Contact lenses are used for vision correction and are a preferred choice by those who do not want to wear eyeglasses or undergo LASIK surgery. Contact lenses have become very popular in the recent past, with about 17% of the US and Canadian adult population using them.
So, if you’re looking to get contact lenses, what do you need? Before getting contact lenses, it is very important to undergo a comprehensive eye exam. Once the optometrist has arrived at the conclusion that you need vision correction, you then need to undergo a contact lens exam.
Contact Lens Exams
A contact lens exam differs from routine eye exams for eyeglasses in that it includes specific tests that are not conducted during other routine eye exams. Contact lens prescription is different than glasses prescription. This exam is very important before getting contact lenses or when replacing existing lenses. This exam could take longer than routine eye exams.
When you visit an optometrist for an eye exam, a series of tests are performed to test your visual acuity and eye health. The optometrist will then prescribe the necessary eyewear if any vision correction is needed.
Following the normal eye exam, the optometrist will then perform a series of additional tests to gather the necessary information to allow for fitting of contact lenses. This information includes preferences regarding contact lenses such as the preferred wear modality, frequency and color of the contact lenses.
During the exam, the optometrist will also discuss the various replacement schedules of contact lenses, including daily, biweekly, monthly, and yearly. The optometrist will also discuss the advantages and disadvantages of each.
Contact lenses are made from different materials. Gas permeable contact lenses provide the most comfort as they allow for easy passage of oxygen and prevent the accumulation of deposits on the lenses. These can last for a long period, e.g. one year, before needing replacement.
Contact Lens Fitting
A huge component of a contact lens exam is contact lens fitting. This involves measurement and consultation. The optometrist will take various measurements including the curvature of the cornea, the size of the pupil as well as the iris. Following the measurement, the optometrist will also carry out a tear film evaluation to ensure that the contact lenses keep your eyes moist.
The optometrist will also gather information on your lifestyle. This will determine the best contact lenses for you. If you lead an active lifestyle and engage in various sports, the optometrist will determine the best contact lenses for you.
After all the measurements have been taken, the optometrist will then determine the kind of contact lenses to correct your vision problem. For people suffering from presbyopia, multifocal or bifocal lenses will be prescribed. These will improve your ability to focus on near objects or read small print.
When your contact lens exam and fitting is completed your optometrist will write you a Contact lens prescription as this is different than your glasses prescription.
Before Getting Contact Lenses
It is very important to get a prescription before getting contact lenses. Also, it is important to get a contact lens exam as this will allow for a proper fit. Contact lenses that do not fit properly can cause serious health problems.