If you need prescription lenses to see clearly, but you aren’t keen on wearing glasses or there will be times where you need to see but glasses will be inconvenient, you may wish to consider contact lenses. Contact lenses are an extremely effective tool for correcting vision problems caused by refractive eye errors. Sitting directly on the surface of the eye, they give patients greater flexibility and versatility when it comes to staying in control of their vision. However, because they sit on rather than in front of the eyes, patients who choose them to need to undergo a specific appointment called a contact lens fitting. There are various types of contact lenses and this appointment will be used to ensure that you get the right variety and that they fit comfortably and are effective at correcting your vision.
Here’s what you need to know about the process of a contact lens fitting.
The first part of your appointment will include a discussion with your contact lens provider which will be used for them to understand more about you and your lifestyle, your job and your current health, such as whether you have any allergies – information that will help them to decide which contact lenses are likely to be the most suitable for you.
You will also be asked about how often you want to change your contact lenses, and if you are prepared to clean and care for them. This will enable your provider to decide whether daily disposable contact lenses, monthlies, or longer-lasting contact lenses. There’s nothing to stop you from switching in the future though if you decide to.
Your contact lens provider will need to take a number of measurements in order to recommend the most suitable contact lenses for you. This is because contacts come in a variety of different sizes and curvatures, and your provider will need to be sure that you are given a style that is both comfortable to wear and stable on the eye. The measurements will be taken either using a handheld instrument called a keratometer, or you will undergo laser mapping which uses laser technology to create a comprehensive map of the surface of your eyes.
In addition to measuring your eye, your contact lens provider will also want to assess your tear film production. Our contact lenses float on a thin layer of tear film that coats the surface of the eyes. Without sufficient tear film, the contact lenses can become very uncomfortable to wear. Fortunately, some contact lenses are better suited to patients with low levels of tear film production. This evaluation is a simple process in which you will have a tiny piece of paper placed on your lower eyelid and your contact lens provider will see how long it takes to moisten.
Many people are concerned that their contact lens fitting will be painful. However, this isn’t the case at all. You may experience a small amount of discomfort if you try a pair of contact lenses that aren’t right for you, and the sensation of wearing contact lenses may be a little strange at first if you aren’t used to it. However, there should be no point at which you are in any pain.
Once your contact lens provider has decided which lenses they think will be most suited to you, you will be given a generic pair to try on. These won’t have your prescription, so you won’t be able to see clearly, but you will be able to see if you can handle the contacts ok and if they feel comfortable and secure in your eyes. You will be asked to blink and move your eyes around, and the position of your contact lenses will be assessed before and after. If your contact lens provider is happy with them, your prescription lenses will then be ordered. It may be necessary to try on several varieties to find the one that works best for you.
If you would like more information about what to expect from a contact lens fitting, don’t hesitate to get in contact with our eye care specialists in Silverthorne, CO.