After any vision check, you have the right to get a copy of your prescription from your eye professional, without any additional cost. It is illegal to charge for the eye exam or evaluation before giving the patient a copy of their prescription. However, the optometrist may require you to pay for the fitting before releasing the prescription. If you have been wearing glasses or contact lenses for a long time, you know the drill.
You visit an optometrist to get a new prescription and then they want you to order from their optical store. The optometrist may not be aware of your budget constraints, brand preferences, or need for regular contact lens supplies. The rule itself isn't new, but it was recently updated to make it easier for people to get information about their own eye health and then take it where they want to shop. An unlicensed person may perform tasks that are not limited to any licensed profession or are exempt under section 7125 of the Education Act which exempts mechanical work in inert matter.
If you can't find your prescription, you can start by asking your doctor for a copy, since they must have the prescription on record. Not everyone is a good candidate for an online tool or an online eye test, and these services are not a substitute for visiting an ophthalmologist. The Contact Lens Consumer Equity Act requires that a contact lens prescription be valid for at least one year, unless, in the prescriber's medical judgment, the patient's eye health requires a shorter period of time. It does not provide medical advice or replace a full eye health exam performed by an eye professional.
It's important to remember that home testing should not replace a medical eye exam or a complete eye exam by a licensed optometrist or ophthalmologist. The Eyeglass Rule does not apply to ophthalmologists or optometrists employed by any federal, state, or local government entity. Section 7126 (of the Education Act) allows a corporation that is not licensed to practice ophthalmic dispensing to participate in the business of selling eyeglasses or lenses for vision correction only if a licensed physician, optometrist, or ophthalmic dispenser is in charge and personally attends the point of sale.If someone does not have a copy of their vision prescription, they can first contact their ophthalmologist for this information as they are required to provide it free of charge. Since 2004, ophthalmologists have had a legal obligation to give patients a copy of their prescription for contact lenses or glasses.