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Contact Lenses

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In the year 1508 Leonardo da Vinci first conceived and sketched the idea for contact lenses. Imagine what daVinci would think today with the phenomenal choice of contact lenses on the market.

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How do I know if I can wear contact lenses?

What type of contacts are best for my prescription?

Is an exam for contact lenses different than an exam for glasses?

What should I expect when being fitted for contact lenses?

How do I know if I can wear contact lenses?

Contact Lenses are not for everybody, although millions of people wear them successfully.  The only true way to know if contacts will work for you is to try them.   Your prescription is the deciding factor for the type of contact lens that will give you the best possible vision. Other factors include eye diseases, allergies, eye dryness, work environment and some systemic diseases. 

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What type of contact lenses are best for my prescription?

Eighty percent of people wearing contacts wear soft contact lenses.  Soft contact lenses are more comfortable initially than harder lenses such as gas permeable contacts.  Usually the choice is made because of how much astigmatism a person has.  Regular soft lenses work very well for someone with little or no astigmatism. 

Soft and Rigid Contact Lens Comparison
Soft & Rigid Lenses

Gas permeable and soft toric contacts are better choices for a person who has astigmatism.   Gas permeable and regular soft contact lenses compare well in price.   A soft toric contact lens is a specialty soft lens that corrects for astigmatism and is generally more expensive.
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Is an exam for contacts different than an exam for glasses?

Yes.  It is very important to let your doctor's office know at the time you schedule your appointment that you are interested in contact lenses, especially if you have never worn them before.  Because contact lenses require extra measurements and the placement of a trial contact lens on the eye, most offices have separate appointments for a contact lens fitting.

There is usually an extra charge for a contact lens fitting and most insurance companies do not cover the fitting fee although many insurance companies will cover a portion of the cost of contact lenses.

If you are currently wearing contact lenses and are satisfied with them, a contact lens fitting may not be necessary.  If you are wearing contacts and want to switch to a different brand you will probably need a contact lens fitting.

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What should I expect when being fitted for contacts?

Contact lens fittings vary, but typically a trial pair of contact lenses are placed on your eyes to determine which contact is best for you.  The type of trial contacts chosen depends on your prescription and your lifestyle.  Another consideration is how often you are planning on wearing the contact lenses.

Usually a technician or doctor's assistant will place the contacts on your eyes and have you wait for a period of time.  This allows the contact lens to adjust to your eye and it lets the doctor know how your eyes are reacting to the contacts.

Sometimes it is beneficial to get additional information about how you react to contact lenses by wearing the trial pair for a longer period of time.  If so, usually the contact lenses are placed on your eyes and you leave the office for 2-4 hours allowing you to try the contacts in your environment and giving you a slightly better idea of how contacts will work for you.

When you return to the exam room the fit of the contact lenses is assessed. Feedback from you is also crucial.

       How did the Trial Pair feel?
       How was your vision?

It could take more than one visit or trial pair to find the contacts that are right for you. Once the right contact lenses are decided upon, you will need to be trained on how to get the lenses in and out of your eyes.
Contact Placement     Contact on Finger        Contact Placement
Sometimes contact lenses can be dispensed from a supply of contacts and sometimes the lenses have to be ordered.   When your lenses arrive, a training session will be scheduled.  Training usually takes about 1 hour and also includes the proper way to take care of your contacts.

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