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How to Get Contact Lenses

If you're tired of wearing eyeglasses to help you see more clearly, contact lenses can be a great alternative. If you've never gotten contacts before, there are a few important things to be aware of before you begin the process. From your eye exam to getting the prescription and ordering your contacts, obtaining new lenses requires a few crucial steps. Read on to learn how to get contacts so you can make the switch.

It All Starts with an Eye Exam

You'll need a prescription for your new contact lenses in order to buy them either at the eye doctor's office or online. Let your eye doctor know in advance that you'll need a contact lens prescription since these are very different from eyeglass prescriptions. Ask them to prescribe your contacts for a national brand. This will give you more freedom to choose from a variety of brand names online. The eye doctor will measure your eyes to ensure that you get proper fitting lenses. They should also go over the different options available to you so you can easily choose the pair of contacts that will suit you best.

Using Your Prescription

After your eye exam and fitting, the eye doctor must provide you with a written prescription by law. You can choose to purchase your contacts directly from their office, or you may use the information to order contact lenses online or at another location. Make sure you get a written copy of your new contact lens prescription, so you'll have easy access to it in the future. Most contact lens prescriptions must be renewed yearly, so prepare to return within a year for a new, updated prescription and fitting.

How to Order Contacts Online

Many people prefer to order their contacts online since it can be more convenient and you may have more choices available to you. Ordering contacts online can be a great way to compare prices so you can be sure you're getting the best deal on your lenses. You must have your prescription before you can order the contacts. Make your selection based on the type of lenses your eye doctor recommended to you, and then choose your desired quantity. If you are purchasing lenses that need to be cleaned, be sure to buy a cleaning solution, a case, and other accessories to ensure proper wear.

If you're ordering contacts online, make sure you enter the prescription exactly as it's written. Even one small variation or mistake can cause your lenses to fit incorrectly or they may not give you the vision correction you need. Online drugstores and major name brands will usually have better prices on contact lenses than smaller vendors. Look for special incentives like free shipping or rebates so you can potentially save more when you order contacts online.


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The material provided on this site is for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical or optometric advice. The information provided is not intended for the diagnosis of medical condition and should not substitute for the advice of a qualified health provider.

Please make sure you get your eyes examined regularly and always follow your eye care professional's instructions for the proper use and care of your contact lenses. It's important to note that if you experience any pain or discomfort from your contact lens, discontinue use immediately and consult your eye care professional. WARNING: IF YOU ARE HAVING ANY UNEXPLAINED EYE DISCOMFORT, WATERING, VISION CHANGE, REDNESS, OR LIGHT SENSITIVITY, REMOVE YOUR LENSES IMMEDIATELY AND CONSULT YOUR EYE CARE PRACTITIONER BEFORE WEARING YOUR LENSES AGAIN.

*FOR FREE SHIPPING: Free standard shipping on contact lenses and glasses is 5 to 7 business days, depending on the prescription verification process.

*FOR CONTACT LENSES OFFER: Discount varies based on purchase. 30% off for a purchase of a 12 month or more supply, 25% off for a purchase of a 6 to 12 month supply, and 20% off for all purchases less than a 6 month supply. Plus, FREE shipping on all orders: Offer applied at checkout. Offer available only at CVS.com/Optical. Valid prescription required. Savings may be combined with eligible coupons, and other eligible offers. Savings may be combined with insurance, subject to plan restrictions, provided the insurance is not a Medicaid, Medicare, or other government funded plan. If combined with insurance, savings will be applied to amounts after insurance benefits are applied. Discounts will be automatically applied, based on eligibility, in your Basket. State restrictions may apply. Expires June 26, 2021. Terms of promotion subject to change. Free standard shipping on contact Lenses is 5-7 business days, depending on the prescription verification process.

*FOR GLASSES STARTING AT $79: Includes Custom Single Vision, impact-resistant lenses with select frame purchase. Additional upgrades/charges available, includes, but not limited to, progressive, premium antireflective coating, Transitions® Signature8, Polarized and Blue Filter lenses. Not valid on CR39, 1.67, digital, bifocals, or trifocal lenses, or mirror and gradient tints. Polarized lenses limited to solid colors. Valid prescription required. Cannot be combined with other offers. Does not apply to individuals using insurance including Medicaid or Medicare. Excludes prior purchases. Expires December 31, 2021. See CVS Optical™ staff for more details.