How to Determine If Your Prescription Is for Contacts or Glasses

Prescriptions for eyeglasses and contacts are separate. Before visiting your optician, you will want to make sure your prescription was written correctly so you can purchase contacts.


Things You’ll Need:
A valid prescription from your optometrist

1 When you visit your optometrist, your eyes will be examined for eyeglasses. To receive a prescription for contacts, your optometrist will need to determine what brand of contact is best for your needs. Typically, they will provide you with trial lenses to make sure they are comfortable and fit well. If you are new to wearing contacts, you will have a training session for how to put your contacts in and how to care for them. Once they determine the best contacts for your eyes, you will receive a prescription.

2 Your prescription for eyeglasses and contacts may be written on one paper or you may receive two separate pieces of paper. First, look for the brand of contacts on the prescription. For example, if you are prescribed Acuvue Advance contacts, you should see that written.

3 In addition to the brand name, you should see a base curve number. For example, you might see Acuvue Advance 8.3. The 8.3 is your base curve. It’s important to know your base curve to make sure you are receiving the correct contacts.

4 If you don’t see a brand name, you are likely looking at your glasses prescription. You cannot use your glasses prescription to purchase contacts. An optician can only fill the prescription if you present your contacts prescription.

Tips & Warnings
Depending on your doctor, most eyeglass prescriptions will be good for 2 years..Contact prescriptions only last for 1 year..