Contact Lens Exam: What to Expect

October 14, 2021

Contact lens exams are more than just standard eye exams. They are inclusive of the normal exam, and then some. The additions to contact lens exams include the contact lens consultation and the fitting. It is important to get a contact lens exam before getting contacts. This will help you get comfortable, fitting lenses that will serve you perfectly.


Comprehensive Eye Exam


A comprehensive eye exam is the first step in the contact lens exam. It helps determine whether you have vision problems. It also helps check if you have any developing eye conditions or diseases. This is important because eye conditions and diseases can interfere in fitting your contact lenses. Conditions such as astigmatism and dry eye require very specific contact lenses.


Contact Lens Consultation


New innovations of contact lenses emerge constantly. They keep getting more comfortable, convenient, and accessible. Ensure that you first discuss your health considerations with your eye doctor. This is especially so if you have an eye condition or disease.


Dry eyes work best with gas permeable or scleral lenses. Astigmatism works best with toric or scleral lenses. If you have diseases or conditions, discuss them with your doctor. This will influence the type of contacts that you get. Some lens options to consider are daily disposable and monthly disposable. You will also consider if you want soft lenses or gas permeable. There are a lot of contact lens types to choose from.


Contact Lens Fitting


The doctor will take proper measurements. One size does not fit all when it comes to contacts. If your contact lenses do fit properly, they could cause discomfort. They could also cause blurry vision and even damage the eye. The measurements your doctor will take for your fitting are:


  • Pupil or iris size

  • Tear film evaluation

  • Corneal curvature

  • Contact lens trial and prescription

  • Follow up


Pupil or Iris Size


The area of your eye that has color is your iris. Measuring the iris and pupil is done with a biomicroscope or slit lamp. This part is extremely important, especially if you are considering rigid gas permeable lenses.


Tear Film Evaluation


One of the hardest to fit eye conditions is dry eyes. This condition requires rigid gas permeable (RGP) lenses. Soft lenses tend to dehydrate the eye and are thus not suitable for dry eyes. RGP and scleral lenses are effective in retaining moisture.


Corneal Curvature


Using a keratometer, the doctor will measure the curvature of the front of your eye. In some cases, your doctor may want to measure your cornea in greater detail. They will map your cornea in a process called corneal topography.


Contact Trial and Prescription


After getting the right contacts, your doctor may ask you to wear them for 15-20 minutes. They will then examine if the contacts have any adverse effects. If there are none, then you are good to go. Your doctor will provide you with information on how to wear and take care of your contacts.


The Follow-up


Follow-up appointments are important to check if the contacts do fit you properly. If you experience discomfort or dry eyes, contact your doctor immediately. You may need different types of lenses or just an adjustment.


For more on contact lens exams, contact Eye Associates of New York at our office in New York, New York. You can call (212) 650-4888 today to schedule an appointment.

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