Q: What's the difference between and eye exam and a contact lens assessment?
A regular eye exam is an important part of caring for your overall health whether you need glasses or not. By examining your eyes, your family eye doctor can check for signs of serious conditions like macular degeneration or glaucoma.
After a routine eye exam, you may receive an eyeglass prescription that includes the numbers necessary to manufacture your new glasses. However, if you want contact lenses, you will need a separate assessment as the testing for contact lenses is very different from that for glasses.
Contact Lens Assessment
At your contact lens appointment, you will undergo special tests to evaluate your eyes for contacts. As a Class II medical device, contact lenses work and affect your eyes very differently than glasses. Your corneal profile and curvature, tear film and visual acuity and eye dominance will all be evaluated to determine the best lens parameters and modality for you. The right contact lenses properly fitted can give you better, more natural vision when compared to glasses. This is because of the vertex distance, or the gap between eyeglass lenses and the front surface of the eye. A contact lens mimics the natural refraction of the human cornea.
Once you have the correct fit and parameters for contacts, you'll receive a diagnostic pair and wear them for a few days. Then, you'll need a follow-up appointment to assess and refine your vision with your new lenses.
Q: Could a contact lens get lost behind my eye?
Definitely not. There is a membrane that surrounds the eye called conjunctiva that completely seals the eye and prevents any objects from getting behind the eye.
Q: Are contact lenses expensive?
Not anymore. As contacts become more popular, the manufacturing efficiencies have reduced the cost. While the highest quality eyeglasses can cost well over $1,000, that same vision can be corrected by contacts for a fraction of the price. Over time, the cost of contact lenses approaches glasses, but the improved vision and lifestyle convenience more than makes up for it.
Q: What if I have astigmatism?
In 2017 there was a huge breakthrough in the correction of astigmatism, which was then expanded on in 2018. Current technology far surpasses previous generations of toric lenses that attempted to correct astigmatic errors of the eye. Expanded parameters, water gradient materials and wavefront design technology have combined to produce consistent, predictable vision for astigmatic patients.
Q: What if I wear progressives or bifocals?
In 2019, vision scientists achieved what was possibly the single most exciting development in the history of contact lenses. A new 3 zone progressive contact lens that also corrects astigmatism. In addition, the newly developed manufacturing technology allowed these lenses to be mass produced on a large scale unlike the custom made lenses of the past. This brought the possibility of 20/20 vision for millions of patients around the world that previously could not wear contacts.
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"Vision without execution is hallucination."