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Contact Lens Eye Exams

While contact lenses are a great alternative to wearing eyeglasses, some people don't use their contact lenses as the primary source of vision correction. Some patients wear contact lenses daily, while others only on weekends, for sport or on special occasions. One of the greatest benefits of contact lens wear is it gives each individual the flexibility to choose based on preference and lifestyle. 


If you make the decision to wear contact lenses, it is very important that the lenses are fitted properly to ensure comfort and the best vision correction. You also need to be aware of contact lens safety and hygiene practices. A contact lens exam will include your regular vision exam to determine prescription, a comprehensive eye exam to check your overall eye health, and then a contact lens consultation and measurement to determine the proper lens fit.

The Importance of a Comprehensive Eye Exam

Regular eye exams are important, whether or not you've had vision problems in the past. Many eye conditions can be successfully treated if discovered early but become more difficult to address in later stages. A comprehensive eye exam at one of Blink's NW & SW Calgary offices will check the general health of your eyes as well as the quality of your vision. During this exam the eye doctor will determine your prescription for eyeglasses, however, this prescription alone is not sufficient for contact lenses. The doctor may also check for any eye health issues that could interfere with the comfort and success of contact lens wear.

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Hard-To-Fit Contact Lens Patients

In the past, many patients were told that they couldn't wear contact lenses due to the condition of their eyes. Much has changed in recent years, and now, even if you’ve been told you can’t wear contact lenses, the eye care professionals at Blink Eyewear Calgary may be able to help. Today, there are specialty contacts available for patients with dry eyes, severe astigmatism and more.

 

The Contact Lens Consultation

The contact lens industry is always developing new innovations to make contacts more comfortable, convenient and accessible. Therefore, one of the initial steps in a contact lens consultation is to discuss with our Blink Eyewear eye doctors any lifestyle and health considerations that could impact the type of contacts that suit you best.

Today, there are many options to consider such as daily or monthly disposable lenses, as well as soft versus rigid gas permeable (GP) lenses. If you have any particular eye conditions, such as astigmatism or dry eye syndrome, your eye doctor will be able to recommend the right type or brand for your optimal comfort and vision needs.

If you are over 40 and experience problems seeing small print, our optometrists in one of Blink Eyewear's NW & SW offices may recommend multifocal lenses or a combination of multifocal and monovision lenses to correct your unique vision needs. You also have the option to consider coloured contact lenses as well. 

 

Contact Lens Fitting

One size does not fit all when it comes to contact lenses. Your Creekside, Crowfoot or West Springs eye doctors at Blink Eyewear will take precise measurements to properly fit your contact lenses. Contact lenses that do not fit properly can cause blurry vision, discomfort, and even damage the eye.

Here are some of the measurements your eye doctor will take for a contact lens fitting:

Corneal Curvature

In order to assure that the curve of the contact lens properly fits the curve of your eye, your eye doctor will measure the curvature of the cornea or front surface of the eye. with an instrument called a keratometer. If you have astigmatism, the curvature of your cornea is not perfectly round and therefore a “toric” lens, which is designed specifically for an eye with astigmatism, would be fit to provide the best vision and lens fit. In certain cases, your eye doctor may decide to measure your cornea in greater detail with a mapping of the corneal surface called corneal topography.

Pupil or Iris Size

Your eye doctor may use an instrument called a biomicroscope or slit lamp (or manually with a ruler or card) to measure the size of your pupil or your iris (the coloured area of your eye). This measurement is important if you are considering specialized lenses such as Gas Permeable (GP) contacts.

Tear Film Evaluation

Dry eye syndrome is one of the most common problems affecting contact lens wear. If the lenses are not adequately hydrated and moist, they will become uncomfortable and your eyes will feel irritated, dry, and itchy. Dry eye syndrome requires your doctor to check that you have a sufficient tear film to keep the lenses moist and comfortable.

The doctor will perform tear film evaluation and if your tear film is weak, your eye doctor will recommend certain types of contact lenses that are more successful in maintaining moisture.

Contact Lens Trial and Prescription

Upon deciding which contact lenses would work best with your eyes, and prior to ordering your lenses, the eye doctor will want to confirm the fit and comfort by having you try on a pair of lenses. The doctor or assistant inserts the lenses and keeps them in for 15-20 minutes before the doctor exams the fit, movement and tearing in your eye. If after the fitting, the lenses appear to be a good fit, your eye doctor will order the lenses for you. Our eye doctors in Northwest Calgary will also provide care and hygiene instructions including how to insert and remove your lenses, how long to wear them and how to store them (if required).

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Follow-up

Your eye doctor may ask you to schedule a follow-up appointment to check that your contact lenses are fitting properly and that your eyes are adjusting well. However, if you experience discomfort or dryness in your eyes you should visit your eye doctor as soon as possible. Your Blink Eyewear doctor may decide to try a different lens, a different contact lens disinfecting solution or to try an adjustment in your wearing schedule.

 

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Feel free to contact our offices at your convenience, or give us a call at one of our West Springs, Creekside, or Crowfoot locations to schedule your next eye doctor’s appointment.

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