Contact Lens Care
About Contact Lenses
Lenses & Lifestyle
Prescriptions & Eye Tests
How long is a contact lens prescription good for?
Medically reviewed by Alastair Lockwood on 17 December 2020
Contact lens prescriptions are generally valid for up to 2 years, meaning you can buy the contact lenses your prescription states for this duration. However, this is dependent upon lens type, wearing schedule, replacement schedule and how often you wear your lenses.
At Feel Good Contacts, you can buy contact lenses without a prescription, as we don't need to see proof of your prescription. We trust you have a valid copy and know your visual requirements.
After your prescription has expired, you should go for an eye exam so your optician can discover if your vision or eye health has changed and you can receive an updated prescription. In the UK, it's your legal right to request a copy of your prescription after your eye exam.
How often should you have a contact lens check?
Whilst contact lens prescriptions can be valid for up to two years; your optician will usually advise you on when you need to return for a check-up. It is recommended that you at least have a yearly routine eye health check to make sure your eyes are not being harmed by wearing the wrong lenses.
If you find you have problems with your lenses in between check-ups, you should consult your optician immediately.
Why are contact lens prescriptions tied to a specific brand?
Everybody's eyes are different, so contact lenses come in different sizes to fit a range of eyes. An Optometrist or Ophthalmologist will measure your eye during your contact lens fitting and prescribe a lens type and brand that meets your requirements and wearing needs. This is why contact lens prescriptions are tied to a specific brand.
Can an optometrist fill an expired prescription?
Contact lens prescriptions have an expiration date for a good reason. In the United States, the Fairness to Contact Lens Consumers Act (FCLCA) states that it is against the law to prescribe lenses without a prescription written by an optometrist or an ophthalmologist.
Nevertheless, the laws in some other countries differ. You can purchase contact lenses online from Feel Good Contacts without prescription verification. However, we always advise that you use a valid prescription when ordering your lenses. This will ensure that you get the right level of correction and the right lenses for your unique needs.
Why is a contact lens prescription different than glasses?
Contact lens prescriptions are different from glasses for many reasons, one being how they're positioned. Whilst contact lenses sit directly on the surface of the eye; glasses sit a few millimetres away from the eye, which means that the power value for each prescription will need to be calculated differently.
When you go for a lens fitting, additional measurements will need to be taken into consideration by your optician. These measurements will ensure a proper fit and include a base curve, diameter and the name and manufacturer of your contact lenses. You will not find these measurements in a glasses prescription.
In addition to this, there are different types of lenses which an optician will prescribe based on your individual needs. These include daily disposables, monthly disposables, extended-wear, toric, multifocal and coloured.
It's also important to note that sometimes a glasses prescription will have a cylinder and axis value, you will not find this on your contact lens prescription unless you have astigmatism.
Those who have presbyopia will also need addition and dominant measurements.
Do I have to buy contact lenses from my optician?
As previously mentioned, you do not need to buy contact lenses from your optician; however, we would encourage those wearing contacts to go for regular eye tests to evaluate their prescriptions. This should be part of your eye care routine to ensure that you don't encounter an eye problem.
How long can I wear one pair of contact lenses?
The length of time for which you can wear one pair of contact lenses depends on your wearing type and the advice given to you by your optician. Your optician will usually consider individual factors such as your age, occupation and overall health.
If you've been prescribed extended wear contact lenses, you can wear these lenses day and night for up to a fixed time (usually one week to a month) without needing to remove them.
Is it bad to wear weaker contact lenses than you need?
Whilst wearing contact lenses weaker than your prescription will not worsen your vision, it can cause eye strain and headaches.
It's often thought that you need to buy contact lenses from the optician who tested your eyes, however it isn't compulsory. You can buy your contact lenses from any optician or licensed online retailer.
You can buy your contact lenses cheaper online and could save up to 50% compared to high street optician's prices, when you shop at Feel Good Contacts.
How can I read my contact lens prescription?
With a base curve, diameter and powers, as well as cylinder and axis for toric contact lenses, there's more than enough terms and figures on a contact lens prescription to cause some confusion. But there's no need to worry, we've created a helpful guide on how to read your contact lens prescription and understand which lenses you'll need to buy.
Or, you may want to call us on 0800 458 2090, and one of our customer service team will happily advise you.
Quick links:Can I order my contact lenses without a prescription?
Can I buy my contact lenses online?
How to Read Your Contact Lens Prescription