September 3, 2013
I hope my optometrist friends don’t get upset but many of you that wear contact lenses might know this anyway. My office, and I’m gonna guess every other eye care office, gets free contact lenses from their distributor. What is interesting is how we decide which contact lens to give you. I don’t think there’s anything exceptionally rational medically about how we go about doing this. You get what we give you and once we write the prescription that’s all you get.
Before I go any further, when I say free contact lenses, I should also say that you will have to pay for the exam for them. The lenses themselves should be free to try for most of you. There are some specialty lenses but probably most patients wear the regular ‘ol disposable lenses that I and other optometrists get free.
Here’s how to get even more free contact lenses. At your next eye exam tell your eye doctor that you would like to try a couple of different brands to see how they feel. There’s nothing wrong with that straight up question. You might even tell the optometrist that there’s nothing wrong with your brand. You’re only interested in knowing if the comfort or vision is any different from your current brand. Ask for some daily disposables too. Those generally come in 5 packs so you get 5 days of wear with them. These are handy for when you’re camping or on a vacation.
If you wear lenses for astigmatism your eye doctor might need to order those trials but they should still be free. Because the combinations of powers that have correction for astigmatism would require a huge quantity of trials (not enough room for all that) you might have to wait to get those. There’s also nothing wrong to ask for lenses that might not correct your astigmatism either. If you have a mild amount of astigmatism you possibly would see about the same as spherical contact lenses that aren’t specifically made to correct astigmatism.
And, please, if you ask for a couple of different brands, do support the eye doctor who gave them to you and buy a supply from them. We are here to try and help. I’m just giving you an extra tip to help yourself a little. I hope you are a good patient and hope your eye doctor will honor your request. It may not be something they believe in doing so that’s up to their practice. I would think this a very reasonable request in my office.
If your contact lenses are the kind that don’t come free to the optometrists, I’m sorry about that. Ask for some extra trial boxes of contact lens solution then. That’s also free!
Good luck with that and would you let me know how it worked out if you do get some extra pairs?