Do I need a separate eye exam for contacts?

Do I need a separate eye exam for contacts?


If you decide that you want to wear contact lenses, even if you only want to wear them some of the time and also uses glasses, you will need a contact lens exam in addition to your usual comprehensive eye exam. Here’s why.


Your contact lens prescription will be different than your glasses lens prescription


The prescription lenses used in glasses and contact lenses have one primary difference. The glasses are worn in frames that sit on the bridge of your nose a short distance from your eyes, while the latter are worn directly on the eyes. This small variance in their proximity to your eyes can cause them to need different prescriptions to correct your vision. Therefore, the additional contact lens exam will be used to determine what prescription your new contacts will require.


Your contacts lenses must be professionally fitted


Many people are surprised to learn that there are a lot of different types of contact lenses. While this almost certainly means that there is a variety to meet your individual needs, it also means that your eye doctor at Eyes & Ears in Southlake, TX will need to make sure that the ones you choose fit properly. Contact lenses sit on the surface of the eye and adhere closely to its shape. A poor fit could cause your contacts to feel uncomfortable or to move around on your eye and compromise your vision. The wrong contact lenses could even make any eye conditions that you may already suffer from much worse or could even cause you to start to experience problems.

 

To determine the fit of your contact lenses, your contact lens provider will check several things including:

 

The curve of your cornea.

This is usually measured using an instrument called a keratometer, although in some instances it may be necessary for the corneal surface to be mapped in greater detail using corneal topography.  Some patients are found to have a curvature that is not perfectly round. This is a condition known as astigmatism and requires patients to have a special type of contact lens known as a toric lens.

 

The health of your cornea.

Your eye doctor in Southlake, TX at Eyes & Ears will evaluate your eyes using an instrument called a slit lamp. This evaluation is important because it ensures that your eyes are healthy enough to wear contact lenses.


Your eye doctor will need to evaluate your tear film


Your contact lenses sit on a thin layer of tear film which helps keep them comfortable and prevents your eyes from becoming sore, itchy and irritated. Some people may suffer from a condition called dry eyes, and this can make regular contact lenses difficult to wear since they don’t have enough natural tear film for them to fit comfortably. Your eye doctor will assess your tear film production using one of several methods. If you don’t have sufficient production, you may be recommended to have a certain type of speciality contact lens which is suitable for patients with dry eye. 

 

If you are interested in finding out more about contact lenses, or if you would like to schedule an appointment for a contact lens fitting, please contact Eyes & Ears at (817) 270-6400.

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