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FAQ – Contact Lens Exam

Am I a candidate for contact lenses?

You may be a candidate for contact lenses if you require vision correction lenses and are looking for a non-surgical alternative to eyeglasses. To find out if contacts are right for you, schedule an appointment with Dr. Arora.

Why are contact lenses hard to fit?

Finding contact lenses that fit and wearing contact lenses in general can be made more challenging when these conditions affect your eyes:

  • Astigmatism
  • Dry eyes
  • Giant Papillary Conjunctivitis (GPC)
  • Keratoconus
  • Presbyopia
  • Astigmatism: Astigmatism develops when the front of the eye curves into a bulge or oval shape. It causes blurred vision and can be difficult to correct because regular contacts cannot account for the bulging.
    Dry Eyes: When eyes become excessively dry, it leads to irritation, burning, redness and blurred vision. Contact lenses can exacerbate these conditions by making it feel like a foreign object is stuck in your eye.
  • GPC: This form of conjunctivitis is caused by inflammation on the inner surface of the eyelid. Protein buildup on contact lenses can make this condition worse.
  • Keratoconus: This is an uncommon condition that causes major discomfort when wearing contacts. Keratoconus happens when the cornea becomes thinner and allows the eye to bulge forward. The bulge forms into a cone shape.
    Presbyopia: Eyes tend to have a tougher time focusing on close objects as they age. This condition is known as presbyopia. It typically affects people aged 40 or older.

What are the solutions for hard to fit contacts?

Wearing contacts is not impossible if you suffer from one of the above conditions. You do need to meet with an eye care professional, however, and get prescribed contact lenses that are tailored to deal with your specific vision condition.

  • Gas permeable lenses are a good solution for patients who suffer from GPC or Keratoconus. A GP lens will limit protein deposits from accumulating which will reduce GPC symptoms. It is also effective in containing corneal bulging and relieving pressure on the tissue for a Keratoconus sufferer.
  • Toric lenses are useful for correcting astigmatism. Since the lens needs to align with the bulge it is correcting, toric lenses must not rotate in order to fit on the eye. They are typically custom made to correct a specific astigmatism. For that reason, this type of lens takes longer to make and costs more than a traditional contact lens.
  • Bifocal and multifocal lenses can help remedy presbyopia. Monovision lenses are another option for presbyopia. This type of lenses can have one fitted for distance vision and the other for seeing close objects.
  • Medicated eye drops can be an effective solution for dealing with dry eyes. They will lubricate eyes enough to make contact lenses more bearable, although a punctual occlusion also must be done to plug the ducts in some extreme cases. GPC symptoms can also be lessened through medicated eye drops. They flush out protein deposits and reduce inflammation.

What is CRT?

CRT is a specially designed oxygen permeable therapeutic contact lens used in Corneal Refractive Therapy.  Corneal Refractive Therapy is a sophisticated, non-surgical process, which reshapes the cornea while you sleep.  You remove the lenses when you awake and are able to go throughout the day without any other correction.

What should I expect when I am fitted for contact lenses?

Your eye doctor will conduct a thorough eye exam and prescribe a contact lens brand and power based on the results of your eye exam and your frequency of wear. In most cases, you’ll be fitted with a trial pair of lenses before you leave the office and asked to return for a follow up visit several days or weeks later.

Why do I have to have a contact lens evaluation every year?

Contact lenses are among the safest forms of vision correction when patients follow the proper care and wearing instructions provided by their eye doctor. However, when patients don’t use lenses as directed, the consequences may be dangerous. In fact, Americans could be damaging their eyes by not using proper hygiene in caring for their lenses. Contact lenses and the solutions used with them are medical devices and are regulated by the Food and Drug Administration; therefore, it’s extremely important that patients maintain regular appointments to ensure they are receiving clinical guidance from their eye doctor based on individual eye health needs

How should I care for my eyes and contacts after my appointment?

You will be given instructions designed to help you protect your new contacts, as well as your eyes. If you fail to follow these instructions, you risk getting a corneal infection that could threaten your sight. Most importantly, you’ll be instructed to wash your hands prior to handling your contacts. Depending on the type of lenses you wear, you may also need to remove your contacts at night before bed. It is important to always have a pair of back-up glasses in addition to your contact lenses.