Contact lenses are, without a doubt, a very popular alternative to conventional eyeglasses. Each pair of contact lenses is unique to the patient, containing a prescription that is designed to correct your vision and enable you to see clearly. However, in order to take advantage of this versatile and highly successful ocular solution, patients first need to attend a contact lens exam.
We are delighted to offer comprehensive contact lens exams for those patients interested in choosing contact lenses instead of, or in addition to, prescription glasses. All appointments are carried out by our professional staff at our optical center in Barboursville, WV.
Many people don’t realize that contact lens exams are a little different to a conventional vision screening, or indeed, the assessments that are carried out for prescription lenses that will go into a pair of glasses. There are several reasons why contact lens exams are needed. Firstly, contact lenses sit directly onto the eyes themselves, rather than a short distance in front of them as is the case with glasses. This means that the prescription that is needed is different from that for conventional glasses. Secondly, since contact lenses are worn in the eye, it is essential that we find a type of lens that will fit well and be comfortable.
A comprehensive eye exam is a name given to the series of assessments that are carried out with the purpose of checking the health of your eyes and how clearly you can see. If you are found to have a refractive eye error that means that you will need corrective lenses to see clearly and you choose to have contact lenses to do this, you will then undergo a contact lens exam. This will involve several elements:
Contact lenses sit over the top of the cornea. In order to ensure that your contact lenses fit properly, we will need to measure the curvature of your cornea and to do this, we use an instrument called a keratometer. This is a painless process. In some instances, we may recommend that the surface of your cornea is visualized and evaluated in greater detail. This involves topography – a technological process in which images are taken of the surface of your cornea and turned into a 3d map of your eye.
We also need to measure the size of your pupil/iris to ensure that your lenses will fit properly and be comfortable. There are several different ways in which this can be done, but we often use a piece of equipment called a slit lamp. Again, the process is painless and takes just a few minutes.
For contact lenses to be comfortable, your eyes need to be properly lubricated. Fortunately, our eyes make their own natural lubrication in the form of the tear film. Unfortunately, some patients may find that their body doesn’t make enough tear film, the tear film drains too quickly, or the components that make up effective tear film are incorrect. This usually results in dry eye syndrome, a problem that can make it difficult or impossible to wear contact lenses. Before you can be given contact lenses, we will need to assess how effectively your eyes make tear film which we can do using a slit lamp, or by manually placing tiny strips of paper into the corners of your eye to see how much tear film is produced.
Once the various assessments above have been performed, we will be able to help you decide which contact lenses best quit your requirements. We will then give you a trial pair to try to check the fit and comfort before we order your custom lenses. Once these arrive, you will be guided through the process of using them and will be able to start enjoying uncompromised vision thanks to your new lenses.
If you are ready to schedule your contact lens exam, or if you have further questions, please contact our experienced and knowledgeable team by calling our optometry center in Barboursville, WV today.