Eye Effects in Calgary & Didsbury
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What is a Contact Lens Fitting?

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An eye care professional handing a contact lens case with contact lenses to a patient.

Contact lenses are a great alternative to glasses, especially for those who prefer a more natural look and feel. However, before you can start wearing contacts, you need to undergo a contact lens fitting. Whether you’re a first-time wearer or have been sporting contacts for years, a contact lens fitting is crucial. Contact lenses sit directly on your eyes, so they must fit correctly to prevent discomfort or potential eye damage.

A contact lens fitting is a specialized appointment performed by your optometrist, where they take precise measurements, assess your tear film, and provide trial lenses to find the most comfortable pair of contact lenses. Alongside a comprehensive eye exam, a contact lens fitting is a central step for correcting your vision without glasses.

What’s Involved in a Contact Lens Fitting

A contact lens fitting is a more specialized assessment than a standard comprehensive eye exam. This exam helps determine the right type of contact lenses and size to fit your unique eyes for comfort and proper vision correction. You will have to undergo a comprehensive eye exam before having a contact lens fitting, as your optometrist will need to assess your eye health and determine your current contact prescription.

What to Expect During a Contact Lens Fitting

During the fitting, your eye doctor will:

  • Measure the curvature of your eyes
  • Measure the size of your pupil and iris
  • Assess your tear quality and quantity

After the examination, your optometrist will recommend the ideal type and brand of contact lenses for you based on the results of your eye exam. During the fitting process, your eye doctor may trial several different lenses, which vary in material and design, to find the right ones for your eyes.

These trials allow you to experience the comfort and quality of vision possible with different lenses.

After the contact lens exam, your optometrist will perform a follow-up to assess whether the lenses are working for you. Once you and your eye doctor are satisfied with the lenses, your optometrist will write you a prescription and review proper care and usage instructions.

A young woman looking into a small mirror to put in her contact lens.

When Do You Need a Contact Lens Fitting?

If You’re New to Contacts

A contact lens fitting is necessary if you’ve never worn contact lenses. Constant advancements make contact lenses more accessible than ever. Still, you need a contact lens fitting to uncover whether you need specialized lenses for vision conditions, such as dry eyes or astigmatism.

If You’re Switching to a New Type or Brand

Different types and brands of contact lenses have different shapes and sizes, so you’ll need a fitting to ensure your new lenses fit correctly and comfortably. Your optometrist will examine your eyes and recommend the ideal type and brand of contact lenses based on your changing needs and preferences.

If You’re Due for an Eye Exam

Even if you’re not switching to a new type or brand of contact lenses, you still need to have an exam every 2–3 years. Your eyes can change over time, and it’s important to check in with your optometrist to confirm that your contact lenses still fit comfortably and correctly.

During your routine check-up, your optometrist will examine your eyes, check the fit of your contact lenses, and make any necessary adjustments.

What Is the Difference Between an Eye Exam & Contact Lens Fitting?

While both exams are essential, comprehensive eye exams provide a broad view of your eye health, while contact lens fittings are specifically for those who want to wear contact lenses. A comprehensive eye exam is needed before having a contact lens fitting, and they may be performed together during one appointment. However, each test involves a different eye health evaluation to support healthy vision.

When Should You Book a Comprehensive Eye Exam or a Contact Lens Fitting?

If you have never tried contact lenses, it’s best to start with a comprehensive eye exam to assess your eye health. Once you have clearance from your optometrist, you can schedule a contact lens fitting to better understand your options. If you already wear contact lenses, you still need regular comprehensive eye exams to check for potential issues or eye concerns.

Say Goodbye to Glasses

A contact lens fitting can help new wearers find the right lenses for vision correction and let seasoned wearers try different brands or new technologies. A comprehensive eye exam is recommended before getting contact lenses, and it should be done regularly to monitor changes in your vision.

Whether you need a prescription for your eyeglasses or want to explore switching to contact lenses, book an appointment with the dedicated team at Eye Effects.

Written by Eye Effects

We’ve been providing stellar eye care to our communities in Calgary and Didsbury for over 25 years. At Eye Effects, we aim to be a premier place for individuals of all ages and walks of life to access professional vision care and advanced technology. From comprehensive exams to trendy frames and lenses, we’re sure we have something for all eyes!
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