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Contact lenses advice

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BlueGiraffe96BlueGiraffe96 Forumite
1 posts
MoneySaving Newbie
Hi, 
I've started wearing contact lenses a few months ago . I have a prescription from Specsavers and they put me easyvision umere  sphere for right eye and toric for left due to mild astigmatism (-0.75). 
From the beginning I decided to wear them here and there and so far I've managed to prefer them over glasses about 14-16 days each month , basically on the days I shop for groceries because glasses get foggy or when I have meetings at work . 

My problem is that eyes become pretty dry after a couple hours and the overall cost is slightly too expensive for how much I wear them so I looked up Easyvision on Specsavers and there seems to be options with more water content for example vitrea and they are cheaper too. I'm not sure why I was put on umere but I think it's to do with the cost of toric lenses (umere toric is indeed the cheapest) .  I've come up with 3 options of how to proceed:
1. Call them and ask if I can be put on a different type of easyvision that is cheaper and has more water content but I'd have to go off toric lenses. Would they insist I need toric? Would they put me on more expensive options just to sell their contacts ? 
2. Order online whatever I want from their website but do they really check the prescription? Are they gonna call and tell me they can't deliver what I want because my prescription says easyvision umere ?
3. Order from other places such as vision express or lens store and get an equivalent or something similar .
My goal is to find a slightly cheaper option with more water content. I'd like to be able to explore a little and get lenses from different brands until I find something that suits me but the prescription makes me feel like I have to order what they put on it or I'll go blind. I don't want to risk my vision but also I don't want to be tied to 1 brand when there's so many out there. 
If you have experience and/or advice I'd be happy to hear it :) 

Replies

  • PterionPterionPterionPterion Forumite
    3 posts
    First Post
    MoneySaving Newbie
    Several aspects to consider. 

    Firstly some stores and opticians have a 'go to' lens. Either because it is a fine balance between what is most profitable and best for the patient or the optician personally finds that particular lens type to be the most successful fit with the fewest problems. Secondly specsavers contact lenses are rebranded lenses so they are available elsewhere though from the high street practices they tend to be the cheapest. 

    Next is your prescription. The left toric lens corrects for your astigmatism. Although this is on the lower end of the scale there would be a noticeable difference between wearing a toric and non-toric (spherical) lens. The impact of this difference depends on what you are expecting to do in the lenses and how long you will want to wear them in a day. For example, someone wearing them to play football, do house chores would find this difference less noticeable compared to an office worker sat behind a screen several hours a day. If you are conducting tasks which require focus, attention and time then you may find symptoms such as headaches or eye strain in non toric lenses. 

    With regards to the lens type / brands. Yes there are many out there and some people will swear by lenses that are cheaper than a coffee but you only have one set of eyes and it only takes one unlucky instance for an infection etc. The aim for any contact lens provider is for their patients to be able to wear them for many years to come and some of cheaper poorer quality lenses will create sensitivity issues making long term problems more likely. 
    Umere are a Silicon Hydrogel material. Though they contain less water (a higher water content lens would dry less), they offer more oxygen permeability and so are safer/'better for the eyes' if they are to be worn for long hours, long term. The alternatives are hydrogel lenses which contain more water but offer less oxygen permeability. Note: if you are planning on wearing them outside consider/ask if the lenses are UV protective. 

    So the conclusion to this lengthy essay is finding the right balance is an art. Current lenses vs increased water content non toric lens should be based on: tasks to be worn for, length of time to be worn, number of days to be worn, accepting small compromise in clarity and price. My advice would be to call the opticians explain they're too pricey and would like to try something else. Or go elsewhere explaining the same. (btw lenses also come in different sizes so choosing your own lens without the advice of a professional would be like choosing shoes without ever measuring the actual size of your feet). Nevertheless, like I said there are always people who claim they've got by with lenses cheaper than my pringles box but then all you need to do is google contact lens infections to see what can go wrong.  :#

    I'm going to ignore your Q2 since it makes me want to cry.  :D
    Also legally, yes you are obliged to purchase what is on the prescription/specification. A supplier of contact lenses whether in store or online needs to have verification that indeed the lenses recommended have been trialled and checked by a professional to ensure safety. Whether this is adhered to again makes me want to cry. 
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