Your eyeglass prescription does not provide adequate information for fitting the eye with the correct contact lenses. The size, material, curvature of the contact lens and the power of the contact lens must be specified for the characteristics of your eye. To do this, the doctor must take additional measurements and do additional evaluation beyond what is required for a prescription for glasses. The curvature of the front of the eye is measured and the eye is evaluated for suitability to wear contact lenses.
Contact lenses come in a wide variety of materials and styles, including rigid gas permeable, soft (daily and disposable) lenses. Each type has advantages and disadvantages that the doctor will explain to you as the selection of proper lenses is made. After selecting the most suitable contact lens for your eyes, the doctor will often recommend a pair of trial lenses. Your eyes must be monitored over a three month period in order to determine a proper fit of the contact lens and to monitor the health of your eyes. Several conditions may develop due to chronic or improper use of contact lenses. Some people are allergic to the chemicals in contact lens solutions and may develop reactions or conditions of the eye such as Giant Papillary Conjunctivitis. Through periodic monitoring of the health of the eye, these reactions or conditions can be detected and appropriate measures taken.
Counseling and instruction on the proper care of contact lenses is important so that you may obtain the maximum enjoyment and convenience from wearing them. If you are new to contact lens wear you will be instructed on proper cleaning, inserting and removing of the lenses. A wearing schedule is prescribed for you to allow gradual adaptation to the lenses. If you chose to wear hard contact lenses the doctor can clean and polish them when needed.
The contact lens fitting is not generally covered by insurance plans which pay for routine eye examinations. Payment for a contact lens fitting is expected at the time of the exam.
With proper care, contact lens wear can be an enjoyable and attractive option for providing vision correction.