Today there are more convenient and healthy contact lens choices than ever before. Whatever your vision challenge, it can probably be met with an array of specialty contact lenses for individual vision needs.
A comprehensive eye exam comes first
Before being fit with contact lenses, a comprehensive eye exam is performed. In this exam, your eye doctor 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 all looks good during your eye exam, the next step is a contact lens consultation and fitting.
What to expect during a contact lens fitting
The first step in a contact lens fitting is a consideration of your lifestyle and your preferences regarding contact lenses, such as whether you might want to change your eye color with color contact lenses or if you’re interested in options such as daily disposables.
If you are over age 40 and need bifocals, your eye doctor will discuss ways to deal with this need, including multifocal contact lenses and monovision (a prescribing technique where one contact lens corrects your distance vision and the other lens corrects your near vision).
Trial lenses will be used to verify the contact lens selection. You will be given instructions on how insert and remove your lenses, as well as how to properly care for your lenses and how long to wear them. Next, yourdoctor will use the slit lamp to evaluate the position and movement of the lenses as you blink and look in different directions, and ensure that you are seeing clearly through your lenses. You will also be asked how the lenses feel.
Follow-up visits confirm the fit and safety
Your contact lens fitting will involve a number of follow-up visits so your doctor can confirm the lenses are fitting your eyes properly and that your eyes are able to tolerate contact lens wear. A dye may be used to see if the lenses are causing damage to your cornea or making your eyes become too dry.
Often, your doctor will be able to see warning signs before you are aware a problem with your contact lens wear is developing. If such warning signs are evident in your follow-up visits, a number of things may be recommended, including trying a different lens or lens material, using a different lens care method, or adjusting your contact lens wearing time. In occasional cases, it may be necessary to discontinue contact lens wear altogether.
Routine contact lens exams
Regardless of how often or how long you wear your contact lenses, your eyes should be examined at least once a year to make sure your eyes are continuing to tolerate contact lens wear and show no signs of ill effects from the lenses.