Wearing glasses for vision correction can be inconvenient and mar your personal aesthetic. Because of this, many people opt for contact lenses to correct their vision impairment. These lenses act like very small version of glasses lenses and are placed in the eye, placed over the surface of the eyeball where it can make the necessary modifications. Not only are contacts more convenient than glasses because they do not fall off, get fogged, or break, but when worn correctly they are undetectable both by the wearer and those around them. Some brands are even made for the purpose of extended wear, while others are made to dispose daily. So, how much are contacts?
Examination and Fittings
Contacts are a medical device, which means that like any form of medical intervention you will need to go to a doctor in order to have them prescribed and properly fitted. Not everyone’s eyes are shaped the same way, and some lenses are more appropriate for certain shapes than others. There are also so many types of contact lenses that if you are interested in wearing contact lenses for your vision correction you will need the advice of a medical professional to choose not only the strength and fit of lens, but the brand and composition as well. In order to do this you will need a contact lens-specific examination. Eye exams for the purpose of getting an eyeglass prescription are not the same as those that result in a contact lens prescription. This is because your doctor will need to evaluate the shape of your eye and other factors that are not necessary in an eyeglass examination.
The average cost of a contact lens examination is between $80 and $160, with the average being $100. Most of the time this cost includes the fee for fitting your first pair of lenses as well as a trial pair for you to wear to ensure that contact lenses are appropriate for you. Some companies offer “clubs” that allow you to pay a flat rate to join which includes eye examinations and a discount on your lenses.
How Much are Contacts?
Because there are so many different kinds of contact lenses it is difficult to give one answer to how much you can expect to pay for lenses. Your doctor will give you a recommendation as to which brand and style of lens is most appropriate for your eye and vision impairment, as well as those that you should avoid, so that you can make the decision on your own. Usually, however, it is a wise choice to remain with the brand and style that the doctor offers as your trial pair. Some of the most popular types include:
- Daily disposable lenses are worn for one day and then thrown away. You will need an average of 8 boxes per year, with an average cost of between $35 and $55 per box.
- Two-week disposables are between $18 and $35 per box, with an annual supply need of around 8 boxes.
- Two-week toric disposables, which are created for those with astigmatism, are between $35 and $50 per box, with an annual supply of around 8 boxes.
- Monthly disposables cost an average of $24 to $45 per box, and you will need around 4 boxes per year.
- Monthly toric disposables are an average $35 to $65 per box, with an annual supply requirement of about 4 boxes.
- Conventional-Yearly soft lenses are made for extended usage and cost between $24 and $100 per lens, as you will need only 2 per year.
- Rigid gas permeable lenses are also for extended usage but are firmer. They cost an average of $50 to $150 per lens. Again, you will need only 2 per year.
- Hybrid RGP/ soft lenses cost an average of $150 to $250 per lens and you will need 4 lenses per year.
Considerations to Keep in Mind
Other things you should consider when deciding if contact lenses are right for you include:
- “Club”-type contact lens providers often offer discounts, especially if you purchase an entire year’s supply at one time.
- There are websites that offer discounted prices on contact lenses, but be vigilant and work only with legitimate sites. If they do not ask for verification of your prescription, do not do business with them.
- To maintain the health of your eyes, be sure that you change your lenses with recommended frequency and keep them clean and protected using contact lens solution, which ranges from $5 to $12 per bottle.
Though there is not one clear answer to “How much are contacts?”, a doctor can help you to find the right product for your eyes and give you the options so you can decide if they are right for you.