Contact Lens Exam

Those who wear contact lenses need to ensure they schedule an eye exam at least once a year.

What Is A Contact Lens Exam?

Many people find the option of wearing contact lenses an intriguing alternative to prescription glasses. Modern optometry has advanced to the point that there are many safe and comfortable options on the market to match your needs. These include options for soft and hard lenses, disposables, extended wear, and even customized styles. Some people want them for occasional usage, while others want to make a complete switch from standard glasses.

American Family Vision Clinic

If you are interested in switching to contact lenses, you will first need a special lens test. As recognized medical devices, you can't simply buy a pair in the local CVS. 

A contact lens exam is comprehensive and it is comprised of the following:

  • Eye Exam: A thorough evaluation of visual acuity and overall ocular health. Contact lens prescriptions sometimes differ from those of your glasses prescription. Comprehensive testing will determine if they are suitable for you. Some people may be prone to infections and other complications. Some people require a specific type of lens. The optometrist will also speak with you about your lifestyle to find the right type of lens to match your needs and requirements. 
  • Tear Testing: This will assess to see if your eye produces sufficient tears to keep your lenses moist. 
  • Fitting: Our eyes are not uniform in size. The optometrist will use a biomicroscope to determine the size of your iris and pupil, and a keratometer to test for corneal curvature. Poorly fitted lenses may cause discomfort and can even damage the eyes. During the fitting you will select the type of lenses, such as soft lenses versus hard one, extended wear vs. disposables, etc.
  • Maintenance: The optometrist will provide instructions on how to use and care for your lenses, to ensure your health and the longevity of your lenses. This will include instructions on safely putting the lenses in your eye and removing them, as well as learning how to clean and store them properly (if they aren’t disposable). Caring for your lenses is important for your health. Unclean, poorly maintained lenses may cause medical complications and infections. 
  • You will receive your lens kit

Optometrists recommend annual exams to monitor for any changes in your prescription and for signs of eye complications. Additionally, you may be interested in switching lenses based on changes in lifestyle, or out of a desire for a new look. 

What Options Are Available For Contact Lenses?

Not every type of lens is suitable for everyone. You will need to consider the types of lenses deemed appropriate for your eyes, as well as the style of lenses that meets your needs. You will want to consider:

  • Soft lenses: The advantage of soft lenses is that many people find them more comfortable and there are many options, such as disposable lenses and extended wear options. 
  • Scleral lenses: Scleral lenses provide comfort and improved visual acuity for people who cannot wear regular contacts following corneal surgery, or as a result of other eye disorders such as keratoconus and other ocular conditions.
  • OrthoK: These corneal shaping contacts are usually worn during the night, and they allow the wearer to have good daytime vision after using them during the night. They are sometimes used to slow down progression of childhood myopia.
  • Hard lenses: One popular option are Rigid Gas Permeables (RGP) which retain their shape while allowing essential oxygen flow to the eye. Rigid gas disposables provide sharper vision than soft disposables, and they are often used by those with uneven cornea curvature.
  • Customized: Offers changes in eye color
  • Extended-wear: These options vary. Some even allow for overnight wear, provided that all maintenance measures are followed.
  • Bifocal/Multifocal: Those experiencing common vision changes that begin in middle age should consider bifocal lenses, which feature two lenses, or multifocal lenses which feature points in the lens for different vision requirements, such as reading, close vision, etc.
  • Monovision fitting:  A specialized type of fitting where one eye is corrected for close vision, while the other is corrected for distance vision. 
What Options Are Available For Contact Lenses?
Symptoms or Conditions

Symptoms or Conditions

People with sensitive eyes may develop intolerance ranging from mild infection, redness, and sensitivity, to more serious types of ocular damage. If you notice any signs or symptoms of pain or discomfort, notify your optometrist as soon as possible. Remove your contacts until you are given permission to resume wearing them.

Common Questions

There are no best types. Depending on your eye shape and sensitivity, certain types might be more ideal. People with certain eye conditions frequently do better with hard Rigid Gas Permeable lenses. There are also considerations based on individual needs. Do you want to go with disposables or are you looking for extended use options? Speak with your optometrist to identify the type that works for you.
Visual acuity is the ability to see a target object clearly at a certain distance. For instance, seeing 20/20 means that a person can see the target clearly and sharply as opposed to someone who has 20/100 who can see at 20 feet what someone sees clearly at 100 feet. There are also two types of acuities, distance and near. cartoon Additional Information Comprehensive exams are crucial for assessing visual acuity and ocular health by preventing and treating various disorders. Always inform your optometrist of aberrant symptoms. If your signs are serious, such as those following trauma to the head, seek immediate medical attention. Contact us today if you have any questions or would like to schedule an appointment. Related Articles Understanding Your Prescription Making Sense of Your Glasses Prescription Read More Pediatric Eye Exams The Importance of Pediatric Eye Examinations for Children Read More How Often Should You Have A Comprehensive Eye Exam? The Importance of Extensive Eye Exams Read More Contact Lens Exam The following article provides information about what you can expect from a contact lens exam, and the different stages required for getting contact lenses. Read More Vision Screenings vs Comprehensive Exams The following article addresses the difference between a vision screening, which is limited in scope and in what it can detect, and a comprehensive eye exam Read More Why Online Vision Tests can't Replace your Eye Doctor? Online vision tests are not a replacement for proper testing from an optometrist. The following article will explain why this is so. Read More Eye Exams In order to maintain our ocular health, we require periodic examinations from optometrists to prevent, detect, and treat diseases and complications Read More Learn More Routine Eye Care - Q&A Page Routine eye care is necessary to prevent eye disease and detect early signs of conditions such as macular degeneration and glaucoma. Read More Color Blindness People who are color blind see colors differently than other people. Read More Understanding Your Prescription Making Sense of Your Glasses Prescription Read More Eye Strain and Blue Light The following article addresses digital induced eye strain and effective remedies for improving the condition Read More Pediatric Eye Exams The Importance of Pediatric Eye Examinations for Children Read More Vision Care Glossary The following article will provide definitions and explanations to clarify basic terminology of standard eye care and vision-related services. Read More 1 2 3 Next » Contact Us To Amplify Your EyeCare I'M READY Logo Working Hours Monday - Saturday Closed Sunday Closed Location Phone Website Accessibility Policy Safety Protocols Page
A contact lens exam only checks your visual acuity and determines your contact lens fit. Contrary to that, a comprehensive eye exam includes a prescription for glasses, but also assesses the overall health of your eyes and vision. A contact lens exam is extremely important if you are considering contacts, as misfitting contacts can cause damage to your eyes. A comprehensive eye exam is critical even if you wear contacts and had a contact lens exam, this is because it consists of a series of tests to check your vision and make sure you have no early signs of eye disease.
Contact Lens Exam
Dr. Zurcher cartoon

Are Contact Lenses Right For You?

Contact lens technology and materials has radically evolved over the past 20 years. So even if you had difficulties in the past from high myopia, high astigmatism, corneal issues such as keratoconus, or have had discomfort when wearing contact lenses in the past, you can most likely successfully be fit with contact lenses. If you are interested in finding out more, contact us today at (360) 491-2121 to schedule an exam.


Such a nice optician. My grandson is only 4 and needs glasses. We were so sad, but he explained the issues, and we will follow up as he suggested.

Anna P.

I had such a good experience with the clinic. Very friendly staff and doctor, did not have to wait for long to be called, and was treated respectfully. Thanks, American Family.

June S.

Dr. Zurcher has gone above and beyond what any other eye doctor has ever done to figure out what is going on with my eyes. Very happy with American Family Vision.

Christine R.

Family Vision Clinic changed our lives! My daughter was frequently car sick, and she was getting headaches every day, often painful enough that they brought her to tears. We saw a string of doctors and therapists, but we made no progress. Finally, we found Dr. Levi Zurcher and his eye therapist Rain. After ten weeks of eye therapy my daughter no longer gets headaches, and she no longer gets car sick. Daily tears are a thing of the past. I really can’t say enough about this clinic. It was fascinating to watch Dr. Zurcher work. For the first time, someone who knew what they were doing was intently studying my daughter, really trying to figure out all of her eye issues, and his therapist Rain is one of the most patient and lovely people that I’ve ever had the good fortune to meet. We’re finished with eye therapy—yay!—and I have switched to American Family Vision Clinic for all of my family’s other eye health needs.

Lars Wulff

Very professional, yet kind and helpful. They do what they can to make the appointment comfortable. I was running a bit late, I made sure ti call. They were able to switch me with a patient who was already there, they treated me with respect, and helped my son have confidence by getting him the eye care he needed that day. Thank you so much! Would recommend to anyone. It's a blessing that they care enough to work with people who have all different types of insurance from work to state coverage.

Justin E.

The staff is friendly. The Doc is very knowledgeable. The office is family friendly and everyone is so patient with the little ones.

Amy Fagerness
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