Eyeglass lenses are extremely fragile and need to be handled with care. Furthermore, the prescription given to you by your medical professional does have an expiration date, as eyesight gets worse with time, especially after a certain age. This means that your prescription must be constantly monitored.
States do not have direct legislation regarding this, as it is up to the discretion of the market and your doctor. Generally speaking, each clinic will put the expiration date of your lenses to be between 1-2 years. It is rare that a patient receives a prescription and then goes about their days without needing eyeglasses, as they most certainly will have vision problems that affect daily life.
The Federal Trade Commission requires that each eye care professional give you a written eyeglass lens prescription after analyzing your eye exam results, even without prior acknowledgment by the patient. At this time, you are free to act of your own accord. This is why most insurance plans can be created to cover eye exams bi-annually, as this is the normal time frame for your lenses to be changed to correct your eyesight.
The majority of states have eyeglass prescriptions that last for two years. In Louisiana, these prescriptions are valid for 1.5 years. Sixteen states have eyeglass prescriptions that are valid for one year.
There are four states where the expiration dates of eyeglass prescriptions are unregulated. In Montana, Nebraska, South Dakota, and West Virginia there are no clear expiration dates for these prescriptions.
Your eyes will get worse over time. It is a medical reality that deteriorating eyesight cannot be reversed but is only maintained and stopped from progression. While many corrective surgeries are available, these are mainly used to repair the eye from such eye problems as astigmatism or the current shape of your eye lens, cornea, and other nerve endings. Surgeries do not help improve eyesight that is getting worse due to use, age, or blue light.
Generally speaking, each clinic sets the prescription to a minimum of one year and a maximum of two years. While states can have different opinions, they usually fall within these categories. It would be unconstitutional to go against the terms of an insurance policy, as it would open up the space to public outcries and possible legal action. If your prescription has expired, it is best to go to your eye care professional and conduct another eye exam. Although it may be possible that the prescription is still correct, many clinics will not accept it with the risk of being invalid.
Many people wonder if they can use their eyeglass prescriptions to purchase contact lenses. This notion is incorrect, as the prescriptions are largely different. Contacts must bend and shape to the form of your eye, while glasses are largely the same in the frame, only needing to be slightly adjusted to each person's nose bridge, shape, and ear height. Contact lenses are more of a "3D" approach and need different specifications and measurements to properly stay in place while enhancing or correcting your vision.
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