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The Review

According to the CDC, 45 million people in the USA wear contact lenses. That means a lot of people are in the market for high-quality lenses at an affordable price. When it comes to putting something in your eye, quality matters, and I've found that 1-800-Contacts.com sells lenses from only top manufacturers.

I've been using 1-800-contacts for years. In fact I started using them for my contacts sometime around 1998 (or around then). I have not had any regrets at all. One of the main reasons I've been so pleased with them is they have my crazy-strong (odd base-curve and high refractive error number) "toric" lenses in stock, all the time, without any delays. Toric lenses are people who have astigmatism, or in everyday terms.... an irregulary shaped eye, not like a perfect beachball, but more like a donut. There are lots of companies that sell toric lenses but I was told I had to wait weeks to get them and they cost more than 1-800-contacts. So to start out - availability is absolutely on-the-mark with these guys and price is also best around. HINT: I've had times when I found a special deal at another contact lens supplier and 1-800-contacts MATCHED the price. So they are also competitive which makes choosing them easy.

Daily Wear or Exended Wear?

Extended Wear Lenses

Extended wear lenses are great because you can re-use them for a specific amount of time. But you have to follow the rules and take them out of your eyes every night. Here's my story as to "why" you need to follow the rules...

I was an extended wear contact lens user for decades. I did that for convenience but I did not follow the required procedure for how to handle them properly. I would wear them for WEEKS at a time without taking them out (extremely bad idea!) and in one period of time I wore them for two months straight! Talking with other extended wear users I hear the same story - very few people follow the proper procedures when wearing extended wear lenses. It gets to the point that you forget you have them in, and days go by, and then weeks, and so on. This is terrible for your eyes because they can't breathe properly and your eye will actually starve for oxygen so, being so brilliantly designed, your eye will start to grow new veins that reach to an area where your contact lens is not sitting. Basically when you over-wear extended wear contacts, your eye is trying to survive and it will seek out a way to find oxygen. And it will find a way. My eye doctor showed me a high-res photo of my eyes and you could actually see where the contact lens was sitting for all those weeks/months and then you could see tiny little veins that went right to the edge of the spot where the lens was sitting. I was fortunate enough not to get a funky eye infection or do damage to my eye, so I learned my lesson without too much damage. DON'T LEAVE EXTENDED WEAR LENSES IN LONGER THAN RECOMMENDED.

Extended wear lenses are nice because you don't need to buy a bunch of them (like daily wear) and you can just clean them overnight in a liquid solution found at any drug store. They make extended wear lenses in a variety of sizes and 1-800-contacts almost always has them in stock, ready to ship. o

Daily Wear Lenses

While daily wear lenses are often more expensive than extended wear lenses, the convenience of having a brand new set of contacts in your eyes, every single day, makes it well worth the extra cost. You don't have to worry about cleaning them in any solution, you just take them out of your eyes every night or day (depending on your work schedule) and put in a fresh new pair. Your eyes will be quite happy because it's not fighting for oxygen in an old clogged-up lense sitting on your eye. You may pay 20% more for the daily wear lenses and maybe even more than that for special lenses (colored lenses, etc) but it's worth it. Just don't leave them in becuase they are designed to be throw-away lenses (daily) and I've heard of cases where the lense starts to dissolve after being worn nonstop for a week. Then you get to pick teeny little pieces of contacts out of your eyes. Not fun! It's easy to get into the habit of throwing them away daily so I recommend buying daily wear lenses if you can afford it.

The Ordering Lenses From 1-800-Contacts

The ordering process is fast and easy. No matter where you shop, you first need to have a prescription. Yes, for people who have the same prescription year after year, it is a hassle, but that's actaully a law or regulation so you have to play by the rules. (There are some "online eye exams" where you could get a prescription in minutes -- but --- there is a reason why the regulations want you to see an eye doc. You could have a serious problem with your eyes and the only way that can be seen is with a real eye exam. Imagine if you had a serious problem with your eyes and didn't know about it until it was too late. Going blind is not something anyone wants to have happen to them so get your prescription the normal way - get a real eye exam.

Once you have the prescription you can call 1-800-contacts or go online and upload that information so they can verify it and get your order started. You will usually be surprised how quickly you get a "your order has shipped" email from them. My record was 2 hours from the time I placed the order, and I had them in my hands in 3 days. Their customer service is fantastic, their prices are great, they have most lenses in stock, and if there is a problem with your order they will work hard to make you happy with them. All in all the ordering process is effortless.

Opening the Package

I found the lenses were all top-brand-name and they even had some newer brand lenses available at a lower price. I stuck with what I always used becuase I've been happy with them for years. Just make sure the prescription matches what your doc prescribed (I've never had a wrong order, ever), and you should be good to go.

Final Thoughts

1-800-Contacts is a high quality supplier of contact lenses. I recommend them to all my friends and family and most people I know order from them. Sure, there are other companies out there selling lenses, and I've shopped around a lot, but 1-800-contacts still has my business after all these years. There is a reason for that and it's (a) I trust them, (b) their prices are fantastic, (c) they have great customer service, and (d) they have hard to find lenses in stock for quick shipping. I recommend them.

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