If you need contact lenses, you will have to see an eye doctor to get a prescription. All contact lenses, including colored contacts, are considered vision aids, which are medical devices. Here are four things that will happen during your contact lens fitting.
1. You will be given a vision test.
Your eye doctor will need to diagnose the type and level of vision loss that affects you. You will be asked to sit in a darkened room and told to read several rows of letters projected on a screen. Once your eye doctor has established a baseline for your sight, the test will be repeated with the aid of various lenses. You will be asked if each lens makes the letters more or less clear until your doctor finds the ideal prescription strength for you.
2. You will be given a test pair of contact lenses.
Establishing your prescription is only the first step in a contact lens fitting. Contact lenses are manufactured by various companies using different materials. Most soft contact lenses are made from silicone of various degrees of permeability. Some contacts can be worn for a full month, while others need to be changed weekly or even daily. Your eye doctor will choose the brand they believe is right for you, then give you a pair of contact lenses to test in their office.
3. Your doctor will instruct you on proper lens handling.
If this is your first time wearing contact lenses, you may not know how to insert the lenses safely into your eye. Your eye doctor can brief you on proper lens handling techniques. They can walk you through the process of inserting and removing your new contacts. They will also show you how to properly clean your contact lenses. You will be instructed to rub your contacts gently in a cleaning solution to remove protein deposits that can cause blurry vision.
4. You can schedule your next vision appointment.
Contact lens prescriptions need to be renewed every year. This is in contrast to eyeglasses prescriptions, which are valid for two years. Annual eye doctor appointments allow your doctor to keep track of changes in your vision. Some conditions, such as astigmatism, cause the shape of your eye to change over time. During your yearly eye exam, your eye doctor will measure the diameter of your eye and ensure your current brand of contacts still fits appropriately.