Optometry: Frequently Asked Questions

Contact lenses are small, thin discs made of various types of plastic material. They fit on the front surface of the eye (the cornea) and safely correct the same vision conditions that eyeglasses correct.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of contact lenses?

In general, contact lenses provide the following advantages:

  • Good peripheral vision
  • Excellent for active lifestyles
  • Do not steam or fog up
  • Improves one’s appearance

Some disadvantages may include:

  • More daily care than eyeglasses
  • Some types require a brief adaptation period
  • Potential for eye infections if not worn or cleaned properly
How am I fit for contact lenses?

You will start with a comprehensive eye examination. The doctor will examine your eyes to determine if you are a candidate for contact lenses and then discuss your options. The fitting then commences with additional tests to design an initial trial pair of contact lenses. After a one-week trial period, a follow-up visit is necessary to evaluate the contact lenses and the health of your eyes. Most contact lens prescriptions are finalized within one or two follow-up visits; some fittings may take longer. Successful contact lens wear depends on healthy eyes, a proper fit, and a patient’s compliance with the prescribed wearing schedule and care system.

What if I find contact lenses are not right for me?

Our caring staff will do all it can to help you wear contact lenses successfully. We will teach you how to care for your lenses and how to insert and remove them properly. If you decide that contact lenses are not for you, you may return the lenses within 30-days for a full refund of the material fee. Fitting fees are non-refundable.

How often do I need to see the doctor?

Once you have been fitted with your new contact lenses, you will need to return for follow-up care on a regular basis as prescribed by the doctor. In general, annual follow-ups are required to renew contact lens prescriptions.

How much do contact lenses cost?

The cost of contact lenses depends on the type of contact lens and how frequently you replace them. There are two fees associated with contact lenses: a fitting fee and a material fee. The fitting fee is for provided services and includes training and follow-up visits up to three months after the prescription is finalized. The material fee is for the supply of contact lenses and varies based on the type of contact lens and the number of lenses you order. A written contact lens prescription can be given only after the fitting is complete.

We purchase contact lenses directly from the manufacturers and pass along the savings to you. For your convenience, contact lenses can be shipped directly to you at your home or office.

Does insurance cover the cost of contact lenses?

Our contact lens services and materials are generally not covered by medical insurance. We require payment in full at the time services are rendered and prior to ordering contact lens supplies. We are happy to provide you an itemized receipt for insurance reimbursement, if applicable.

What are the office hours of the Contact Lens Center?

Our regular office hours are Monday through Friday from 8 am to 4 pm. We offer after-hours emergency services staffed by our ophthalmology residents. You can reach this service by calling (202) 741-2800.

What if I have questions about my contact lenses?

Our contact lens technician is available to answer any questions or to place your contact lens order by calling (202) 741-2807.