Eye Exam for New Contact Lenses: What to Expect
Contact lenses offer many benefits, like an uninterrupted field of vision and clearer vision without the use of eyeglasses, making them a popular choice for many people's vision correction needs.
Although contact lenses serve the same purpose as eyeglasses, the eye exam process for contact lenses is slightly different. Today, Drs. Gordon and Wildon Wong take a moment to explain what to expect during an eye exam for new contact lenses at our practice serving Del Mar, CA, and La Jolla, CA.
The Eye Exam Process for New Contact Lenses
When deciding to wear contact lenses for vision correction, it's important to understand that the eye exam process is a little different than an eye exam for eyeglasses.
With contact lenses, we must consider the surface of the eye. But before the surface of the eye is evaluated, a comprehensive eye exam is generally performed. Both the comprehensive eye exam and the eye assessment portions of the contact lens eye exam are necessary to create the proper prescription. Both portions are described in more detail below.
Comprehensive Eye Exam
During a comprehensive eye exam, our patients should expect to undergo a series of tests to evaluate eye health and vision.
Tests are generally performed to look for signs of glaucoma or other eye health issues. The eyes may also be dilated to better assess eye health, and the fluid pressure within the eyes may be checked. And, of course, vision will be tested to determine the proper prescription strength.
If the eyes are deemed healthy, the next step in the contact lens exam process can be performed.
Eye Assessment for Contact Lenses
After vision and eye health is evaluated, the eyes must be assessed to ensure the contact lenses will fit properly. Proper fit is important not just for comfort, but for vision, as the contact lens is in contact with the surface of the eye in order to correct vision problems.
Measurements are taken of each cornea, the clear surface structure of the eye that covers the iris and pupil. The measurements are used to determine the necessary curvature of each contact lens, along with the diameter and the amount of vision correction needed.
Choosing a Contact Lens Type
After the comprehensive eye exam and eye measurements are taken, we can prescribe contact lenses that will correct vision and feel comfortable.
Once the prescription is set, patients will need to decide what kind of contact lenses they would like. Depending on the needs and wants of each patient, some may choose extended wear lenses, disposable lenses, or even colored lenses.
In most cases, a pair of trial contacts can be provided to patients to wear for several days to make sure they have the proper fit and the right prescription. During this trial period, patients can also see how they adjust to wearing contacts.
Finally, a follow-up exam should be scheduled after about a week of wearing the trial contacts. During this exam, any issues that may have arisen during the trial period can be evaluated and adjustments may be made to the contacts or the prescription.
Are Contact Lenses Right for You?
If you have vision problems but don't want to wear eyeglasses, contact lenses may be right for you. To find out if you're a candidate, please call (858) 454-4699 to schedule a consultation at our La Jolla or Del Mar offices.