Fitting contact lenses requires the doctor to perform additional tests and procedures and can include additional office visits to see the doctor. It is for these reasons that contact lens fittings have additional fees.
If you are requesting contact lenses for the first time, the doctor will evaluate whether or not you are a good candidate for wearing contact lenses. You will be interviewed to determine your individual and personal vision goals. You may only want to wear contacts for occasionally for specific activities, or perhaps you’d like to wear them daily for reading and close-up tasks. Because there are so many lens choices, our doctors will listen closely to your goals and choose the lens that best suits your lifestyle.
Next, the doctor performs several tests to evaluate your tear film, the size and shape of your eye, as well as determining the prescription of the contact lenses. Because the lens rests on the surface of your eye instead of several millimeters in front of it like an eye glass lens the prescription is often slightly different than your glasses prescription.
After these tests and evaluations the doctor will choose actual diagnostic contact lenses and place them on your eyes. Another slit lamp evaluation will be performed to determine if the lens fits correctly and a visual acuity test will be performed to ensure the contact lens is correcting your vision.
If you’ve never worn contact lenses, you will be taught the proper way to insert, remove and disinfect them. You will then be allowed to wear the contact lenses for a week or two before returning for a follow-up visit. At the follow-up visit, the doctor will reassess the contact lenses and solve potential problems. Either a new lens will be tried or the prescription will be finalized. If your vision and comfort is not satisfactory, additional follow up visits may be ordered. Some types of lenses, such as toric lenses for correcting astigmatism or multifocal lenses for correcting presbyopia, tend to take more time to achieve a perfect fit.
Even if you have worn contact lenses for many years, an annual contact lens evaluation is essential to maintain good eye and corneal health.
Fitting contact lenses is both a science and art that requires a certain level of expertise. The additional time, tests and follow up visits are not usually part of a regular comprehensive eye health and vision examination, but are included in the contact lens fitting fee.