What Happens During a Contact Lens Exam?

What Happens During a Contact Lens Exam?

What Happens During a Contact Lens Exam?

What Happens During a Contact Lens Exam?

If you have been told that you need to wear prescription eyewear in order to improve the quality and clarity of your vision, you’ll have an important choice to make – what type of prescription eyewear to choose. While glasses remain the most popular choice, the benefits associated with contact lenses mean that an increasing number of patients are choosing to switch to contacts or to use them alongside their glasses. Some of the reasons why people are swapping to contact lenses include less interference with their appearance and greater convenience, particularly for those who like to play sports.


If you’ve decided that you’d like to use contact lenses to improve your vision, you’ll first need to have a contact lens exam.


Why Do I Need a Contact Lens Exam?

Many people are surprised to find out that they need a separate eye exam for contact lenses. There are several reasons for this. Firstly, contact lenses sit directly onto the eyes themselves, rather than a centimeter or so in front of them, meaning that the prescription that is needed for contacts is different from that for glasses. Secondly, as contact lenses are worn on the surface of the eye, the lens type that you choose must fit well, be stable, and feel comfortable. Your contact lens exam will help to determine both your prescription and the type of contact lenses that will suit you best.  


What Can I Expect to Happen in My Contact Lens Exam?

There are a variety of different assessments that are carried out during contact lens exams. These usually include:


Corneal Curve Assessment

Contact lenses sit over the cornea – a clear, domed lens that covers the front part of the eye. To decide which lenses will fit best, your eye doctor will need to measure the curve of your cornea. This is normally done using a piece of equipment called a keratometer and is completely painless. Some patients may require an additional assessment called topography – a scan of your eye in which images are taken of the surface of your cornea and turned into a 3d map.  


Pupil/Iris Size Measurement

Your eye doctor will want to measure the size of your pupil to make sure that your lenses will fit properly and be comfortable. This is usually done using a piece of equipment called a slit lamp. It takes just a few minutes to do this, and it won’t cause you any discomfort.


Evaluation of Your Tear Film

Contact lenses sit on a layer of tear film covering the surface of your eyes. Before you can be prescribed contact lenses, your eye doctor will want to evaluate how effectively your eyes make tear film to make sure that you have enough tear film for contact lenses to be comfortable. This is usually checked by manually placing tiny strips of paper into the corners of your eye to see how much tear film is produced. If your tear film level is low, you may need a special type of contact lenses to help ensure that they are comfortable.



Using the information from all of these evaluations, your eye doctor will be able to recommend the most appropriate type of contact lenses for you. You can try a generic pair to make sure that they fit and feel comfortable before they are ordered in your prescription.


If you would like to schedule an appointment for a contact lens exam, call Sturgeon's Optical in Barboursville, West Virginia at (304) 245-9300 today.

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