WARNING: Hubble Contacts
Vision Source Mandan would like to issue a public safety warning regarding Hubble Contact Lenses
You may have recently seen TV or internet advertisements for an online company called Hubble Contacts. We want to alert our patients of the potential safety risks associated with this company. If you were thinking of ordering contacts online from Hubble Contacts – DON’T! Read this first.
Can I order my contacts online?
Of course, we would love all of our patients to order their contacts directly from us! But we do understand it is a free market and patients are free to shop where they choose. We are more than happy to provide you with a copy of your contact lens prescription. While we do feel our pricing is competitive with online contact lens retailers, we do know there are an abundance of choices available to patients.
The problem with Hubble Contact Lenses is that they only sell one kind of contact lens and it is not a contact that we prescribe in our office nor find safe for our patients.
What is different about Hubble’s contacts?
Hubble Contacts sell a generic contact they call methafilcon A; which is simply the name of the material that the contact is made of. Methafilcon A is an old product – it came out in the 1980’s. Old materials like this do not have good oxygen permeability. Your cornea (the clear part on the front of the eye) is very dependent on oxygen from the atmosphere and needs it in order to stay healthy. This is why we very rarely use these types of old contacts anymore and why most of them have been discontinued.
Research indicates that the cornea needs a contact that has a dk value of at least 24 in order to stay healthy and not become hypoxic (basically, suffocate from lack of oxygen). Methafilcon A only has a dk of 14. In comparison, Dailies Total One that we frequently prescribe in our office has an amazing dk value of 140. This just goes to show the vast advancements in technology in lens materials over the years and how much healthier contacts have become.
In addition, Hubble’s contacts are only available in spherical prescriptions. They do not correct astigmatism and they do not have bifocal options.
Hubble sells daily contacts. Aren’t those good for you?
Yes, we do agree that daily contacts are a wonderful option for contact lens wearers. There is nothing healthier than putting in a clean pair of contact lenses every morning. At our clinic, we have a variety of daily contact lens options that are suitable for all types of wearers, including patients that need astigmatism or bifocal correction.
However, as discussed above, the lens material still needs to be healthy for the eye to wear all day – and that means avoiding outdated methafilcon A.
But what about price? Isn’t Hubble a bargain?
Not really. Hubble advertises their contacts at $30 per month. That’s $360 per year. Think about it: Would you pay $360 a year to wear something from the 1980’s that’s been re-packaged and re-sold as “new”? They’re taking an old pig and putting new lipstick on it… and jacking up the price. Imagine paying the same price for a flip-phone when you could instead have a new iPhone or Android!
In our office, we have plenty of affordable daily contact lenses that we can prescribe for you that are healthy and safe for your eyes. Don’t assume that because Hubble says their contacts are cheap, that they are actually correct.
Are there other concerns regarding Hubble’s business practices?
Yes. Hubble will fill contact lens prescriptions illegally to people who make up their prescriptions with made up doctor’s names. Sound too silly to be true? Sadly, it isn’t. Check out this blog by Quartz where the author, and four additional people, were able to receive contacts from Hubble with fake doctor names and fake contact lens prescriptions. This is a direct violation of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) rules on contact lenses.
There have also been a staggering amount of reports from optometrists around the country where patients received contact lens orders from Hubble, despite the doctor’s office letting Hubble know the prescription was incorrect and specifically instructed Hubble not to fill the prescription. Hubble usually ignores this request (which is illegal!) and fills the order anyway. Sometimes, they’ll even wrongfully change a patient’s astigmatism prescription to a spherical one which results in dangerously blurry vision for the patient! (and shall we say again, illegal?) And I don’t know about you, but I would be pretty upset to receive an incorrect contact lens prescription!
These are not business practices that we support and it is a great danger to patient safety. One of the reasons we like to see our patients once a year for a contact lens evaluation and examination is to ensure the eyes are still healthy enough for contact lens wear and that vision is clear. Contact lenses are a medical device regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and that is why they require prescriptions to obtain. We care about you and we want your eyes to stay healthy for a lifetime of contact lens wear. It is appalling to us that there are companies out there who so blatantly and obviously do not follow the law and put consumers at risk.
This is why we felt the need to warn our patients – please stay away from Hubble Contacts and keep your eyes safe!
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The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.