Contact lenses are prescription medical devices that are worn on the cornea of the eye. In order to prescribe contact lenses an eye doctor must evaluate the health of the eye, determine the proper contact lens prescription based on each individual patient’s different glasses prescription, vision needs, corneal health and curvature and examine the contact lens on the eye to ensure proper alignment with the cornea. 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. 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.
Five Points Eye Care provides exceptional professional contact lens services. If you are interested in contact lenses, one of our doctors can discuss your options with you. Our recommendations are individually tailored to each patient and are based on many factors including your glasses prescription, visual needs, overall health and eye health.
Five Points Eye Care specializes in difficult contact lens fits. We treat patients with keratoconus and other degenerative corneal diseases, post-surgical corneal distortion as well as high astigmatism. We use the newest contact lenses available like the Synergeyes hybrid contact lens (a contact lens with a firm center and soft contact lens outside), custom multifocal soft and firm contact lenses and semi-scleral contact lenses. The doctors consult with custom contact lens laboratories to design contact lenses to fit patients with many different types of corneal problems. Our corneal topographer creates a topographical map which shows the high and low points of the cornea, enabling us to design contact lenses that fit the eye exactly.
What is a contact lens prescription?
Contact lenses come in wide range of materials, sizes, shapes, thicknesses, colors and designs. They can correct myopia or nearsightedness, hyperopia or farsightedness, astigmatism and presbyopia. A contact lens prescription includes the specific information about the contact lenses prescribed by your optometrist, including the power, curvature, size, type and sometimes other measurements that describe the exact contact lens that fits best on the patient’s eye. Contact lenses are medical devices that can only be dispensed by a prescription. 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 eyes go through gradual changes in size, shape and physiological requirements (such as for oxygen) while wearing contact lenses. These changes can affect the health of the cornea and need to be monitored on a regular basis. The federal government requires contact lens prescriptions to expire after one year for these reasons.
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?
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.
Can kids wear contact lenses?
Yes! We have many younger patients happily wearing contact lenses. There is no minimum age for when children can start wearing contact lenses, usually, the doctor, parent and child discuss the benefits and requirements of contact lens wear and make a decision based on the child’s motivation, personal hygiene, eye health and prescription needs. Most children are ready for the responsibility of contact lens wear when they reach 13 years old. At Five Points Eye Care we stress proper lens care and ensure that even our youngest patients are comfortable handling and cleaning their contact lenses before they are allowed to go home with them.
For our younger contact lens patients, click at the link below for some fun tips for safe contact lens wear from the Contact Lens Care for Kids website.