October 26, 2021
Are you thinking about getting contact lenses? If so, you need to know the difference between a regular eye exam and a contact lens exam. Whether you need a new contact lens prescription or would like to try contact lenses for the first time, you need to have a contact lens exam or be fit back into contacts (refit).
Contact Lens Exam vs. Standard Eye Exam
Contact lens patients need to get both types of exams to get effective vision correction. Your contact lenses need to fit both your vision and eyes properly. Contact lens patients usually undergo a standard eye exam first.
Standard eye exams include tests for eye health, as well as those for visual acuity. The purpose of these tests is to determine whether you are developing any eye conditions or diseases that require treatment, this includes corneal health. Once the doctor finishes the comprehensive eye exam, he will schedule you to start the fitting process.
Standard Eye Exam
Dr. Day will use various letter boards and lenses to determine your refractive error and prescription. Next, the team at East Main Vision Clinic may perform cover tests to determine how well your eyes work together. You will then undergo a slit-lamp test to determine the health of your eyes, as well as an eye pressure test to check for glaucoma. Finally, Dr. Day may dilate your pupils to analyze the health of your retinas.
Nowadays, there are many types of contact lenses. Your preferences, general health, profession, and your prescription need along with other factors are reviewed to figure out the right contact lenses for you.
Additional tests that may be performed at your eye exam are:
Tear Film Analysis
One of the biggest problems faced by contact lens wearers is dry eye syndrome. You will experience eye irritation and redness when your eyes are not producing adequate moisture. Dry eye syndrome can also lead to eye infections.
Dr. Day will test your body’s ability to produce tears. If your eyes are prone to dryness, we might recommend specialized contact lenses with moisture technology to enhance your daily comfort and decrease irritation.
Your clinic technician will use an instrument to measure the curvature of your corneas. This instrument only measures a small section of the cornea. Sometimes it is necessary to view a larger section of cornea with a corneal topographer.
Iris and Pupil Measurements
During your appointment, we may choose to use the ruler approach of a specialized machine to measure the diameter of your pupil and iris. In addition to fitting your eyes perfectly, your contact lenses should also blend in flawlessly. Pupil and iris measurements will help ensure that your contact lenses look natural.
Contact Lens Fitting
Once Dr Day has determined you are a candidate to wear contacts, and we have established wear style, lifestyle and recreational needs, the fitting process will begin. You will be working with the Contact Lens Specialist, Corina, and it may involve multiple visits.
Based off Dr Day’s recommendation, she will proceed to decide parameters, type, and vision expectations. Trial lenses are ordered for your contact fitting.
If you have never worn contacts in the past, contact lens training will be scheduled to assist you in proper insertion and removal, cleaning of the lenses and storing.
There is a vast variety of contact lens options including Orthokeratology, gas permeable lenses, soft daily disposable, and monthly disposable. The process varies for each patient and is customized to each individual’s needs. The process is a team effort between patient and fit specialist on the best option for Your Best Vision, Your Best Life.
To learn more or to schedule a contact lens exam, call East Main Vision Clinic at our office in Puyallup, Washington at (253) 780-0700.