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Getting Started in Contact Lenses

You’ve been wearing glasses for as long as you can remember. Without your spectacles, your vision is blurry and makes everyday tasks challenging. It is not very convenient to go to the gym wearing glasses as they get fogged up. They get too clumsy when you go through your routine and exercises. Would contact lens be a better alternative?

What are Contact Lenses?

Contact lenses are made from biocompatible silicone that sits on the front surface of your eye. They correct your vision in the same way as lenses work in your glasses.

How have Contact Lenses Changed over the Years?

With the advancement in technology, contact lens technology is also changing every year. Previously, contact lenses were uncomfortable and feel scratchy on the eye. They were made from thick inert plastic, which didn’t let a lot of oxygen through. This meant that wearing contact lenses increases the risk of eye infections if the patient wasn’t careful, especially if your eyes are prone to dry eyes.

Each year, contact lens companies develop and innovate using different lens materials and superior optics. In return, patients are fitted with contact lenses that don’t feel scratchy or dries their eyes out—all whilst having vision often better than wearing glasses alone.

These days, complications such as eye infections and discomfort from wearing contact lenses are rare; if you’re fitted with the correct contact lens.

What is a Contact Lens Fitting Appointment?

If you want clothes that feel good and tailored to your body, you would make an appointment with a professional tailor. This ensures that your clothes are designed and fitted accurately. Wouldn’t you want the same for anything that is fitted to your eyes?

There are many brands of contact lenses out there. You can find many types and brands of contact lenses online with a huge variation in prices. The cheaper contact lenses are often made from the earlier materials, and more premium and more comfortable contact lenses typically cost no more than a cup of coffee per day.

During a contact lens fitting appointment, we discuss your expectations and what you want out of wearing contact lenses. This allows our optometrist to pick the modality of the contact lens that best suits your lifestyle. For example, if you plan to wear contact lenses five days in a week, perhaps a premium monthly disposable contact lens may work a bit better for you.

Our optometrist also looks at the prescription of your glasses and checks if the prescription is still valid. This is often used as a starting point to determine the prescription of your contact lenses. Because the contact lens sits in direct contact with your eyes, your prescription may be different, incorporating a slight adjustment from your spectacle prescription.

Once we’ve determined your contact lenses’ modality (whether a daily, fortnightly or monthly contact lenses are more suitable) and your prescription, it is time to figure out which lenses fit well for comfort.

You would notice that contact lenses look like a bowl and has a curve to them. The curvature needs to be matched with the curvature of your eyes. There are different ways of determining whether a particular contact lens would fit well and compatible with your eyes. We could try all the brands with all the parameters in different curves and see how they settle on the eye. This is often called a “contact lens trial.” No issues using this method; however, it can be quite a time-consuming task.

At Capital Eye, we have an advanced piece of technology called the corneal topographer. This measures the curvature of your cornea, the front part of your eyes where the contact lens would sit. With this measurement, it can quickly determine which brand of contact lenses would be the best to fit you, eliminating the need for trialling.

After finding the right prescription and a comfortable contact lens for you, if this is the first time you use contact lenses, our optometrist will guide you through how to put these lenses in and take them out and the maintenance that may be required. Once you’re confident in using contact lenses, we give you some contact lenses to use at home, typically for a week before you need to return for an aftercare appointment.

An aftercare appointment allows us to see any complications from wearing your contact lenses and whether or not your eyes are coping. It also gives us a chance to gather feedback or any issues whilst wearing your contact lenses. An aftercare appointment is often very brief, and it is to confirm how the lenses are before finalising your contact lens prescription.

The Bottom Line

Putting anything in your eye requires professional attention to ensure you’re doing the right things and following the correct steps. Without doing so, could put you at unnecessary risk that may arise from contact lens wear. At Capital Eye, your eyes are our responsibility, and we have steps to ensure you are wearing the correct and comfortable lens that is best suited to you. If you are thinking of wearing contact lenses for the first time or feel that your current contact lenses aren’t feeling what they used to be, consider making an appointment with us online. We are more than happy to welcome you to our modern optometry practice.