Contact Lens Fittings
Are you a contact lens wearer? Do you want to be? If so, in addition to your comprehensive eye examination, you’ll need a contact lens “fitting” which is the first step necessary to the process of fitting contact lenses.
Contact lenses are classified as a medical device by the FDA and as such are subject to their rules and regulations, namely The Fairness To Contact Lens Consumers Act. This law protects both the consumer and the optometrist by providing very clear guidelines as to what constitutes a valid contact lens prescription, how long before these prescriptions expire, etc.
In some cases, the doctor will need to perform up to 30 additional diagnostic steps to produce a contact lens prescription for you. The “fitting” process includes these additional steps and tests, along with setting you up in diagnostic lenses and all follow-up care. These additional steps require additional time and thus additional cost. Please inform our office that you’re in need of contact lenses when you schedule your exam. This will let them know to allow extra time for the extra steps, ensuring a successful outcome.
The fitting process is both a science and an art which requires a high level of expertise and experience on the part of the optometrist. The additional contact lens fitting fees usually run from $70 to $220, depending on the level of difficulty.
The doctor may ask you some lifestyle questions to get an idea of what modality of contact lens might work best for you. Some questions to consider before heading into your appointment:
- What are your vision goals?
- Do you want to change the color of your eyes?
- Do you want to be able to sleep in your contact lenses?
- Do you want your contacts to help you with a specific vision problem (e.g. reading)?
- Do you want your contact lenses to be used for specific tasks (e.g. sports)?
- Do you have difficulty touching your eyes?
Once the doctor has done additional testing (see below) and determines which modality best fits your needs, you’ll need to actually try on the lenses they suggest. Our office stocks diagnostic lenses for fitting purposes so we’ll give you a pair to put on at the time of the initial exam.
At this point, if you are a new contact lens wearer, you will go through an extensive training on insertion, removal, and cleaning of contact lenses. This process can take anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour.
Once the diagnostic lenses are on your eyes and settled in, the doctor will do additional testing. You’ll likely be able to take the diagnostic lenses home with you. The idea here is to wear them in your real life for a week to see how they settle in and then return for a follow-up appointment a week or so later.
The follow-up appointment is a necessary and important step in finalizing your contact lens prescription. The way each contact lens interacts with your eye chemistry can only be determined after you’ve worn it for a while. Usually, only one follow-up is necessary. Sometimes, with more complicated fittings, you may need to come back several times, allowing the doctor to “tweak” the prescription in order to provide the most accurate and comfortable vision.
Some of the things the doctor will be looking at when going through the fitting process are:
- Your cornea’s curvature
- Your cornea’s topography
- The diameter of your pupil
- The diameter of your iris
- The integrity of your tear film
- Your overall corneal health
- Your overall conjunctival health
A contact lens is a foreign body being placed directly on your cornea. The cornea is made up of living, breathing cells performing daily metabolic processes, such as excreting waste and obtaining oxygen. The result of these processes determines how your contact will perform and makes it very important that you follow Dr. Klein’s recommendations in regards to wear, care and replacement of your contacts. Overwearing your contact lenses can have negative results on these living cells and on your overall eye health. It is therefore equally important that you have your annual contact lens fitting (as required by law) so that the doctor can check that the contact lenses have not caused any adverse effects.
Specialty contact lens fittings are available for difficult situations involving: