Should I purchase Contact Lenses Online?

Online shopping is becoming more and more common. So the obvious question arises: Is it safe to buy contacts online?

Should I purchase Contact Lenses Online? in Olympia

Disadvantages of Buying Contact Lenses Online

There are many reasons not to buy online, and to instead get your contact lenses from an eyecare professional.

Quality issues: Contacts ordered online are far more likely to have some sort of quality issue, such as the wrong power, than those purchased directly from an eye care professional.

Lack of professional assistance: Optometrists are trained specifically to fit contact lenses properly and to assist you in choosing what is right for you. The fitting process in particular is extremely important in making sure your contact lenses fit properly and remain comfortable for you to wear. Even more problematic, improperly fit contacts can lead to discomfort and even infection. Lenses purchased online cannot be as precisely fit to your eyes as lenses bought in a physical location can be.

False Promises: There may be times when you think you are ordering one thing but actually receive something completely different. Suppose that you ordered a lens made out of a certain material and received something entirely different.

Zero Education: When buying contacts from an optometrist, you'll receive proper eyewear education, such as how to put them on and take them off properly. Without proper education, online buyers are vulnerable to health issues like poor hygiene and improper storage.

Ultimately, the most important thing for patients to understand is that online activities are generally not controlled or supervised by regulations or laws. In the absence of professional eye care, you simply cannot guarantee the quality of the contact lenses you'll receive. This puts your vision at risk.

Major online contact lens company fined $3.5 million: The Department of Justice ordered an online contact lens company, Hubble contacts, to pay $3.5 million for selling contact lenses online without verifying the subscriber’s prescription, improperly substituting Hubble’s own brand of contact lenses for those prescribed by consumers’ eye care practitioners, and procuring what was falsely portrayed as independent consumer reviews. When buying contact lenses it is important to know that the person selling to you is first and foremost concerned about your health and vision and only second profit.

American Family Vision Clinic

Beware Online Prescriptions

The prescription for your lenses is the most important thing to have to make sure you get safe lenses that provide the vision correction you need. Even the most advanced systems for online prescriptions cannot provide for you what a visit to an eye care professional can, and they cannot be relied upon.

Improperly fit contact lenses are not just a problem with vision, they also can lead to infections and in extreme cases more serious harm to your eyes and vision. It is critical that you have a contact lens evaluation with an eye doctor to receive your prescription for contact lenses

Dr. Zurcher cartoon


We do much of our shopping online nowadays, and, for many, this applies to contact lenses as well. While you can find quality lenses online, you need to make sure that the vendor is properly certified, and ensure that you have received a proper contact lens prescription (following both an eye exam and a contact lens fitting) from an eye care professional beforehand.

Contact lenses are first and foremost a medical device that is regulated by the FDA, it is always important to visit your eye doctor to get a prescription and ensure that the best contact lenses are what you receive. Furthermore, getting contact lenses from your eye doctor ensures that you receive education and fitting, as well as quality control. 

If you have any additional questions, or if you would like to schedule an appointment for an eye exam or a contact lens fitting, you can contact American Family Vision Clinic at (360) 491-2121.


Such a nice optician. My grandson is only 4 and needs glasses. We were so sad, but he explained the issues, and we will follow up as he suggested.

Anna P.

I had such a good experience with the clinic. Very friendly staff and doctor, did not have to wait for long to be called, and was treated respectfully. Thanks, American Family.

June S.

Dr. Zurcher has gone above and beyond what any other eye doctor has ever done to figure out what is going on with my eyes. Very happy with American Family Vision.

Christine R.

Family Vision Clinic changed our lives! My daughter was frequently car sick, and she was getting headaches every day, often painful enough that they brought her to tears. We saw a string of doctors and therapists, but we made no progress. Finally, we found Dr. Levi Zurcher and his eye therapist Rain. After ten weeks of eye therapy my daughter no longer gets headaches, and she no longer gets car sick. Daily tears are a thing of the past. I really can’t say enough about this clinic. It was fascinating to watch Dr. Zurcher work. For the first time, someone who knew what they were doing was intently studying my daughter, really trying to figure out all of her eye issues, and his therapist Rain is one of the most patient and lovely people that I’ve ever had the good fortune to meet. We’re finished with eye therapy—yay!—and I have switched to American Family Vision Clinic for all of my family’s other eye health needs.

Lars Wulff

Very professional, yet kind and helpful. They do what they can to make the appointment comfortable. I was running a bit late, I made sure ti call. They were able to switch me with a patient who was already there, they treated me with respect, and helped my son have confidence by getting him the eye care he needed that day. Thank you so much! Would recommend to anyone. It's a blessing that they care enough to work with people who have all different types of insurance from work to state coverage.

Justin E.

The staff is friendly. The Doc is very knowledgeable. The office is family friendly and everyone is so patient with the little ones.

Amy Fagerness
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