Back in the day, contact lenses were limited to those who could manage to insert and manage to wear so-called “hard” lenses — and whose vision problems could be corrected by wearing them. This meant individuals suffering from vision shortcomings such as astigmatism or who needed bifocal lenses were out of luck. In the 21st century, this has all changed. Not only are contact lenses a viable choice for more potential wearers, obtaining contact lenses couldn’t be easier. In many cases, you don’t even need to leave your home to obtain the lenses that allow you to see clearly without glasses.

Online Convenience 

Ordering contact lenses online is certainly convenient. Simply fire up the computer, place your order and wait for a package to arrive, often overnight. The process can be especially appealing during inclement weather or when your schedule simply doesn’t allow for a trip across town to pick up a pair of glasses or a set of contact lenses.

contact-lenses-wearHowever, completing a few preliminary steps is necessary before you can take advantage of the convenience of online ordering. The most important step is ensuring that your prescription is accurate and up to date. Depending on your insurance plan, you should have your eyes examined prior to placing an online order. You will need to have your prescription information available to place your order.

Check Out the Company 

After obtaining your prescription, you’re ready to comparison shop for a contact lens provider. In the United States, sales of contact lenses are regulated by the Federal Trade Commission and the Food and Drug Administration. Ensure that the outlet from which you’re ordering is properly licensed before offering your credit card information.

You should also check out how the company conducts business. Investigate review websites that include comments from customers, who often provide candid reviews. Watchdog organizations such as the Better Business Bureau can provide information about consumer complaints and other adverse action taken against a given company.

Company Policy

There’s nothing convenient about discovering that you’ll have to wait weeks to receive your contact lens order – after you’ve given out your credit card number. Larger contact lens outlets tend to be more stable and have more prescriptions in stock.  By contrast, many small outlets only carry standard prescriptions, so if you need lenses for astigmatism or another specialized prescription, you may have a long wait after you’ve placed your order. Inquire about how quickly orders are shipped after they are placed.

It’s even less convenient to discover that the lenses you ordered aren’t right, and that you can’t get a refund. Established companies may be more willing to make refunds and exchanges seamless. A company doesn’t have to be a major conglomerate to have established acceptable business policies. However, you don’t want to deal with a contact lens outlet that is operated out of someone’s garage.

The Price Is Right 

Many online contact lens outlets offer attractive discount prices, especially for popular prescriptions. Most types of prescription contact lenses can now be easily bought online and delivered to your door. Be sure to check delivery options as price differences can be minimal between online stores, but delivery options could vary widely. 

About the Author : Chelsea Hasbrouck is an optical technician with many years of extensive experience. She has been following the rise of online ordering with interest and now sees it as a viable alternative to buying in-store.

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