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      January 21, 2017
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How to Save on Contact Lenses

The first consideration when thinking about how to save on contact lenses is the type. It is important to discuss with your doctor which lens type is best for your condition.

  • Rigid gas permeable (GP) lenses might be the least costly lens option. These lenses have the advantage of providing possibly the best vision correction capability. At the same time, the substance they are made from allows oxygen to pass through the lens and get to the cornea.
  • Daily disposables might cost twice as much, but can be the most convenient. Put them on in the morning, take them out at night, and dispose of them.
  • Flexible silicone hydrogels generally cost somewhere in between.

Many lens types are designed to last a specific period of time, such as two weeks or a month before replacement.

Since 2004, the Fairness to Contact Lens Consumers Act has given the consumer many of the same benefits enjoyed by users of standard glasses. This act allows you to choose where to shop for your lenses. With some exceptions, you do not have to purchase your lenses from the same doctor who writes the prescription. The act gives you the right to take a copy of your own contact lens prescription and fill the prescription at the business of your choice, including online discount sites.

Read your prescription and understand it. Even if a prescription is for a specific brand of contact lens, many manufacturers sell identical lenses under multiple brand names. Ask your doctor when you receive your prescription if he or she knows of additional brands supplying an identical lens.

It pays to shop around. Compare prices between multiple sources, including:

  • The eye-care specialist you receive your prescription from
  • Specialty shops, like LensCrafters and PearleVision
  • Large retailers, like Sears, J. C. Penney, Wal-Mart, and Target
  • Wholesale membership clubs, like Costco, Sam's, and BJ's
  • Online sources

On average, the wholesale clubs offer the lowest prices. If you don't have access to one of these, online sources average only slightly higher and are the most convenient to shop. Independent eye-care professionals and specialty chain stores generally have the highest prices.

Review your insurance coverage. The total cost of purchasing contact lenses includes the cost of the eye examination by a doctor who writes the prescription, as well as the cost of buying the contact lenses that the doctor prescribes. Most vision plans include a yearly exam and discounted prices on lenses.

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