Contact Lens Exam

Contact Lens Exam

If you’ve never worn contact lenses before, it can seem a bit intimidating. After all, you’re inserting something into your eye! Let’s ease your mind about the first step – your contact lens exam. This post will walk you through what’s involved in a contact lens exam and what you can expect every step of the way.

Your eye doctor will first determine your overall eye health and vision with a comprehensive eye exam.  The doctor will assess your cornea and tear film to make sure that contact lenses will not negatively affect your eye health.  They also will determine if you are someone that can touch your eyes.  This may sound silly, but if you can’t touch your eyes or don’t feel comfortable with something coming towards your eyes, you are not a good candidate for contacts. 

If contact lenses are appropriate for you, it’s time to talk about your contact lens preferences.  There are daily disposables, which means you wear the lenses once and throw them away.  There are also 2 week and monthly disposables, which means that you take them out every night and put them in a clean case with new solution, then throw them away at the proper time.  You and your doctor can discuss which modality is the healthiest option for you.  It is important to be aware that the manufacturer of the lens sets the lens replacement guidelines.  You may think that you can extend your wear time beyond their recommendations or sleep in your lenses, but this will cause damage to the front surface of your eyes and your eyes will start to reject the lens.  This will cause you to have to discontinue contact lens wear and in more severe cases can lead to blindness. 

Your doctor then will give you a set of lenses to use on a trial basis. Once inserted, your eye doctor will examine the lenses on your eyes to ensure a good fit. They will check the alignment and movement of the lenses on the surface of your eyes.  They will also check your visual acuity with the lenses in your eyes. 

The Licensed Optician will then take you into a private room so you can comfortably learn how to insert and remove your lenses.  They will also teach you how to properly clean and store your lenses. 

After you have demonstrated that you can properly insert and remove contacts on your own, the lenses will be given to you to try out at home.  In 1-2 weeks, we ask you to come back for a follow up called a contact lens check.  At that check, we ask you to come into the office wearing your lenses so we can check the vision and fit of the lenses on your eyes.  We will also ask you about your experience wearing the lenses.  If any modifications such as prescription change or brand change need to be made, that can be done at that time.  Your final contact lens prescription will likely be given to you after the first follow up, but in some cases, another follow up is required to make sure you have the right lens.