Contact Lens Exam
A contact lens exam is a separate examination from the comprehensive or routine eye examination. For this type of exam, special measurements and images of the front of the eye are taken in order to determine the best curvature of lens to fit an individual’s eye. Once these images are taken and a spectacle prescription is obtained, the doctor will use this information to determine the best contact lens for your eyes. Once the initial contact lenses are fit, follow up visits are needed, in most cases, in order to ensure the best visual results and safest, most comfortable fit of the contact lenses in the wearer’s environment before the contact lens prescription can be finalized.
Soft lenses are very comfortable to wear and are replaced on either a daily, biweekly, or monthly basis depending on the type of contact lens you and your doctor decides is the most appropriate. Not only does the doctor have to consider the prescription of the eye, but they will also base their decision about the best contact lens type depending on the overall health and curvature of the front of the eye. Soft lenses can correct most prescriptions including astigmatism and even work for those who need both distance and near correction within their lenses such as those wearing bifocal or progressive spectacles. Soft lenses are often recommended for those who play sports as they fit closer to the eye and are difficult to dislodge.
Today, with the introduction of newer technology and materials, such as silicone hydrogel, patients can wear their lenses longer while still maintaining good comfort and eye health. Soft contact lenses are also available in colored options for patients with certain parameters, however, they are not yet available for those requiring astigmatism correction and/or multifocal powers.
Gas-Permeable (GP) Lenses
Made of moderately flexible plastics, GP lenses offer sharp optics and can correct most vision problems. They are more durable than soft contact lenses and can be easier to handle and care for, but require a longer adaptation period and consistent wear to maintain this adaptation. Some of our patients with higher astigmatism powers outside of the parameters that soft contact lenses offer as well as patients who need distance and near correction, such as those wearing bifocal or progressive spectacles, can benefit from GP lenses.
Medically Necessary Contact Lenses
For some individuals with specific conditions, contact lenses are medically necessary.
Several conditions can cause disorders of the cornea which may require a medical necessary contact lens including:
- Keratoconus / Pellucid Marginal Degeneration (Corneal Ectasia)
- Corneal Disease such as Neurotrophic Keratitis
- Corneal Scarring as a result of previous injury or infection
- History of refractive surgery such as RK, PRK, or Lasik
- Irregular Astigmatism
In many cases, especially for those with corneal disorders which have caused irregular astigmatism, a scleral contact lens may be prescribed. A scleral contact lens is a large contact lens that rests on the sclera, or white part of the eye, and creates a tear-filled vault over an irregular cornea in order to create a smooth, even, regular refracting surface on the front of the eye.
All medical contact lens fittings begin by taking photos and corneal topography maps that show the surface shape of the patient’s corneas. These readings are then used to design a custom scleral contact lens for each involved eye. Revisions and modifications of the lenses are usually necessary and several visits are often required, which is part of the contact lens fitting process. Patience pays off because the outcomes are usually well worth the effort. The needs of each individual are carefully weighed to find the lens that offers the best combination of visual acuity, comfort, and corneal health.
401 W. Fairmont Pkwy. Ste A
La Porte, TX 77571
Ph (281) 471-6546
Fax (281) 471-3411