What Happens During a Contact Lens Fitting Exam

Not quite sure what a contact lens fitting exam is or what happens during one? Our Calgary optometrist fills you in on everything you need to know about them in our blog article this week. 

If you wear contact lenses, then you've most likely undergone a contact lens fitting exam to ensure you receive the proper prescription. But if you're new to contacts or considering them for the first time, it's understandable you might have a blank stare upon initially hearing of one. While a contact lens fitting exam is similar to a regular eye exam, there are a few big differences between how the two procedures are carried out. Let's take a look at them. 


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Specs in the City Optometry provides children, adult, and senior eye exams in SE Calgary to help safeguard your sight and overall ocular health. Our experienced optometrists use the latest in technology to quickly and accurately diagnose any eye conditions you may be suffering from, so treatment may commence right away. Contact us today to book your eye exam and let us help you adjust your focus so you can see clearly again! 

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Everything That Happens During a Contact Lens Fitting Exam

Not too long ago, contact lens companies used to have a very limited selection of contacts for customers to choose from. Those days are long gone now, as companies have poured tons of money into developing ones which have different characteristics, curvatures, colours, and sizes. If you head online and try to shop for contact lenses, you'll quickly see there are thousands of different types to choose from, making it nearly impossible to narrow down your search. That's where a contact lens fitting exam can help immensely. Here's how one will give you all the info you need to make the right informed decision.


Comprehensive eye exam

Your contact lens fitting exam will begin with a comprehensive eye exam. Before the examination begins, your Calgary optometrist will gather some background info from you with regard to your medical history and lifestyle. This will help them later select a contact lens that best fits your unique needs. The eye exam will tell your optometrist what type of prescription you need, what refractive errors you may be experiencing, and what condition the inside of your eye is in by using a slit lamp. 

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Contact lens measurements

After your comprehensive eye exam has been completed, your optometrist will proceed to the contact lens portion of the procedure. Two measurements will be taken to best determine the type of contact lens that will work for your needs. They may be completed in either order. 

Cornea measurement

A keratometer is used to measure the cornea of your eye. The keratometer lets your optometrist accurately measure your cornea by determining how much light reflects off it. If an astigmatism (irregular curvature of your cornea or lens) is detected during this part of the procedure, another measurement using wavefront mapping may be conducted. For those who have an astigmatism, gas permeable or toric contact lenses can be used to correct the condition. 

Iris and pupil measurements

Your irides and pupils will be measured by your optometrist to make sure whatever contacts are ultimately selected will not only fit properly, but also blend into your eyeball so it isn't that noticeable you're wearing contact lenses. 

Looking for contact lenses Calgary? Our friendly optometrists and staff at Specs in the City in SE Calgary would be happy to help you select the perfect pair! 

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Tear film evaluation

Dry eyes are one of the biggest problems contact lens wearers face. If left unaddressed and untreated, dry eyes can result in damage to the surface of your eyes or lead to infection. During this part of the contact lens fitting exam, your optometrist will check to see how well you produce tears by placing a small strip of paper beneath your eyes as you keep them closed for about five minutes. Using the results of the test, your optometrist will be able to determine if you suffer from dry eyes, and if you do, just how badly. If you do suffer from dry eyes, your optometrist will be able to recommend contacts that don't exacerbate the problem. At times though, a patient's dry eyes can be so severe that the optometrist will recommend against wearing contacts entirely. 

Pick out your contacts and take them for a spin

Armed with all the information needed to make the right contact lens recommendations, your optometrist will suggest a few for you to choose from. You can then pick out the pair you like best and test them out for 24 hours to make sure they fit and function well without causing any serious discomfort. If this is your first time wearing contacts, your optometrist will also guide you through how to insert and remove them properly. They will also go over what you need to know to care for and handle them properly. 

Once the 24 hours have passed and no discernible issues or discomfort have been noted, you can come back to our Calgary eye clinic and purchase a fresh supply, allowing you to say goodbye to glasses for as long as you choose. A year after your initial contact lens fitting exam, we recommend you come back in for another one to confirm your prescription and measurements are still up to date. We can conduct your annual eye exam at that time too, killing two birds with one stone.

Contact Us Today

If you need contact lenses Calgary, our SE optometrists at Specs in the City are who you need to go see. Simply give us a call at 403-252-2020 or fill out our online contact form to book your appointment today. 

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