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The Difference Between a Contact Exam and an Eye Exam

POSTED ON June 5, 2009

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How is a Contact Exam Different from an Eye Exam? Interested in trying contact lenses for the first time? If you want to see if contacts are right for you, then scheduling a contact lens fitting, also called a contact lens exam, is the first step. An eye exam checks the overall health of your eyes, visual acuity, refractive status (nearsighted, farsighted, and/or astigmatism), and visual function. A contact lens exam involves additional measurements, evaluation of the lens on the eye to ...

How is a Contact Exam Different from an Eye Exam?

Interested in trying contact lenses for the first time? If you want to see if contacts are right for you, then scheduling a contact lens fitting, also called a contact lens exam, is the first step. An eye exam checks the overall health of your eyes, visual acuity, refractive status (nearsighted, farsighted, and/or astigmatism), and visual function. A contact lens exam involves additional measurements, evaluation of the lens on the eye to ensure a proper fit, and assessment of corneal health under the lens. It is required for any contact wearer to keep their contact prescription up to date. Contacts are an FDA regulated medical device and can cause loss of vision if lenses are improperly fit or abused.

Why can’t I use my normal glasses prescription?

Unlike eyeglasses, contact lenses sit directly on your eyes, which is one of many reasons a contact lens fitting is needed in addition to a comprehensive eye exam. Contact lens fittings involve detailed measurements of your eye for an optometrist to properly fit you with the right size lens and the right prescription.

Your contact lens prescription may not be the same as your eyeglasses prescription; in fact, it isn’t for most people. Since contacts sit on the surface of your eyes whereas glasses are perched on the face and are further away from the eyes, the power of the lens varies.

Without the proper exam and information, eye doctors cannot determine which premium contact lenses will help you see most clearly and be the most comfortable for you.

What Happens During A Contact Exam?

Contact Lens Consultation

If you’re trying out contacts for the first time, your eye doctor will go over which types of contact lenses are available to you and which would best suit your visual needs and lifestyle.

Eye Measurements

To properly fit you with the right lenses, your eye doctor takes a measurement of your cornea to check the curve and diameter that will match your lenses.

Tear Film Evaluation

The tear film is a thin fluid layer covering the surface of your eyes. The tear film is comprised of layers that keep the eye hydrated and protected from bacteria. Tear film evaluation assesses tear volume or quantity, as well as tear stability.

As soon as a contact lens is placed on the eye, the lens becomes bathed in the tear film. The ability of the tear film to maintain its integrity in the presence of the lens is crucial for comfortable contact lens wear.

Contact Lens Fitting

Your doctor will start you off with a trial pair of contacts and will assess the fit of the lens on your eye to see how it moves and functions. This will give you an opportunity to test out the comfort as well. Some contact prescriptions are trickier to fit and may take more than one trial or visit with your doctor. Others can be prescribed same day. If you are a first-time contact wearer, you will work with your doctor and their staff to learn how to care for your lenses and practice taking them in and out.

trying on contact lenses during contact exam

Order Contact Lenses

With your new contact prescription, you can order your contacts in-store or online at drtavel.com! Not only do we offer a wide variety of contact lenses and brands at the lowest price, but we also match or beat all major competitor prices, guaranteed.

 

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