Contact lenses are specifically designed to help correct a wide range of vision issues. Whether you are looking to get contact lenses for the first time, or are hoping to get an improved experience compared to what you currently have, we can help.
Many individuals have been told in the past that they aren’t candidates for contact lenses because they had too strong of a prescription, their eyes were too dry, they needed bifocals, or they had astigmatisms. Well, times have changed and technology has improved! No matter the reasons you were given in the past, we want to get you in for an appointment because there is a high likelihood that you are a candidate for contact lenses now.
Benefits of Contact Lenses
One of the greatest benefits of contact lenses is that, when they are fitted properly, they typically allow you to see better than glasses because they act as part of your eye. They also allow for increased peripheral vision as compared to glasses.
Additionally, contact lenses provide the following benefits:
They eliminate the need for glasses all of the time
They can better meet individual needs due to the wide range of lens types available
They cost less than corrective eye surgery
They offer more aesthetic options
They can help with dry eye in some cases
They provide more freedom for things like playing sports, swimming, and other activities
If you’re considering transitioning to contact lenses, here’s what you can expect from the experience at Gem State Eyecare.
The Comprehensive Eye Exam
All appointments for contact lenses start with a comprehensive eye exam so that our team can accurately assess your eyes for themselves and give you an accurate prescription and rule out possible eye health issues that could affect your contact lens wearing experience. Once this exam has been conducted and there are no red flags, you’ll move on to the contact lens consultation and the fitting portion of your appointment.
Getting Contact Lens Measurements
The Corneal Curvature
Top-of-the-line technology allows us to easily get a computer-generated measurement and detailed mapping of the surface of your cornea (aka the corneal curvature). The precision that it provides helps determine the best content lens design and size for your eyes. We then utilize this during future appointments to assess your eye health further and evaluate how your eyes are doing as time passes.
Measuring the Pupil and Iris
Two other measurements we take at your appointment are the pupil and iris (colored part of your eye) measurements. These help determine your ideal content lens design, particularly if you need multifocal or gas permeable lenses.
Evaluating Your Tear Film
Your tear film is the moist barrier on your eyes that makes them always look “wet” or glisten. This is what helps keep your eyes hydrated and helps determine what type of lens material would be best for your eyes.
Additional Factors for Lens Design
In addition to the aforementioned factors, our eye doctor will also evaluate the following to determine the best lens design for your eyes:
The need for bifocals for reading or screen time
The strength and type of your current prescription
Your overall health and medications
Your lifestyle (this can help determine whether you should have daily, weekly, monthly, or toric lenses)
And your history of amblyopia or strabismus
Taking Home Diagnostic Lenses
It can be difficult to tell 100% that a pair of contact lenses will work for you if you only observe how they work in our office, which is why we send you home with a pair of diagnostic lenses! These will help verify your prescription and the movement of the lenses on your eyes. Before you take these home, the doctor will utilize a slit lamp to verify that the lenses sit right on your eyes and adapt correctly to your eye movements. If everything looks good from the doctor’s point of view, you’ll be sent home with these lenses for a certain period of time and will return later for a follow-up appointment.
If you’re worried about putting contacts in for the first time, don’t worry! Our team will teach you how to do so before we send you home with a pair of lenses. We’ll also make sure to teach you proper care and storage.
The Follow-Up Appointment and Prescription Finalization
After you’ve had some time with your diagnostic lenses, you’ll come back in and discuss them with your doctor. Your doctor will ask how comfortable you feel wearing them, ask if you had any issues seeing things and other related questions. Your doctor will again evaluate the lenses on your eyes with the slit lamp to confirm that they still fit and move properly with your eyes. If everything checks out and your satisfied with how they work and feel, your prescription will be finalized!
Scheduling Annual Appointments
To ensure a positive and healthy contact lens experience, it’s important to see your eye doctor at least once a year (more if you’re having complications or issues). Contact lenses are considered to be a medical device by the FDA and expire every year, meaning you will need to get a new prescription every year before you can purchase new lenses.