Thinking about getting contact lenses? You’ll have to undergo a comprehensive eye exam. Why? This will help your optometrist determine your prescription, check your eye health and the quality of your vision. Once this is done, you can proceed to get a contact lens fitting.
It is good practice to research what to expect before your contact lens exam and fitting. Do note, this is very different from your routine eye exams and should not be confused with each other.
What To Expect?
A thorough eye examination! Firstly, your visual acuity will be tested using an eye chart. Later, several tests will be performed to gauge the need for prescription eyewear to correct refractive error. During this time, the fit of your current contact lenses, if you use any, will also be evaluated.
A few general questions will be asked about your preferences and lifestyle such as if you’d like to opt for colored contact lenses or prefer dailies or monthlies. You can also discuss with your eye doctor the option of rigid gas permeable (RGP or GP) contact lenses which often provide sharper vision than soft lenses.
Types Of Contact Lenses
There are two general categories of contact lenses–soft and rigid gas permeable (RGP). All contact lenses require a valid prescription. The different types of contact lenses are mentioned below:
- Soft Contact Lenses
- Rigid Gas Permeable (RGP) Contact Lenses
- Extended Wear Contact Lenses
- Disposable (Replacement Schedule) Contact Lenses
For more information on the types and uses of contact lenses, read this.
Contact Lens Measurements
Just like your clothes and shoes come in different sizes, your contact lenses are no different. If your contact lens measurements are amiss, you may face a lot of discomfort or damage to the eyes.
Tests performed during an eye exam for your contact lens fitting:
1. Cornea Measurements
Your corneal measurements are taken using an instrument called a Keratometer. This helps in measuring the curvature of your eye’s cornea, the front clear surface.
2. Pupil and Iris Measurements
Pupil and iris measurements help your optometrist choose the right size of contact lenses that fit well and look best on your eyes—especially if you are interested in color contact lenses.
3. Tear Film Evaluation
This is to determine whether or not you have dry eye syndrome. If so, you might want to avoid or discontinue wearing contact lenses and stick to eyeglasses. However, if budget is not a constraint for you, you can opt for special contact lenses for dry eyes that may enable you to wear contacts safely and comfortably.
During your eye exam, you may also be given trial contact lenses. This enables your doctor to observe the alignment and movement of the lens. You are required to wear these lenses so that the initial tearing of the eye stops and the lenses stabilize. Your eye doctor can evaluate how the lenses fit without dealing with watery eyes.
Before your eye doctor orders your supply of contacts, they will have you come in one more time to make sure that the lenses are comfortable, your vision is perfect, and the fit is proper. If everything goes well, your supply of lenses will be ordered.
Contact Lens Care
Did you know, you are prone to serious eye infections if you do not clean, disinfect your contact lenses with a good quality solution like the Aqualens Contact Lens Solution and store it appropriately. You should follow proper instructions given by your optician or eye doctor to avoid any mishap in the long run.
To know more about how to care for your contact lenses, read this.