Anyone who has been prescribed to wear eyeglasses will tell you that it will take some getting used to before you reach the point where you’d hardly even notice that you’re wearing eyeglasses. Some people, however, immediately visit their LA optometry practitioner to get a prescription or fitting for contact lenses instead. Many patients prefer wearing contacts either for aesthetic reasons or simply because they don’t want to be inconvenienced by wearing eyeglasses. This is true especially for those whose jobs involve a lot of physical movement such as fitness instructors or those who work in the fashion industry as ramp models.
Regardless of their reasons, the fact remains that many people still prefer wearing contacts. Nowadays, people who wear contacts may even choose to wear colored prescription contacts which serve the double function of correcting your vision and giving you a different look. If you’re thinking of switching from glasses to contacts, or you have been prescribed by your eye doctor to wear corrective lenses, you will be required to visit an optometrist to have your eyes examined and measured during a contact lens fitting.
What to Expect
When you go in for a contact lens fitting, the first thing your LA optometry practitioner will do is take measurements of the curvature of the front surface of your eyes. Optometrists use a keratometer to measure the small area of the cornea’s apex, but they may also provide additional measurements to cover the curvature of your eye’s entire front surface. Next, the optometrist will examine your eye’s tear film and/or ask you if you experience dryness in your eyes and how often.
This helps the optometrist determine which types of contacts are suitable for your eyes. There are special lenses designed specifically for those experiencing eye dryness. In rare cases where the eyes are too dry, you may not get a prescription for contacts because they might cause damage to your cornea and further affect your vision. The optometrist may also give specific instructions on how you wear contacts, especially if the doctor finds it unsuitable for you to wear them for an extended period.
After the examination and measurements, the eye doctor will then apply trial lenses to see how well they fit your eyes. You may be asked to wait 10-15 minutes to allow the contacts to “settle” before the optometrist checks how they fit. A biomicroscope will be used to examine how the contacts fit your eyes and how they move when you blink. Some contacts settle in just fine when you first wear them, but can tighten up after a few hours or days. This is why the biomicroscope examination process is also done when you go in for follow-up contact lens fitting visits – to ensure that the lenses still continue to fit you and do not have negative affects on your cornea.
If you’re planning on getting contacts or switching from glasses to contact lenses, you should find a qualified LA optometry practitioner who has years of experience doing contact lens fitting and other eyecare services and treatments.