Now a day, buy products online is becoming very popular. Major reasons are time-saving, various offers like a discount, gift, etc. Also varieties of option under one roof and replacement guarantees. Various companies offer different replacement facilities, but most of them are offering a 30-day return policy. Because of the discount, many people wants to buy contact lenses online than regular optical shop or from eye clinic. But is it really cheaper? It’s not like buying something like books, mobile, toaster or a dress.
But should we buy contact lenses online? Why should we think of that?
A contact lens is a thin plastic lens which placed over the eye (Directly over the cornea and conjunctiva) to correct the refractive error of the eye. Recently I discussed with few optometrist regarding this issue as contact lenses are under medical devices. Few of them are told yes and a few of them not supported it. As per supporting group, if you are an old contact lens users and if you aware of the material, parameters, and brands then you can buy contact lenses online. But it’s better to avoid buy contact lenses through online. A major reason, because of the heat the lens parameters can be changed and also we should avoid liquid material purchases through online. It’s like that we never purchase milk through online, then why to take the risk for your eyes. Contact lenses should be stored properly. They need to be protected from freezing and heat. Buyer is totally unaware of the stored condition of contact lenses. How long and where they stored before? There is no special system or facility for contact lenses delivery by the courier company.
Few practitioners told that sometimes after care is missing while someone is buying contact lenses through online. Proper care and maintain is very important for contact lens users. Also, they informed that old users are more careless about proper care and maintain of contact lenses. There are so many lens-related complications has no symptoms in the early stages, which can be diagnosed by your eye physician.
As per FDA (Food & Drug Administration) and FTC (Federal Trade Commission), always buy contact lenses from a supplier you are familiar with and know is reliable.
Always buy contact lenses from your recent prescription. Wearers should Vision Optometrist or Ophthalmologist in every year or two years. Because sometimes wearers are unaware of eye problem. Once they visit the lens consultant then practitioners notice the issue and suggest the possible solution.
Always check carefully power, base curve, peripheral curve, the axis of cylindrical lenses, etc. Also, check materials and brands of contact lenses.
Don’t use expired lenses or prescription.
Don’t change your brand of lenses without trial and eye physician advice because your eyes are more important than money.
Please do cross check-up with your eye physician.
The seller should not sell contact lenses without a prescription. They should keep the scan copy of contact lens prescription.
Also, those who never use contact lenses, they should not buy contact lenses online. Some of the spectacle users want to start using contact lenses and they try to buy contact lenses through online as per their friends or relative advice. So many companies offer free trial through online. But it’s not like the dress that if not fitted properly, then will try different lenses. If the material of lenses or solution not suited for your eye, then it can be dangerous for your eyes. If the material causes any allergy of your eyes, then you have to contact your local doctors. Lens base curve, tint, and power so many things are important. Contact lenses and spectacle power may not be same. Improper fit like steep it contacts lens can cause severe damage to the eye, blurred vision. Also difficult to remove contact lenses from the eye. Improper care and maintain can cause microbial keratitis, which is a most severe sight-threatening complication of the contact lens wearers. Due to lack of knowledge, so many wearers sleep while lenses are on. So many people don’t know why silicon hydrogel is more important than normal hydrogel material.
So many people purchase the colored contacts or Halloween contact lenses through online for fashion and refractive correction purpose. There is no law in India about this. At the United States, if someone sells those types of contact lenses without a prescription, should be fined $11,00 per violation.
Recently Amazon.in has decided to stop selling power contact lenses through online.
Your comments are welcome about buy contact lenses online.Biman Das, M. Optom ( PT), B. Optom, FLVPEI, Fellow in Contact Lens ( TSNA)Senior Optometrist, Sankara nethralaya, Chennai, India
Very fine topic briefly covered by Mr. Krishnendu Mandal, optometrist to create awareness among contact lens users who prefer to purchase lenses through online. Personally, I won’t prefer to purchase any kind of medical product from the online service. In my day to day contact lens practice, I always suggest my patients/ customer to purchase, contact lenses from the qualified eye care practitioner (ECP). The main important things for contact lens users are not only to purchase the best / suitable lenses for him/her, but also find out the best contact lens care product. When a contact lens user purchase lenses from online they are not aware about the Base curve (Radius of contact lens), which is a very important factor for optimal fit (comfortable fit) as well Diameter of the contact lens and care products for the particular type of contact lens. So when you purchase lenses from online you may come across a mild problem like blurring of vision to serious eye threatening problem like corneal ulcer due to lack of information regarding your contact lens and its care product . So I highly recommended to purchase lenses only from ECP and follow the proper after care instruction as advised and must visit to the clinic for follow up within 6months to 1 year.