If you have ever considered contact lenses, you may have already heard of this type of exam.  But, how is it different from your regular eye exam? And more importantly, what are the costs of this exam?

The Contact Lens Exam

First of all, let’s separate apples from oranges! During your eye exam, your Optometrist will run tests that will provide information for them to assess your eye health. For a new contact lens wearer, this data isn’t sufficient. The Optometrist will need to identify your specific needs by collecting information on your lifestyle (occupation, hobbies, digital screen usage, wear schedule, etc…) and will then conduct additional tests.

Moreover, the prescription for glasses can differ from a contact lens prescription and this for the same person! While contact lenses sit directly on your cornea, the lenses of your glasses are usually 12 millimetres away from your eyes (commonly known as the vertex distance). Thus, depending on your vision problem (myopia, hyperopia, presbyopia, etc…), you’ll need a prescription that is more or less strong in your contact lenses.

First, the Optometrist will evaluate the condition of your cornea. The corneal curvature and diameter are necessary to ascertain the parameters of your contact lenses. Each patient will have their data, like a fingerprint. The quality of your tears, as well as the quantity, will be assessed. The thickness, water content and oxygen transfer rate of the lens can then be carefully determined by the Optometrist to ensure optimal comfort. It is pretty obvious, that contact lenses are not “one-size-fits-all.” The additional costs linked to the fitting and contact lens exam are now understandable!

The Contact Lens Fitting

During the fitting process, you’ll receive a pair of contact lenses to test. Since this will be your first time, we’ll apply the contacts in your eyes for you. And you can rest assured, we will teach you how to put them in and remove them, as well show you how to take good care of them. You’ll be able to try the contacts for one to two weeks according to a wearing schedule prescribed by your Optometrist. At the end of this trial period, your Optometrist will want to ensure that your eyes can tolerate them and that your vision is adequately corrected. If needed, they’ll modify some parameters. If everything is perfect, you’ll then get a passing grade and graduate as a contact lens wearer! 

When you come back for your next annual eye exam, your Optometrist will ask you to wear your contact lenses for a few tests. At that point, they will decide whether you can keep wearing this specific brand and model safely. If your vision has changed, your contact lens prescription will be adjusted accordingly. 

And, this is why you should always mention that you wear contact lenses when you book an in-store appointment! And, to ensure that you experience optimal comfort all day long while wearing your contacts, we invite you to read this article to learn our best tips!