Eye Exams for Contact Lenses
For years, more and more people have been switching to contact lenses. Contact lens technology has evolved rapidly and with today's variety of contact lenses, there are lenses for just about everyone. Switching from eyeglasses to contact lenses begins with an eye exam for contact lenses. After the contact lens exam comes a separate contact lens fitting session.
A Complete Eye Exam Comes First
Before being fit with contact lenses, a thorough eye exam for contact lenses is performed. In this examination, your optometrist determines your prescription for corrective lenses (just a glasses prescription at this point) and checks for any eye health problems or other issues that may interfere with successful contact lens wear. If everything looks good during your eye exam, the next step is a contact lens consultation and fitting.
What to expect during a contact lens fitting
With so many contact lens choices, the first part of the consultation is a discussion with your eye doctor about your lifestyle and preferences regarding contact lenses. One choice that today's contact lenses allow you to make is whether you want to change your eye color. Different eye colors are available with contact lenses. Other options include whether you want contact lenses that are designed to be replaced daily or those which can be worn for more extended periods. Most people choose soft contact lenses for their ease and comfort. However, there are also advantages of hard or what are called rigid gas permeable (GP) lenses. All the specifics will be discussed prior to your contact lens fitting.
Dr. Kurt Russell Answers Questions About Wearing Contact Lenses
Q: If I need bifocal glasses, could I still wear contact lenses?
A: In many cases, the answer is, “yes!” If you need correction for presbyopia, (loss of near focusing ability after the age of 40), but dislike the idea of bifocal eyeglasses, there may be several options available that can allow you to wear contact lenses successfully in order to reduce or possibly eliminate the need for reading glasses or bifocals.
Q: Do some people still wear gas permeable contact lenses?
A: Yes, but due to advancements in soft contact lens technology, gas permeable lenses aren’t as common as they used to be. However, for individuals who are unable to successfully wear soft contact lenses, GPs can be an option that offers the advantages of durability, clear vision, and high oxygen permeability.
Q: My previous eye doctor told me that my eyes were hard to fit with contact lenses. Does this ever happen?
A: Yes, but challenges such as high amounts of irregular astigmatism, presbyopia, and keratoconus needn’t be a barrier to contact lens wear, but they do typically require more doctor time and office visits. However, it is important to remember that some patients are not able to successfully wear contact lenses for a variety of reasons. Although rare, this does happen from time to time.
Q: What is orthokeratology?
A: Ortho-K is the non-surgical process of reshaping the surface of the cornea with specially designed contact lenses. This reshaping of the cornea occurs overnight while you sleep. This then allows you to see clearly throughout the day without wearing the lenses. It may sound like magic, but it’s a safe time-tested reality for the right candidate.
Q: I have astigmatism, can I wear contact lenses:
A: Yes, in most cases even patients with high amounts of corneal astigmatism can often times successfully wear contact lenses.