Contact Lens Exams
We offer the latest in Contact Lens Technology, and have a specialized exam to help select the correct contact lenses for you, as well as finding the correct fit.
Look Optometry is proudly rated Surrey’s #1 optometry clinic so you can feel at ease knowing that your eye care is in some of the best hands in the Vancouver area.
Contact Lens Exams at Look Optometry
Even if you already wear glasses and have a valid prescription, it’s important that you book a contact lens exam if you’re thinking about wearing contact lenses. A contact lens exam is different from a regular routine eye exam, or even a comprehensive one. There are additional tests that need to be completed in order to gather specific measurements for a contact lens prescription, which differs from a prescription for glasses.
If you’re considering wearing contact lenses for the first time, looking to get a different type of contact lens, or need to update your contact lens prescription, booking a contact lens exam appointment can be simple and convenient.
Whether you’re a new patient or an existing one, feel free to head over to our patient booking portal to register for an appointment today.
Choosing the Right Contact For Your Life
Contact lenses come in a variety of types and wearing schedules. Depending on your lifestyle, you may choose from daily disposables to extended wear. If typical contacts don’t fit your eyes because of high astigmatism or keratoconus, an optometrist may suggest a specialty contact lenses for you.
What to Expect at a Contact Lens Exam
A portion of a contact lens exam is the same as a regular comprehensive eye exam, so you’ll be familiar with the process if you already wear glasses. Some of the tests include a visual acuity test (reading letters off of an eye chart), a refraction test (using a phoropter to examine for refractive errors such as hyperopia (farsightedness), myopia (nearsightedness), or astigmatism), and other ocular health tests using a slit-lamp.
There are many different types of contact lenses out there (soft contact lenses, hard contact lenses, daily disposables, extended wear, and coloured contact lenses, just to name a few). In order to prescribe the contact lenses that are best suited for you, your optometrist or eye specialist will ask you questions to help them get a better understanding of your needs, your preferences, and your lifestyle.
Once we’ve completed these tests and gathered the necessary information, we’ll move on to the contact lens fitting portion of the exam. This is where things start to differ from a regular eye exam.
Contact Lens Fitting
A contact lens fitting is composed of tests and scans to measure the size and curvature of various parts of your eye. These tests are completed to ensure that your contact lenses fit your eyes correctly.
Not all contact lenses fit everyone’s eye shapes and wearing improperly fitting contacts can lead to discomfort and irritation. Tests included in a contact lens fitting session are corneal measurements, pupil and iris measurements, and tear film evaluation.
Completed with an instrument called a keratometer, a corneal measurement is the measurement of the curvature of your cornea (the clear front surface of your eye). By analyzing light reflections from your cornea, the keratometer helps your eye doctor choose contact lenses that are the proper size and curve for your eyes.
The keratometer is only able to measure a small section of your cornea, so sometimes an automated instrument called a corneal topographer is used as well. The corneal topographer allows your eye doctor to gather extremely precise and detailed measurements of your entire cornea by also examining the light reflections from the surface of your eye.
Additionally, the measurements from a corneal topographer may be used in conjunction with wavefront measurements for even more detailed information about the curvature of your cornea. By identifying tiny imperfections in the shape of your cornea, wavefront measurements can help detect astigmatism, which can be corrected with special glasses or contact lenses.
At Look Optometry, we are equipped with Medmont corneal topographers which are considered the gold standard in the industry for fitting specialty contact lenses. If you are looking to book a contact lens eye exam in Surrey, feel free to visit us in store or reach out to us. Our team will ensure you feel safe and comfortable while we complete a contact lens fitting for you.
Pupil and Iris Measurements
Another measurement that is collected during a contact lens fitting appointment are the pupil and iris measurements. These measurements help your eye specialist select contact lenses that are in the correct size and best suited for your eyes. This is important to ensure that your contact lenses blend in with your eye and look and feel natural.
Pupil measurements are often gathered using a special ruler or a pupil gauge. To determine the size of your pupil, your eye specialist will hold these near your eye and measure it using the ruler or compare it to illustrations on a card.
An automated instrument also exists measuring your pupil. These instruments are able to provide extremely precise measurements and can also measure the vertical and horizontal diameter of your pupil.
Your eye care specialist will use similar techniques and methods to collect measurements of your iris, which is the coloured part of your eye.
Tear Film Evaluation
Having dry eyes is one of the biggest and most common issues faced by people who wear contact lenses. If unaddressed, dry eyes can not only feel uncomfortable, but can become irritated, cause damage to your eyes, and potentially lead to infection. For these reasons, it’s important that an evaluation of your tear film is conducted to determine whether you’re producing enough tears and to evaluate their quality.
One method used by eye doctors to evaluate your tear film is to place a special strip of paper on your lower eyelid. After having your eyes closed for about five minutes, the eye doctor will remove the strip of paper to measure and evaluate the amount of tears produced.
Another test of dry eyes is to use eye drops containing a dye known as fluorescein. The eye drops are used in your tear film and then measured to see how long it takes for them to evaporate.
At Look Optometry, we use a technique called meibography to analyze your meibomian glands. These tiny glands that line the edges of your eyelids secrete an oil that helps keep the water component of your tears from evaporating, which is what causes dry eyes. This specialised technique allows us to observe and gather detailed information about the quality of your tears.
If after conducting a tear film evaluation, we determine that your eyes are prone to dryness, we may suggest contact lenses designed with moisture technology to help keep your eyes hydrated. Many of the contact lenses in our shop offer this technology to help combat dry eyes. Unfortunately, if you suffer from severe dry eyes, we may begin by starting an intensive dry eye therapy protocol; but rest assured, your contact lens fit will be successful.
Caring for your Contact Lenses
Specific instructions on how to care for your contact lenses and your eye health will depend on the type of contact lenses you are prescribed.
When you are prescribed and fitted with contact lenses at Look Optometry, our eye specialists will take the time to carefully go through all of the cleaning and handling instructions with you so that you feel confident in caring for them on your own.
While we’ll go through all of this in person during your visit, let’s take a look at some of the general rules of caring for your contact lenses as well as some other helpful tips.
How to care for your contact lenses
- Always wash your hands with water and a mild soap before handing your contact lenses. Having lotions, perfumes, oil, or other products on your hand can transfer onto your contact lenses, potentially causing irritation or unclear vision.
- When drying your hands after washing, use a clean, lint-free towel. This will prevent dust or other fibers from sticking to your fingers and then transferring to your contact lenses.
- If you use hairspray or other aerosol products, you should use them before putting on your contact lenses, otherwise the product particles in the air may get into your contacts.
- To avoid contamination with makeup, it’s best to apply makeup after you put on your contact lenses, and remove makeup before removing your contacts.
- Most contact lenses require cleaning using a specific disinfecting solution and not all eye drops are compatible with all contacts. Always consult with your eye specialist on which eye products and eye drops are safe to use with your contact lenses. Do not use tap water or your mouth to wash, clean, or moisten your contact lenses.
- Keep track of your contact lens’ replacement schedule and remember to dispose of them when the time comes. It is unsafe and unhealthy to wear a pair of contact lenses for longer than they are recommended for.
- Store contact lenses in a cool, dry place or as instructed by your optometrist.
- If possible, carry an extra pair of contact lenses with you in case something happens to the pair you are wearing.
- Always speak with an eye specialist and have an updated prescription before purchasing contact lenses.
- Never wear contact lenses belonging to someone else. Using contact lenses that don’t belong to you, especially if already used, can cause and spread an infection.
- Do not sleep with your contact lenses in unless you have been prescribed specific contacts that allow you to do so.
- To avoid contaminating your disinfecting solution, do not let the tip of the solution bottle touch any surface, including your fingers, eyes, and contacts.
- Placing contact lenses on your eye inside out will not be painful, but can feel uncomfortable. To avoid this, place your contacts on your fingertip and look at it from the side. You should be able to differentiate between a contact lens that is right side out (will look like a cup or a “U” shape), or flipped inside out. Our eye specialists at Look Optometry will go over what this looks like with you during your appointment.
- If you begin to experience irritation from your contact lenses, remove them and avoid using them again until you can consult an eye specialist.
- Do not swim with contact lenses on, regardless of whether it’s a swimming pool or natural body of water. There is a high risk of getting a serious infection if you do.
Why it is so important to care for your contact lenses
Improper care for your contact lenses can cause irritation or infection. Remove your contact lenses immediately if you notice or experience any of the symptoms below. Call your doctor right away to determine if it is something serious and whether you need treatment. It’s important to respond promptly to prevent serious damage and/or vision loss.
- Itchiness or a burning sensation
- Eye pain
- Blurred vision
- Light sensitivity
- Tears or a sticky substance being produced from your eyes
Generally, follow-up exams are required to observe and evaluate how your eyes are adjusting to your new contact lenses. Ideally you find that there is no discomfort with your contact lenses, that they fit well, and that your vision is sharp and clear. However, if that is not the case, we’ll re-evaluate, make adjustments, and perhaps recommend a different type of contact lens better suited for your eyes.
Once we find the contact lenses that are perfect for you, we’ll have your final contact lens prescription. This prescription, which includes information such as your contact lens power, the base curve measurement, the diameter of your eyes, and perhaps a brand of contact lens, is required to order contact lenses online.
Annual Contact Lens Exams
It’s important to keep your prescription up-to-date by scheduling regular yearly contact lens exams going forward. This helps to identify any changes to your vision and possibly detect any eye concerns or diseases early on, which is very important for treatment and prevention.
Don’t hesitate to book your contact lens exam with Look Optometry today! We’ve got the best optometrists and eyes specialists in Surrey and the Vancouver area and only allow the gold standard when it comes to the instruments and practices used in our eye exams. Whether for contact lenses or other eye health services, our excellent customer service will have you feeling safe and comfortable during your visit. Our experienced eye specialists and everyone else here at Look Optometry are looking forward to meeting you!