The Dangers of Buying Your Contact Lenses Online
In the past few years online solutions to just about everything have cropped up. This is true for everything from buying gifts to buying groceries, and everything in between. Unfortunately, this also extends to the ill advised, but still increasingly popular trend of buying your contact lenses from online stores rather than the traditional method of ordering through your trusted eye care professional's office. While contact lens websites may tout cheap prices and convenient to-your-door delivery, there are a
number of dangers that these online stores pose, that your trusted family optometrist is able and willing to help you avoid. Below, Dr. Trevor T. Miranda of Cowichan Eyecare, in Cobble Hill, BC outlines some of the major pitfalls of ordering online instead of through your optometrist:
Missing Out On Rebates
Even though many online contact lens retailers tout low prices and great deals that are “online only,” the truth is very different. While the top-line price on some online sites may actually seem to be lower
than if you bought in office, the bottom-line often costs you more money than if you had ordered from your eye doctor's office. This is because many eye doctors have the ability to redeem special rebates for their patients, allowing a significant savings for the patient when it comes to the bottom-line. Online services are often unaware of these rebates or require you to redeem them on your own in order to save money on your contact lenses.
No Open Box Policy
It's a simple fact of life that eyes change and, with them, prescriptions change. The problem is that if ordering your contact lenses from an online store means that if you have already opened the box, you usually can't return them, despite the fact that the contact lenses you currently have are no longer the prescription you need for your best vision, and may not even use them any longer. From here, you can either continue on with sub-par contacts, or pay full price all over again to get another box of contacts that are consistent with your new prescription,and hope that your prescription doesn't change again.
This is usually NOT the case if you ordered from your optometrist. Most, if not all, optometric practices have an “open box policy.” This means that if you buy your contacts from the doctor's office, and then your prescription changes, you are able to come to your eye doctor's office and exchange your old prescription for your updated one, free of charge, even if the box has already been opened.
Personal Relationships and Expertise
Your eye doctor works not only to help you see your best, but also to help watch after your overall eye health and visual comfort. A big part of doing this successfully is maintaining a personal relationship
with each and every patient. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said of online contact lens retailers, who often have no medical experience, feel no obligation to safeguard your eye health, and with which you are unlikely to have any personal relationship at all. Furthermore, if there are problems that result from your contact lenses, such as eye infection or dry eyes, you are more likely to be able to solve these issues by speaking to a professional, trained and educated eye doctor with whom you have a personal relationship than by speaking to a customer service agent with no medical training and no personal relationship with you.
For more information, and to experience superior contact lens expertise, contact Dr. Trevor Miranda at
Cowichan Eyecare today.