Why The New Laws About Verifying Contact Lens Prescriptions?

Why The New Rules About Verifying Contact Lens Prescriptions? :thinking: :dollar:

Read this: https://thehill.com/business-a-lobbying/281134-contact-lens-lobbies-seeing-red

TL;dr: Optometrists are getting cut out of the sales cycle. Online sellers are making all the $$$. So retail optometry is doing lots of lobbying to ask for laws to make sure they get a piece of the $ pie. You need a “prescription” to buy contact lenses. :joy::slight_smile:

Their days though, numbered. You see these online lens sellers starting to muscle in, and traditional retail optometry feeling the squeeze.

Moral of the story? This is all about money. As always, your well-being isn’t part of the equation, just who gets paid.


everyone on the hunt for a new online seller.

AliExpress might be a good new source. China doesn’t care


While that article is from 2016, the point hasn’t changed. I’m sure that the lobbying on both sides has only increased since then.

Also, this article was only talking about US laws, but the online resellers that require validated prescriptions are not just in the US. I don’t think any US reseller has been able to sell contacts without a prescription due to the laws referenced in that article.

The online reseller most folks have been using (Vision Direct) is in the UK I believe, but they changed their policy to require prescriptions upfront on Jan 1st, 2021. So I imagine that the big lens manufacturers are also pressuring the UK government to require companies to follow a similar policy.

I think Alex has the right idea here. This is most likely going to be the future.

Luckily, this stuff isn’t as well enforced on the glasses front, otherwise we’d have to pay folks for fake prescriptions or something along those lines to do reduced lens therapy.


This makes me want to buy all my glasses now…
But I have already done that - all my glasses back to 20/20… except… I bought all equalised in a bout of optimism… I already think I may need to buy some with a small gap…

If all else fails, buy test lens kits, and walk around with your test lenses on in that test lens frame. We could bring in a whole new trend…


This is actually a good idea for many reasons. I use my trial lens set now and then when my eyes feel tired or otherwise feel like they need a change.

Like tonight, my eyes are tired for some reason and acting weaker than usual. This is shrinking my diopter bubble and pushing me into too much blur at my normal viewing distance which is uncomfortable and causing a bit of eye strain. So I grabbed my trial frame and built my differentials but with -0.25D sph extra in both eyes so I can sit a bit further back when using my computer without having to worry about blur for a while. That helped relax my eyes quite a bit.

Of course, the big issue with all this is that the trial frames with lenses in them are quite heavy. Depending on the type of trial frame you have they can also be heavy, or just uncomfortable to wear for more than a couple of minutes at a time. The Optimark titanium trial frame I have is very light and has a much more comfortable nose bridge, so it isn’t too bad to wear lenses in compared to the UCanSee trial frame I have. But even with the more comfortable frame, the lenses do get heavy after a while and will start to leave impressions on my nose.


If the quality of the kit is good enough … :thinking:

Also the lenses tend to be quite small, so you’re getting that smaller sweet spot of ideal refractive goodness.

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Desperate times call for desperate measures…

I am just drooling over old school test lens kits, wishing I had just bought one at the beginning, when I felt I could justify all those lenses more. But really. They look so excellent.


Well, yes… better kits will have better quality lenses. But even with the cheaper kits, the lower diopter lenses still have pretty decent optical quality, so they are probably fine for differentials unless you have a really high correction requirement.

The trial frame is going to be the limiting factor for any extended wear scenarios.

There is that. Of course, you can compensate a bit by getting trial lenses with metal rims instead of the ones with plastic rims. They offer quite a bit more glass (26mm inner diameter vs 36mm inner diameter) while the overall size is the same for both (38mm outer diameter). I don’t know the dimensions of the optical center, but that extra 10mm likely means that the metal rim lenses could easily have an optical center (aka sweet spot) that is twice as large.

Of course, for some people, the trial lenses may actually be pretty close to the same size as the glasses they normally wear. For me, the lenses in my glasses are about 30% wider but only about 85% as tall as the lenses in the trial lens kit. My expectation is that the optical center is about the same size though since the range of peripheral vision is about the same in both.


joke, right? otherwise terrible idea :wink: at least based on my kit - lenses are lower quality and physically too small and test frame is really uncomfortable


It seems like contactlensesplus.com might work? I haven’t finished checking out yet but I’m at the final page, and so far all they ask for is a prescription, date it expires, and your optometrist’s name and number. It seems like more of a cover-their-bases thing than something they actually check up on and confirm, as there’s no delay in order fulfillment mentioned. Anyone know if it’s otherwise?

Did anyone find a fast contact supplier to the US?
Thank you!

Learn something every day!


Try https://www.coastal.com/contact-lenses
They are the US site for the Australian company I use (Clearly). Because they are actually Australian, you may have a win there. I can’t say for sure as I don’t have a US IP address, so you may get something slightly different from what I am seeing.


Do these online retailers in the US actually call the dr office to check if the prescription I submitted is legit? I think its just for liability issue for them, but its not like they actually care to go and call the dr for any prescription every customer is providing them. Right? If you know what I mean… :wink:

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Seems they don’t. At least haven’t heard much otherwise.

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