Buying Contact Lenses Online

Last Updated: November 28, 2022

Purchasing contact lenses online comes with risks to your vision and eye health. It is important to remember that every contact lens product is unique and designed for a particular purpose. This includes everything from material, curvature, fit, oxygen permeability, deposit resistance, moisture content and lifespan.

Use only the care system and solutions recommended by your doctor of optometry. You should see your optometrist yearly to monitor the health of your eyes and to receive a personal consult on your contact lens needs. Also, seek immediate care if you experience any discomfort or vision changes.

Please be advised: just because you have a prescription (new or old) does not mean you will get the appropriate product for your unique ocular characteristics, unless you get it from your eyecare professional. Contact lenses are medical devices that sit directly on your corneas and can cause problems if improperly fit or not correctly monitored.

There are a number of risks associated with online ordering:

  • Some sites do not verify the prescription. Without proper verification, you risk wearing an optically incorrect or improperly fitting lens.
  • Many online sites (including those based in Canada) sell products that have not been approved by Health Canada. The safety of these lenses has not been tested.
  • Lenses from overseas may be exposed to large temperature changes in uncontrolled warehouses or transportation vessels. This can affect the integrity of the lenses that can lead to potential eye health issues.
  • Overseas distribution channels may have grey market (counterfeit) product. There are no controls to ensure that Internet sites source lenses directly from the manufacturer.
  • Replacement and exchange privileges may not be available with an online vendor.
  • By working with your doctor of optometry, you can ensure:
  • The proper contact lens prescription, curvature, and modality based on lifestyle needs, and measurements of your eye curvature, tear chemistry and prescription.
  • The appropriate selection of a care system and solutions based on compatibility with different lens materials and compatibility with your eyes.
  • Professional monitoring to ensure optimum eye health, good vision and comfortable wear.
  • Updates with new lens technology that may better suit your particular vision needs or lifestyle demands.