Do You Need an Exam for Contact Lenses?

Did you know that about 45 million people in the United States wear contact lenses? The rapidly evolving vision care technology has made this optical device a popular solution for issues related to lens correction. These include blurry vision and refractive errors like nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. 


Are you looking to switch from eyeglasses to contact lenses? If you want to wear contacts, your eye doctor will require a contact lens exam to ensure that the lenses fit both your eyes properly. It's also a way for them to guarantee that wearing contacts will not harm the health of your eyes. 


What to Expect During Your First Contact Lens Exam


Every contact lens exam starts with a doctor's appointment where they review your medical history and ask about your lifestyle. Each patient is unique, so there's no one-size-fits-all contact lens for everyone. Your eye doctor will take into account your general health, profession, and hobbies to determine which contacts are best for you. 


The first part of your contact lens exam includes a standard eye exam, which generally involves using letter boards and trying out different lens powers. During this time, your doctor will determine your lens prescription as well as refractive error. Then, they will perform cover tests to analyze how well your eyes team up or work together.


After this, your doctor will use a slit lamp to assess your eye health internally. Then, an eye pressure test follows. They will blast a puff of air into your eye to see if you have glaucoma. Your doctor will also perform pupil dilation to determine how your retinas are functioning. Afterward, they will proceed with contact lens fitting. The process usually involves taking measurements of your cornea, pupil, and iris. 


Your doctor will also conduct a tear film evaluation to see whether your eyes are prone to dryness. One of the main challenges some contact lens wearers face is a dry eye disease. If you're one of those whose eyes can't produce enough moisture, you may suffer from red, irritated eyes. Without treatment, the dryness may damage the surface of your eyes, which may lead to infection. If you have mild dry eyes, your doctor may recommend soft disposable contact lenses with moisture technology. If your dry eyes are severe, though, your doctor may advise against contact lens wear. 


Regular Eye Exam Vs. Contact Lens Exam


Whether you're experiencing vision problems or not, you must visit your eye doctor once a year or as often as necessary to ensure optimal vision. Nevertheless, bear in mind that a regular eye exam is different from a contact lens exam. The former aims to assess how clearly you can see. On the other hand, the latter is used so your doctor will know which type of contact lens is suitable for your vision and aesthetic needs. 


Thanks to advancements in contact lens technology, there are now contact lenses for everyone. Contacts are not only great for vision correction, but they can also complement your look. They are even great for sports and special occasions. For more on exams for contact lenses, visit Claremore Eye Associates in Claremore, Oklahoma. Call (918) 233-3319 to schedule an appointment today.

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