What are contact lenses?
A contact lens is a thin, curved lens placed on the film of tears that covers the surface of your eye. The lens itself is naturally clear, but is often given the slightest tinge of color to make them easier for wearers to handle.
While contact lenses are still most commonly worn for vision correction, there are also contact lenses for purely cosmetic and novelty purposes. Colored contact lenses can enhance or completely change the hue of your eyes, and costume contact lenses can help create some of the special effects you see on the big screen.
All contact lenses, however, are medical devices, regulated by the U.S. FDA. Prescription contact lenses and cosmetic contact lenses all require a prescription. A contact lens prescription can only be determined by the careful observation of the lens on the eye and the eye’s response to the lens on follow up visits. This is because even common complications such as infection and inflammation might lead to vision loss or blindness. Since follow-up care is important, it is your responsibility to keep all scheduled appointments and follow all lens care instructions. The best ways to help prevent complications include:
- Talk to your eye doctor if you’re thinking about contacts
- Buy contact lenses from a legitimate source
- Keep your contact lenses well cared for and clean
- Follow all the instructions around your contact lenses and lens products
- Stick to your wear and replacement schedule
Contact Lens Fitting
A contact lens fitting is a separate part of the comprehensive exam. It is also separate from a glasses prescription. A contact lens fitting requires more testing and requires more of the doctor’s time and expertise. The goal of a contact lens fitting is to find the most suitable contact lens for each patient’s optimal vision and comfort. Although most patients will need only one fitting session, sometimes this process may require several appointments to find the most appropriate lens. All patients who will be wearing contacts for the first time must go through the fitting process. We will not finalize a contact prescription until both the patient and the contact specialist are satisfied with the fit and visual acuity of the contact lens.
At the contact lens fitting the patient will be provided with personalized instruction concerning the safe, correct care and usage of contact lenses. If more time is needed, it will be necessary to schedule a second 30-minute training session at a separate time. Once a patient has completed a successful insertion and removal, the patient may begin to wear the contact lenses and would follow up within 1-2 weeks. Prescriptions will not be written for patients who do not keep follow up appointments. There are no additional charges for follow up visits during the first 60 days.
Follow up appointments are important to ensure several things:
- The contact lenses are fitting and moving well
- The prescription is correct and is providing the best possible vision
- Your eyes are remaining healthy
- Seamless contact insertion and removal
- Compliance and Understanding of recommended contact lens wearing schedule
By law, a contact lens prescription is valid for only one year. All patients are required to come in for an annual contact lens exam. This is important to assure that the patient’s eyes are healthy and the contact lens are still fitting well. Contact lens prescription cannot be renewed without an annual exam. If you are a new patient, and you have had contact lens prescription from another office, we must have a copy of that prescription before your exam. Otherwise, we will consider it a new fit, and we may not have time to complete in your initial comprehensive exam, and additional cost will apply. Contact lens exams have a separate charge that is NOT included in your routine eye exam.
Please review our contact lens policy.