Just like with an eyeglasses prescription, a contact lens prescription contains information about your eyes.
It is mandatory by law in the United States to give you a copy of a contact lens prescription by an eye doctor even if you do not ask for it. It will be given to you after the contact lens exam and fitting.
The information in the contact lens prescription is composed of abbreviations and measurements which is not easy to understand at first but it is easy to decipher.
If you wear disposable contact lenses, it is included in your prescription how often it should be replaced. It is indicated if it is once a month, every two weeks, once a week, daily, and others.
Be cautious that eyeglass prescription and contact lens prescription are not the same. Even if you have an eyeglass prescription, you will still need to get a contact lens prescription before buying contacts.
Process of Buying Contact Lens
Purchasing a contact lens requires a valid prescription by an eye care practitioner. You cannot buy a contact lens without a prescription but if it is for cosmetic purposes only, you can buy it because it is a non-prescription.
Eye care practitioners are the ones who will write your prescription after an eye exam and fitting. In the United States, an optometrist or ophthalmologist can fit your contact lens and for some states, opticians are certified to do so.
Selling contact lenses without a prescription is illegal. If you wear a contact lens that is not matched or suited to the grade of your eye, it could result in distorted vision, infection, inflammation, and discomfort. It can also cause permanent eye tissue damage but it is rare.
For safety and personal hygiene, contact lenses should never be shared with other people. Contact lenses are considered as something like your toothbrush, it is for your own eyes only even if it is for a short time only.
Sight-threatening eye problems can occur if you share the contact lens with other people
Expiration of Contact Lens Prescription
Contact lens prescriptions are valid for one year. To buy more lenses if your prescription expires, an updated prescription is required. An eye exam will be done to assess current general eye health.
If contact lens-related problems have occurred, you will have to discontinue wearing present contacts and modify the contact lens or the contact lens care that you use to solve the problem.