For years, more and more people have been switching to contact lenses. Contact lens technology has evolved rapidly and with today's variety of contact lenses, there are lenses for just about everyone. Switching from eyeglasses to contact lenses begins with an eye exam for contact lenses. After the contact lens exam comes a separate contact lens fitting session.
Eye Exam for Contact Lenses
Before anything else, you should have a comprehensive eye exam for contact lenses. During this contact lens exam, your optometrist will check your vision and write a prescription for corrective lenses. This is NOT the same type of prescription you would get for eyeglasses. He or she will also check for any eye health problems or other issues that may cause problems with contact lens wear.
With so many contact lens choices, part of the consultation is a discussion with your optometrist about your lifestyle and preferences regarding contact lenses. Options include whether you want contact lenses that are designed to be replaced daily or those which can be worn for more extended periods or if you want to change the colour of your eyes. Most people choose soft contact lenses for their ease and comfort. Most people choose soft contact lenses for their ease and comfort. Some patients might also want to consider using hard contact or what are called rigid gas permeable (GP) lenses as well. Ask your optometrist if GP lenses are right for you.
If you need progressives or bifocals you can now opt for multifocal contact lenses or monovision (a prescribing technique where one contact lens corrects your distance vision and the other lens corrects your near vision). Once you have determined the type of contacts you want, the next step is the actual contact lens fitting.
Measurements During The Contact Lens Fitting
While it may not be apparent, our eyes come in different sizes, and one contact lens size doesn't fit all eyes. If the curvature of a contact lens is too flat or too steep for your eye's shape, it could lead to discomfort or even damage to your eye. Your optometrist will take measurements and determine the best contact lens size and design for your eyes. Here are some of the ways he or she will measure your eyes:
Corneal Curvature: The eye doctor uses an instrument called a keratometer to measure the curvature of your eye's clear front surface (cornea). This measurement helps your doctor select the best curve and diameter for your contact lenses.
Your eye's surface may be somewhat irregular because of astigmatism. But don't worry if this is the case, you can still get special contact lenses known as a "toric" contact lens. There are many brands of both hard and soft toric lenses, which are available in disposable, multifocal, extended wear and colored versions.
The optometrist will also perform a detailed mapping of the surface of your cornea (called corneal topography.) Corneal topography provides precise details about the surface of your cornea and creates a surface "map" of your eye, with different contours represented by varying colors.
Pupil and Iris Size: The size of your pupil and iris (the colored part of your eye) is important in determining the best contact lens design for you, especially if you are interested in hard (GP) lenses. These measurements are taken with a lighted instrument called a biomicroscope (also called a slit lamp) or simply with a hand-held ruler or template card.
Tear Film Evaluation: In order to wear almost all types of contact lenses, you must have an adequate tear film to keep the lenses sufficiently hydrated. Your optometrist will place a liquid dye on your eye so your tears can be seen with a slit lamp. He or she may also use a small paper strip placed under your lower lid to see how well your tears moisten the paper. If you have a condition known as Dry Eyes (eyes that do not tear enough), most contact lenses will not work for you. If you produce some tearing, there are certain contact lens choices that you may be able to wear without a problem.
Future Contact Lens Exams
You should schedule a contact lens exam at least once a year to make sure your eyes are continuing to tolerate contact lens wear and show no signs of ill effects from your contact lenses.
Contact Lenses Re-Order Form
Please fill out the form and we will call you shortly to confirm your order.