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In the United States, by law you are required to have a verifiable prescription for colored contact lenses. Without one, you can’t legally purchase contacts and retailers can’t legally sell them to you. This means that you need to visit your eye doctor (optometrist or ophthalmologist) for an eye exam and proper fitting for the brand of colored contacts you want to buy.
There are a couple of reasons for this.
- Like other contacts, colored contact lenses are made from different materials and have different diameters and base curves. For example, if you are fitted for a lens with a base curve of 8.6, you shouldn’t purchase or wear contacts with a base curve of 8.3. Improperly fitted contacts lead to discomfort and potentially other serious medical conditions.
- An optometrist doing a thorough eye exam looks at the overall health of your eye, tests you for various eye conditions and potential microscopic problems, answers your questions and recommends brands and products that are ideally suited for you, your lifestyle and age. You won’t ever get that kind of personalized attention from an online vendor. And it’s your eyes we’re talking about here, so it’s worth it to have regular checkups by an eye care professional.
- You risk the health of your eye by trying to circumvent this process. Before 2005, colored contacts, especially non-prescription or non-vision correcting (plano) lenses were being sold at flea markets, gas stations and other “strange” places. People who bought these lenses in some cases suffered irritation, swelling, infection, and permanent eye tissue damage.So, to protect contact lens wearers, in 2005 the US passed a law that required sellers to only provide contact lenses, including plano colored contacts, when there is a verifiable prescription. Read about the Fairness to Contact Lens Consumers Act
While other countries, such as Canada, don’t have a similar requirements, you should STILL receive an eye exam and be fitted properly for color contacts before purchasing them from an online retailer, optical store or large department chain, like Sears or Walmart.
We recommend Freshlook Colorblends contact lenses for the range of colors and comfort they provide.
Check out the color chart here.