I’m an optometrist. I’m a website developer. I’m a normal guy. What’s the point of me writing this? Well, besides writing about website design all the time, I like to pay homage to my roots as an optometrist too. I’ve been with the Department of Veterans Affairs (the VA) for almost 10 years now. The job has a lot of perks such as a great schedule, amazing benefits, and patients that are fun to work with. The one perk it does not have though is a hookup for me to get free/cheap glasses or contact lenses.
I’ve been wearing contact lenses for well over 20 years now. Like many of you reading this article, I’ve thought for a long time that contacts can be pretty dang expensive. Who in their right mind would want to pay $400+ a year for a simple piece of plastic that you put in your eye? I certainly don’t. So what do people do to offset the price of contacts? They abuse the hell out of the them! I’m not talking about just wearing them overnight for a few days here and there, I’m talking about people who wear the same pair of contacts for YEARS. You did not misread that. YEARS! Every day I hear stories about someone who has not changed their contact lens case out in 6 months, has gone swimming in a parasite infested lake, or licks their contacts with their tongue to moisten them and sticks it back on their eyeball. Enter the new player on the market…Hubble Contacts.
Hubble Contacts is a relatively new startup that offers daily disposable contact lenses for less than a dollar a day. Any contact lens wearer will tell you how amazing it feels to put that never before worn, brand spanking new contact in your eye for the first time. For a contact lens wearer it’s pure bliss. That’s the premise behind Hubble. As Hubble’s states on their site, “We founded Hubble to offer you the high quality, affordable lenses you deserve.”
A few weeks ago, I started noticing that my vision was getting worse and my contacts were irritating me. I haven’t had much time to go see an optometrist so I thought I would give Hubble Contacts a shot with the thought that at the very least it would be a good experience and something to write about. I was truly impressed with their website from a website designer’s perspective. Their site is clean, modern, and easy to navigate. Best of all, the entire process took upwards of TWO MINUTES to order my lenses. Don’t take my word for it, check out this video below that I recorded while placing my order.
Dilly Dilly in Philly
Here’s where things get interesting. You may have noticed that I put my own name in the “Doctor” area. I am a licensed optometrist in the state of Missouri so this shouldn’t be a problem. For some reason Hubble does not have any record of my existence. No problem. It says on their website, “With this info, we’ll verify your prescription with your doctor.” I was never once contacted by the company by phone, email, fax, or carrier pigeon to verify that the data entered were in fact valid. This isn’t a first either; a similar story came out a few months ago. What really matters is the contact lenses right? That’s why people go online to buy Hubble Contacts anyways. My contacts made their way to me later than anticipated after taking an unexpected trip to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania first. I’m thinking they wanted to go see the Rocky statue and celebrate with Nick Foles and the Philadelphia E-A-G-L-E-S! But I digress.
The Hubble Contacts finally came and I was immediately impressed with their appearance. The package was modern and attractive. I was actually excited to put my new daily lenses in and take them for a test drive. And that’s when things took a turn for the worse. As soon I got the lens in my eye I could tell it was totally wrong. I tried rinsing it with saline, making sure it wasn’t inside out, etc., but it just didn’t feel right. I threw the lens out and tried another, which admittedly felt better. Off I went to work to examine eyeballs all day long. At around two in the afternoon my Hubble contacts were starting to dry out quite a bit, especially while working on the computer. A re-wetting drop helped a bit, but these things starting to feel like the Sahara desert in my eyes. I trashed those pieces of plastic and went back to my glasses for the day.
I started to think, “Maybe these contacts aren’t so great after all?” Frankly I didn’t even know what material they was made out of. If you’re an optometrist reading this, please understand that I haven’t fit contacts in almost a decade so I’m admittedly out of the loop in that regard. Here’s what I found about the material of Hubble Contacts.
Hubble contact lenses are made of methafilicon A. which is a older material. In fact the material is so old that the company that originally manufactured methafilicon A has discontinued the lenses, simply because there is MUCH better stuff out there nowadays. The other important factor about the lens is something called the dK value. The dK value measures how much oxygen can get through the lens to your eye. You like to breathe right? So does your eye. When an eye has a contact lens on it with a low dK it gets starved of oxygen. For comparison’s sake check out the dK of other popular contact lenses that are on the market now.
I said it above and I will say it again because it is worth repeating. I have absolutely no financial disclosure in regards to contact lens companies, manufactures or even selling contacts in my own practice. This is solely my personal opinion based on my experience with Hubble Contacts. My experience with Hubble Contacts was very disappointing. I was certainly grateful for the free trials; however, the product was not nearly as comfortable for me as other modern day contacts that I have used and are currently are on the market. I want to make this clear if this is the only part of the article you read: I would never recommend Hubble Contacts to a friend, family member or colleague.
If you’re ready to get new contact lenses, please do yourself a favor a visit an optometrist near you and get properly fit in a contact lens that will be right for your eyes.
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