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Old 06-18-2019, 01:36 PM
 
Location: DFW
549 posts, read 153,080 times
Reputation: 869

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I understand why prescriptions would be required for controlled substances. But why are prescriptions mandatory for eyeglasses/contacts?
Example 1: ordering online- they have to get the actual Rx from your eye dr- why?
Example 2: you tear a bunch of contacts and actually end up needing more than a one year supply in that year, but cannot get them- why?
Example 3: you have not had time for your yearly dr appt, and cannot get new contacts or glasses because your Rx expired- why?

Who is it hurting to buy glasses/contacts all willy nilly, even if that were the case?
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Old 06-18-2019, 01:39 PM
 
Location: North State (California)
39,319 posts, read 2,966,634 times
Reputation: 12853
well, I, for one, need a rx for my eyeglasses, as I have poor vision. I think I was able to get more contacts as long as the prescription was valid, just make sure you re order within the time frame. It is a good idea to get your eyes checked out frequently anyhow, in case of other problems.
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Old 06-18-2019, 03:28 PM
 
Location: on the wind
7,073 posts, read 2,899,892 times
Reputation: 23939
Curious, I did a bit of searching...found this:

https://www.allaboutvision.com/eyegl...escription.htm

When I've needed lenses I went to an optometrist, not an ophthalmologist. If I had a disease or injury to my eye I'd go to the ophthalmologist, and bill my health insurance for that service if I wanted them to pay for it. The "prescription" is just notation of the correction necessary to produce the lenses. Without this information how would any eyeglass/contact lens lab know what to make?

IMHO if I have trouble seeing the world around me; a rather important thing for daily life, I'm going to find the time each year to find out why and to get the problem corrected. The corrections usually change slightly over time.

Last edited by Parnassia; 06-18-2019 at 03:49 PM..
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Old 06-18-2019, 03:52 PM
 
Location: DFW
549 posts, read 153,080 times
Reputation: 869
Quote:
Originally Posted by Parnassia View Post
Curious, I did a bit of searching...found this:

https://www.allaboutvision.com/eyegl...escription.htm

When I've needed lenses I went to an optometrist, not an ophthalmologist. The "prescription" is just notation of the correction necessary to produce the lenses. Without this information how would any eyeglass/contact lens lab know what to make?

IMHO if I have trouble seeing the world around me; a rather important thing for daily life, I'm going to find the time each year to know why and to get the problem corrected.
I don't have poor vision, so I am truly asking this question: if you ran out of contacts, and only had eye glasses from 3 years ago, and say it was Christmas day (no dr available), if you picked up your old glasses couldn't you at least mostly see?

When my kids run out of contacts they tell me when the contacts are all gone. Not last box, completely out. So I will call to get more, and it will be like "NOPE gotta see the dr, but he is fully booked until July 21". So now my kids, one of whom is actually medically necessary on vision correction, cannot get any sort of corrective lens.
Same kids had to start very young with corrective lenses, and being kids, would rapidly break/lose/etc, well before the end of the Rx. Why would I HAVE to have a Rx to get a corrective lens, as if they were opioid drugs I could be harming kids with?
It just makes no sense.
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Old 06-18-2019, 06:10 PM
 
Location: on the wind
7,073 posts, read 2,899,892 times
Reputation: 23939
Quote:
Originally Posted by MarshaBrady1968 View Post
I don't have poor vision, so I am truly asking this question: if you ran out of contacts, and only had eye glasses from 3 years ago, and say it was Christmas day (no dr available), if you picked up your old glasses couldn't you at least mostly see?

When my kids run out of contacts they tell me when the contacts are all gone. Not last box, completely out. So I will call to get more, and it will be like "NOPE gotta see the dr, but he is fully booked until July 21". So now my kids, one of whom is actually medically necessary on vision correction, cannot get any sort of corrective lens.
Same kids had to start very young with corrective lenses, and being kids, would rapidly break/lose/etc, well before the end of the Rx. Why would I HAVE to have a Rx to get a corrective lens, as if they were opioid drugs I could be harming kids with?
It just makes no sense.
Well, tell your kids they need to let you know before they run out of lenses! If they can't do that, you need to step up and keep a closer eye on how many they have left for yourself. Growing kids' eyes change a lot. The correction that was indicated at their last exam may have changed by the time their current supply is gone anyway. Most people's vision shifts constantly at least a little over time. Maybe some people don't have to change their correction over 3 years but if their 3 year old glasses don't work well they'll need a new exam and a new correction determined.

The point I was trying to make is that the piece of paper the eye examiner writes out that specifies your vision defect is necessary to make your corrective lenses. Call it a prescription if you want. Its semantics. The examiner either hands that slip of paper to YOU so YOU can go pick your own retail lab to make the lenses or you can have that optometrist's lab make them.

The last time I had a routine eye exam the optometrist handed me a card with their letterhead (proof that the exam was done by a qualified examiner, not my neighbor) showing the exam results; my visual acuity; degree of farsightedness, nearsightedness, astigmatism (I am very slightly farsighted), intraocular pressure test for glaucoma, cataracts, health of the cornea and retina, and also a correction for that slight farsightedness if I choose to do something about it. I don't. OTC cheater reading glasses do just fine. I would take that card to a retail lens maker to get glasses made if I did.

Without that slip of paper (aka "prescription") how else would the lens maker know what your correction should be? Do you want a Sunglass Hut clerk to take a quick glance at your eyes from across the counter, not do any exam at all, and guess? Do you expect to walk into a thrift store, pick up used glasses and have them work?

Last edited by Parnassia; 06-18-2019 at 07:13 PM..
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Old 06-18-2019, 06:17 PM
 
3,960 posts, read 1,688,304 times
Reputation: 8040
Quote:
Originally Posted by MarshaBrady1968 View Post
I don't have poor vision, so I am truly asking this question: if you ran out of contacts, and only had eye glasses from 3 years ago, and say it was Christmas day (no dr available), if you picked up your old glasses couldn't you at least mostly see?

When my kids run out of contacts they tell me when the contacts are all gone. Not last box, completely out. So I will call to get more, and it will be like "NOPE gotta see the dr, but he is fully booked until July 21". So now my kids, one of whom is actually medically necessary on vision correction, cannot get any sort of corrective lens.
Same kids had to start very young with corrective lenses, and being kids, would rapidly break/lose/etc, well before the end of the Rx. Why would I HAVE to have a Rx to get a corrective lens, as if they were opioid drugs I could be harming kids with?
It just makes no sense.
Lenses actually go in your eye. Your eye can change over time and the optometrist wants to make sure that your eyes are in good health before they prescribe new contact lenses. The kids should have backup glasses, and if they don’t like having to wear them, too bad... I don’t know any doctor who recommends that kids have only contacts, especially since they tend not to have the best hygiene and it is easy enough to scratch your eye or get an infection/allergy in the best of circumstances. I wore contacts from a young age and now have lumpy eyelids (underneath) so it is certainly a good idea to have backup glasses to wear to prevent irritation.
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Old 06-18-2019, 11:02 PM
 
252 posts, read 100,244 times
Reputation: 287
Quote:
Originally Posted by MarshaBrady1968 View Post
I understand why prescriptions would be required for controlled substances. But why are prescriptions mandatory for eyeglasses/contacts?
Example 1: ordering online- they have to get the actual Rx from your eye dr- why?
Example 2: you tear a bunch of contacts and actually end up needing more than a one year supply in that year, but cannot get them- why?
Example 3: you have not had time for your yearly dr appt, and cannot get new contacts or glasses because your Rx expired- why?

Who is it hurting to buy glasses/contacts all willy nilly, even if that were the case?
Perhaps you may want to come to British Columbia (Canada). The provincial government has deregulated the prescription eyewear industry since 2010 May. Among the changes are:
"Allowing people to order glasses or contacts online without having to give the seller a copy of their prescription, sight-test assessment or contact-lens specifications."
"Opticians will be able to independently conduct sight-tests for healthy clients aged 19 to 65 years old without a medical doctor's prescription."
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Old 06-19-2019, 04:07 AM
 
1,506 posts, read 962,785 times
Reputation: 2845
Quote:
Originally Posted by MarshaBrady1968 View Post
I don't have poor vision, so I am truly asking this question: if you ran out of contacts, and only had eye glasses from 3 years ago, and say it was Christmas day (no dr available), if you picked up your old glasses couldn't you at least mostly see?

When my kids run out of contacts they tell me when the contacts are all gone. Not last box, completely out. So I will call to get more, and it will be like "NOPE gotta see the dr, but he is fully booked until July 21". So now my kids, one of whom is actually medically necessary on vision correction, cannot get any sort of corrective lens.
Same kids had to start very young with corrective lenses, and being kids, would rapidly break/lose/etc, well before the end of the Rx. Why would I HAVE to have a Rx to get a corrective lens, as if they were opioid drugs I could be harming kids with?
It just makes no sense.
Simply corrective lenses or something more, which requires an opthomologist?

If just corrective lenses, go to a different clinic, even if just this once. Or Costco. Every mall has some sort of walkin clinic with and optometrist giving eye exams.
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Old 06-19-2019, 06:03 AM
 
Location: SW Florida
10,276 posts, read 4,852,828 times
Reputation: 21661
Eyeglass prescriptions are good for two years, contact lenses for one year. I have the contacts that I replace every two weeks and I can order as many times as I want within that year. I guess if somebody was stockpiling them something may be said.
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Old 06-19-2019, 07:26 AM
 
6,521 posts, read 2,355,719 times
Reputation: 14992
OP, I think some of your issues might be insurance related. I think MOST insurance companies will pay for new lenses once a year. If you want/need it before that year is up, then it comes out of your pocket. Now...I'm not sure if you have to wait a full 12 months...or just when the calendar turns from one year to the next year, before insurance will cover.


Good news is...people who do eye exams are required BY LAW now, to give you your prescription, so that you CAN shop around for less expensive alternatives if you want to. If you have that prescription in hand, you can purchase glasses online for pretty cheap. Like Zenni eyewear. https://www.zennioptical.com/?gclsrc...E&gclsrc=aw.ds I know a few people who have bought glasses from Zenni, and have been happy with them.


But in regards to your kids, there are places like Lenscrafters, American Eyeglasses, and more (I just can't think of their names right now) that are walk-in, and they have optometrists on site. No having to wait over a month to see a doctor.
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