ›
Not all brands are equal
Aside from getting a contact that fits your eye perfectly (not all brands make lenses in every size), different lens materials may be more comfortable/effective for your specific vision needs.
The significant difference between the two lenses is that Biofinity is a monthly disposable and Acuvue Oasys is a two-weekly disposable. So, while Biofinity has a higher water content and allows more oxygen to pass through the lens, Acuvue Oasys can be considered a healthier lens to wear.Is there a difference in quality of contact lenses? ›
Contact lenses may seem like they are the same - simple pieces of plastic that correct your vision. However, there are several differences that can play a key role in the fitting your unique eyes. Different brands make contact lenses that vary in everything from material to shape to recommended replacement schedule.