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Contacts and Glasses Rx Difference

Many people wear both eyeglasses and contact lenses for vision correction. However, while both products work to correct your vision, the prescription for each one is different.

A prescription for eyeglasses includes the necessary information to make a set of lenses for a frame. For contact lenses, the prescription will also include the brand prescribed by your eye doctor, lens material, the curvature of the lens (base curve), lens size (diameter), and other necessary information.

One of the main reasons for the difference between glasses and contact lens prescriptions is the distance each sits from your eye. Contact lenses sit directly on the surface of your eye, while glasses are positioned roughly 10-12 millimeters from your eye. In addition, the expiration dates for the two vary; contact lens prescriptions are generally valid for one year from your exam date. Eyeglasses prescriptions are generally valid for longer than contact lens prescriptions, although it varies by state.

If you need a pair of eyeglasses made up and you wear contact lenses, check with your optometrist to see if s/he has a copy. In most cases, your eye doctor also examined you for glasses at your last appointment.

For fastest service at, have your eye doctor fax your eyeglasses prescription to 1-800-878-4627.

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