If you have decided to wear contact lenses, your eye doctor will advise you that you will need to have a contact lens fitting before you can get started. The reason for this is that contact lenses sit on the surface of the eyes, and as such, your provider will need to ensure that they fit securely and comfortably, as well as have the optimal position to improve your vision.
With a large range of types of contact lenses to choose from, a contact lens fitting is crucial to ensure that you get the perfect contact lenses for you.
As you’ve probably guessed, these contact lenses contain a single prescription and are ideal if you only need glasses for one type of vision. These are typically used to correct one’s distance vision, although sometimes one eye may be corrected for distance and the other for near (monovision contact lenses). They are available in different types, from soft, daily disposable contact lenses to longer-wear, rigid, gas-permeable types.
Bifocal contact lenses contain two individual prescriptions and work in the similar way as bifocal glasses. The distance prescription is located in the upper half of the lens, while the near prescription is on the lower half. They are typically recommended for people who suffer from presbyopia – a condition where age-related changes to the natural lens of the eye make it difficult for it to focus on nearby objects. This may cause you to hold objects further away from you to see them clearly.
Bifocal contact lenses come in rigid gas permeable materials, and when fit properly provide lenses that are comfortable for you. Your eye doctor will talk to you about what you want to achieve from wearing contact lenses and your lifestyle in order to make a recommendation as to both the material that would best suit you, as well as the length of wear lenses that will work best.
After you get your bifocal contact lenses, it may take you a little while to get used to your new vision. This is because there are two distinct zones of vision, and you’ll have to remember to look straight ahead to see clearly at a distance or look down to use the lower half of your lenses to see nearby objects. Nevertheless, most people who are suited to bifocal contacts have adjusted within around a week.
Multifocal contact lenses also contain multiple powers within the lens. However, unlike bifocals they usually contain three – one for near-vision, one for distance, and another for intermediate. The transition between the distances is also much more gradual, enabling for more comfortable viewing.
Multifocal varieties come in both soft lens and rigid, gas-permeable types. Since the switch between distances is more gradual, many patients find them easier to adjust to.
There are various elements of a contact lens fitting:
1. Your eye doctor will want to ask you about your lifestyle, such as your job, health, and recreational activities. This is important since your answers could affect which contact lenses are recommended for you.
2. Your eye doctor will want to understand how committed to your contact lenses you are and whether you are prepared to undertake proper care of them, or if you will find daily disposable lenses more convenient.
3. Your eye doctor will then carry out measurements to determine the size of the contact lens that will best suit you. This may be done using a tool called a keratometer, or laser technology will be used to create 3D topography of the surface of your eyes to measure and assess the corneal shape and curvature.
4. Tear film evaluation is an important part of contact lens fitting. Contact lenses rest on your tear film, but if you don’t have a healthy natural tear film, they may be uncomfortable and hard to insert/remove. Don’t worry – there are some specialty contact lenses that are designed specifically to overcome problems like these.
Once your contact lens provider has decided which lenses will be most appropriate, you’ll be given some contact lenses to try. The doctor will follow up with you usually in a week or two to make sure the contact lenses are working and fitting appropriately. Once a good fit and clear vision is achieved, the doctor will generate you contact lens prescription so that you may order your annual supply of lenses.
For more advice on contact lens fittings, please schedule an appointment with Seabert Eye Care in Burleson, Texas by calling (817) 857-8700 today.