Understanding Your Rights as a Contact Lens Wearer
The Contact Lens Rule
The Fairness to Contact Lens Consumers Act went into effect on February 4, 2004. This law requires eye doctors to provide their patients with a copy of their contact lens prescription (even if they don’t ask for it). This gives patients the freedom to order contact lenses from the retailer of their choice.
What You Should Know
The patient cannot be charged additional fees in exchange for their prescription and are not required to sign a release. They also don’t need to buy contact lenses directly from the eye doctor. It is mandatory to get the same type of contacts that are prescribed, but they have the choice of where to purchase them.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: How long is my contact lens prescription valid?
A: A contact lens prescription is valid for a minimum of one year, and up to two years in many states. Your doctor may place a shorter expiration time on your prescription, but only if there is a documented medical reason for doing so. If your prescription has a shorter expiration date, you may want to ask your doctor to explain why they placed a restriction on your prescription.
Q: Why does my contact lens prescription expire?
A: Contact lens prescriptions expire every 1-2 years because your vision and eye health could change. Even if you don’t notice any vision problems or eye-related symptoms, there could be slight differences that go unnoticed.
Q: My doctor requires me to return for a follow-up visit before releasing the prescription. Is this legal?
A: Yes. The doctor may want to evaluate your eyes with the trial (fitting) lenses in place before releasing the prescription. They may also require you to pay for the fitting before releasing the prescription.
Q: What if my doctor refuses to release my contact lens prescription?
A: If your eye doctor does not provide you with a copy of your prescription or doesn’t comply with any of the rule’s requirements, remind them of their obligations under the Contact Lens Rule.
If you have any further questions regarding contact lens prescriptions, give our Customer Service Team a call.