It is now easier than ever to order contact lenses online. However, contact lens websites in the United States are required to verify your prescription before you they ship your order. So what if you don’t have an up to date prescription?
In the absence of an up-to-date doctor-issued prescription for contact lenses, it is still possible to order contact lenses online, however, it is important to consider a few things.
I do not condone ordering contact lenses online without a prescription. I wrote this article simply to explain:
- How some people order contact lenses without a prescription
- How some contact lens websites get around the prescription verification process
- Important things to consider when ordering contact lenses online
*Only order contact lenses that have been approved for you and prescribed by your eye doctor*
Different countries have different regulations surrounding ordering contact lenses online. This article is aimed mostly at people living in the United States of America due to their prescription verification laws.
How some people order contact lenses without a prescription
So you live in the United States, you’ve run out of contact lenses and you want to re-order them. You’ve searched for the lowest price for your brand (hopefully), but the website requires you to submit an up-to-date contact lens prescription, which you don’t have.
So what do you do? Well, you could:
- Wait until your next eye check-up to re-order your contact lenses.
- Make an appointment ASAP with your eye doctor to renew your contact lens prescription.
- Order contact lenses without a prescription online from a website that doesn’t require one.
Not all websites require you to submit your contact lens prescription in order to order your contact lenses.
Some sites that do not need to verify your prescription:
- VisionDirect.co.uk (formerly Lensway.co.uk)
- ParanaLentes.com (spherical lenses only)
Can you spot what all the above sites have in common? Yes, they are all based outside of the United States.
VisionDirect.co.uk and DaySoft.com are based in the United Kingdom, ParanaLentes.com is out of Brazil and Contactlens.sg is based in Singapore.
The Global Contact Lens Market
The great thing about contact lens companies like Alcon, Bausch + Lomb, CooperVision and Johnson & Johnson being so big is that you can order their products from pretty much anywhere in the world. As long as you find your exact brand on those sites, you will receive the very same contact lenses that you would from your local eye doctor’s office.
And because the laws in those countries are different than in the United States, they aren’t required to verify your prescription with your eye doctor before you order.
VisionDirect.co.uk is not to be confused with the now shut down site VisionDirect.com or the Austrailian site VisionDirect.com.au. Though they all share a similar name, they have no connection to each other.
In fact, VisionDirect.co.uk use to be known a LensWay.co.uk, but recently re-branded to VisionDirect.co.uk.
Although VisionDirect.co.uk is based in the United Kingdom, they specialize in servicing the US market. You can read more about how you can order contact lenses without a prescription from VisionDirect.co.uk here.
Of all the websites where you can order contact lenses without a prescription, VisionDirect.co.uk has the largest selection of brands and is the most likely to have the exact brand that you’ve you been wearing previously.
DaySoft is different than the other websites listed where you can order contact lenses without a prescription because they only sell their own brand: DaySoft.
If you’re looking for a very low-cost alternative to your current daily disposable contact lenses, definitely check out DaySoft.com.
They’ve got two different lines:
- DaySoft Classic
- DaySoft SILK
Their prices are only a fraction other daily disposable brands, and they don’t need to verify your prescription when you buy from them.
ParanaLentes.com provides a good alternative for those who use to wear the now
discontinued brand of color contact lenses for astigmatism FreshLook ColorBlends Toric.
ParanaLentes.com also offers many of the popular brands from Alcon, Johnson & Johnson, and CooperVision. Not so much from From Bausch + Lomb though.
- Air Optix plus HydraGlyde
- Air Optix Aqua
- Air Optix Night&Day
- 02 Optix
- Biofinity Toric
- Biomedics 55 Evolution
Johnson & Johnson:
- Acuvue Oasys
- Acuvue Advance
- Acuvue 2
- Acuvue 1-day Moist
- Acuvue TruEye
- Acuvue Oasys1-day
- Acuvue Define
Note: For all toric brands (for astigmatism), ParanaLentes does need to verify your prescription.
ContactLens.sg is a contact lens website based in Singapore that ships worldwide and does not need to verify your prescription or collect your doctor’s information.
It sells all the common brands from Alcon, CooperVision and Bausch + Lomb, but it does not sell Johnson & Johnson (Acuvue) products.
Important Things to Consider When Ordering Contact Lenses Online
The Prescription (power)
The Sphere and Cylinder values that you enter when ordering contact lenses represent the strength of the contacts.
Needless to say, it is important to order your contact lenses using the correct power. If your contact lens prescription is outdated, or you try to order contact lenses without a prescription, you risk getting lenses that you won’t see very well out of.
Getting the wrong strength in your contact lenses can result in more than just a little bit of blurriness in your vision. Depending on how off the power is, it can lead to eye strain and headaches as well.
How well contact lenses fit on your eyes is determined by the base curve (BC) and diameter (DIA) of the lenses.
Ordering contact lenses without a prescription could result in you wearing contact lenses that are too tight, too loose, off-center, etc.
Poorly fitting contact lenses can feel very uncomfortable, but beyond that, they can cause irritation and slowly wear down the health of your eyes.
Are there ways to order contact lenses with a prescription? Yes, in fact, there are several. But should you? That’s a different question. Hopefully, the information contained in this article has left you more knowledgeable about the issue.