Do You NEED a Contact Lens Exam to Get Contacts?

Eye Examination

Whether you’re a glasses veteran and you’re ready to make a change or you just found out that you need a vision correcting device, contact lenses can be a convenient solution for many people. Thanks to advancements in technology, contact lenses are more accessible than ever, offering millions of people pristine vision without the hassle of wearing glasses. However, our eyes are sensitive and require expert care when making any adjustments, which is why you need to visit a specialist who can conduct a contact lens exam. 

A Comprehensive Eye Exam vs a Contact Lens Exam 

If you’ve considered trying contact lenses before, you’ve probably wondered why your optometrist suggested a contact lens exam. Why can’t they just use the results from your last eye exam? The truth is that comprehensive eye exams and contact lens exams are very different processes that can both provide your eye doctor with valuable information about the health of your vision. While a routine exam might check for fluid pressure, signs of glaucoma, and ensure your vision sharpness, your optometrist will still need to perform an additional exam if you’re thinking about making the switch to contacts. During eye exams for contact lenses, your eye doctor will perform a series of tests to evaluate the quality of your sight with a variety of lens shapes, sizes, and types to find your perfect fit. 

Contact Lens Exam Process

After your optometrist determines that contacts are a viable option for you, the next step is to discuss the type of lens that will suit your lifestyle. For example, there are lenses for altering your eye colors, lenses that can be used once daily then disposed, or ones you can wear to sleep. With this information, the doctor will take measurements of your eyes to determine the appropriate fit to make sure your vision is clear without any underlying discomfort. Additionally, a tear film evaluation might be in order if you’re prone to dry or itchy eyes. The tear film evaluation will determine whether or not your eyes are able to produce an adequate amount of moisture to support contact lenses.  

Contact Lens Fitting 

Before you can get your everyday contacts, your doctor will fit you with a trial pair of lenses for about a week. At the end of the trial period, you will meet with your optometrist for a follow-up exam where you can eliminate any potential complications, such as improper fitting or an incorrect prescription. Once you have determined that you are able to comfortably wear your contact lenses and they meet your vision standards, your doctor can order an extended supply of lenses. 

Proper Wear and Care

Contact lenses should be treated like any other medical device and maintained to ensure the health of the user. To protect your vision and avoid causing unnecessary damage to your eyes, it is essential to take note of the type of contact lenses you have and how frequently they can be worn before they need to be replaced. While some lenses are disposable, others can be taken out, cleaned, and disinfected before going to sleep. There are also contacts available that can be worn day and night for a week at a time, but some doctors do not recommend these types of lenses because they can increase the likelihood of getting an eye infection. With proper care, cleaning, and storing practices, you can get the most benefit out of your contact lenses. 

If you’re thinking about making the switch to contact lenses or if you’re looking to update your existing contact prescription, our advanced team of specialists at Eyelux Optometry is here to help. With our individualized services, you can achieve the best vision of your life.