Contact Lens Exams
A contact lens exam from Urban Optiques is very similar our standard eye exam, with a few exceptions. Contact lens exams include a few special tests to ensure that your contact lenses fit correctly, are comfortable and provide the proper clarity of vision. Below, we outline some of the differences between a regular eye exam and a contact lens exam and take you through the steps.
Contact Lens Exam Steps
Perform a Standard Eye Exam
The first step in your custom contact lens fitting and exam is to perform a thorough eye exam. This will include gathering and reviewing your health history and conducting standard eye exam tests and procedures like retinoscopy, refraction, cover tests, a slit lamp examination, a glaucoma test and dilation. A visual field examination may also be part of your eye exam. If you are a current contact lens wearer, the doctor will also examine your eyes to see if your contact lense use has changed the surface of your eye in any way. Once Dr. Michelle has completed and reviewed your exam results, she'll move on to the special contact lens testing portion of your fitting.
Discuss Your Contact Lens Preferences and Goals
Next, Dr. Michelle will discuss your preferences in contact lenses and find out more about your lifestyle and expectations for your contacts. This may include discussing whether you have an interest in cosmetic contact lenses to enhance or change your eye color, or are interested in options like daily disposable or overnight contact lenses. If you are a current wearing of contacts, she may discuss any comfort or vision issues that you may be encountering, as well as inquire about conditions like dry eyes. Finally, if you are over 40 years old, the doctor will likely discuss some of the age-related changes to your vision that you can expect and discuss options for correcting presbyopia (for example multifocul or bi-focal contact lenses.)
Conduct Eye Surface Measurements
The next step during your contact lens exam is to take precise measurements of your eye. This includes measurements of your eye's surface and curvature, as well as the size of your pupil and iris. These measurements are important for making sure that your contact lenses fit correctly, are comfortable and provide the proper leve of vision correction and clarity. Because contact lenses sit directly on the surface of your eye, Dr. Michelle will adjust your prescription to compensate for the differences between contact lenses and prescription eyeglass lenses.
Tear Film Evaluation
The doctor may also choose to perform a Tear Film evaluation -- especially if you suffer from dry eyes. This test will determine whether you produce a sufficient tear film to support contact lenses. This test can be performed with a fluorescein dye or paper strip, which measures the amount of tear film on the surface of your eye. If tear film is insufficient or if you experience chronic dry eyes, contacts may not be the best option for you. On the other hand, some people with dry eyes find success with newer contact lenses made from materials like silicone hydrogel. Dr. Michelle will discuss all of these options with you if tear film is an issue.
Fit You With Trial Contact Lenses
The final step is to fit you with a pair of trial contact lenses and conduct a series of examinations to ensure proper fit and prescription. The doctor will also examine your eyes with the trial lenses in to observe the alignment and movement of the contact lens on the surface of your eye. If everything checks out and the contact lenses are comfortable and provide the necessary vision correction, the doctor will write you a prescription for your contact lenses. The prescription will include designate contact lens power, shape (base curve), and diameter. The next step during your contact lens exam is to take precise measurements of your eye. You will typically be given a pair of trial lenses for you to wear for a week and the doctor will schedule a short, follow-up contact lens eye exam within a two weeks to evaluate how they are working for you.
The Importance of Contact Lens Re-Checks
Because contact lenses are considered medical devices and actually sit on the surface of your eye, it's important to conduct a follow-up exam to evaluate how the lenses are working for you, their comfort and to examine the eye to make sure the lens is not causing abrasion or damage. Once this re-check is completed, the doctor will order you a set of non-trial lenses.