Wearing contact lenses are a great alternative to eyeglasses. However, many people think that contacts are one lens fits everyone kind of deal. However, this is not true. There are many different elements which are assessed and accounted for when having a proper contact fitting for contact lenses. This is because contact lenses are medical devices which can impact eye health and vision. Therefor, it is important to have a proper fitting by an optometrist or licensed contact lens optician when looking to wear lenses. When having a proper fitting, your eye care professional will go through many important steps. This will ensure you have a lens suited for your eyes and vision.
Assessment Of Your Eyeglass Prescription
When having a contact fitting for contact lenses, the first component that will be assessed is your eyeglass prescription. In most cases, an eyeglass prescription will be different from a contact lens prescription. There is a number of different reasons for this difference. When having your vision evaluated, your eye doctor will determine what prescription is needed for eyeglass lenses. This prescription is typically assessed, by looking through lenses that sit 12-14mm away from the eyes. Because contacts sit directly against the cornea of the eyes, your eyeglass prescription may be adjusted to allow for the difference in distance. This typically happens for patients with prescriptions higher than + or – 4 Diopters of correction. Other elements of your glasses prescription, such as needing astigmatism or reading correction, will also factor into what lenses may be selected for you to trial.
Evaluation Of Lifestyle, Activities, And Visual Needs
How you intend to use your contact lenses, as well as what you will use your lenses for, is another important component that your eye care professional will consider when selecting contact lenses. Lenses come in many different brands, materials, designs, and prescriptions. By identifying how you intend to use your contacts along with your prescription, your eye care practitioner will be able to determine what lenses may work as an option for you. Because lens brands have limitations to prescription powers and designs, not all lenses work for all patients.
After having you try on the newly selected lenses, your eye care professional will evaluate your vision with the lenses on your eyes. After assessing how well you see with the new lenses, you may have to have further adjustments to the prescription. Lens design and how the contacts fit and interact with your eyes can also play a role in how well you see. Also, taking into account your lifestyle and how you intend to use your contacts, your contact practitioner will determine whether the lens selected is suitable for your prescription and visual needs.
Assessment Of How The Contact Lenses Fits And Interact With Your Eyes
After assessing vision, your contact lenses will be checked for fit. It is very important to have the fit of the lenses on the eyes evaluated. This is because a poor fitting lens can alter vision and eye health. The fit is often based on the curvature of your eyes, how the lens moves, how the lens sits on the cornea and how the lens interacts with your eyelids. After thoroughly evaluating these components, your eye care practitioner will determine whether the lens is safe for you to take and trial outside of the clinic.
After selecting a lens that is appropriate, most eye care practitioners will let you trial the lenses before returning to the office for a follow up appointment. This trial allows you to assess how the lenses work in your environment. It also enables you to assess how the lenses perform while doing different tasks that you intend to wear the contacts for. By trialing lenses in your own setting, you are better able to identify problems that you may experience while wearing the contacts.
Follow Up Assessment
At the follow up appointment, any questions or concerns that you may have about the contacts will be addressed. The lens practitioner will also double check your vision as well as lens fit and eye health. If everything looks good, and both you and the eye care practitioner are happy with the selected lenses, you can then purchase your contact lens supply. If for some reason, it is advised that you trial a different contact lens prescription, brand, or design, the fitting process starts over again.
Follow Up Care
Over time, natural changes in the eyes can change how your contact lenses fit. Because poorly fitting contacts can impact eye health, it is important to have your eyes examined, as well as the fit of your contact lenses re-evaluated routinely. To maintain healthy eyes and vision, at the Glenmore Landing Vision Center, it is our recommendation that patients wearing contact lenses have routine eye exams while wearing contact lenses.
By being fit with contact lenses by an eye care practitioner that follows the steps outlined above, you can increase the success you will have with your lenses, and enjoy healthy eyes and vision for years to come.
Article Written By: Trina Vanaalst