Whats The Difference Between A Regular Eye Exam And A Contact Lens Exam
A regular eye exam assesses your eye health and visual acuity. Regular eye exams are important but dont include tests specifically designed for first-time contact lens wearers or their follow-up assessments.
A contact lens exam determines whether youre a good candidate for contact lenses and pinpoints your contact lens prescription, which is different from your eyeglass prescription. Based on the results, your eye doctor can prescribe the contact lenses that best suit your needs.
The Contact Lens Consultation
The contact lens industry is always developing new innovations to make contacts more comfortable, convenient and accessible. Therefore, one of the initial steps in a contact lens consultation is to discuss with your eye doctor some lifestyle and health considerations that could impact the type of contacts that suit you best.
Some of the options to consider are whether you would prefer daily disposables or monthly disposable lenses, as well as soft versus rigid gas permeable lenses. If you have any particular eye conditions, such as astigmatism or dry eye syndrome, your eye doctor might have specific recommendations for the right type or brand for your optimal comfort and vision needs.
Now is the time to tell your eye doctor if you would like to consider colored contact lenses as well. If you are over 40 and experience problems seeing small print, for which you need bifocals to see close objects, your eye doctor may recommend multifocal lenses or a combination of multifocal and monovision lenses to correct your unique vision needs.
What Are Trial Contact Lenses
After all of your measurements are taken, your eye doctor may give you a pair of contact lenses to try on. They may insert them in your eyes or show you how to do it yourself. Once theyre in your eyes, your eye doctor will wait about 20 minutes to see how well they fit and how well you can see while wearing them.
It can sometimes take several trials until you find the pair of lenses that fit you best.
Your eye doctor will then order your new contact lenses, and give you detailed instructions on how to handle and care for your contacts to ensure that they remain clean and safe for your eyes.
If youre new to contact lenses, you may feel uneasy about inserting and removing them. Rest assured that practice makes perfect. Youll become a pro within a few days.
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Trial Contacts & Follow
After the tests, your eye doctor will prescribe trial contact lenses and ask you to wear them for a few days before a follow-up exam. If this is your first time wearing contacts, youll be instructed on how to handle them properly to protect your eye health.
At your follow-up fitting, your doctor will conduct another exam to see how your eyes are adjusting, and to make sure the lenses arent putting your eye health at risk. Even if everything feels fine, poorly fitting lenses can lead to problems. Too small, and the lenses can restrict tear flow. Too big, and the lenses can shift around and harm the surface of your eye.
Some types of contacts can take longer to find the right fit. Once both you and your doctor are happy with the way your contact lenses are fitting, your contact lens prescription is complete. You can order contacts in the store, or through our website.
How often do you need a contact lens exam?
Patients who wear contact lenses need an annual contact lens eye exam .
Why do you need a contact lens fitting every year?
There are several reasons why its important to keep up with regular contact lens fittings:
Contact lens eye exams cost more than regular eye exams because they involve more tests, measurements, and evaluations to ensure a proper fit and minimize risk of damage to your eyes.
Preparing for your contact lens fitting
Contact lens fittings typically take longer than regular eye exams, so allow a little extra time in your schedule.
Your Fitting & Trial Period
When weve collected enough information about your eyes, well provide you with a trial pair of lenses. If youre happy with their fit and function, well order you a larger supply and teach you how to maintain your new products. Youll also have to come back for a follow-up appointment or 2 so we can ensure your eyes adjust properly to your new lenses.
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Why Do Eye Doctors Charge More For Contact Lens Exams
If you recently had a contact lens examination, you may have been surprised at your final bill. Patients often wonder why the cost of a contact lens examination is greater than that of a regular eye exam. It’s because fitting patients with contact lenses involves several steps and additional time. Specifically, here are a few things that may increase the bottom line:
How Much Is A Contact Lens Fitting
- Average price range: $25 to $250
The cost of contact lens fittings will depend on the type of lens.
Disposable soft contact lenses
Optometrists usually charge less than $100 when fitting soft disposable lenses. This is for people who have never worn contact lenses before. Otherwise, you can apply them yourself.
After the initial fitting, you can wear and remove them yourself. .
Extended wear soft contacts
Eye doctors can charge up to $140 when fitting soft contacts for continuous and overnight use.
Again, you don’t have to get a fitting every time you change lenses. But it’s ideal to have a professional help you the first time.
Optometrists charge $150 for toric lens fittings, regardless of whether they are soft lenses or RGP contacts.
Rigid gas permeable lenses, multifocal lenses, and therapeutic contact lenses may cost up to $210 to $250 for a fitting.
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Can You Get An Eye Exam Without Insurance
Yes, you can get a vision test without insurance. Eye exam prices will vary, and you will have to pay out of pocket for it. You’ll also have to pay for any glasses or contacts.
If you do not have vision insurance, you may choose to visit a larger retailer like Costco or Walmart. They run optometric clinics with qualified eye doctors at lower costs. These retailers exist all across the United States.
Likewise, the National Eye Institute has a list of organizations that provide free eye exams, vision screenings, and free glasses. Optometry Cares: The AOA Foundation also maintains a list of state-specific resources.
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Contact Lens Exams And Fitting
OHSU Casey Eye Institutes contact lens specialists provide evaluation, fitting and management of contact lenses to help you see clearly. We use state-of-the art tests and the latest contact lens technology to provide you with the best personalized care.
We offer contact lens fittings if you need routine vision correction, such as for nearsightedness or farsightedness, and also provide specialty fittings and custom lenses to improve your vision if you have a more complex eye condition, such as an irregular astigmatism, keratoconus, corneal transplant or if your lens was removed. At OHSU Casey Eye Institute, you will get:
- Routine and complex eye care for elective or medically necessary contacts.
- Latest contact lens designs available in our clinic. We have many corneal, hybrid and custom soft diagnostic lenses.
- Compassionate care, which is always a priority during contact lens fittings. Your unique eyes and medical history are taken into account to select the best lens design for you.
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How Does The 1
Youll answer a few questions to determine if youre eligible. Then, youll take some pictures of your eyes and stand 10 feet back from your phone or computer to read a series of letters. Finally, youll answer some questions about the contacts you were wearing as you took the test.
A licensed ophthalmologist in your state will look at everything and your renewed prescription will be ready within a few business hours.
What Happens After A Contact Lens Exam
Once your optometrist has confirmed the fit of your contact lenses, the exam portion is over and youll get your contact lens prescription.
But if youre a first-time wearer, you may have to practice putting your contact lenses in and taking them out. The optometry office is a great place to do so, as your optometrist will guide you through the steps and have helpful tips.
You may be given a set of trial lenses to use over the course of the next several dayssome prescriptions are trickier than others, and its important to get them right. Monitor how you feel while wearing your new contacts and get used to caring for them. At a follow-up appointment, your optometrist will take another look at your eyes while your contacts are in to make sure everything looks like it should.
Now youre free to order contacts online or through your optometrist whenever you need them!
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How Much Does A Cheap Eye Exam Cost
On average, you can expect to pay around $80 for an eye exam without insurance.
If youre being fitted for contacts or renewing your contact lens prescription, you could be looking at an additional fee ranging from $50 to $150.
The exact price of your eye exam will vary depending on where you live. I called optometrist offices near Lexington, Kentucky Atlanta, Georgia and Denver, Colorado, to get an idea of the average eye exam price at each store.
Here are the prices I found for a basic comprehensive eye exam in June 2022.
In addition to these stores, Americas Best offers a free eye exam when you buy two pairs of glasses, and 1-800-Contacts offers an online eye exam for $20.
Daily Disposable Contact Lenses
If daily maintenance and proper storage at night sound like too much hassle, daily disposable lenses may be a great fit for you. These lenses are used for just 1 day, after which theyre discarded.
Thanks to new products on the market, you can even find dailies that work with astigmatism.
Dailies typically come in a box of 90. If you need a different prescription for each eye, youll have to buy separate boxes of 90 to get through 3 months of daily wear.
To get the most bang for your buck, consider purchasing half a years supply or 4 boxes with 90 lenses each at once to take advantage of bulk discounts.
Make sure to not use dailies for more than a day. If you need to stretch a box, you can instead take some days off from wearing your contacts and switch to your glasses.
- Cost: $400$500 per year
- Products to try:Bausch & Lomb SofLens Daily Disposable from 1-800-Contacts or Acuvue 1-Day Moist for Astigmatism from LensDirect
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Why Regular Eye Exams Are Important
Comprehensive eye exams are an important part of preventive care for your eyes. Many common eye problems are easy to manage if caught early. But if left undetected and untreated, some eye disorders could lead to macular degeneration or blindness.11
With Humana Vision, members get a comprehensive eye exam through participating providers once every 12 months with a $15 copay. The cost of vision insurance through Humana depends on your location and age. to find price estimates for where you live.
*Humana Vision plans are not available in all states.
Conventional Yearly Soft Lenses
These contacts are meant to last for a full year.
Thus, they require a lot of care and commitment. If youve frequently forgotten or neglected to maintain your contacts in the past, this may not be the best option for you.
Only a few brands and suppliers offer this type of contact lenses, so your choices are limited.
Keep in mind that while the per-box cost for yearly contact lenses might be higher than that of other types, you only need one box to lasts an entire year. That being said, its a good idea to opt for a box with a spare pair, just in case.
- Cost: $50$80 per year
- Products to try:Bausch & Lomb Optima at Walmart
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Type Of Eye Care Provider
There are three main types of eye care providers that people consider when scheduling an eye exam.
Retail stores: Your CostCos, Targets, Sams Clubs, Walmarts, and more. These stores dont specialize in eye care, but often have optical departments connected to them that offer eye exams.
Due to their arrangements with big names in retail, these departments tend to represent the most affordable option for an eye exam. Sams Club leads the pack with exams that cost around $45$50, whereas you can expect to pay about $70 or more at the bulk of the other retail contenders.
Optical chains: Unlike retail stores, optical chains do specialize in eyestheir sole purpose is to administer eye care and sell eyewear. As the chain in the name implies, they have several locations throughout the country.
Not every optical chain operates the same way. An optometrist at an optical chain location might work entirely independently from the retail armessentially stationed next-door to itor they might have a close business partnership with the eyewear shop.
Warby Parker is an exceptional case: we handle almost every aspect of the eye care experience, from conducting your exam to the designing, manufacturing, and selling of our signature glasses frames. Rather than relying on middlemen or a slew of other glasses companies, were with patients for every step of the process, and we have more than 100 brick-and-mortar stores across the country.
Contacts Vs Lasik: Which One Is For You
LASIK surgery and contact lenses correct vision problems caused by refractive errors. These include myopia, hyperopia, and astigmatism.
The main difference is that LASIK offers a cost-effective and long-term solution. It uses laser to reshape your cornea and improve your eyesight permanently.
With LASIK, you only have to pay for follow-up eye exams.
Contact lenses have high-maintenance costs and only offer a temporary solution. You have to continue wearing and replacing lenses for the rest of your life.
Each has its own risks. But an ophthalmologist can make sure that whichever you choose, your treatment will be safe.
Talk to your eye doctor and find out if you qualify for LASIK.
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Contact Lens Exam Vs Eye Exam: Whats Included
When you go to your optometrist for an annual check-up, youre there for a comprehensive eye exam. The optometrist will look at the various parts of your eyes to assess their health and investigate any abnormalities or signs of disease.
Theyll also test your visual acuity, perform a refraction, check your ocular health, and more. These tests allow them to write you a prescription for glasses if you need vision correction.
A contact lens exam, by contrast, is only conducted if you want to wear contact lenses or update your existing contact lens prescription. Unlike eyeglasses, contact lenses sit directly on your eyesthis is just one of the reasons why contacts require an additional exam. A contact lens exam can be added to the appointment alongside a comprehensive eye exam, but its a separate series of tests and conversations.
A contact lens exam can have several components, including a consultation with the optometrist, measurements of a few key parts of your eyes, a tear film evaluation, and a confirmation of the lens correction and fit. If its your first time wearing contacts, this process may also include some instruction on putting in and taking out your contacts. All of these procedures ensure that your contacts will fit comfortablyyes, there are different sizes!and give you the clearest vision possible.
How Often Do You Need A Contact Lens Exam
Just like your regular eye exams, contact lens exams should occur yearly. Annual contact lens exams enable your provider to update or renew your prescription, check for any contact-related health issues, and allow you to ask your optometrist for any further recommendations.
To save time, you can always request that your contact lens exam be conducted at the same appointment as your comprehensive eye exam.
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How Much Is A Contacts Lens Exam
Contact lens exam cost can range from $60 to approximately $150, depending on the particular professional, the location, and other variables. The cost of a contact lens exam may also include the fitting of the lenses to your eyes. This is a delicate process that is necessary to ensure the best possible fit, and a properly fitting contact lens is …
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How Contact Lens Exams Work
Contact lens eye exams begin like regular eye exams: your eye doctor checks your eyes for any possible health issues and tests your vision. Contact lens exams also include detailed eye measurements to determine the size and type of contacts you need, as well as a lens fitting and evaluation.
Your overall health, unique eye anatomy, history of contact lens use, and other factors will determine which specific tests are included in your contact lens exam. In general, a contact lens eye exam may include:
Slit lamp exam lets the doctor examine your eyes microscopically, to detect abnormalities or changes caused by contact lens wear. The slit lamp is a binocular microscope with an adjustable light so the doctor can focus on specific parts of your eyes. You may need eye drops to dilate your pupils, or eye drops with fluorescein dye to highlight any damage on the surface of your eye.
Pupil & iris measurement
Measurement is done by holding a gauge near your eye, or by using an automated instrument. The diameter of your pupil and iris determine what size contact lenses you need.
Tear film evaluation
Evaluation determines whether your eyes produce enough tears to be able to wear contact lenses. Patients with low tear production may be able to wear contact lenses made for dry eyes, or may be advised to avoid contact lenses .
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