Can You Get Contact Lenses Without A Prescription
The purchase of all contact lenses cant be made without a valid contact lens prescription written by a qualified ophthalmologist. Buying or selling contact lenses without a valid prescription is illegal – this includes both colored and special-effect contact lenses that are used for cosmetic purposes only.Contact lenses are medical devices and can cause discomfort, infection, inflammation, swelling, and in rare cases, permanent eye damage if fitted and used inappropriately. This is why you need a prescription from your eye doctor, who can only write you a contact lens prescription after a thorough exam and fitting.Sharing contact lenses, whether they be colored or theatrical ones, is very dangerous since it can potentially cause sight-threatening eye problems.
How Is A Contact Lens Prescription Different Than Glasses
Believe it or not, you can get multiple prescriptions for corrective eyewear.
Weve broken down the differences between contact lenses and eyeglasses so you can make the right choice for your eyes. If you need recommendations, were always here to help.
Which Is Better For Computer Use: Contact Lenses Or Glasses
Glasses have a slight advantage over contacts when it comes to screen use, if only because wearing contact lenses can exacerbate dry eye and other symptoms of computer vision syndrome.
There are also glasses lenses made specifically for computer use. If you experience eye strain after prolonged screen time, the slight boost in power built into anti-fatigue lenses can help.
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How To Read An Eye Prescription
Eye care practitioners use standard terms, abbreviations, and measurements to write contact lens prescriptions. You have probably wondered what the incomprehensible scribbles of your ophthalmologist mean and if you could ever learn to decipher them. You may not need to know all of the abbreviations and numbers in your optical prescription. However, learning how to read eye prescriptions, at least the basic terms, is useful, especially if you shop online.
Are Contacts Cheaper Or More Expensive Than Glasses
It depends. If youre replacing your contact lenses often, they can be more expensive than a pair of glasses you wear for years. But, certain prescription glasses, for complex vision issues, can end up costing hundreds of dollars, often more than any kind of contact lenses.
Cost is a factor that varies with both your visual needs and your personal preferences. At the end of the day, most standard contacts and glasses arent priced extremely differently when you look at their yearly use.
Price will always be part of your decision when choosing between contacts and glasses, but if at all possible, it shouldnt trump what feels and looks best to you.
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Why Are Glasses And Contact Lens Prescriptions Different
Prescriptions for glasses and contact lenses are different because of their different shapes and functions.
Glasses sit in front of your face and do not make direct contact with your eye. While wearing glasses that are not made to fit your prescription is not recommended, doing so will not harm your eyes.
Contacts are used in a completely different way. Instead of sitting in front of your eyes, they sit directly on the surface of your cornea. This means that each pair must be made to fit the exact eye size and shape of the person they are intended for.
If your contacts do not fit your eyes properly, they will not stay in place while you are wearing them. Not only will this make it difficult to see, but it will also put you at risk of eye infections and injuries.
Are Daily Contacts Better Than Monthly Ones
While daily contacts may be more suitable for some people, theyre not better than monthly contacts. Sometimes theyre seen as a safer choice because theres no day-to-day build-up of natural deposits, but again, that doesnt necessarily make them better. Everyones needs are different, and both types of lenses have their advantages.
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Advantages & Disadvantages Of Contact Lenses Vs Glasses
When deciding which one is right for you, its best to remember that neither choice is superior to the other. Each one offers their own set of advantages and disadvantages. It is up to you to decide which fits your lifestyle, aesthetic, and budget more.
When evaluating contact lenses vs. glasses, consider the convenience of each option.
In general, glasses have less upkeep than contact lenses, but also less risk. It’s not a big deal if you forget to clean the lenses on your glasses.
However, if you neglect to clean and care for your contact lenses, you risk causing permanent damage to your eyes.
The good news? Thanks to advancements in science and technology, the risk of issues is slim, as long as you take care of your contacts. The invention of daily disposable contact lenses is an example of such an advancement. This type of lens offers the ultimate convenience, while requiring zero maintenance.
Your Two Different Prescriptions
Many people assume that since contacts and glasses perform the same function for your eyes, their prescriptions for both would be the same. After all, your eyes dont change when you pop in contacts as opposed to when you put on glasses, so why would the prescriptions be different?
However, contacts and glasses prescriptions are actually slightly different because of their distance from your eyes. Eyeglass lenses are placed approximately 12 millimeters away from your eyes, while contact lenses sit directly on your corneas. 12 millimeters might seem like a negligible distance, but thats enough space to create a difference in prescription strength. For instance, if you tried to use your glasses prescription for your contacts, it would likely be too weak.
Plus, since contact lenses must be made to fit your eyes precisely, contact lens prescriptions come with additional specifications that glasses prescriptions dont have. The most important factors are:
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Whats The Difference Between Contact Lens And Glasses Prescriptions
Contact lens prescriptions differ from glasses prescriptions. Contact lens prescriptions contain specifications that are not included on a glasses prescription that can only be determined after a comprehensive contact lens exam and fitting. The additional specifications that arent included on glasses prescriptions include base curve , diameter , lens brand and material, as well as an expiration date.Eye doctors will often apply the same prescription for glasses, so you probably know how to read a prescription for glasses if you can read your contact Rx. If you wonder how to find out what prescription your glasses are, you can request your details from the last place you took an eye exam or take an at-home vision test and receive a prescription within 24 hours. If you have an existing prescription, you can also get your Rx information by using a smartphone app.
What Do Od And Os Mean
The first part of getting what your eyeglass prescription means is determining what OD and OS mean. They abbreviate the words oculus dexter and oculus sinister: Latin words for right eye and left eye. You may also see a column labeled OU, and this abbreviates the Latin term oculus uterque. This means both eyes.
Nowadays, you will just see the abbreviations RE and LE rather than the more confusing OD and OS. On your eyeglasses prescription, the information for your right eye comes before the information for your left eye . This is because eye doctors see your right eye on their left and your left eye on their right .
Your eyeglass prescription will also contain others terms and abbreviations such as:
Sphere : The amount of lens power, measured in diopters , which corrects nearsightedness or farsightedness. If the number under this heading features a minus sign , this means youre nearsighted if it has a plus sign , this means youre farsighted.
Cylinder : The amount of lens power for astigmatism. The number in this column may be preceded with a minus sign or a plus sign .
Axis: This is the lens meridian with no cylinder power, meant to fix astigmatism, represented by a number between 1 and 180. The number 90 shows the vertical meridian of the eye, and the number 180 shows the horizontal meridian.
Prism. This is the amount of prismatic power, measured in prism diopters that compensates for eye alignment problems.
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Where Can You Use A Contact Lens Prescription
Once youve obtained a valid contact lens prescription, you can purchase contact lenses from a wide variety of sources. This means that you can buy lenses from your eye care practitioner, optical chains, mass merchandisers, and online discount contact lens retailers, but make sure you buy them from a legitimate source.
Contact Lenses Vs Glasses For Your Lifestyle
When choosing contact Lenses vs. glasses, consider the activities that you participate in on a regular basis.
Do you live an active lifestyle? Does your job ask that you wear protective eyewear? Do you enjoy spending time outdoors? These questions will help you decide which one is better for you.
Pros: Contact lenses Contacts allow users to feel as though they no longer suffer from a vision impairment. Without the weight of the frames, you are free to move around without worrying that your glasses will fall off.
Cons: Eyeglasses On the other hand, glasses can sometimes interfere with your field of vision. For example, when you look out of the corner of your eye, you’ll most likely see part of the frame of your glasses as well. Contact lenses don’t have that issue since the lens is transparent.
Glasses are also prone to fogging up if you get caught in the rain or when you go from a cold to a hot environment. On the flip side, they can protect your eyes from dust and debris in the air.
Pros: Eyeglasses Eyeglasses are often seen as a better choice for people who stare at a computer screen often. Prolonged screen usage can lead to increased eye strain and eye dryness. Even with the use of lubricating drops, eyeglasses are more comfortable than contact lenses for heavy computer users. Same goes for people with allergies or unusual eye irritationsglasses are often the safer choice.
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Cost Of Contacts Vs Glasses
Most of the time, glasses are cheaper than contact lenses. This takes into account the longevity of glasses and the care and cleaning of contact lenses. Contact lenses need replacement, whereas a pair of glasses can last a lifetime if youre careful and your prescription doesnt change.
Of course, the cost of someones glasses or contact lenses is affected by their prescription. In general, glasses and contacts range in price from around $100 to several hundred dollars.
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Can I Use My Glasses Prescription For Contact Lenses
The simple answer to this question is no you cannot and should not use your glasses prescription to try to calculate your contact lens prescription. It should also be noted that not everyone who needs glasses can also wear contact lenses, it is important that you are examined separately. Some people have sensitive corneas or other eye related complications and will simply never be able to adapt to wearing lenses.
What Do The Abbreviations And Symbols On Both Prescriptions Mean
Some of the abbreviations and symbols youll see on your eyeglasses prescription:
- OD refers to the right eye. OS refers to the left eye. You may also see the abbreviation OU, which refers to both eyes. All are Latin abbreviations.
- SPH stands for sphere, or the amount of lens measured in diopters .
- CYL stands for cylinder, indicating the amount of power you need to correct astigmatism.
- Axis is what tells you the orientation of the astigmatism.
- ADD stands for addition, and is used in bifocals to add correction for farsightedness.
- PD indicates the pupillary distance, or the distance between the centers of your pupils.
- A minus sign indicates you are nearsighted.
- A plus sign indicates you are farsighted.
- The further from zero the number is on your prescription, the stronger your prescription is.
In addition to many of the above, your contacts prescription will include the power, base curve and diameter, as well as the contact lens material and brand or type of contacts.
- Power is the same as sphere .
- BC is the abbreviation for base curve, the measurement of the curvature of the back surface of the contact lens. Its determined by the shape of your cornea.
- DIA stands for diameter, and indicates the size of your lends. It works with the base curve to determine how your lens will fit.
- The contact lens material and/or brand is indicated because different lens materials have different degrees of oxygen permeability. Your eye care professional will know which one is best for you.
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Contacts Vs Glasses: The Pros And Cons Of Each
Disclaimer: Sponsored content.
Some people have a strong allegiance to one kind of eyewear. Others might not know about all the benefits each type can offer. However, theres no correct choice hereopting for glasses or contacts should be a decision based on personal preference and lifestyle.
And, well, some expert advice doesnt hurt. Here, well outline the pros and cons of glasses vs. contact lenses, as well as the advantages of switching between both. Whether youre a first-timer who just got an updated eye prescription, a contact-lens devotee, or a glasses-wearer laying awake wondering, Should I get contacts instead?, well prepare you to pick your eyewear with confidence.
Scleral Contact Lenses & Dry Eye
Dry eye is an increasingly common eye condition that causes your eyes to feel irritated and uncomfortable. If left untreated, dry eye can become so severe that simple tasks like driving become impossible.
Your eyes should produce good quality tears as necessary to keep your eyes lubricated. When your eyes are not making enough tears or the tears they make are low quality, dry eye symptoms can occur.
Scleral contact lenses are designed to cover your sclera rather than resting on your cornea. These lenses leave a small space between the lens and your cornea that acts as a fluid reservoir to trap moisture against the eye and keep it hydrated throughout the day.
Wearing scleral lenses is different from traditional contact lenses. Your optometrist will help you choose the best scleral lens for your eye and show you how to use the lenses properly. Theyll also be able to give you care instructions for your lenses for the best possible outcome.
You can wear your scleral lenses for up to 12 to 14 hours a day and these lenses typically last 1 to 2 years . Scleral lenses are generally custom-made for your eyes, so you will likely need to go for a fitting appointment before you get your lenses.
These lenses are also a great option for people who have corneal irregularities, such as keratoconus, as it simulates a smooth ocular surface and improves vision.
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About Contact Lens Prescription
To guarantee that your contact lenses are secure and comfortable and offer superb vision, your corrective lens prescriptions include relevant details. Although if you do not even request it, your optical doctor is required by law in so many nations to hand you a record of your prescriptions after your checkup and contact lens fittings. A prescription for contact lenses contains several phrases, acronyms, and measures that may appear to be secret codes. The RX will be simple to understand after you grasp what every one of these terms entails. Find a local eye specialist to set up an appointment if you do not have an Rx for contact lenses. Its crucial to understand that the prescriptions for contact lenses and eyeglasses are different. Therefore, even if you have an existing prescription for eyeglasses, you will still require a second prescription for prescription lenses before you can buy any contacts.
How Often Do I Need A New Prescription
Most people need a new eyewear prescription every two years. Some people with severe refractive errors or other eye conditions may need their prescriptions updated sooner .
Your eye doctor will use your prescriptions expiration date to indicate how quickly they expect your prescription to change. When your prescription expires, it is time to get a new one.
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What’s The Difference Between A Contact Lens And Glasses Prescription
But, depending on the degree of your refractive error and the type of contacts prescribed, the powers specified on your contact lens prescription may be significantly different than those on your glasses prescription to give you the best vision possible.
Also, a contact lens prescription contains additional specifications that are not included on a glasses prescription, and these can be determined only after a comprehensive contact lens exam and fitting. They include:
You are entitled to a copy of both your glasses and contact lens prescriptions. It is illegal for your doctor to withhold your prescription from you.
You can request a copy of your glasses prescription at the conclusion of your comprehensive eye exam. But a contact lens prescription cannot be written by your eye doctor and given to you until he or she performs a contact lens fitting or has access to your previous prescription and has evaluated the fit of your current lenses.