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What is a Contact Lens Fitting?

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An optometrist hands a contact lens case to a patient

Contact lenses are a popular alternative to glasses for those who want to correct their vision. But just like getting new shoes, you can’t just toss on any pair and expect them to be comfortable. Before enjoying the benefits contact lenses offer, you need to undergo a contact lens fitting.

A contact lens fitting is where your optometrist measures and assesses your eyes’ shape, size, and health. We use precise tools to determine if contact lenses are suitable for you. And if they are, we can also recommend what type matches your lifestyle and vision needs. That’s why even if you’ve worn contacts for years, you always need a fitting.

What to Expect During a Contact Lens Fitting

Wearing contact lenses can be a fantastic and liberating experience. You get to experience the world without the weight and constraints of glasses. But before we get there, we start with a comprehensive eye exam. This step is essential to clearly understanding your current eye health.

Make sure you bring your health card, especially if this is your first time, and don’t wear makeup.

During these preliminary assessments, an optometric technician can use several tests to examine your eyes’ shape, size, and overall health to determine whether contact lenses are right for you. Eye moisture level is crucial for contact lenses, so testing your tear film’s health is essential. People with dry eyes may find wearing traditional contact lenses difficult, so we may recommend specialty lenses. Unfortunately, contact lenses aren’t suitable for everyone.

We may use an autorefractor to measure how light changes as it bounces off the retina, a layer of light-reactive cells at the back of the eye. This helps us determine the proper lens prescription. To help lenses fit, your optometrist can use corneal topography to generate a 3D map of the cornea, the eye’s clear surface contact lenses rest on.

After the Eye Exam

Once your eye examination is complete, your optometrist may recommend additional testing and a personal consultation. This consultation helps us understand your lifestyle, work, and hobbies. This information lets us figure out a contact lens that matches your preferences.

If you have specific needs or concerns, share them during your consultation. This may also be a good time to pick up some backup glasses if you can’t wear your contacts for any reason.

What Contacts Are Right for You?

While it’s easy to look at contacts as little discs that help you see better, there’s a lot of technology in these lenses. With so many types available, choosing the type of contact lenses that meet your unique needs can be overwhelming. Your optometrist can help you sort through your options and feel confident in your choice.

You may need to try on a few pairs before finding your fit, but that’s why we schedule follow-up appointments to assess how you’re adjusting to your contact lenses.

Disposable Soft Lenses

Soft contact lenses can fit comfortably on the eye and generally take less time to adapt to, making them excellent for first-time wearers. They’re available in different wear schedules to fit your lifestyle. Soft lenses are worn during the day and removed at night for cleaning and storage. Depending on the brand, these contacts can be worn for 1 day, 2 weeks, or up to a month.

However, daily disposables may be an excellent choice if you’re looking for a low-maintenance option that doesn’t require cleaning or storage. These lenses are thrown away after each use, making them great for part-time wearers or those who may not want to commit to long-term contact lens wear. Not only are they convenient, but a new pair of lenses daily reduces your risk of infection.

Extended-Wear Lenses

If you have a dynamic lifestyle that may not allow you to remove your contact lenses frequently, extended-wear lenses may benefit you. Extended-wear lenses may also be a good option if you are budget-conscious. However, always follow proper wear and care instructions, because leaving lenses in for too long can increase the risk of infections.

A woman using a small mirror to help place her contact lenses onto her eyes

Rigid Gas-Permeable Contact Lenses

Rigid gas-permeable (RGP) lenses can provide crisper vision compared to soft lenses. Unlike soft lenses, they maintain their shape while on the eye, making them beneficial for those with astigmatism while allowing more oxygen to the cornea. Large-sized RGP lenses, called scleral lenses, can avoid the cornea entirely and correct vision problems for people with corneal irregularities.

These lenses can last several years with proper care, making them a cost-effective option for long-term contact lens wear.

Ortho-K Lenses

Wear contacts while you sleep so you don’t have to wear them during the day with ortho-k lenses. These lenses gently reshape your cornea overnight, providing clear vision during the day. These lenses are great for active lifestyles as they reduce the need for glasses or contacts during sports and other physical activities.

There’s also evidence that ortho-k lenses can slow myopia progression in children.

Multifocal Contacts

If you have difficulty reading up close and are tired of reaching for your reading glasses, multifocal contact lenses may help. These lenses contain multiple prescriptions to help improve vision at different distances, reducing the need for various pairs of glasses.

Specialized soft multifocal lenses can also be part of an effective myopia management plan.

Finding the Right Fit in Calgary

At Vivid Eye Care, we don’t just give you your lenses and send you on your way. We’ll finish your fitting by showing you how to put your lenses in, remove them, and keep them clean. Regular check-ins allow us to know if you’re not loving your lenses.

Choosing the right type of contact lenses can make a big difference in your comfort and overall satisfaction with your vision. Book your contact lens fitting today, and let us help you find the right fit!

Visit Our Locations!

Cranston Market

Our Cranston Market clinic is part of the Cranston Market Clinic and is just 2 minutes off Deerfoot Trail near Stoney Trail SE. We’re located on Cranston Road SE, located in the same plaza as Sobeys and Scotiabank.

Our Address

  • 356 Cranston Road SE #1020
  • Calgary, AB T3M 0S9

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Meadows Mile

Our Meadows Mile clinic is located on the ground level of the Meadows Miles Professional Building facing Blackfoot Trail. We are just 2 minutes from Deerfoot and Glenmore Trail between Southland and Heritage Drives, up the hill from Ikea near the luxury car dealerships.

Our Address

  • 8500 Blackfoot Trl. SE, Unit 130
  • Calgary, AB T2J 7E1

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