September 6, 2019
Carson City, NV – Today, Nevada Attorney General Aaron D. Ford and his Bureau of Consumer Protection remind Nevadans of their right to obtain a prescription for either glasses or contact lenses following an eye examination. The federal Eyeglass Rule and Contact Lens Rule require the eye doctor or lawful prescriber to provide a prescription to patients immediately after the eye examination. The patient is not required to purchase eyewear in order to receive the prescription. Instead, the patient is able to take the prescription from the doctor that provided the eye examination and purchase eyewear at a retailer of their choosing.
“Reminding Nevadans of their rights is a cornerstone mission of my office, said Attorney General Aaron D. Ford. “As you and your family prepare for the school year, remember these useful tips about eyewear prescribing rights.”
“Every Nevadan has a right to a written prescription from an eye doctor or lawful prescriber following an eye examination, added Consumer Advocate Ernest D. Figueroa. “This allows consumers to purchase eyeglasses or contacts from any provider.”
The federal Eyeglass Rule establishes guidelines requiring optometrists and ophthalmologists to provide patients with a copy of their prescription. The following rules apply:
- An eye doctor must provide the patient with a written prescription immediately after the eye examination;
- an eye doctor cannot require the patient to purchase either glasses from that eye doctor as a condition of the eye examination;
- An eye doctor cannot charge the patient for the prescription itself; and
- An eye doctor cannot require the patient to sign a waiver releasing the doctor of liability for the accuracy of the examination or eyewear.
The federal Contact Lens Rule establishes rights that pertain specifically to contact lenses. Contact lens prescriptions must contain the following information:
- Patient's name;
- Examination date;
- Issue date and expiration date;
- Name, address, phone number and fax number of the prescriber; and
- Additional details about the contact lens such as the power, base curve and diameter
Additionally, the Contact Lens Rule contains similar provisions to those contained in the Eyeglass Rule, including prohibiting an eye doctor or prescriber from requiring contact lenses to be purchased from that eye doctor or prescriber, charging a fee for the contact lens prescription, or forcing the patient to sign a waiver releasing the patient of liability for the prescription.
In Nevada, a prescription has an expiration date of two years after the date it was issued unless the doctor provides a different period. To learn more about the federal Eyeglass Rule and Contact Lens Rule, visit the Prescription Glasses and Contact Lenses page of the Federal Trade Commission’s website.
AG Ford and his Bureau of Consumer Protection urge you to protect yourself and your family from unlawful activity in any forum, including eye care. If you believe your eye care provider has violated either of the above-mentioned rules, please do not hesitate to file a complaint with the Attorney General’s Office here.