What Does a Contact Lens Exam Consist Of?

Many people with refractive errors usually start their vision correction journey using eyeglasses. While the experience of seeing clearly is a fantastic thing, it usually does not last. Eyeglasses can be cumbersome and are less effective when you have an active lifestyle. When you get to the point where you prefer more freedom, contact lenses are an excellent alternative.


Contact lenses give you the freedom to live an active life and enjoy crisp vision correction. While contact lenses are also prescriptive eyewear, they work differently from eyeglasses. Firstly, they sit directly on your eye, and second, they are much thinner. These two factors mean that their prescription and fitting differ entirely from eyeglasses.


How Do You Get Contacts?


You need to see an eye doctor specializing in fitting them to get contacts. Moreover, you need a particular eye exam that analyzes whether you are a good fit for contact lenses. If you have an eye condition like dry eye or astigmatism, the eye doctor may recommend specialty contact lenses instead. A contact lens exam involves different tests to help the eye doctor determine the option that will give you the best vision correction. 


What Is in a Contact Lens Exam?


While they may seem the same, contact lenses differ slightly in their design. Because they are so small, the tiny differences significantly impact their functionality. They have to fit perfectly on your eye’s surface to work correctly. 


Here are some of the critical tests in a contact lens exam:


  • Cornea Size and Curvature


The size of the cornea and its curvature is how the eye doctor finds the contact lens size appropriate for you. They will find these details using a unique device called a keratometer. The device analyzes the reflection of light on your corneal surface. The device measures a small part of the cornea but gives some crucial details.

The second test delivers more details about the whole cornea in a color-coded image. The corneal topography test emits light and measures the curvature and surface in more detail. It also covers a much larger surface area than the keratometer. 


  • Pupil or Iris Size


Another critical detail in contact lens fitting is the size of the iris or pupil. Usually, these details are crucial if you are getting rigid gas-permeable lenses. The test utilizes a ruler and a card with different pupil sizes to find a close match. The eye doctor may prefer to use a pupil gauge, which estimates your pupil size. 


  • Tear Film Evaluation


Contact lenses sit directly on your eye, but it is more accurate to say they float on the tear film covering your eye. If you have dry eye syndrome, the lens could touch your corneal surface, which may cause damage. This test helps the eye doctor evaluate how many tears your eyes produce and if they are sufficient.


  • Fitting Trial


After all these tests, the eye doctor will give you the first pair of contacts. These aim to observe how your eye reacts and functions with them. From these results, they may make adjustments for a more accurate fit.


For more on what a contact lens exam consists of, call Modern Eyecare at (203) 902-7200 to reach our office in Norwalk, Connecticut.