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How I Order Contacts

I’ve gotten a couple of emails recently asking how to order contacts online, mostly referring to Circle Lenses. The first contacts I ever ordered online were actually NOT Circle lenses. They were my Red Vampire Contacts. My eye doctor helped me with the ordering process and explained to me what I needed to look for when placing an order.

First up, you need to know your base curve, your prescription and normal diameters.
My Base curve is 8.6.
My normal contacts range from 14 to 14.2 in diameter.
My prescription is -9.0 and -9.5.
I also try to go for the highest water content possible because my eyes are sensitive, so usually at least 38%
If you have an astimatism it’s much trickier and you will definitely need your eye doctor’s help. Contacts for astimatism are weighted, so most types of colored contacts aren’t offered in astigmatism format.

My Red Vampire Contacts are completely red, with no black, and they’re larger than the colored part of my eye.
Their diameter is 14.5.
Their base curve is 8.6.
I ordered them in my prescription of -9 & -9 (at the time I wore -9 in each eye).
Their water content is 38%
My eye doctor informed me that because the diameter was a bit larger than normal, that my eyes would get tired faster while wearing them. He also said that because of the way they were shaped, they would color the edge of my vision, which they do. So he recommended that I wear them for no more than 6 hours at a time. My eyes really do get tired after wearing them, and they do color the edge of my vision enough that I’m not comfortable driving in them. However, for wearing around a convention at night, they’re really cool.

When I ordered my Circle Lenses, I made sure to choose lenses that most closely matched my regular contacts in diameter, curve and water content.

My Purple Angel Series lenses are:
Diameter 14
Base curve 8.6
Prescription -9.0 & -9.5
Water content is 38% to 42%

My Geo Nudy Blue are:
Diameter 14
Base curve 8.6
Prescription -9.0 & 9.5
Water content is 38%

My Geo Tri Color Green are:
Diameter 14
Base curve 8.6
Prescription -9.0 & -9.5
Water content is 38% to 42%

My Max Pure Pink lenses match my Red Vampire Contacts in size:
Diameter 14.5
Base Curve 8.6
Prescription -9.0 & -9.5
Water content is 42%
Because the water content is so high in the Pure Pink I ended up wearing them for 13 hours without meaning to. Mostly because they just didn’t tire my eyes out the way my Red Vampire contacts do.

One of the interesting things that I’ve noticed from going to conventions over the years is the number of booths selling specialty contact lenses. Normally they always sell plano (no prescription) lenses, with an option to order from them online for prescription. We bought Ray a really cool pair of cat slit pupiled contacts one year at Dragon Con.

Bear in mind, I am not an eye doctor. If you have any questions about contacts and ordering, you should speak to your eye doctor. Additionally, you should get your eyes examined before wearing contacts to make sure that you can comfortably wear them.

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    • cinseven13

      I agree, involve your eye doctor to minimize concerns.

      ANY contact lenses – not just colored/specialty lenses – can cause problems due to poor fit, improper use, or sensitivities.

      • Phyrra

        Yes they can! That’s a really good point.

    • http://www.tiannemarie.blogspot.com Tianne

      I used to work for an ophthalmologist and I had the #’s on my eyes, but should do so again. This helps and affirms that ordering blindly off the internet is a no no. Thanks for this!

      • Phyrra

        Yeah I couldn’t imagine ordering contacts blind. When I did my red vampire ones, my eye doctor explained to me everything I needed to look at, and then the site I’d ordered from required him to fax over verification of my prescription.

        While the circle lense sites don’t require verification of prescription (at least not that I’ve seen), it does make sense to me to get your eyes examined, find out what your fitting information is, and then place an order.

        My brother in law once had contacts improperly fitted on him in San Francisco, and he ended up with a scratched eye, but luckily no lasting damage. That’s one of the things that’s always stuck out in my mind as to why seeing my eye doctor (and specifically a good eye doctor) is important.

    • http://www.sparklecrackcentral.com LiAnn – Sparklecrack Central

      Good advice for anyone who’s thinking of getting any kind of contacts: costume, single-use, whatevereth.

      Do you guys go to DragonCon regularly, or just once in a while? I haven’t been able to attend the last two years, due to the economy and the not-yet-two-years-old mortgage (and replacing the water heater this summer.) I’m determined to go next year. Already saving my pennies..! Atlanta’s facemeltingly hot and humid, but I miss my geeky friends that I would see every year at D*C!! (Especially the folks who live on the other side of the continent and don’t ever get out here. ‘Tis a bummer.)

      • Phyrra

        I think I’ve gone every year except for one since 2003.

        I go every year and do a panel for work.

        This year my panel will be 3 hours long :)
        I’m excited for it. I love going.

        • Invicta

          What’s a panel? An oral presentation of some sort

          • Phyrra

            Yes :)
            Usually it’s a Q&A, or it’s a show and tell, depends on the situation.

            • Invicta

              Yikesss :S
              I avoid public speaking at all costs, but really admire those who use such skills for their careers, especially for 3 hours :O

              • Phyrra

                I’m not going to be alone up there, thankfully!

    • http://GeekGyrlFriday.com Justine

      thanks for such an informative post, Phyrra – I can always count on you to steer me well and truly. I’ve been reticent to dive into the costume contacts world, but this may give me just the encouragement I need – of course, I’d get all the 411 from my own eye doctor, before ordering, so I would go in with all the info you’ve obtained for yourself, that anyone wishing to wear fun contacts should do.

      • Phyrra

        You’re quite welcome!