What is a contact lens evaluation?
A contact lens evaluation is a separate part of a comprehensive eye examination and requires additional testing that people who do not wear contact lenses do not need to have. Patients wearing contact lenses require more of the doctor’s time and expertise. In order to prescribe contact lenses an eye doctor must complete several additional tests:
- Evaluate the health of the eye paying close attention to the cornea, eyelids and conjunctiva and how contact lens wear will affect the health of the eye.
- Determine the proper contact lens prescription based on each individual patient’s glasses prescription, vision needs and corneal health and curvature.
A contact lens prescription is different and separate from a glasses prescription.
Examine the contact lens on the eye to ensure proper alignment with the cornea and lids.
Measure the vision with the contact lenses on the eye and make adjustments as indicated.
Contact lens examinations and fittings have different levels of difficulty; this depends on the types of contact lenses needed, the visual requirements of the patient and the health of the patient’s eyes.
Why is the contact lens evaluation separate from the comprehensive eye examination fee?
Most insurance companies require doctors to separate routine comprehensive eye examination fees from any services performed due to contact lenses. More time and testing is required for a patient who wears contact lenses; therefore, most insurance companies treat contact lens services as an additional and separate evaluation from the eye examination.
What is a contact lens prescription?
Contact lenses are medical devices that can only be dispensed by a prescription. Contact lens prescriptions expire after one year (or sooner if the doctor determines a medical reason for a shorter expiration date). They must be regarded with the same caution you would use for prescription drugs, which include prescription expiration dates and follow-up visits with your eye doctor.
Your contact lens prescription will include the power of your contact lenses, the type of contact lenses you wear, the shape of the contact lenses (curvature) and any other information determined by the doctor to be necessary for a proper contact lens fit. Your eyes go through gradual changes in size, shape and physiological requirements (such as oxygen) while wearing contact lenses.
These changes can affect the health of the cornea and need to be monitored at least every year. The federal government requires contact lens prescriptions to expire after one year for these reasons.
Dr. Kennedy fits contact lenses and has many of the popular brands to try in-office including CooperVision, Johnson & Johnson and Alcon (CIBA Vision). In the event that we do not have the lens you want to try or are currently wearing in-office, we can order them in within 3-5 business days to accommodate your needs.
Silicone Hydrogel Contact Lenses
These lenses allow a lot more oxygen to reach the eye meaning they are a lot healthier and comfortable for your eye than conventional contact lenses. The Optometrist will always try to fit you in a breathable lens before considering other options.
Daily Disposable Lenses
These lenses are designed for wearing once then throwing them away at the end of the day. These lenses are definitely the most healthy for your eyes as you eliminate over-wear, re-use and the need for solution. These lenses are particularly ideal for the part-time contact lens wearer. The brands we have for you to try in-office are: Dailies Total 1, 1-Day Acuvue Moist as well as Dailies AquaComfort Plus, however many more brands can be ordered in-office within 3-5 business days.
Biweekly Disposable Lenses
These lenses are designed to be used for up to 14 days and are taken out every night to be cleaned and stored in solution. Once the contact lens package has been opened, the lenses must be discarded in 14 days. Conveniently, these lenses all offer UV protection. The brand we have for you to try in-office is: Acuvue Oasys.
Monthly Disposable Lenses
These lenses are meant to be used for up to 30 days and after 30 days of being opened, the lenses must be discarded. Like the biweekly disposables, they are taken out every night, cleaned and stored in solution. Some of these lenses are designed for extended wear and can be slept in, however you must consult with your Optometrist if this is something you are interested in. The brands we have for you to try in-office are Biofinity and Air Optix, however many more brands can be ordered in-office within 3-5 business days.
Toric Contact Lenses
These lenses are designed to correct astigmatism and can also correct various amounts of near and farsightedness. These lenses are available in Daily, Biweekly as well as Monthly options.
Multifocal Contact Lenses
These lenses are used to correct presbyopia which is the inability to focus on up-close objects. These lenses allow for optimized vision for far away, intermediate and near vision however the optics of these lenses do NOT parallel that of a progressive or bifocal spectacle lens. An alternative option is being fit with monovision lenses where one eye is corrected for distance and one eye is corrected for near vision. These contact lenses come in Monthly, Biweekly as well as Daily options and the ones we fit in-office include Biofinity and Air Optix.
Colour Contact Lenses
Finally there is a oxygen permeable colour contact lens! We have different colour samples in monthly Air Optix Colours for you to try in our office.
Custom Contact Lenses
These lenses can be RGP (rigid gas permeable) as well as Scleral lenses and will be evaluated and assessed on a per-patient basis. These lenses are customized for corneal conditions such as keratoconus.