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Is Buying Contact Lenses Online Safe?

It’s crazy how much the internet has changed our lives since it’s introduction only a few short decades ago. From how we get our information, how we socialize, to how we consider making purchases. It’s definitely made some aspects of life more convenient. With being able to purchase almost anything within the reach of our fingertips, one might ask themselves “why shouldn’t I purchase my contact lenses online as well?” But the truth is, buying your paper towel from an online store is quite different than buying a medical device, such as contact lenses. Our article this week educates on the risks of purchasing contact lenses online.

Purchasing Contact Lenses Online

Online purchases have become big business in the last few years. In the short time, it takes to click a mouse, you can have almost anything delivered to your doorstep. Shopping online is great! It makes buying items super convenient. However, there is something to be said about buying something that goes into your eyes (your contact lenses) from an online retailer. Shopping online for contact lenses isn’t as simple as buying a shirt online. Especially when it comes to buying an item that can affect eye health!

Not All Contact Lenses Are The Same

Not all contacts are identical. Contact lenses come in many different materials, measurements, and parameters. When you visit an eye care professional, such as an optometrist, ophthalmologist, or contact lens optician, they take many things into consideration when selecting a contact lens for your eyes. They are the best people to determine if a lens is suitable for you!

Beyond Your Contact Lens Prescription

There are many aspects of how a contact lens suits you, beyond the lens prescription. Your lifestyles, the fit of the contacts, and your vision are all aspects that are assessed to make sure you get lenses that are ideal for you!

Wearing the wrong type of contacts can affect eye health and vision. In some cases, damage to the eyes could even be permanent.

Reasons Why Buying Contact Lenses Online Might Not Be Safe

Many patients and consumers aren’t aware that the world of online contact lens retail is largely an unregulated marketplace. Unless ordering contact lenses from your optometrist, or the office where you had your contacts professionally fit, when buying online it is hard to know exactly what you are getting. Online contact lens purchases can consequently hurt your eyes, so when doing so, a person must really ask themselves if buying online is worth risking vision and eye health?

How Do You Know Your Contacts Fit?

Unlike ordering a shirt online, where you can tell if it fits when trying it on, you can’t tell the same thing with a contact lens. Many people think that they would know when wearing a contact lens if it “fits” or not. But the truth is that many problems that occur from contact lens wear are asymptomatic. This means there are no apparent symptoms when a problem is present. So the “one size fits all” approach with contact lenses is false and can seriously affect eye health!

Is Your Prescription Correct?

A contact lens prescription is often different from that of an eyeglass prescription. This is because the contact lens sits directly on the eyes, where the eyeglasses sit farther away. There are many variables that affect a contact lens prescription. These are all taken into consideration at a contact lens fitting appointment.

Do You Know Where Your Contac Lenses Come From?

Depending on the online retailer, it can be hard to know if the quality of lenses being sold has been compromised. Lenses coming from outside of Canada could be coming from suppliers who haven’t been approved or tested by Health Canada. Lenses might contain materials or solutions that don’t meet Canadian health standards. They might also be contaminated from the manufacturing facility.

You Might Not Be Getting What You Ordered

Lenses come in so many different variations of lens materials and product sizes. Therefore, you may think that you’ve ordered and are receiving the correct item, when in fact you are not! Again, wearing an incorrect lens can put eye health at risk!

Trust Your Eye Care Professional!

Purchasing your contact lenses from the optometrist or eye care professional who fit your contacts is always your best option. When purchasing from a reputable clinic who knows your eyes, you will ensure you are getting the best care!

Because our eyes change, the contacts that suit you today may not suit your eyes in the future. Seeing your optometrist for routine exams will ensure that your lenses still fit. Your optometrist is also the best person to educate you of new lens options.

If you are a patient of ours and are up to date with your eye exams, you can order your contact lenses online 24/7 though our website!

If you have questions about contact lenses, or your vision and eye health, please call our office at (403)255-2826 to book an appointment with one of our experienced optometrists. For your convenience, you can also book your appointment online.

Article Written By Trina Vanaalst, Licensed Optician & Contact Lens Practitioner

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