What Happens During a Contact Lens Exam?

If you decide to get contact lenses, you need to schedule a contact lens exam. It will help determine if you are an ideal candidate for the lenses. It differs from a regular eye exam in that it includes specialized tests required for the lens prescription.

Apart from determining your candidacy, testing includes taking eye measurements that help ensure optimal prescription. If contact lenses fail to fit, the patient may experience discomfort, blurry vision, infection, or corneal abrasion.


Standard Eye Exam

A contact lens exam begins with an eye exam where the optometrist asks about your lifestyle and medical history. To determine the best lenses, the doctor will consider your profession, hobbies, and general health. You will learn about the various contact lenses available, and the doctor will determine the refractive error and prescription.

Cover tests will analyze how the eyes work together, and a slit lamp exam will check eye health. An eye pressure test will check for glaucoma, and eye dilation will help examine the retina.


Corneal Measurement Test

The doctor will use a keratometer to measure the cornea curvature and size. The cornea is the clear part of the eye. A corneal topographer can analyze how the eye reflects light, which gives precise cornea measurements.

If the optometrist requires more details about your eyes, wavefront measurements are taken. It is essential if you have astigmatism or cornea irregularities, which can be treated using toric or gas-permeable contact lenses.


Measuring the Pupil and Iris

For comfort and perfect vision, contact lenses must fit correctly. Everyone’s eyes are different in size and shape, so lenses suitable for one patient may not fit the next. The doctor will measure the pupil and iris to determine the best contact lens fit.

The doctor may use an automated device or a ruler to measure the vertical and horizontal diameter. The best contact lenses should fit perfectly while blending in with the eye lens for a natural look.


Tear Film Evaluation

When the eyes fail to produce enough tears for proper lubrication, they become red, itchy, and irritated. The dryness can damage the eye surface, which can cause an infection. Placing a strip of paper under the lower eyelid or using special eyedrops can help determine tear production. Tear film evaluation can determine if the eyes are prone to dryness. The doctor can recommend specialized lenses to deal with the condition.


Contact Lens Fitting

After taking the necessary measurements, the doctor will insert trial lenses to assess fit and comfort. You will wear the lenses for several minutes, allowing them to interact with your corneal shape and tears. Your optometrist will examine the comfort and appearance of the lenses and assess your visual acuity. You may require several trial lenses to find the most appropriate ones. It is especially true if you need specialized lenses,

After determining the best contact lenses for you, they will give you information and instructions on lens use. You will learn how to insert and remove the lenses, proper handling, and care. You will receive trial lenses for one week until the next appointment. During the follow-up evaluation, the doctor will monitor your eyes and check how they adjust to the lenses.


For more information on what happens during a contact lens exam, contact TMS Eyecare at our Wichita or Arkansas City, Kansas offices. Call (316) 669-4760, (316) 686-7212, or (620) 442-2577 to book an appointment today.

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