Many people who wear glasses are interested in contact lenses for their comfort, appearance and ease of use. Most prescriptions can be fit for contact lenses, and most eyes can accommodate them comfortably. Lenses are available in a wide variety of materials and styles, including colored lenses, moisturizing lenses and special lenses for astigmatism.
The first step is to schedule a comprehensive eye exam. Your prescription will be verified and you will undergo a contact lens fitting session. This takes approximately 60-90 minutes to compete and can be done the same day.
If you are interested in contact lenses, please inform the receptionist when you schedule your appointment.
Before any patient can be fitted for contact lenses they must first undergo a comprehensive eye exam. A technician will perform preliminary testing, then the Optometrist will examine your eyes.
If desired, you may also obtain a prescription for corrective glasses at this time. In addition to verifying your prescription, this exam is important because the Optometrist will check the surface of the eye to ensure it is healthy and amenable for contact lens wear.
A contact lens specialist will consult with you to discuss your lifestyle and regular activities that may influence your contact wear. He or she will also discuss your preferences regarding disposable or multi-use lenses, hard or soft lenses and the material and brand you prefer. With so many choices, we want to make sure you find a lens that suits your life as well as your eyes.
People with difficult vision problems have more options than ever. Toric lenses are available for patients with astigmatism, and those who need bifocals or have progressive vision loss may enjoy Monovision or Multifocal lenses. Our in-house specialist can also fit patients who need a high power or who have steep curves. With so many choices and styles, there is a contact lens for almost everyone.
A prescription tells the strength of lens you will need, but many other factors determine whether a contact lens is right for you. Eyes come in many shapes and sizes, and there are a wide variety of lenses available to suit each one. In addition to correcting your vision, you want a lens to sit comfortably on your eye.
Your Optometrist can measure the front surface of the eye to help you determine which design and size will suit you best.
Most contact lens patients will receive a set of trial lenses that they can evaluate over the course of several days, although some prescriptions require a custom lens. After you have inserted a trial lens your contact lens fitting specialist will examine your eye under the slit lamp. He or she will evaluate the position of the lens and examine its movement as you blink and move your eye.
If the lens seems suitable, you will be given about a week’s supply to try at home before you make your final selection. If you are a first time contact wearer, you will be taught how to insert and remove the lenses. You will also learn how to care for your new lenses to preserve their integrity and the health of your eyes.
Most patients become accustomed to their lenses very quickly and are able to insert, remove and care for them easily.
Not all contact lenses are designed for overnight wear. Under normal circumstances removing your lenses allows your cornea to breath and receive nourishment through the eyelid. Sleeping with your lenses in can make your eyes dry and irritated. It can also cause inflammation and infection.
However, newer silicone hydrogel lenses allow much more oxygen to your eye with improved comfort and have been approved for up to 30 nights of continuous wear. You should discuss which type of contact lens is best for you with your Eye Care Centre optometrist or contact lens technician.
If you suffer a scratch, puncture, cut or burn to your eye (either heat, UV or chemical), you should see your Optometrist right away. Until then, do not put a contact lens into your eye. Even if you have only a minor scratch, putting a lens in can irritate an already damaged cornea and increase the risk of infection.
It is wise to always have a pair of glasses in your current prescription on hand for emergencies.
After your contact lens fitting, you will be sent home with a trial supply of lenses and a follow-up visit will be scheduled. It is important that you return for this visit so your Optometrist can ensure the lenses still fit properly and that your eyes are adapting well to the new lenses.
He or she may insert a dye to determine how the lenses are moving on the surface of the eye and to ensure they are not damaging your cornea or drying your eyes. If he or she suspects a problem, you will be fit with a new pair of another type or material. Dry eyes may not require new lenses, but may be treated with topical eye drops that are specially designed for contact users.
Eyes change quickly, and vision and eye health problems can develop in only months. Schedule a yearly check up for your eyes to evaluate for new problems or changes in vision. You’ll find out whether your prescription has changed and can discuss whether your current brand of contacts is still the right choice for you.
Your Optometrist will provide you with a thorough tutorial when you come for a contact lens fitting. However, here are a few tips for keeping your lenses and eyes sanitary and safe.