5 reasons why you shouldn’t buy contact lenses online

Forgoing glasses in favour of contact lenses has become common practice over recent years. Research shows that 9% of adults between the ages of 15-64 years in the UK now opt for this compact and convenient way to manage their sight. They offer a host of benefits, such as improving peripheral vision, retaining clarity in all conditions, and allowing more freedom in terms of style. Additionally, the more affordable price tag makes them a practical solution for those with more complex prescriptions. Even though contact lenses are highly attainable through all licensed opticians, many people are opting to look online for their next order in a bid to save even more money.

With the digital world expanding day by day, it’s never been easier to order contact lenses – as well as prescription glasses - from online retailers. However, few consumers truly understand the risks they expose their eye health to when they choose to go down this route. Any reputable optician will strongly advise against shopping online for a multitude of reasons, none more so than the risk of faulty products. Here are five reasons why not to buy contacts online.

High risk of prescription inaccuracy

Order your contact lenses through the same optometrist who performs your eye examination and your prescription’s accuracy is assured. The digital systems set up to record the results from eye exams are regularly checked and the information passes over to manufacturing and delivery smoothly. When ordering contact lenses online, the prescription is entered manually. This increases the risk of typos and inaccuracies. Even the slightest alteration in one area of your prescription can have a significant impact on the final product.

Unregulated suppliers

Here in the UK, we have strict regulations and laws that govern the production and distribution of eye health products. All licensed optometrists work with major contact lens manufacturers who abide by these laws, ensuring you receive the highest quality products. When you choose to order contacts online at a cheaper price, you run the risk of purchasing from an unregulated seller or manufacturer.

Lack of fine-tuning or adaptations

Even the simplest of prescriptions can require fine-tuning. This is especially true with progressive and multifocal lenses. If you place an order online, they are manufactured purely with the information provided – there is no adapting or tweaking to ensure they suit your eyes perfectly. This means you’re unlikely to get the best results from your eyewear – or could even see your sight declining as a result.

Non-existent returns or exchange policies

No matter how accurately you input your prescriptions, there is always the possibility of mistakes in your prescription. Many unregulated suppliers don’t have exchange or returns policies built into their terms and conditions. This means you may be left with subpar contact lenses and no way to regain your investment.

Short expiry dates

Regulated contact lenses should last for around three years before they expire. Unregulated suppliers cut costs and manage to sell products at a fraction of the price often by distributing lenses with very short expiry dates. After this point, they deteriorate, lose their efficacy and may become contaminated -this can lead to irritation, infection and often, long-term sight complications.

Contact lenses are medical devices and should only be supplied by regulated and registered opticians. Here at The Eye Establishment, we provide thorough and professional eye tests that identify changes in prescriptions or indicators of common health complications. Our range of optical services ensures you’re able to find the right glasses for yourself, whether you’re looking for designer sunglasses or versatile prescription contact lenses. 

Our glasses shop features many leading brands while our Kensington opticians boutique provides access to our highly trained and experienced team. Come and check out our eye opticians for all your optical services today.