By Taylor Hein, Doctor’s Assistant and Scribe
You can find more than a great pair of frames at Eclectic Eye – our doctors also specialize in finding the perfect contact lens prescription for your vision and lifestyle needs.
Each contact lens fitting starts with a comprehensive exam to check your vision and the overall health of your eyes. Your eyes need to be tested to confirm that they are in a condition that allows you to wear contacts, which are regulated as a medical device. During your comprehensive exam, the doctor will obtain extensive information such as medications, vision history, current glasses or contacts prescription, as well as measure how you are seeing in that current correction. The doctor will also want to know about any previous eye surgeries or ocular injuries and family history of ocular conditions. During the exam, the doctor will evaluate your retinas and determine your spectacle prescription. Additionally, the doctor will dilate your pupils to look at your optic nerves and evaluate your corneas. Your tear film will be measured, and your blood pressure and eye pressure will be assessed. All of these are important tools the doctor will use to diagnose different ocular health issues such as glaucoma, macular degeneration, tears or defects in the retina. Additionally, they can alert you to other significant health concerns like hypertension, stroke, or even types of cancer.
The American Optometric Association recommends contact lens wearers to have the health and vision of their eyes checked every year. This is especially important because contacts reduce the amount of oxygen the cornea is receiving and increases the inflammatory response in the eyes, which can diminish the overall health of the eyes. As a contact lens wearer, you should own glasses with an accurate prescription and be wearing those glasses at least one full day every week. This allows your corneas to rest and receive oxygen. Our doctors recommend bringing your current glasses to every exam. This gives the doctor a chance to evaluate how stable your vision has been.
The contact lens fitting starts with a discussion about how you would like to wear your contacts. The doctor will need to know how you plan on wearing them in order to determine which lens type and power will be best. Contacts can be good options for yoga or bike riding, special occasions, a costume, to wear every day, or for medical reasons like keratoconus. The doctor will also take into account your current prescription. There are hundreds of types and brands of contacts. Whether you are a bi-focal or a single vision wearer, there is almost always a solution for you.
After determining how you will wear contacts, the doctor will pull a pair for you to try. If you have never tried contacts before – no worries! An eyewear architect or the doctor’s assistant will be able to walk you through the process. We will take our time to coach you on how to correctly and safely insert and remove contact lenses yourself. Once the contacts are in for about ten minutes and your eyes have “settled,” the doctor or technician will assess the vision and fit of the contacts. He or she may show you some options of more or less power to determine which is best for you. Once you and the doctor are satisfied, he or she will give you more samples or trials to test out. The doctor will also give you a wear time schedule to allow your eyes time to adjust to the contacts, and have you set up a follow-up appointment.
The follow-up appointment is a very important part of the contact lens fitting process and is usually scheduled about a week after the initial appointment. The cost of this follow-up visit is part of the original fitting fee. The doctor will want to know how your vision has been, as well as how comfortable you were wearing the contacts. He or she will also test your vision, evaluate the tear film and corneas and re-check the overall health of your eyes to verify that you are not having any issues or reactions to the material. The doctor may want to pull different contact lenses for you based on your complaints or their findings. When he or she is satisfied that you are in the best lens power and fit for you, the contact lens prescription will be finalized. This prescription is completely separate from the glasses prescription you should already have. Both prescriptions are good for one year. Eclectic Eye keeps many popular powers for contact lenses in stock for the convenience of our customers, or we can order your contacts and have them shipped right to your home or office.
We always want the contact lens fitting process at Eclectic Eye to align with our high standards and expectation of unparalleled care for our customers. It might take a little bit longer than you may have experienced in the past, but it is truly designed to obtain the absolute best solution for the customer based on their current lifestyle needs.