Eye Health Central

Contact lens fitting: getting the right lenses

Contact lens fitting: ensure comfort and improve your vision

For those who wish to wear contacts, it's important to remember that the standard prescription provided by eye care practitioners is generally only for eyeglasses. There are additional measurements that must be taken in order to get the right lenses for your needs.

Every eye is different - your left is slightly different from your right, and your eyes are different from those of everyone else around you. Differences include the diameter and the curvature of your eye, not to mention the severity of any vision problems that you might have. This is why getting a precise contact lens fitting is so important.

If you have problems with your vision and want to use contacts to correct the problem, or if you wish to get coloured contacts for cosmetic purposes, a contact lens fitting is something to consider before you start shopping.

What happens during a contact lens fitting?

Most appointments will begin with the eye care professional determining the overall health of your eye. Your corneas will be examined to ensure that they are healthy enough for wearing contact lenses. Your eye care specialist will also make a note of the condition of your eyes to refer back to on future visits to ensure that your ocular health hasn't deteriorated due to wearing lenses.

The next step will be to take careful measurements of your eye using a special instrument called a keratometer. Your eyes may also be scanned by a computer to map the curvature of the surface of your eye and to provide more detailed analysis. These dimensions will determine the shape and size of your lenses.

In addition, a contact lens fitting could also include a test to evaluate the tear film on your eyes. The specialist may also ask if you any allergies, hay fever or dry eyes and enquire about your lifestyle. All of this information will help the eye care professional determine how prone your eyes are to dryness, and help to ensure that you choose a contact lens type that suits your needs. 

What happens next?

In most cases, your eye care specialist will have you wear trial lenses as part of your fitting. This will help to confirm if your contacts have been chosen in the correct size. It will also provide an opportunity to teach you how to insert and remove the lenses properly. Once the lenses are in, the fit will be checked with a biomicroscope (slitlamp). Additionally, routine follow-up exams are important to ensure that your lenses fit properly and that your prescription doesn't need to be changed. Once the initial fittings is complete - this could mean three or four visits - you should also get your lenses checked every year to ensure that you are maintaining good ocular health.

After the fitting, you can choose where to get your contacts

Once you've had a proper contact lens fitting, you can choose to get your contacts from any source - not just your optician. Here at Contactlenses.co.uk, we offer a wide range of lenses from leading brands and at affordable prices.

Author: John Dreyer Optometrist Bsc(Hons), MCOPTOM, DipCLP
Created: 24 Apr 2015, Last modified: 17 Jul 2019