WASHINGTON, DC (WWLP) – Millions of Americans opt to wear contact lenses instead of glasses if their condition allows it.

What some patients may not know is that the doctor has to give you a copy of your prescription for free, and can’t force you to buy contact lenses through them.

According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the Contact Lens Rule provides consumer protection and allows consumers to have choices in purchasing contact lenses.

After getting an eye exam you are entitled to get a copy of the prescription, whether you are planning to get glasses or contact lenses. A fitting can take more than one appointment and the doctor can charge an additional fee for that outside of the original eye exam. Be sure to sign a confirmation that you received a copy of your prescription.

The doctor cannot tell you that you have to buy your contacts or glasses from them or have you sign a waiver or release to get your prescription.

If you believe an eye doctor is violating the Contact Lens Rule, report it to the FTC.