Online Contact Lenses

By: Paul Aker
By: Paul Aker

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Shopping for contact lenses is about to get a little more convenient. A new Kansas law will soon require that eye doctors release contact lens prescriptions to their clients. The law goes into effect in January and promises to make shopping for contacts on the Internet easier.

While this option may seem tempting, some say it may cause serious eye injuries. Doctor Chuck Kissling says buying contact lenses online is risky. He says ill-fitting lenses allow bacteria to build up and can lead to an infection known as an ulcer. This infection can result in the loss of an eye. Kissling says some internet companies make the threat worse because they do not verify prescriptions.

KAKE On Your Side went online to find out. We made up a random prescription, paid $53, and received an order confirmation. Our order never arrived; it was stuck in the mail. A company spokeswoman promised to rush us more contact lenses, no questions asked. She said her company does not require a prescription to sell contacts. It uses an honesty policy and asks that customers only buy contacts if they have a prescription.

This practice goes against Kansas law, which states it is unlawful to dispense contact lenses without first obtaining a prescription from a duly licensed optometrist.

If you do buy prescription lenses online, doctors say you still need to go in for routine testing. Different brands of lenses may not fit as your doctor intended. A check up will help make sure the fit is not hurting your eyes.

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