Eye examinations for contact lens wearers
Prescribing contact lenses is a complicated process. Contact lenses must not only correct refractive errors, but must also fit without causing any injury to the surface of the eye. They must move on the surface of the eye and allow the lids to ride over them with each blink, without being uncomfortable. They must also not provoke any reaction from the eye or the immune system. Professional care and advice is essential.
Contact Lens Prescriptions
There are many steps involved in arriving at a prescription for contact lenses. After assessing the health of the eyes and measuring any refractive error that is present, the optometrist will discuss the various types of contact lenses with the patient, as well as the patient’s visual needs, lifestyle and other factors that may influence the decision on what type of lenses to prescribe. Some additional measurements will need to be taken, including measuring the curvature of the front surface of the eye.
A trial lens will then be placed on the eye, so that the optometrist can assess the fit of the lens. Several trial lenses may need to be used to arrive at the best possible fit. When this has been determined, a preliminary prescription can be made, and a pair of lenses ordered.
These preliminary lenses are then placed on the eyes, and the patient is instructed on how to put the lenses in and out of their eyes, as well as how to clean and maintain the lenses. The optometrist will usually reassess the lenses after they have been worn for a week or two, in order to make sure that the lenses are fitting and performing properly, and that the patient is not having any difficulties. It is sometimes necessary to alter the lens prescription at this point to solve any problems which may have arisen.
Contact lens wearers need to have regular eye examinations. Since a contact lens sits directly on the eye, it increases the risk of complications such as eye infections. Regular eye examinations allow any problems to be detected and corrected early, before they have had time to cause permanent damage. While serious complications of contact lens wear are rare, they can cause severe damage to the eyes and even blindness, so regular eye examinations are a good insurance policy.