If you intend to get contact lenses at your next eye appointment, it’s important to know that you’ll need a contact lens prescription rather than a standard eyeglass prescription. You will need additional special tests that are not performed in routine eye exams for eyeglasses, so be sure to mention that you are interested in contacts when you are making your appointment so that we can schedule extra time for you.
Eyeglasses usually rest at about 12 millimeters from the eye. Because contact lenses are positioned directly on the tear film of the eye, their prescriptive power will be slightly less nearsighted than an eyeglass prescription. That is why it is important to be accurately measured during your eye exam.
It is helpful to obtain your contact lens prescription from the same doctor performing your eye exam. The reason for this is that, if you go to a different office for your contact lens prescription, the doctor there will likely perform at least a few of the same tests to ensure that your eyes are healthy enough to wear contacts before they can provide you with the prescription.
During your contact lens fitting, your doctor may ask you about your lifestyle and preferences regarding the contacts to choose the best type for you. Factors that may need consideration are whether you want to change your eye color with the lenses and if you’re interested in options such as daily disposables or overnight wear. Your doctor may also want to discuss the option of rigid gas permeable (RGP or GP) lenses, which can provide sharper vision than soft lenses.
Once your preferences and options have been discussed, your eye doctor will take measurements to ensure the most comfortable fit with your contact lenses. If the curvature of a contact lens is too flat or too steep to fit with your eye’s shape, you could experience some discomfort or even damage to the eye. In addition to cornea measurements, your eye doctor may also take pupil and iris measurements and a tear film evaluation.