Up until the 1970’s, people who wore contact lenses had to remove and clean them at night. Since then, the industry has improved significantly.
Extended wear lenses allow you to keep your contacts in for a full week without having to remove them. But that isn’t the only improvement we’ve seen.
There are also custom contact lenses that can improve your vision and level of comfort if traditional pairs don’t do the trick for you.
In this guide, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about custom contact lenses.
So, follow along.
Getting Fitted for Contact Lenses
Anyone who wants to wear contact lenses will need to set an appointment with their eye doctor to do so. Keep in mind that a contact lens fitting is not the same as an eye exam.
Here are the differences:
Eye exams, just like annual physicals are a regular part of maintaining good health. You should attend these appointments even if you have perfect vision.
During an eye exam, your doctor will test your vision sharpness, check your eyes’ fluid pressure, and look for signs of glaucoma.
If it is determined that you have a vision problem during this exam, things will go a step further. Your doctor will do additional vision testing in order to determine the prescription strength you’d require for eyeglasses or contact lenses.
Contact Lens Exam
If you decide that you want to wear contacts instead of glasses, you will need to schedule a second type of appointment. This is your contact lens exam.
During this appointment, your eye doctor will do some testing to see how your vision will improve with contacts. The first round of testing is to measure the surface of your eyes. The point is to learn what type and size contacts will fit you best.
Next, the doctor will do an evaluation to see if you have enough tears to wear contacts without any discomfort.
When the results for those tests are in, your doctor will write a lens prescription that makes sense for your eyes. It’s important to note that even if you have an eyeglass prescription, you will still need to go through the same steps, as an eyeglass prescription is vastly different from one for contacts.
Once you’re all set, you’ll be given a trial set of contact lenses by your doctor. Since putting them in and taking them out can be a bit tricky (learn more about that here) you will have a follow-up visit where can talk about how you’ve adjusted to wearing contacts.
During this visit, your eye doctor will also complete another exam. The exam will involve checking the fit and adjusting any problems you may have had.
Why Would You Need Custom Contact Lenses?
Some patients can have issues with the fit or feel of traditional contact lenses. If they are ill-fitting, you can experience discomfort or blurry vision. In more serious cases, a bad fit can cause some damage in your eyes.
There are also medical conditions that might cause the need for custom contacts. They include:
Astigmatism is a common condition that causes your vision to be blurry. It can occur when the cornea or lens has an irregular shape.
Astigmatism often accompanies nearsightedness (myopia) or farsightedness (hyperopia.)
Keratoconus is a disorder that causes the cornea to thin progressively. It can also cause blurred vision and sensitivity to light.
Traditional contacts are effective in the earliest stages of keratoconus, but they become less useful as the condition worsens. However, manufacturers are making custom soft contact lenses to help correct patients’ vision with mild to moderate keratoconus.
Custom contact lenses are also good options for people who have experienced accidents that have caused disfigurement in the eyes. It can be a failed surgery for cataracts or LASIK, serious eye injuries, and burns.
With that said, you don’t have to have any of these problems in order to get a pair of custom contact lenses. They are for anyone who prefers to wear contacts.
So, ask your eye doctor about a pair, even if you haven’t seen anything about custom lenses on their website.
Paying for Custom Contact Lenses
As with most custom products, you can expect your custom contact lenses to be more expensive than the traditional pairs. In the price, you are paying for the extra amount of time it takes to fit these types of lenses.
The extra charge also comes from having a more advanced type of lense and your doctor’s expertise. Although, it doesn’t always happen, don’t be surprised if there is an additional fee for the fitting itself. In some cases, it can set a patient back several hundred dollars.
By this time, you’re probably wondering where your health insurance comes into play. It varies based on the coverage you have, so you should definitely ask your doctor or insurance company for a detailed explanation.
In some situations, if you need the contacts for an eye ailment like keratoconus, the health or vision insurance might cover some of the costs.
Custom contact lenses provide a more comfortable fit for anyone with vision problems. They can be the difference between having dry eyes, unclear vision, and feeling uncomfortable throughout the day. Ask your eye doctor about them during your next appointment.
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