The Contact Lens Prescription Scam

Buying contact lenses used to be as easy as 1-2-3.

  1. Go to the shop
  2. Get your contact lenses
  3. Pay for it

This is true in Singapore, Taiwan, and perhaps most other countries. Not so for Japan.

In Japan, you need a prescription from the optician before you are allowed to purchase contact lenses. Getting prescriptions typically cost around 1,000 yen. Depending on the shop you use your prescription at, the validity differs. For example, at Eye City, it’s only valid for 3 months, and at Heart Up, it’s valid for a year. Also, you cannot use the same prescription at other shops. Once you hand the prescription over to purchase your contact lenses, you don’t get it back.

That’s why it is a pain to buy contact lenses here. For the past 6 years, I’ve always gotten friends to get contact lenses for me from Taiwan because they’re f*******ingly cheap (the word is “fascinatingly”). The odd thing is that, when I asked why it only lasts 3 months, the rationale was that your eyesight might’ve changed after 3 months.


If that is the case, why am I allowed to buy a few years’ worth of contact lenses with one prescription? I suspect this prescription thing is a scam to juice more cash out of those us.

Lord must’ve forgotten to atone for the sins of those who failed to take care of their eyes, and opticians took it upon themselves to punish us.

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