Contact lenses have freed us from the tyranny of eyeglasses but can they pose a threat to our health? At a time when it is possible to buy cheap contacts online, people have better options to see better and look good. Unfortunately, as with many things, you do get what you pay for. Are cheap contact lenses safe to use? Let’s take a look at why low prices are not always good for consumers.
Can You Get Contact Lenses Without a Prescription?
Contact lenses are considered medical devices. As such, they require an eye care professional’s prescription. This is because contacts are usually used to correct vision. In the U.S., people who want to wear contact lenses must obtain a prescription from a doctor and only after an eye examination is performed. This is regardless of the use of the contact lens, which means that whether you need contact lenses for vision correction or for cosmetic use, you still need to see an eye doctor.
But what about the contact lenses being sold online? You might want to practice a little prudence when considering them. There are reasons why many eye care professionals frown on this option for consumers. Here’s why.
- You might be buying contact lenses with no FDA approval.
Since contact lenses are medical devices, it is important that the products you use on your eyes are regulated by a professional body. Buying cheap contact lens online from an eye specialist is probably acceptable and safe but with every professional you find online, there are a dozen sellers who may be promoting unregulated products. If the seller or vendor is unlicensed, the products he/she is selling may not have undergone proper testing and approval. There is no assurance for you as a consumer that the lenses are safe or even sterile.
- The lenses may not be the correct fit for you.
Fit is important for contact lens wearer. If the lenses are too large or too small, issues with comfort and correct vision may come up. If the fit is wrong, you will experience some discomfort immediately. You will not only be wasting your money but you will also be putting your eye health on the line.
- Cheap contacts online quality may be suspect.
Low-quality contact lenses may not have passed the quality tests and inspections that all medical devices go through. It is also likely that the manufacturers attempted to save on materials and manufacturing processes so their products could be sold at a low price. Bad quality lenses could scratch or cut the surface of your eyes and cause an infection. If they were not made using the correct materials, they may also deprive your eyes of oxygen and cause even more problems. If the lenses are colored, some of the pigments in the paint used for the product may be unsafe to use on your eyes.