Many people do not completely understand the importance of having contact lenses that have been properly measured by an eye doctor to fit their eyes correctly. Getting your contact lenses fitted is much more complicated than choosing eyeglasses. Contact lenses sit directly on the cornea of your eye, and not everyone s cornea is the same size. It is imperative that your contacts are designed to fit your eyes. Even if you already wear contact lenses but would like to switch brands, it s important to speak with your eye doctor before doing so.
Good eye health begins with regular eye exams. Even if you don t think your vision is bad and you aren t having trouble with blurry vision, maintaining healthy eyes through vision care is important. For more information, check out our learning center article titled The Importance of Vision Care Health. If you find that your vision has changed and you are a good candidate for contact lenses, your doctor will begin by assessing which type of contact lens is best for you. He or she will ask you questions about your lifestyle, age, health history and the wear schedule you prefer. A wear schedule refers to how often you want to change out your contact lenses, i.e. daily, weekly, bi-weekly or monthly. All of these factors help the doctor choose the right contact lens. After this, the doctor will ask you to try a couple different types of contact lenses. Being able to insert and remove your contact lenses is a huge factor in whether you will be able to wear them.
Next the doctor will measure your cornea. While it may be easy for you to shop for clothes since you know whether you wear a small, medium or large, the same is not true when shopping for contact lenses. Much like your feet need to be measured for shoes, your eyes need to be measured for correctly fitting lenses. If your eyes are too flat or steep, contact lenses can be uncomfortable and in some cases harmful to your eyes. Having the correct measurements ensures the comfort and long-term health of your eyes.
Your optometrist will measure your eyes' surface and curvature using a device called a keratometer. This machine takes pictures of your eye and analyzes light reflected from the cornea. You may be asked to rest your chin on a support while the instrument takes photographs of your eye. Based on these measurements, it calculates the curvature of your eye and the size of the contact lenses you will need. In addition, the size of your pupils and the diameter of your eyes must also be measured to ensure a good fit. This measurement may be taken using a ruler or an automated instrument.
Once all of these measurements have been taken, your eye doctor will give you a pair of trial lenses. You'll need to wear these lenses for at least 15 minutes so that the doctor can assess and evaluate how well these lenses fit your eyes. This will also give you enough time to evaluate their comfort and clarity. After 15 minutes, the doctor will examine your eyes and evaluate how well the lenses fit. Depending on the outcome, your eye doctor may send you home with those lenses or give you another pair to try.
Some fittings take two visits, so don't be alarmed if this happens to you. The most important thing is making sure that you have the correct type of contact lenses and they feel comfortable. There is a large selection of contact lenses, and having an idea of what you would like helps the doctor eliminate options and move your appointment along. Visit our Contact Lens site for a complete list of the top online contact lens stores. You will be amazed at what you can learn!
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