What happens after the doctor finishes the comprehensive eye exam and begins the contact lens fitting and evaluation?
Prior to looking at the lenses on the eyes, your doctor will assess your current contact lens experience, apply information from your examination (especially the condition of your cornea and conjunctiva), consider your lifestyle activities, and calculate a pair of diagnostic lenses. These diagnostic lenses are used to assess vision and evaluate the fit of the chosen design/replacement-modality/material/size on the eye in the microscope. Your eye care professional takes these steps and more because s/he cares about your eye health while wearing contact lenses and wants you to have your best visual experience. It is your doctor’s expertise that enables you to successfully wear contact lenses for as many years of your life as you’d like. So why buy the product from the same expert?
- Support Small Business! Nationally, the majority of comprehensive eye exams with contact lens fitting and evaluations happen at independently owned eye doctor offices owned and operated by the doctor that oversees the lenses fit and the equipment used to perform the fitting and evaluation. If you are getting your eye exam and contact lens fitting and evaluation at a doctor-owned location, why not support the work being done to improve your exam experience? If the difference in price is within reason, you’d be making the conscious choice to support a local small business instead of a national distribution chain. Often, the purchasing experience may even be more convenient at your doctor’s office.
- GET YOUR $$$! The language varies from manufacturer to manufacturer, but nearly all the companies making the lenses recognize that you (the consumer) stay safe to healthfully wear their product when you purchase where the health of the eye is checked so they require rebates be from the office where your had the fitting and evaluation. In some cases it is as much as a $200 difference. The average difference between online rebates and in-office rebates is $80 on an annual supply. That’s $10 a box LESS EXPENSIVE after rebate, and some are worth more. Also, be sure wherever you purchase your contact lenses that if you use any remaining vision plan benefits. This can lower the cost on a year’s supply by a significant chunk.
- Customer Service! Wherever you purchase the contact lenses you’ll want customer service if something goes wrong. Perhaps the prescription isn’t quite right, perhaps your vision changes sooner than a year, maybe you’re having difficulty with the lenses ripping, or you could fall victim to a bad lot of contacts. At your eye doctor’s office they can provide replacement diagnostic lenses to tide you over between supplies, exchange unopened/undamaged/non-expired boxes of contact lenses, and speak directly with manufacturers if there is a problem. If you still prefer to purchase in your PJ’s, check to see if your doctor’s office has an online store.
- Competitive Pricing Commitment! If your eye doctor has a policy as our office does at 4Sight iCare, the pricing of the lenses is routinely checked and set to be comparable to that of major online retailers. We can’t always be cheaper, but we never play games. Beware online shopping games; many online vendors are now using loss-leaders to lock you into a method of convenient purchase. Cycling through one brand at a time more than 20% off the wholesale price results in a disappointing 220% price hike when you next go to purchase the same product. Consistent, competitive pricing is our commitment to you as our patient because you aren’t shopping for a commodity; you’re purchasing a medical device that helps you see and is regulated as such by the FDA. 4Sight iCare prices its contact lenses the same online as in store and will also provide free shipping to your work or home on any annual supply purchase of contact lenses.
Here’s to safely wearing contact for as much of your life as you’d like to wear them!