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How Much Do Contact Lenses Cost?

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Updated December 17, 2008

Question: How Much Do Contact Lenses Cost?
I'm considering contact lenses. How much do they cost?
Answer: It is difficult to estimate how much you may spend on contact lenses because so many variables can affect the price. Optometrists determine their own fees for contact lenses, as well as for contact lens exams and follow-up visits. Many optometrists combine these fees into one price, so make sure you ask what you're getting for your money.

Many different types of contact lenses are available today. Your optometrist will be able to determine the type of lenses that would be most beneficial to you. Typical prices of contact lenses vary depending on the type of lens and the prescription required.

To give you an idea of the range out there, here are some average contact lens prices taken from commerical opticals, online contact lens retailers and private doctors' offices.

  • Daily Disposables: $35 to 55 per box (8 boxes/annual supply)

  • Two-week Disposables: $18 to 35 per box (8 boxes/annual supply)

  • Two-week Toric (Astigmatism) Disposables: $35 to 50 per box (8 boxes/annual supply)

  • Monthly Disposables: $24 to 45 per box (4 boxes/annual supply)

  • Monthly Toric (Astigmatism) Disposables: $35 to 65 per box (4 boxes/annual supply)

  • Conventional-Yearly Soft Lenses: $24 to 100 per lens (2 lenses/annual supply)

  • Rigid Gas Permeable Lenses: $50.00 to 150 per lens (2 lenses/annual supply)

  • Hybrid RGP/Soft Lenses: $150 to 250 per lens (4 lenses/annual supply)
Keep in mind that some or all of the contact lens fees may be covered under your insurance plan.

If you are considering ordering contact lenses online, pay particular attention to the shipping charges and volume discounts. Typically, prices may only be one or two dollars higher in a private doctor’s office, where contact lenses are usually shipped very quickly. Online retailers may have slightly lower prices but longer shipping periods (1 to 2 weeks, on average). It may also be more difficult to order custom-designed lenses online.

Federal law prohibits dispensing contact lenses without a valid prescription. Unfortunately, there are a few online contact lens retailers that sell contact lenses without a prescription. The Federal Trade Commision has recently shut down many of these illegal websites.

Remember that contact lenses are a safe and convenient correction option, but they are also medical devices that must be cared for properly in order to maintain healthy vision. Also, never swap lenses with anyone -- sharing contact lenses can cause infections and other serious eye problems.

Related Video
What to Expect at a Contact Lens Exam
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