When you wear contacts lenses, a precise fitting and comprehensive exam are essential to the clarity of your vision, as well as to your safety and satisfaction.
As trusted eye doctors serving Fredericksburg, Culpeper and surrounding communities, our doctors are focused on ensuring sharp vision and a comfortable fit for patients who rely on contact lenses, including conventional daily wear varieties, disposables, planned replacements, soft torics, rigid gas permeables, multifocal lenses, and scleral lenses.
Contact lenses have come a long way from the days of heat disinfection and extended-wear discomfort. Advancing technology has generated a wide array of exciting new options for lens wearers, and the comfort level has never been higher. In fact, today’s contact lenses are comprised mostly of water. There are now lenses that treat astigmatism and new multifocal varieties that allow wearers to ditch those old Ben Franklin reading glasses.
Contact Lens Fitting Exam
Our doctors will discuss all of the new vision correction options during your contact lens fitting exam. As part of your exam, we will measure the pupil, iris and curvature of the cornea to ensure optimal fit for your lenses. The doctors will also evaluate the rate at which your eye produces tears, as this will affect how well your eye accommodates certain types of contacts.
After checking your vision and measuring refractive errors, our doctors will provide you with trial lenses and check their fit, alignment and movement using a microscope. If you are satisfied with the lenses, you will be able to try them out for a week or more, before returning to the office for a follow-up evaluation. If you are happy with the comfort and clarity of your vision, your doctor will write your final prescription.
Frequently Asked Questions About Contact Lenses and Fitting Exams
Is a contact lens fitting painful?
A well-performed contact lens fitting with an experienced eye doctor should not be painful. It may feel slightly unusual if it is your first time wearing lenses, but it will not hurt. If you experience any discomfort during the fitting, please let your provider know.
How long does a contact lens fitting take?
On average, contact lens fittings last about an hour.
Is it hard to put in contacts?
At first, it can take some time to adapt to putting in your contacts. A good contact lens fitting will make it easier to insert and remove the lenses. Our eye care professionals can also share tips that will help you safely and comfortably adjust to wearing your new lenses.
Are contact lens and eyeglass prescriptions the same?
No, they are two different prescriptions. Glasses sit a few millimeters away from your eyes, and contacts are placed directly on the surface of your eyes, so the prescriptions will account for that. A contact lens prescription also includes specifications such as base curve and diameter, which is determined by the shape of your cornea.
A prescription for contacts is usually valid for one year and a prescription for eyeglasses is usually valid for one to two years.
Can contact lenses give me an eye infection?
Remember that contact lenses are foreign devices that rest right up against the surface of your eyes. If you do not adequately care for your contacts, you put yourself at a higher risk for eye infections. But as long as you adhere to the proper hygiene guidelines and wearing schedule, and replace your lenses as instructed by your doctor, your risk of an eye infection decreases and is minimal.
How should I care for my contact lenses?
Contact lens care depends on the type of lens you wear. Generally speaking, if you wear daily disposable contacts, you simply discard them at the end of the day. If you wear reusable lenses, you need to clean them every day with a disinfecting product and store them overnight in a special solution. Our eye care professionals will give you instructions for the care, cleaning and replacement of your specific lenses, and suggest suitable products.
No matter what type of contacts you wear, you should always wash and rinse your hands before touching your lenses. You should also keep water away from your contacts and avoid rinsing them with water, as there could be microorganisms that stick to the lenses and get inside your eye, causing an infection. Never use other fluids, including saliva, to rinse or moisturize your lenses.
Can my contacts get stuck behind my eyes?
No. A contact can become dislodged from its proper position and stuck under your eyelid, but when this happens, the lens usually works itself out. If you find that you cannot remove one of your contacts, our team can help retrieve the lens.
Can I sleep in my contact lenses?
You should not sleep in your contacts unless they are specifically prescribed for overnight wear and your doctor has cleared you to do so.
Voted Top Eye Doctors by Northern Virginia Magazine, Vista Eye Specialists are the preferred choice for patients seeking comprehensive eye care in Fredericksburg and Culpeper, Virginia. To schedule an eye exam, please contact one of our offices today.