Before we go deeper into the topic of obtaining contact lenses without prescription, it really is almost certainly important to clarify what we mean by “prescription” in this context, because there is often confusion.
Contacts may be prescription or non-prescription, in the same way as a pair of glasses. Prescription contact lenses are made to correct a vision disorder while non-prescription contacts are effectively clear. Specifically, they do not change your eyesight. An illustration of non-prescription contact lenses is colored contact lenses, although some prescription contacts are now obtainable in various colors.
The other use of the concept “prescription” refers to the bit of paper you are given following an eyesight test that details the type of contact lens you need to correct your eyesight. This will include the strength of the lenses and the curvature of the lenses.
When people discuss shopping for contact lenses without prescription they are generally talking about the item of paper. That is, they have nothing, or nothing up to date, to detail exactly what lenses they require but they nevertheless wish to obtain them. Generally it will be prescription lenses that someone really wants to buy without prescription, but the question also comes up with ‘plain’, strictly cosmetic lenses. Can these lenses be obtained without prescription?
Probably the most common reason why a person wants to purchase contact lenses without prescription is because they have not had an eyesight test recently but they understand what lenses the require from his or her previous examination. They don’t believe their eyesight has altered, for better or worse, so why not simply get the same lenses as the last time? This seems fairly rational but unfortunately, in many countries, this is not possible. The law says that you must have a prescription before any person is permitted to sell you contact lenses.
This will appear unfair, after all, it’s your eyes that are at risk. But no matter what you think about the fairness of it, remember that you have only a single pair of eyes. A frequent eyesight examination will make sure that you get the correct contacts and will in addition detect any other problems that could have developed in your eyes.
It’s invariably a good idea to get a present-day prescription, even if you do reside somewhere where it is possible to buy contact lenses without prescription.