For anybody who needs to glasses or contact lenses to see, you know that the cost of clear vision is not cheap. But as with everything, there are ways to save money on contacts that few people know about. In this articles, I will cover the safe and smart ways to save on contacts, as well as the not-so-smart ways that some people use.
The Bad Ways To Save Money on Contact Lenses
Stretching out your contact lenses
No, this doesn’t mean literally pulling on your contact lenses until they’re stretched out. It means using your contact lenses past the number of days that they’re suppose to last.
For example: Air Optix Aqua is a monthly lenses. It is approved for up to 30 days of wear. After those 30 days it must be discarded and replace by a new lens. By not following these guidelines and wearing contact lenses for more days than you’re suppose to, you are saving money by making your supply of contact lenses last longer than it normally would.
This is not a good idea because you’re essentially saving money at the expense of the health of you eyes. As contact lenses get older and older, they start to break down. The smooth surface that they are designed with becomes rough, and their ability to retain moisture drops, which creates increasing levels of friction on the surface of your eyes.
In the short run, this can cause discomfort and blurry vision with contact lenses, as well as red eyes. In the long run, it can lead to numerous complications such as meibomian gland dysfunction, giant papillary conjunctivitis, corneal infiltrates, contact lens intolerance, and worst of all, bacterial keratitis.
I’m going to show you this video to help you understand the importance of not disposing of your contact lenses as often as you should.
Stretching out your contact lens solution supply
Using the proper amount of contact lens cleaning solution to clean your contact lenses every day is important to make sure that debris and deposits don’t build up on your lenses, but more importantly, it is necessary to ensure that potentially harmful bacteria don’t invade your contacts.
Not using the appropriate amount of cleaning solution can help save you a little bit of money by extended the lifetime of each bottle, but again, you’re doing so at the expense of the health of your eyes.
Not properly cleaning your contact lenses increases the risk of the worst possible contact lens complication, that being a bacterial corneal infection. Bacteria are small enough to crawl into your contact lenses and to start to multiply there. If this happens and you continue to wear your contact lenses, the bacteria will have direct access to your cornea.
An infection of the cornea can be catastrophic on your vision and your overall quality of life. It can lead to scars in your cornea which will permanently reduce your eye’s ability to see with or without glasses.
Buy your solution online can is a better and safer way of saving money on these products.
Avoiding buying contact lenses of astigmatism
Depending on your prescription, you may need something known as astigmatism correction in your glasses and contact lenses in order for your vision to be as clear as possible. Unfortunately for people with astigmatism, glasses and contact lenses that can correct for astigmatism are more expensive.
Seeing the difference in price between regular contact lenses and contact lenses for astigmatism, some people will choose to purchase the regular ones despite needing the ones for astigmatism to see properly. This can save you some money, but you are doing so at the expense of your vision.
Wearing contact lenses that aren’t the right prescription for you can cause several problems. Not being able to see as clearly as possible can create some serious safety concerns for you, particularly when driving. The last thing you want is to cause yourself and others bodily harm or even death because you refused to buy contact lenses that were slightly more expensive.
Additionally, when your vision is constantly blurry due to using the wrong prescription, your eyes will be strained throughout the day which can lead to tired eyes, red eyes and headaches.
The Good Ways to Save Money on Contact Lenses
The best way to save money on contact lenses is to do so without affecting the health of your eyes or compromising on the quality of your vision.
Knowing the best place to buy contact lenses
One of the biggest sources of unnecessary spending when it comes to contact lenses is buying them at an inflated price. Contact lenses do not cost the same everywhere, far from it in fact. There are places where you will be paying up to twice as much for the exact same product that you could be getting somewhere else.
There’s no question that you’re overpaying if you’re getting your contact lenses from your eye doctor’s office. For your eye doctor’s office to turn a profit, they have to charge more for their products in order to cover the cost of their rent, their employees, and most importantly, their own (rather large) salary.
The least number of middle-men there are between you and your contact lenses, the less expensive your contacts will be. Unfortunately, you can’t purchase them directly from the manufactures, but the next best thing is getting from online websites. Online contact lens vendors don’t have to pay the expensive cost of owning a physical space. They operate online so their operations costs are much lower. This means they don’t have to charge nearly as much for contact lenses.
Caution: Just because contact lens websites don’t have to charge as much as your optometrist for their contact lenses, doesn’t mean that they always won’t. Some websites are just as expensive, if not more than your own eye doctor. That’s why it’s crucial that you know where the lowest price is for online contact lenses.
Consult price comparison sites
That’s where contact lens price comparison sites like Contacts Advice comes into play. I look up prices for the top 50 contact lens brands across the top 10 online contact lens sites and post the prices right here on this website for everyone to consult.
I started doing this because I was shocked by all the different prices I was seeing out there for the exact same product. I didn’t like that contact lens websites were doing this and getting away with people’s hard earned money.
Consulting the chart is simple. All you need to know is know the name of your contact lens brand. Look up your brand on the left hand side of the chart. Then look at the prices listed to the right of your brand. The lowest price among the top 10 contact lens websites will be highlighted in yellow, and clicking on the price will take you directly to the site with the lowest price for your brand.
Make sure you’re not being sold something you don’t need
A lot of times when you go to your optometrist to be fitted with contact lenses, he/she will have a specific brand that they like to fit people with. This is usually one of the latest brands which also generally happen to be one of the most expensive brands. They do this because it brings in the most amount of money for their practices, and they justify the cost to you by telling you that it’s the best lens on the market in terms of design.
The thing is, 9 times out 10 you don’t need the latest and fanciest brand. The brands that have been around for a long time cost a lot less, and most of them are very high quality brands that people have worn successfully for decades.
So to save money on contact lenses, make sure you ask your eye doctor which brand he/she is fitting you with, and if there are any alternative brands that would do the same job at a much lower cost.
Did I miss anything? If you have an tips on how to save money on contact lenses that wasn’t covered in this article, please share in the comments section below!
I’ve learnt quite a few shocking things today from your article. Logically bacteria can get into lenses but I didn’t know that they can actually damage your cornea and leave it scarred. How horrible that will be and just because one is hoping to save a few bucks. I have astigmatism and I didn’t even realise contacts for astigmatism are more expensive than normal ones! I will check with my optometrist next to make sure I’m using the right ones.
Keep in mind that people with very low levels of astigmatism may not need contact lenses for astigmatism. I don’t know whether that’s the case for you, but yes check with your optometrist if you’re not sure. However, once you’ve figured out which lenses you need, if you’re looking for the lowest price for those lenses, I wouldn’t recommend your optometrist. Check out this price comparison chart first! I may save you lots of money!