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1-800 Contacts is an online retailer of contact lenses. It stocks several different contact lens brands and offers an online vision exam for people who need new prescriptions.

Contact lenses are a popular alternative to glasses, and provide in-eye vision correction to around 45 million adults in the United States. People can purchase contacts through a store or online with companies such as 1-800 Contacts.

This article provides information about 1-800 contacts, including the brand’s reputation and the products and services it offers. We also outline some general information on eye and vision health.

1-800 Contacts began trading in 1995, aiming to provide better vision care throughout the U.S. It claims to have impacted the eye care industry by:

  • becoming the first company to sell contact lenses online
  • helping pass a federal law to ensure everyone has a right to know their prescription
  • launching the first mobile app to promote vision care
  • advocating for telehealth laws to make eye care more accessible

1-800 Contact’s customer support is available 24 hours per day, 7 days per week. The company provides free returns or exchanges and a “best price” guarantee.

Customers can opt to pay for expedited shipping. People can purchase one time or via a subscription service, which automatically sends out contact lenses at regular intervals.

1-800 Contacts has accreditation with the Better Business Bureau (BBB), where it has achieved an A+ grade. However, 1-800 Contacts receives an average customer rating of 1.94 out of 5 on the BBB website.

Several customers highlight the following:

  • helpful, friendly, and compassionate customer service representatives
  • fast shipping times
  • free lens replacements

However, some customers cite the following issues:

  • inadequate customer service, with representatives failing to effectively communicate delays and other issues
  • long delays for refunds
  • failure of the company to honor the price match guarantee

1-800 Contacts offers a variety of contact lenses and an online vision exam.

Contact lenses

Brands that are available through 1-800 Contacts include but are not limited to the following:

  • ACUVUE
  • Air Optix
  • AquaSoft
  • Bausch & Lomb
  • Biofinity
  • Biotrue
  • Clariti
  • DAILIES
  • Precision 1

These brands offer the following lens types:

In addition, some brands offer daily disposable contact lenses, while others offer longer-use lenses.

Learn more about different contact lenses and their cost here.

Online vision exam

1-800 Contacts offer a four-step online vision exam through their website. The exam takes approximately 10 minutes.

The steps involve:

  1. checking a person’s eligibility to ensure telehealth is available in their state
  2. an eye redness check, which notes any eye irritation
  3. a vision test
  4. updating a person’s current prescription

A board-certified ophthalmologist will review the test results and issue a new prescription, sometimes within 24 hours.

To take the online vision exam, a person will need access to:

  • a smartphone or a computer
  • a driver’s license or credit card to calibrate the device screen for the exam
  • their current prescription

A person will also need to conduct the eye test in a location that allows for 10 feet of space between their device and themselves.

1-800 Contacts state that their online vision exam is not a replacement for the standard comprehensive eye exam that individuals should receive on a regular basis.

Read our review of the 1-800 Contacts vision exam here.

1-800 Contacts have a three-step ordering process:

  • Step 1: Search the website for a contact lens brand or scan the side of an existing contact lens box.
  • Step 2: Enter the prescription.
  • Step 3: Place the order.

If an individual cannot find their prescription, 1-800 Contacts will contact their eye care provider for a copy.

Individuals need to order the brand listed on their prescription. If they believe the brand is unsuitable for their needs, they may wish to consult with their eye doctor to discuss a different manufacturer.

1-800 Contacts will also consult with a person’s eye doctor to approve their order before shipping.

Insurance

1-800 Contacts are an in-network provider for several insurance companies, including:

  • Davis Vision
  • Superior Vision
  • Spectera
  • Blue View Vision
  • Anthem BCBS

Most insurance companies also accept 1-800 Contacts in their list of out-of-network providers.

Returns and exchanges

1-800 Contacts offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee on all orders and will replace damaged lenses. If a person’s prescription changes, they will accept returns for old lenses if the original packaging is sealed and intact.

Online contact lens retailers similar to 1-800 Contacts include:

People who wear contact lenses may also consider other methods to correct their vision. Some people may prefer eyeglasses to contact lenses, especially if they cannot wear contacts or find them uncomfortable. Others may consider laser eye surgery.

Read our guide to buying contact lenses online here.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in the United States, around 12 million adults aged 40 years or over have some form of vision impairment.

The CDC notes the following tips for helping to maintain good eye and vision health:

  • Undergoing a comprehensive dilated eye exam to detect eye diseases in their early stages
  • maintaining healthy blood sugar levels to prevent diabetes-related eye diseases, such as glaucoma
  • maintaining a healthy weight to help prevent diabetes and associated eye diseases
  • researching any eye diseases that run in the family
  • wearing safety glasses, googles, or eye guards when necessary
  • employing the 20-20-20 rule to reduce eye strain when working at a computer, which includes taking breaks at 20 minute intervals to focus on something 20 feet away for 20 seconds
  • cleaning hands and contact lenses properly to prevent infection
  • eating a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and omega 3 fatty acids

When to speak with an eye doctor

According to the National Eye Institute (NEI), a person should consult with an eye doctor if:

  • vision is blurred or out-of-focus, even when wearing corrective eyewear
  • one or both eyes become red, swollen, or painful
  • a healthcare provider recommends seeing an eye doctor

How eyewear helps vision

Prescription glasses or contact lenses can help correct a person’s vision by bending light to make it focus correctly on the retina. In this way, prescription eyewear can correct astigmatism or refractive eye conditions such as near- or far-sightedness.

Wearing prescription glasses and contact lenses makes it easier for people to see without compromising the eyes or worsening symptoms of eye strain.

Contact lens health

It is important that people wearing reusable contact lenses take steps to clean, disinfect, and store their lenses. Most retailers stock multipurpose contact lens solutions.

The NEI provide the following tips for taking care of contact lenses:

  • washing and drying the hands before touching the eyes or contact lenses
  • removing old solution and cleaning contact lens cases after putting contact lenses in the eyes
  • rubbing and rinsing lenses with contact lens solution after removal
  • disposing of daily lenses straight away, or storing reusable contact lenses in a storage case with a fresh solution

1-800 Contacts offers a convenient way to order contact lenses online. Customers can make one-off purchases or sign up to a subscription service for monthly contact lens deliveries.

1-800 Contacts stock several contact lens brands that eye doctors commonly prescribe. The company also offers online vision exams, though it notes that these should not replace a person’s routine eye examinations.

People should wear corrective eyewear when necessary. Doing so not only improves vision, but also helps to prevent symptoms of eyestrain.