Contact Lenses FAQs
We have put together a list of the most common questions received by our doctors and staff.
Why does my prescription need to be verified?
We are committed to the health of your eyes. As a lens replacement center, we are only able to provide you lenses from a current, valid prescription by an eye care professional and that you are currently wearing successfully. Verification of contact lens prescriptions is completed prior to shipping to ensure savings, help maintain excellent eye health, and comply with the Fairness to Contact Lens Consumers Act. This law requires that optometrists and ophthalmologists give patients a copy of their prescriptions after a fitting and verify those prescriptions to any third party designated by the patient, such as an online lens seller. This protects patients by ensuring that their prescriptions are current and valid.
Is it necessary for contact lens wearers to have regular eye examinations?
Yes. Contact lens prescriptions have varied expiration dates due to state regulations, doctor preference, and health concerns. A regular eye examination is recommended to check your prescription and to evaluate the health of your eyes. Many eye diseases have no apparent symptoms until significant damage has already occurred. Early diagnosis and treatment are important for keeping your good vision and possibly preventing permanent vision loss.
Can an eyeglass prescription be used for a contact lens prescription?
No. Eyeglass prescriptions and contact lens prescriptions differ. Eyeglass prescriptions differ in that they do not provide the necessary parameters needed to properly prescribe contact lenses. You must be fitted for contact lenses and the prescription will include contact lens brand name, base curve, and diameter that are not components of an eyeglass prescription.
Do I have to get an eye exam first? What if I already have a prescription?
We make things easy for you at Sam’s Club. Sure you can use your own prescription; you don't need to see one of the independent Doctors of Optometry at Sam’s Club to order contacts. However, you do need a valid prescription to purchase contact lenses. Please fax us a copy of your prescription at 1-888-248-5367.
Call or stop in -- one of our Opticians will be happy to explain all the services we have to offer.
Can I order a different brand of contact lenses than my doctor prescribed?
No. We can only provide you with the brand of contact lenses as prescribed by your doctor. If you wish to order a different brand of contact lens you must see your doctor to be fitted for the new lens, which you have worn successfully. Then you may submit to us the new prescription written for the new brand of contact lenses.
Can I order colored lenses if my prescription is for clear lenses?
We can only provide you with the brand of contact lenses as prescribed by your doctor. If you wish to order a brand of colored contact lenses you must see your doctor to be fitted for the new lens, then provide us with the new prescription.
Can I purchase colored contact lenses if I don't have a prescription?
No. All customers require a prescription for contact lenses as prescribed by an eyecare professional. If you do not require vision correction and want to purchase colored contact lenses, a prescription is still required. Since contact lenses come in a variety of sizes, an eyecare professional must fit them to your eyes.
Why Do My Contacts Get Cloudy?
Cloudy contact lenses can be caused by several different factors. If a contact lens is supposed to correct your vision, having lenses become blurry defeats the purpose of wearing them in the first place. Fortunately, there are many solutions to protein deposits, and preventing cloudy contacts starts with proper lens care.
For most, they simply need purchase the proper lens cleaning solution for their lenses.
What causes Contact Lenses to Cloud Up?
Cloudy and blurry contacts are generally caused by one of four factors.
- Protein Deposit Buildup
- Dry-Eye Syndrome, or dry lenses
- Contact Lens Deterioration and Scratching
- Non Contact-Lens Related Blurriness
Protein Buildup: The most common cause of contact lens blurriness is the buildup of protein on the surface of the lens. Everyone's eyes are naturally designed to self-clean through tear production. While normally this works to provide clear comfortable vision, your eyes weren't designed for contact lens wear, and contacts will disrupt this cleaning process. Protein and other oils that are found in your tears have a tendency to attach themselves to the microscopic grooves found in most contact lenses, and any outside contaminants that would normally get cleared away also have a chance to attach to the contact lens as well. After an extended period of time, this accumulates a film over the top of the lens, resulting in distorted, blurry, and cloudy vision.
Dry-Eye Cloudiness: Additional to protein and particle buildup, foggy contacts may result from inflamed and dried-out eyes, which is typically associated with dry-eye syndrome. Dry eye syndrome not only can cause cloudy vision, but can also result in an increased susceptibility to infection and damage.
Lens Deterioration: Lens cloudiness may also result from deterioration of the contact lens itself. This is usually caused by external scratching, wearing a lens for longer than it's designed for, or using corrosive chemicals to wash contacts with. It's extremely important to wash your contacts with only proper saline solutions, as chemicals can not only damage your lenses, but also damage your eyes when your contacts are later applied.
Non-Lens Related Cloudy Vision: Finally, some people may experience cloudy vision, and later find that their contact lenses aren't the cause of their vision blurring. This may be a sign of a more serious eye condition, and if vision blurring, or gradual vision loss is experienced, it's important to meet with your eye doctor immediately to determine if the condition is serious, preventable, and treatable.
How to Prevent and Treat Cloudy Vision from Contact Lens Wear
Making sure to keep a regular cleaning schedule is critical to proper contact lens care. Cleaning your contacts on a daily basis will ensure that you don't accumulate more than a day's worth of protein deposits at a single time.
Additional to keeping a regular cleaning schedule, some may find rewetting drops and lens solution drops to be helpful for reducing eye-dryness and protein buildup during regular wear.
Finally, some may simply find they they'll get better results with specific brands and styles of contacts than others would. Shopping for the right type of contacts starts with consulting your eye doctor.
Caring For Contact Lenses
Caring for contact lenses is critically important for your overall eye health, as well as protecting your contacts themselves. Improper care of your contacts can lead to eye infections, eye discomfort, and further vision problems. Second to protecting infection, proper lens care will make the daily wear of contacts much more enjoyable for everyone.
How to Properly Care for Contacts:
Most would agree that contact lens care can be easy so long as it becomes a habit. The most important part of contact care is maintaining a daily schedule of cleaning and disposal. Listed below are some great tips for lens wear and lens upkeep.
- Make sure your prescription is accurate and up to date. your vision may change from time to time, and as a result, it's important to have regular checkups. Make sure the current lenses you're wearing match your prescription. Learn how to read your prescription measurements to make sure your lenses are the right size as prescribed.
- Never wear non-prescription contact lenses. Contacts worn without prescription may irritate your eyes due to being the wrong size, or simply the wrong type of contact. Wearing the wrong contacts can lead to eye discomfort, inflammation, and health problems.
- Avoid using standard tap water on your contacts. Contact lens solutions are designed to wash your contacts in the most effective manner, and will prevent any bacteria buildup. While tap water is great for drinking, it easily will host bacteria, and is not practical for lens cleaning or storage.
- Make sure your hands are clean when you cleaning your contacts. Dirty hands may leave debris and oil on your contacts, leading to discomfort or potential infection. The less contact your lenses have with dirty surfaces, the less chance they have of picking up harmful contaminants.
- Unless you're wearing extended-wear contacts, do not sleep with your contacts in. Wearing contacts while sleeping may deprive your eyes of oxygen, leaving them very irritated and unhealthy. Even for contacts that are compatible with overnight wear, many suggest nightly removal to experience maximum comfort.
- Change or clean your contact lens cases each month. Contact lens cases can host bacteria nearly as easily as your lenses themselves will. Replacing your case regularly prevents the transfer of dirt and bacteria. This will increase the comfort longevity of your lenses, while also reducing risks of infection.
- Make sure to wash your contacts daily. Daily washing ensure that protein and bacteria can't build up on your lenses, and will keep the lens surface lubricated and glossy so that you can see clearly.
- Apply makeup after putting contacts in. Makeup is a frequent host for bacteria, and putting makeup on after putting your contacts in will prevent your contacts from getting residue on them.
- Make it a point to regularly see your eye doctor, and be sure to contact your doctor if you experience any eye pain, discomfort, or vision complication.
- Apply rewetting solution whenever you feel discomfort. Dry, irritated eyes are not only less comfortable, but also easier targets for bacteria.
- Don't use disposable contacts longer than they're designed to be used. Many people set a calendar for lens disposition to remind them when they need to replace their disposable lenses.