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Old 28.04.2011, 11:57
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Contact Lens Prescriptions

Hi all,

I was stalking the other threads on contacts, eye prescriptions and places like Fielmann and I didn't see anything really pertaining to newbies.

I just went to Fielmann's a week or two ago to get fitted for my first contact lenses. (I'm late joining the bandwagon, so shoot me). Anyway, I was expecting from what I read on English forum that I would pop in and get my prescription, pop up and then merrily order the contacts online if I liked them.

However... the doctor merely sent me home wearing the contacts with a 10 day cleaning setup to "try them out" and said if I liked them, she would order me 6 months worth of contacts when I go back today for my checkup.

I'm a little beyond trusting Swiss doctors for their "hospitality" and am more annoyed that I'll be charged for a second appointment now when I really just wanted my prescription in the first place. It happens I do like wearing the contacts, but I want my prescription so I can order them online (or any other eye place around Swiss land) as I please.

Can doctors here refuse to give you your prescrip when you ask for it? Anyone else have an experience like this?

Thanks for the advice!
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Old 28.04.2011, 12:06
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Did you pay to have your eyes checked? If so, you can ask for your prescription. You can also ask for a one month supply, rather than 6! It's a good idea to make sure you have the exact right fit... Especially the diameter. I can only wear certain brands because of that. Also you need to check that your eyes are getting enough oxygen and tearing properly etc. Once you know, order them online. I found a place in the UK for half the price here!
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Old 28.04.2011, 12:15
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Re: Contact Lens Prescriptions

You could ask for the prescription....

Or.. you should be able to work it out from the packaging on the lenses.. then you can compare prices with sites such as 1800contacts.com
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Old 28.04.2011, 12:20
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Re: Contact Lens Prescriptions

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Hi all,

I was stalking the other threads on contacts, eye prescriptions and places like Fielmann and I didn't see anything really pertaining to newbies.

I just went to Fielmann's a week or two ago to get fitted for my first contact lenses. (I'm late joining the bandwagon, so shoot me). Anyway, I was expecting from what I read on English forum that I would pop in and get my prescription, pop up and then merrily order the contacts online if I liked them.

However... the doctor merely sent me home wearing the contacts with a 10 day cleaning setup to "try them out" and said if I liked them, she would order me 6 months worth of contacts when I go back today for my checkup.

I'm a little beyond trusting Swiss doctors for their "hospitality" and am more annoyed that I'll be charged for a second appointment now when I really just wanted my prescription in the first place. It happens I do like wearing the contacts, but I want my prescription so I can order them online (or any other eye place around Swiss land) as I please.

Can doctors here refuse to give you your prescrip when you ask for it? Anyone else have an experience like this?

Thanks for the advice!

Actually, what you describe is exactly how it works, particularly for first time wearers, in the US (every doctor I worked with did it like this).

The reason for it is this: Contact lenses are NOT all exactly the same and the prescription for them has to do with more than just the power curvature it takes to correct your vision. The diameter of the lens has to be correct, the curve compared to the shape of your eye has to be correct, the amount of moisture the lens maintains has to be correct and the actual material the lens is made from is an important factor as well.

So, "generally" a contact lens fitting fee includes not only the initial visit but a follow-up a week or ten days later to ensure that you can see AND that the lenses are actually fitting on your eye properly. Your eyes aren't too dry, the lens isn't too loose or tight, the lens material itself isn't irritating your eye.

Once this has been established THEN the doctor can write out a prescription for you and depending upon the laws of the country (or in the US, the laws of the state is a factor as well), you may be able to take it where you wish, if you do not wish to purchase the lenses from the doctor who did the fitting. Generally, for a first time wearer, the BEST idea is to go ahead and get them from that doctor's office because sometimes troubles crop up beyond that initial trial period and usually handling those issues together with the fitting doctor (or optician) is recommended.

Another reason for the follow-up with them is so they can have a look at the condition of the lenses themselves to help establish that you are properly caring for them, and for your eyes by using cleaning them properly. A LOT of problems that come up with first time lens wearers (or lazy lens wearers) have to do with improper cleaning and storage... so the doctor wants to make sure you've got it.


I hope that helps the situation make more sense for you... sure it is different than you'd anticipated BUT it is different for a very good reason.
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Old 28.04.2011, 12:21
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Whatever you do, don't skimp on a follow-up doctor's visit. Contacts are not inoccuous pieces of plastic. I learned that the hard way when I got a really nasty eye infection that required 3 courses of antibiotics.
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Old 28.04.2011, 12:22
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Re: Contact Lens Prescriptions

I think it's pretty standard to have to go back when you first get contact lenses. When I got my first dailies they put some in and sent me away for 5 hours before testing my eyes again to check for irritation and that the oxygen supply wasn't completely cut off. While contact lenses are common, they are still a medical device which needs to be used appropriately and only if it is suitable for you, hence the second appointment. I think I would be more annoyed having a permanent problem develop with my sight than having to return for a second appointment and the subsequent yearly / bi-yearly checkups!
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Old 28.04.2011, 12:28
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I had to go 4 times before they found the right ones, and I only had to pay for one consultation visit. They did the 10 day trial period and then ordered for 6 months. I needed special ones and it was CHF 190 all in.
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Old 28.04.2011, 12:54
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Re: Contact Lens Prescriptions

Hmm, thank you for all of the advice. I guess I will think about trying out the 6 month prescription to see how my eyes adjust before I attempt buying them online.

The doctor did explain that because of the shape of my astigmatism in one eye, I cannot wear dailies or certain types of lenses.

I admit... it's still very novel for me to stick something in my eye. Took me near 30 minutes with the assistant to get the suckers in the first time after the eye doctor gave up on putting them in herself. And shamefully, I wanted to get contacts finally because I'm getting married and glasses + veil is a recipe for awkward photos.
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Old 28.04.2011, 13:01
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Re: Contact Lens Prescriptions

Just a small plug for our very own J.L-P, she has sorted me out with contacts on several occasions. May not be as cheap as ordering from outside, but the prices are the keenest in CH and I can't fault the service or speed of delivery.
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Old 28.04.2011, 14:42
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Re: Contact Lens Prescriptions

Something to ask for as well is sample size solutions from your Dr.; products vary just like lenses.
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Old 29.04.2011, 10:43
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Re: Contact Lens Prescriptions

I went back there for about 5 minutes. I said I'd like the 6 months supply and asked for my prescription. Doc said I would get both...but I guess not yesterday. I left empty handed.

I'm suppose to go back to pick up the prescription and I have a 3 month trial period where I can decide if they fit right, don't have allergic reactions, etc. Let's just see what the bill is like when I get it!
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Old 30.04.2011, 11:33
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I went back there for about 5 minutes. I said I'd like the 6 months supply and asked for my prescription. Doc said I would get both...but I guess not yesterday. I left empty handed.

I'm suppose to go back to pick up the prescription and I have a 3 month trial period where I can decide if they fit right, don't have allergic reactions, etc. Let's just see what the bill is like when I get it!
A 3-month trial is very fair. Good luck with your contacts. I've been wearing them since I was 14 (horribly strong prescription equalled really thick and heavy glasses) and my advice is keep them really, really clean and if you feel something in your eye, something's wrong.
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