FTC Issues Eyeglass Prescription Warning to Eye Centers

The FTC’s Eyeglass Rule makes it easy for you to shop around before you buy – which can help you save money. After undergoing an eye exam that determines your best level of vision with glasses (a refraction), the person in charge of issuing the prescription, an eye doctor or ophthalmologist, has to give you a copy of that prescription – even if they do not ask. You can use your prescription to buy your glasses or spectacles anywhere they sell them – from another professional, in a store or online. There can be a wide variation in cost, quality, and assortment among sellers, so it’s worth searching and comparing to find the most convenient deal.

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The professional in charge of prescribing your glasses cannot make you pay an extra charge, or force you to buy the glasses from him, or have you sign an exemption or discharge form in exchange for your prescription or prescription. That’s how it’s stablished by the law. Even so, not all professionals authorized to prescribe glasses act in the right way. It is for this reason that the FTC sent warning letters to 28 eye care professionals informing them of possible violations of the Eyeglass Rule.

The claims involving five eye care professionals also allege violations of the Contact Lens Rule, which establishes similar requirements regarding the delivery of contact lens prescriptions to patients. In the letters, eye doctors are instructed to review the rules, comply with applicable requirements, and are informed that failure to comply may result in legal action and the application of monetary fines.

If you suspect that an eye doctor or ophthalmologist is violating the Eyeglass Rule or the Contact Lens Rule, let us know at

For more information, see Understand your eyeglass and contact lens prescription rights. This article includes a list of what you should see in your prescription.

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