If you’ve never worn contact lenses before, it can seem a bit intimidating. After all, you’re inserting something into your eye! Let’s ease your mind about the first step – your contact lens exam. This post will walk you through what’s involved in a contact lens exam and what you can expect every step of the way.
We will first determine your overall eye health and vision. This includes a discussion of your health history and then a series of standard eye tests. These tests will evaluate eye focusing, eye teaming, depth perception, color vision, peripheral vision, and the response of your pupils to light. We will also measure your eye’s fluid pressure to check for glaucoma, evaluate your retina and optic nerve, and test your vision with different lenses to assess whether contact lenses can improve your vision.
If contact lenses are appropriate for you, we will talk about all your contact lens options. For example, do you want to enhance or change your eye color? Would you prefer daily disposable lenses or overnight contacts? We will go over the benefits or drawbacks of each, so that you can make the best decision. If you’re over 40, we will discuss age-related near vision changes and how contact lenses can address these issues.
Contact lenses require precise measurements of your eyes to fit properly. We will use the latest OPD III wavefront topographer to measure over a thousand points on your cornea. This provides a detailed surface map of your cornea, enabling to determine the best contact lens shape that will provide safe. This instument also measures the pupil diameter in both daylight and night time conditions, important in determining the proper lens size to prevent halos at night.
We will perform a tear evaluation to measure the amount and quality of tear film on the surface of your eye. Patients with poor tears may need to be fit into special contact lenses designed for dry eyes. If you have chronic dry eyes, or bad allergies, full time contact lens wear may not be a good option for you.
The final step is to fit you with a trial pair of contact lenses. Once inserted, we will examine the alignment and movement of the lenses on the surface of your eye. If the contacts are fitting properly, then the last step is to ensure the prescription is correct with a few more tests.
Now that a good contact lens fit has been established, you’ll need to come back for instuctions on how to insert, remove and care for your lenses. You will then wear the lenses for a week. After that, you’ll have a follow-up evaluation to confirm that the lenses are comfortable and your vision is at maximum clarity. In some cases, several follow up evaluations are necessaery to achieve an optimal fit as we are often referred advanced, challenging contact lens cases.