For many people with vision issues, contact lenses are a great tool for improving their sight. They are a perfect solution for patients who do not want to wear eyeglasses all the time or have LASIK surgery. However, the process for finding the right contact lenses can be confusing and intimidating to first time contacts patients. An especially intimidating part can be the contact lens exam. While this process is long, it is necessary to ensure you find the contact lenses which are perfect for you.
Do You Need Contact Lenses?
Many patients do not even know they may need contact lenses before they come in for their eye exam. You may need contact lenses if you have noticed changes in your vision, including nearsightedness, farsightedness, other blurry vision, poor night vision, or double vision. Other things you may want to think about is if while driving you have trouble judging distances or if your vision makes you nervous to do certain activities.
If any of these issues describe your personal feelings, be sure to see your optometrist and be prepared to discuss these issues with them. They may want to perform a contact lens exam, and while this may be scary, it is important for your eye health.
What to Expect During a Contact Lens Exam
The first thing to understand is that a contact lens exam is not the same as a comprehensive eye exam. A contact lens exam ensures your lenses will fit both eyes properly and that the health of your eyes is not harmed by the lenses. Another thing to note is that if you need contacts, you will need to have a contact lens exam in addition to a comprehensive eye exam.
During a contact lens exam, your optometrist will perform special tests to evaluate your vision and what your vision would be like with contacts. The first test will measure the surface of your eye in order to determine what type and size of contacts are perfect for you. Your optometrist may also perform a tear film evaluation to ensure you have enough tears to comfortably wear contacts.
After the optometrist tests the health of your eye, you will have the contact lens fitting. This is where your optometrist takes measurements of the front of your eye and selects trial lenses for you to test out. You will have to practice putting the lenses in and taking them out several times.
An important thing to note is that these tests need to be extremely accurate so the contacts fit properly and are the correct prescription, or else they can damage the health of your eyes. These tests can last a long time and your contact lens exam will not be a quick “in and out” appointment. Keep this in mind when scheduling your contact lens appointment, as you do not want to be in a rush. Leave yourself a lot of time just to be safe.
Even though this process is intimidating, it can be the first step towards having clearer vision. When you are able to see the world, you can live a happier, more comfortable life!