Eye Health Central

Contact Lens Check Up Appointments And Why You Need Them

Contact Lens Check- Ups and Why you need them - video

Contact Lens Check Ups Are An Important Part Of Successful Contact Lens Wear

If you wear, or are thinking of wearing contact lenses you are not alone, according to the British Contact Lens Association (BCLA) approximately 3.7 million people wear contact lenses in the UK, and according to Opticianonline,  in recent years 97% of new fittings have been for soft contact lenses. 

Most people can see the importance of being professionally fitted with contact lenses but do not always see the importance of all those contact lens checkups, you may wonder why so many are needed and why so often. Read on to find out why regular contact lens checkups are important and how contact lens check-up practices are changing.

Why Do I Need A Contact Lens Check-Up

Contact lenses are technically a medical product that is worn directly on your eye, in many cases for an extended amount of time daily, this brings some inherent risks to your eyes especially when compared to wearing glasses that rest on your ears and nose and do not come into contact with your eyes.
An ill-fitted pair of glasses may rub your ears or leave indentation on your nose but an ill-fitted pair of contact lenses can lead to vision problems, discomfort and even damage the surface of your eye.
Contact lens checkups allow your optometrist to check the health of your eyes in detail and examine the surface of your eye for micro-abrasions, that you are unable to see in the mirror.

Contact Lens Check-up

What Is A Contact Lens Check Up

A contact lens check-up as it implies is a chance for your optometrist to check the fit of your contact lenses but also to check how your lenses are interacting with your eyes, your eye health, and, if you are wearing monthly disposable contact lenses, your optometrist will check your cleaning regime.
You will be asked to attend the check-up wearing your contact lenses so that the fitting of your lenses can be assessed, before removing your lenses prior to an eye health exam.
During your contact lens check up, your optometrist will ask questions about how long you wear your lenses, how often you change them, or clean them - depending on the type of lenses you are wearing. 
Your optometrist will also check your vision to make sure you are seeing the best you can, and examine the surface of your eyes. 
You will also be given an opportunity to discuss any issues you may be experiencing, so if you are having issues with insertion, removal, irritability, vision, or keeping up with the care regime, this is your chance to let your optometrist know.

How Often Should I Have A Contact Lens Check Up

Depending on how long you have been wearing contact lenses and your eye health your optometrist may recommend 6 monthly or yearly, or even 2 yearly intervals for a contact lens check-up.

Can You Have An Online Contact Lens Check Up

No, but you can carry out a contact lens aftercare online.
An online contact lens checkup is not possible at the moment, as the health of your eyes cannot be checked without physically seeing an optometrist, but the way AI and technology are advancing we feel it can't be far off.
Check out our helpful guide to contact lens aftercare online.

Why Does My Optometrist Not Recommend Contact Lens Aftercare Anymore

More and more optometrists are dropping the aftercare part of contact lens check-ups, this is because contact lenses have come a long way since Bausch + Lomb launched the first mass-produced soft contact lens. It is estimated that Silicone hydrogel contact lenses now account for more than 80% of new fittings.

The General Optical Council GOC now states that contact lens aftercare can be carried out by the contact lens wearer at home and no longer has to be performed by an optometrist.

So after your initial follow-up to make sure your lenses fit well, you see well, and that your eyes are healthy, plus, that you are happy with your lenses, the next contact lens check-up appointment will likely be 1 year to check your eyes are remaining healthy. The timing of check-up appointments will be decided by your optometrist, depending on factors such as the type of lenses you wear, how long you have been wearing lenses, the health of your eyes, etc 

Contact lens checkups are an important part of being a responsible contact lens wearer, they allow you to check the health of your eyes, reassess your contact lens wear habits, and also to evaluate if contact lenses are the best optical option for you.
Whether you have a full in-practice contact lens check-up or cary out an aftercare check online, it is important to take the time and reevaluate your contact lenses and your eye health. If you have any concerns contact your optometrist. 

Author: John Dreyer Optometrist Bsc(Hons), MCOPTOM, DipCLP
Created: 30 Sep 2023, Last modified: 1 Jun 2024