FAQs about Contact Lenses
- What is involved in a contact lens exam?
A contact lens eye exam is typically a higher fee than an exam for glasses or a routine eye health check. The doctor must perform certain tests to ensure the patient is a good candidate for lens wear, spend extra time taking measurements and selecting a lens for the patient.
- Why can’t I just change contact lens brands whenever I want?
Contact lenses are a medical device and require a prescription. If your primary care doctor were to put you on a medication or change a medication, they would write a prescription and likely follow-up to ensure that it is working. Contact lenses should be thought of and treated the same. The doctor must assess if the lens is centering, moving and rotating properly, and that vision is good. A poor fitting lens can result in very serious complications, even blindness, so follow up exams are needed to assess how the contact lens fits on the eye. There is NO SUCH THING as over-the-counter contact lenses. Do not trust lenses available at a beauty shop or gas station, these are being distributed illegally and should be reported to your eye doctor.
- When can children start wearing contact lenses?
There is no magic age that a child is ready for contact lenses. The biggest factors are maturity and attention to hygiene. Most doctors require that the child is able to take them in and out by themselves without the help of a parent. If you have to remind your child to brush their teeth, take showers, put on deodorant, etc., they are probably not ready to be a responsible, healthy contact lens wearer.
- Why do I need to have my eyes checked every year for contact lenses?
For an optometrist to renew a contact lens prescription or allow for more refills, we are required, by law, to examine the lenses on the eye, ensuring proper fit, good eye health and vision. Because contact lenses sit on the eye itself, there can be serious consequences if wearing them too long without taking them out, not disposing of them often enough, or wearing a dirty lens.
- I need bifocals, am I still a candidate for contact lenses?
Yes! Many patients are successful with monovision contact lenses, meaning one eye is fit for distance vision and the other eye is fit for near vision. Other patients may find success with a bifocal contact lens. The key point to keep in mind is that your visual clarity may be slightly reduced when compared to glasses due to the optics of the contact lenses.