Contact lens assessment

A contact lens assessment is the name given to the procedure in which you undergo an eye test followed by a contact lens fitting. It may sound daunting but it is a straightforward process which ensures that you are fitted with lenses which are suitable for you.

Every person is different in regard to contact lenses as the type you are given will depend upon your eye prescription, personal preferences and refractive error, e.g. short sightedness.

If you are looking to try contact lenses for the first time then how do you go about doing so?

Your first step is to book an appointment with an optician. Plus it is important that you do not forget to take your eye prescription or glasses prescription with you.

Eye prescription

This is the form completed by the optician at the end of your eye test which is valid for two years. Opticians recommend that people undergo an eye test every two years to detect any changes in vision as well as any potential eye problems.

This form contains a series of measurements for your left and right eye. It also contains 4 boxes which are sphere, cylinder, axis and prism.

A number entered in the Sphere category refers to the level of myopia or hyperopia.

A figure in the cylinder box refers to the amount of astigmatism in the eyes.

The axis refers to the power of the lens of the eye.

If a number is entered in the prism box then it means that your eyes do not perform together well. This may be due to eye strain or blurred vision after long periods of concentrated work. A prism will be required to refract light to enable your eyes to work together.

Additional information will be included if you have presbyopia.

Contact lens fitting

The process is:

  • Arrange an appointment with your optician
  • Eye test
  • Contact lens fitting
  • Contact lens advice and guidance

The appointment with your optician will involve a discussion between the two of you and an eye test. The test is designed to check if you are suitable for contact lenses as well as your eye health in general.

The optician will also advise you about the types of lenses available, how to place the lens in your eye (and remove them) and caring for them. This means cleaning and storing them in a solution before reusing.

If you choose the daily disposable lenses then you can throw these away after each time you wear them.

Type of lens and method of payment

The next step is arranging the type of lenses you want and how you will purchase them. There are several options available which include paying for them on a monthly direct debit scheme or purchasing them as and when needed. This is done in store or online.

This is discussed in more detail in our contact lenses online section.

Trial run

This process takes longer than the duration of a standard eye test so expect to spend a bit more time at your optician’s than usual. During this session your optician will ask you to undergo a ‘trial run’ which involves you wearing a pair of contact lenses for a designated period of time.

He or she will ask you to go for a short walk and then return to the office for him/her to evaluate the session. This will enable him/her to assess how well your eyes have adapted to the lenses and if you are comfortable with wearing them.

You will be advised to have an eye test every two years and to undergo a contact lens check up as directed by the optician.

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