Contact Lenses

Where can you buy contacts at great prices online? Right here!

Get INSTANT volume discounts on top brand-name contact lenses when you buy today. Save 20% - 60% over regular retail price when you buy contact lenses at FramesDirect.com. And in addition to our amazing everyday discounts on contact lens prices, we offer a few extra ways to save money on your contacts, such as manufacturer's rebates and discounts on back-up glasses.

With one of the largest selections of contact lenses available online, you can buy contacts to suit your specific needs, including disposable contacts, contacts for astigmatism, and contacts for people with dry eyes. When you order from FramesDirect.com, you're ordering from the longest running and most trusted prescription optical store on the Internet. We've been providing fantastic prices on prescription eyewear and exemplary customer service since 1996.

Contact Lenses: Setting the Standard for Quality

The FramesDirect.com quality standard begins when we select only the top brands of contact lenses to feature on our site. We keep up with advances in lens technology and always strive to offer our customers the latest and best in comfort and vision correction.

When you order contact lenses online from FramesDirect.com, one of our expert opticians will personally evaluate and review your prescription. If we notice a potential problem with your order -- such as an incorrectly entered prescription or a lens type being discontinued -- our certified opticians will personally call you to answer any questions and confirm the details of your prescription and contact lens needs.

Buying contacts online is probably easier than you think. If you have any questions about your prescription or need help choosing your lenses, please do not hesitate to contact us at any time at 1-800-248-9427 to have a certified optician help you with your order.

FramesDirect.com has some of the highest standards in the optical industry. We back up our quality-first philosophy by:

  • Making sure the contact lenses that come from the manufacturer match the ones you ordered
  • Double-checking your prescription
  • Confirming that your lenses are correct

History of Contact Lenses

It has been over five hundred years since Leonardo da Vinci first conceived of the contact lens in his 1508 work "Codex of the Eye." While his was only a sketch, it was the beginning of centuries of contact lens innovation. Many of the first approaches to contact lenses, like Rene Descartes' 1636 glass tube invention, were not practical. However, many of the early concepts did pave the way for the modern contact lens design.

It wasn't until the late 1800s that three different men independently invented the first contact lenses. Ophthalmologists Adolph Eugene Fick (Sweden) and Eugene Kalt (France) devised glass lenses that were meant to correct corneal abnormalities. It was in 1887 when a German glassblower named F.E. Muller produced the first glass eye covering that could be worn and tolerated, and in the same year Adolf Fick also constructed and fit a successful contact lens. While working in Zurich, Fick experimented with fitting scleral contact shells -- which sat on the less sensitive rim of tissue around the cornea -- on rabbits, on himself, and then on a group of volunteers. Other glass lenses like Fick's were created and tested for several more years, but that changed in 1936, when optometrist William Feinbloom introduced the first plastic lenses.

While the first plastic lenses were lighter and more convenient than their glass counterparts, they were still large lenses that sat on the sclera, which is the white part of the eye. The first "corneal" lenses were developed in 1949. They were much smaller than the scleral lenses and sat only on the cornea rather than across the entirety of the visible ocular surface.

Early corneal contact lenses of the 1950s and 1960s were expensive and fragile. In fact, they spurred an industry of contact lens insurance. The price was not the only drawback to these lenses. Another disadvantage was that they did not allow oxygen to permeate into the conjunctiva or the cornea. This made it impossible for someone to wear these lenses too long without adverse medical effects, and so throughout the 1970s and 1980s, doctors and scientists worked to develop a range of rigid yet gas-permeable materials. These are what we now refer to as "hard lenses."

Soft contact lenses were also developed around this time, and in 1971 the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) first approved the Softlens material. These lenses were prescribed more often and preferred by patients because they were not only gas permeable but also easier to adjust to and more comfortable to wear. It was in 1972, soon after the FDA first approved the material, that Dr. Rishi Agarwal suggested the use of disposable soft contact lenses.

Modern contact lenses continue to evolve. Newer contact lenses take advantage of the benefits of silicone, which has extremely high oxygen permeability. These types of contact lenses are often used for overnight wear. And, it is not only the materials or the ease of wear of contact lenses that has evolved. The available colors and patterns of costume and cosmetic contact lenses has grown exponentially. People have taken the idea of simply changing their eye color and turned it on its head. Contacts are now available with spooky patterns, intriguing designs, and even with NFL team logos on them.

Contact lenses have a rich history that dates back to the 1500s, and they are now an everyday part of life for approximately 36 million Americans. While contact lenses have changed and improved significantly from the days of large, unwieldy glass lenses, they continue to change as technology advances. New materials and scientific innovations allow contact lens users to continuously wear their contact lenses or to have a fresh pair for every new day. People with conditions like astigmatism and those who need multi-focal lenses can now find a variety of contact lenses to fit their needs, and people with extremely sensitive eyes can find contact lenses that provide UV-A and UV-B protection.

Shopping for Contact Lenses Online

Today, shopping for contact lenses online is easier than ever at FramesDirect.com. You just need a contact lens prescription -- which is different than your glasses prescription -- from your eye doctor detailing the correction strength and type for each eye as well as the curvature of your corneas.

Talk to your optometrist or ophthalmologist about your health and lifestyle needs as well before you place your contact lens order with FramesDirect.com. Consider questions like these:

  • Do you want long-wear lenses or daily disposables?
  • Do you want colored contacts that correct your vision as well?
  • Do you suffer from dry eyes and need moisture-retaining lenses with high oxygen permeability?
  • Do you have astigmatism that would require toric (weighted) contact lenses?
  • Are you presbyopic and need to wear reading glasses with your contacts for close-up vision?
  • Would multi-focal contacts solve your vision correction needs, or is monovision a better solution for you?

Understanding the wide variety of contact lenses available for differing combinations of corrective, comfort, and cosmetic needs is key to ordering the lenses that are best for you. If your lenses are comfortable, keep your eyes healthy, and provide the vision correction that works for your needs, you are more likely to wear your contacts and enjoy your daily activities more. The wrong material or fit, or a vision correction strategy that does not work well for multiple distances can make a contact lens wearer's experience an unhappy one. At FramesDirect.com, we want your contact lenses to be as comfortable and functional as they can be.

As a company founded by eye doctors, FramesDirect.com was the first and remains the only place to buy corrective lenses online that is staffed by certified opticians. Our expert opticians can answer any questions you may have about prescription contacts, from inquiries about corrective combinations available to questions about differences between brands, materials, and suitability for your particular eye health or lifestyle needs.

Prescription Contact Lenses: Vision Correction Choices

Different eyes call for different prescriptions. Some people need to correct just one problem with their vision, such as myopia (near-sightedness) or hyperopia (far-sightedness). These patients' selection of contacts is very broad and relatively inexpensive. Other people need to correct their vision for multiple distances or astigmatism, or they need to use moisture-retaining lenses that work for dry eyes. Though contact lens manufacturers are continually expanding their offerings to suit every customer's needs, contact lens options decrease with each requirement added, and so careful selection is critical.

Mono-focal contact lenses

These contacts correct vision for one distance, either near or far.

Some people need correction for multiple distances, such as needing to see far-away objects and signs while driving, but also needing to be able to see something close up such as a phone or computer screen. This is common for people over 40, who begin to develop presbyopia with the natural hardening of the eyes' lenses over time.

One option for correcting vision at multiple distances is to wear different mono-focal contact lenses in each eye -- one to correct for distance and one to correct for close-up needs. Some people adjust easily to this trade-off while others find the two different correction levels uncomfortable or distracting.

Another option for correcting vision at multiple distances is to get contacts that give you clear distance vision but wear over-the-counter reading glasses (in addition to your contact lenses) for close-up work as needed.

Multi-focal contact lenses

A final option for correcting vision at multiple distances is wearing multi-focal contact lenses. Like eyeglasses, contact lenses now come with bi-focal, tri-focal, and progressive options. Bi-focal contact lenses offer the same comfort and convenience of other contact lenses but with the added benefit of allowing you to forego reading glasses.

Bi-focal and multi-focal contact lenses are made with two or more prescriptions in each lens. This allows people to see clearly both near and far. Lenses like these are designed with "alternating vision" or "simultaneous vision" functions. Alternating vision lenses have a split-lens design, in which the separation between prescriptions is made with an obvious line between the top and bottom of the lens. Simultaneous vision lenses require the eye to look through both prescriptions at the same time, allowing the eye to select the correct correction power.

Toric contact lenses

If you have astigmatism, which results from an irregular curvature of the cornea, you may need toric contact lenses to correct your vision. Toric lenses must sit on the cornea at a particular angle of rotation in order to properly correct for the specific curvature causing the astigmatism. It's all about how the light bends through the cornea and hits the back of the eye. In order to keep the contact lens rotated to the right position, toric lenses are weighted. In other words, they are slightly thicker on the side of the lens that must orient to the bottom of the cornea, and gravity does the work of keeping the lens positioned correctly.

You may need both distance correction and astigmatism correction. Luckily, there are options available that do both, including multi-focal toric contact lenses.

Contact lenses for dry eyes

In the past, contacts were uncomfortable or even unwearable for people who suffer from dry eyes. Now, however, technological advances have enabled the development of dry-eye contacts that lock in moisture-rich ingredients while allowing greater oxygen transmission. Contact lenses for dry eyes offer the same convenience of other contact lenses but with added comfort.

Like other kinds of contact lenses, dry-eye contacts are available in a variety of options, including disposable, multi-focal, and toric.

Colored contact lenses

Colored contacts are a great way to change your look for fun or fashion while correcting your vision as well. Colored contact lenses can offer the cosmetic benefit of giving you blue, green, hazel, gray, or even violet eyes. And like other kinds of contact lenses, color contacts are available in a variety of options, including disposable, multi-focal, and toric. They can also be ordered without a prescription, for people who don't need vision correction but who still want to change their eye color.

Easy to Order Contact Lenses Online

FramesDirect.com carries one of the biggest and best selection of contact lenses available online. It's easy to order contacts from FramesDirect.com. You can search through dozens of top-brand options online and select exactly the right lenses for you. We are an authorized dealer for all of our brands, which means we only carry authentic name-brand contact lenses.

Still have questions about ordering prescription contact lenses online?

Don't hesitate to call 1-800-248-9427 to have one of the FramesDirect.com certified opticians help you with placing your prescription contact lens order.


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Contact Lens Customer Testimonials

Dr. Brad K., / Sunnyvale, California
"As far as I am concerned, my experience with your company was perfect. I felt I got good advice, was taken care of in a timely fashion, and my order was filled perfectly. Don't change a thing. I will be placing another order in the next few months for more contact lenses. What more can a person say about a company than to do business with them again."

Adrianne P., / Garner, North Carolina
"I just had to write and tell you how pleased I was with the customer service and quick delivery of my contacts. I did not realize such excellent customer service still existed. You can best believe that you have a new customer and I will recommend anyone I know that wears contacts to your company. Thank you so much for restoring my faith in good customer service. It was beyond anything I expected. Thanks again."

Kevin T. / Dallas, Texas
Thank you very much!!! I received my contact lenses Friday and I am very pleased, with both your service and the price. Wal-Mart as well as other suppliers were going to charge me over $65.00 a box. So thanks again and I will definitely give you my business in the future.