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.
After the contact lens exam, the next step is a contact lens consultation and 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.