You are advised to follow a prescribed process guided by eye care practitioners when buying your contact lenses online to ensure safety and quality
Contact lenses, a more complex device than it seems to appear, is a medical device that needs close attention to handle and use.
If obtained without a prescription or not used correctly, it could pose a serious risk to your eye health and sight and can even cause blindness.
Therefore, to obtain well fitted safe contact lenses, it is highly advised to follow a prescribed process guided by eye care practitioners.
However, with the rising popularity of online shopping, especially during the pandemic, many have resorted to purchasing contact lenses online without getting proper advise from eye care practitioners. This has raised questions on the safety and quality of the contact lenses sold online.
Requirements for contact lens purchasing
Malaya Optical owner and senior optometrist Ryan Ho stressed that purchasing contact lenses online should be limited to replenishing purposes only. This is because for first time users, they are required to visit the optometrist and undergo an eye examination to ascertain the eye health and the vision power.
After the examination, the contact lens prescription will be issued.
“Based on the prescription and with the consultation of the optometrist, you can then try out the contact lenses to find the best fit.”
Eye care practitioners are also responsible to teach the wearer on the management of contact lenses, including how to wear and remove them.
“Most contact lens users would not know how to buy or wear contact lenses without learning from the optometrist itself.”
Only after obtaining the prescription and having determined the best suited contact lens, you may purchase contact lenses for replenishment from an online store.
Buying contact lenses online
Ho shared some tips for consumers to look out for to ensure they are purchasing safe contact lenses.
- Visit official verified online store of a reputable and trusted optical store seller.
- Make sure the online store website is of a single domain.
- The online store only sells proper contact lens products from trusted brands.
- Customers are able to share their prescription.
- Customers able to communicate and consult directly with optometrists.
Ho noted: “One of the most important requirements when buying contact lenses is to have a current valid prescription.”
“Eye health and vision power can change between check-ups. So, it is best to have regular check-ups to ascertain the eye health and the vision power and ensure your contact lens prescription is up to date.”
Ryan also urged consumers to avoid buying contact lenses from social media or e-commerce sites as it is impossible to ensure the quality and safety of the product.
“Anybody can just hop onto social media platforms and sell contact lenses. According to the guidelines set by the Malaysian Optical Council (MOC), contact lenses are not to be sold via social media and e-commerce sites.”
Setting the standards for online optical store
“We at Malaya Optical want to set the gold standard on online contact lens reordering in Malaysia with our
online store, https://shop.malayaoptical.com/.”
The Malaya Optical online store has the feature to share prescriptions and visitors can also chat with the optometrists.
“At Malaya Optical, we would request them to declare that they have gotten the prescription during the last six months. Customers must also be 21 years and above to place an order.”
He added that when selling online,
it is not just about the website. But it is also about safe contact lens dispensing and delivery.
“The contact lenses should be in proper packaging and stored safely in a proper warehouse, so that it will not be damaged with moisture or UV contamination.”
He continued: “We also need to ensure that the customers receive their correct orders and the security seal is not broken.
“Another important aspect of selling contact lenses is to have an extensive consumer database. This would help in tracking consumers if there was a need to, such as a bulk batch recall.
If something had happened at the factory line for example, we will be able to notify and possibly recall the product sold.”
Ho said that during the pandemic, the online sales for contact lenses increased significantly.
“We are constantly updating our website and online store with the latest SOPs, which follows the guidelines set by the government under the National Recovery Plan.
For those who need to come into the store physically for an eye examination, they are encouraged to make an appointment to control the number of people in the store in adhering to social distancing rules.
“All staff are vaccinated, and we only allow customers with low risk status (in the MySejahtera app) to enter the premises. We try to make it as safe and seamless as possible during this pandemic.”
Providing vision care since 1957
“Malaya Optical was first established in 1957 by my grandfather who later passed it over to my dad,” shared Ho, who is the current owner.
“As the third generation, it’s my duty to revolutionise the business and upgrade it to the current times. It is no longer just a brick-and-mortar business that we have always been in. Online presence is where the future is.
The online store, said Ho, also provides patients with the ability to purchase or reorder their contact lenses seamlessly. This will enhance and facilitate the ease of use and ease of reordering.
Malaya Optical is equipped with state-of-the-art equipment such the K5 Oculus topographer, which is used in hospitals, to measure the curvature of your cornea, especially for contact lens wearing. It also has a slit lamp, which magnifies and looks at the exterior of the cornea to ensure that the fit of contact lenses is optimal.
“We only hire optometrists, so all of our staff are qualified to examine patients. With the proper equipment and diagnostic tools, we help our patients maintain the best eye health and eye care for them.” — The Health