We are often asked how a contact lens exam is different than a comprehensive eye exam and why there is an extra cost associated with it. While both exams look at the overall health of the eye, a contact lens exam does this but with one key difference – it includes a contact lens evaluation. A contact lens is a medical device and if not properly fit can cause long term damage to the eye. That’s why we take our time to ensure the right fit for you.
In a previous post I had discussed how I chose the right contact lens for a patient. Once this is decided and the patient puts the lens on, the evaluation begins. First, we check vision to make sure the patient can see well with the lenses. From here an over refraction may be performed to determine if the prescription in the lenses is correct for the patient. Second, I look at the lenses behind the slit lamp microscope to see how the lens interacts with the ocular surface, or front of the eye. I look at the centration of the lens on the cornea, how well the contact lens covers the cornea and where it sits on the conjunctiva (or white part of the eye) and how the lens moves with each blink. This is extremely important for an astigmatism contact lens as these must sit at a specific location. If one of these is not satisfactory I will move to a different lens and start the process over again. While this can be tedious, a contact lens is a medical device and if not properly fit can cause long term damage to the eye. Once we have achieved a successful fit I will send the lenses home with the patient to wear for one week to assess comfort. After one week the patient returns for a contact lens check where all of this is evaluated again, and if satisfactory to both myself and the patient I will finalize the contact lens prescription for one year. At the following yearly exam we do the process all over again as the eye is living tissue that can change, resulting in necessary changes to the contact lenses.
To learn more and schedule an appointment with Dr. Alperin, contact our office at 248-710-2324