An eye exam is not the same as a contact lens exam.
Do you need a contact lens exam or an eye exam? You need both. Let’s take a look at the importance of the contact lens exam in conjunction with general eye care.
What Is a Contact Lens Exam?
Because every patient is different, and every eye is different, it’s vital that, as a contact lens wearer, you have a contact lens exam annually. Not only does it ensure the right fit and the right prescription for your lenses, but your doctor will check the health and condition of your eyes as well.
Why Is a Contact Lens Exam Important?
Contact lenses get their name from the contact they make with your eye tissue. With such contact comes the risk of injury or damage. Because they sit on the surface of your eyes, they can cause damage or wear over time to your cornea and the eye tissue. Most eye damage from contact lenses come from misuse, improper cleaning techniques, or wearing them for an extended period. People who experience severe eye damage could end up with infections or eye pain. Although these types of issues are rare, these are typical of the cases where severe eye damage occurred.
It’s not just the risk of injury that should get you to your annual contact lens exam. Our eyes change over time and adjusting the size and fit can make sure your vision stays clear, and your eyes stay healthy.
What Can I Expect from a Contact Lens Exam?
During your comprehensive eye exam, your doctor will test your vision to see if you need corrective eyewear. They’ll also check the health of your eyes to make sure you don’t have any underlying issues. During the contact lens exam, your doctor will make sure your eyes are in good shape to either continue or to start wearing lenses We also create a topographical map of your cornea. This helps us ensure the eye tissue is healthy enough for contact lenses.
If you require correction related to aging there are options they’ll discuss at this time as well. Aging affects not only close-up vision but distance vision as well. The options for these needs include
a multifocal contact lenses, or monovision lenses. This is a technique that corrects one eye for distance and one for near vision .
Will I Get Measured for Contacts?
Contact lenses are not one size fits all. It’s vital that your doctor takes correct measurements for your contact fitting. Your doctor will use an instrument called an auto keratometer to measure your eyes’ surface and curvature. This is crucial to get the sizing right for your lenses.
In addition to the keratometer measurements, we use a digital measuring tool called a corneal topographer to help size your eyes for contacts.
This instrument reflects light off your eye to measures your entire cornea and gathers measurements on all of the surface characteristics. If the surface of your eye is irregular, or if you have astigmatism, you might need special lenses shaped to balance out distortions so your vision with the lenses is sharper.
Once they take your measurements and assess your vision, we will write a prescription for contact lenses that you can fill as often as needed. You’ll need to make regular appointments with us to ensure your lenses are the right strength, that they fit correctly, and that your eyes stay healthy.
Contact lenses are an excellent option for people who need corrective lenses but who don’t want to deal with the hassle of glasses. Contact our team at Eyes of NM today to make an appointment for your eye exam and contact lens exam and get on the path to better vision.