General eye exams are important to help assess your overall eye health and determine the extent of refractive errors (nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism). If you decide that you want to try wearing contact lenses to improve your vision, it will be necessary to conduct a contact lens exam in addition to your general exam. Dr. Kristin Pope offers contact lens exams and contact lens fittings.
During our contact lens exam, Dr. Pope will perform different tests to determine what type of contact lens and prescription will best suit your eye shape, eye surface, refractive error, etc. Your contact lens prescription will be different from your eyeglass prescription for different reasons:
- Glasses are designed to sit approximately 12mm away from your eyes. Contacts are placed directly onto your cornea.
- A prescription for glasses is often too strong to use for contact lenses.
- Contacts must fit your unique eye shape and size so the prescription needs to contain specific information about your unique corneal curvature. If they are not the correct fit, they could damage your eyes.
Common Contact Lens Tests
- Curvature of your cornea using a keratometer and a corneal topographer
- Measurement of your pupil and iris size
- Evaluation of your tear film to detect dry eye (contacts may not be comfortable if your eyes are not well-lubricated)
- Health of your cornea using a silt lamp
Types of Lenses
During this exam, Dr. Pope will also discuss the different types of contacts that are available such as:
- Rigid gas permeable
- Extended wear
- Toric (to correct astigmatism)
By asking you questions about your lifestyle and vision preferences, we will be able to recommend the right type of lens for you.
A Note About Novelty Contacts
Some people are tempted to purchase novelty contact lenses for special effects, especially during Halloween. It’s important to know that these are not safe for your eyes. Putting contacts on your eyes that are not professionally fitted could lead to eye infections, scratched/scarred cornea, eye pain or even vision loss. Novelty contacts that are sold online or in Halloween shops are not regulated by the FDA. In fact, they are illegal! They could have irregular textures, be made with toxic ingredients and deprive your eyes of oxygen. If you want to make a statement with your eyes, please contact us to schedule a contact lens fitting so you can protect your vision with your new look.
If you would like to learn more about getting contact lenses in Billings or Red Lodge, MT, contact us today to schedule a contact lens exam.