Whether you are a regular glasses-wearer switching to contact lenses or someone new to prescription eyewear considering the alternative of contacts, you will need to have a separate examination specifically for contact lenses.
There are a couple of main reasons why a contact lens exam is different from an exam for glasses. One big difference is in the prescription required due to where the corrective lenses sit in relation to the eye. Glasses obviously sit on the nose a short distance away from the eye, whereas contact lenses are attached directly to the front of the eye meaning the way the light is refracted into the eye will be different from that if wearing glasses. Without a prescription specifically for contact lenses, your vision will not be suitably corrected, and you will not have clear eyesight.
Secondly, with a wide range of different contact lenses available, and with not all types suiting each patient, it is important to get the right lenses for you. This is particularly important if you suffer from conditions such as dry eye or corneal abrasions.
Your eye doctor will make sure you get the lenses most suited to your eyes. Part of the contact lens examination is for them to check your cornea for any signs of any eye conditions or abnormalities to help them select the best lenses for you. This may be done via a physical examination of the eye whereby your eye doctor will measure the distance between your pupils and your iris, use a slit lamp to assess the surface of your eyes, and carry out an evaluation of your tear film by using small strips of paper on your lower eyelids.
If your eye doctor diagnoses dry eye, they may not recommend contact lenses, as the wearing of contact lenses can be uncomfortable and uneasy for people suffering from this condition.
Contact lenses come in many different shapes and sizes, and there are different types too - such as daily disposables or ones that are for longer-term wear you store in a special cleaning solution overnight. To help identify which lenses are best for you, your eye doctor will refer to the findings of your contact lens exam and choose whichever option they think is best for your individual requirements.
There may give you more than one generic pair to try. It can be a trial-and-error process to see which ones feel best for you in terms of comfort and how they sit on your eyes, and also the quality of vision you feel is best. Once you are happy with the selection you have made in partnership with your eye doctor, the lenses will be ordered for you in your specific prescription ready for you to start wearing when they arrive in a few days.
If you have any questions or would like any advice regarding contact lens exams, please contact Sturgeon's Optical in Barboursville, West Virginia at (304) 733-0101 today.