If you're thinking about getting contact lenses the next time you go to your eye doctor, be sure to let the office know in advance so they can adjust your appointment time. You may not realize it, but you need an additional examination for contact lenses. A traditional eye exam is not sufficient. The additional examination is to ensure the contact lenses are an ideal fit for your eyes. Here is some more information about the eye tests you undergo when you want to get contact lenses.

You Start With A Comprehensive Eye Examination

A traditional eye examination is needed for the eye doctor to determine the strength of the lenses in the same way it's done to determine the strength of your glasses. This helps the optometrist determine if you are farsighted, nearsighted, or have some other visual problem. The test also reveals if you need bifocal or some other specialty lenses. In addition to the strength of the lenses, your prescription will also include values for curvature of the lens and diameter, so the lenses are a good fit for your eyes.

Your Tear Production Is Evaluated

A test for contact lenses your doctor will do is for dry eyes. One way to do this is to insert a fine strip of absorbent paper under your lower lid. When the paper is removed, the optometrist can judge how well you produce tears to keep your eyes lubricated. If you have dry eyes, you may not be able to wear contact lenses since they can further dry your eyes. If your eye doctor knows about your dry eyes in advance due to testing, he or she can choose contacts made for this eye condition so you will be more comfortable wearing contacts. This test is not painful or uncomfortable since the strip of paper is so thin.

Your Pupil And Iris Size Are Measured

Measurements are taken of the size of your pupil and iris so the contacts fit on your eyes properly and look their best. This test can be done manually by the optometrist or it can be done mechanically by a computerized eye examination machine. This helps the doctor choose the right size for your lenses, but the size may need to be tweaked when you're examined on a following visit.

The Curvature Of Your Eye Is Determined

Measuring the curvature of your cornea is done by analyzing the way light reflects off it. This information allows the eye doctor to prescribe the correct shape and size of the contact lenses he or she prescribes. This test can be done with a computerized machine that creates a map of the curvature of your eyes. The information the optometrist learns also helps him or her choose the type of lens that will give you the best vision correction.

Optometrists, such as the ones found at http://www.the-eye-center.com, are able to use all this information to choose trial contacts for you to wear. You'll put on a pair in the office and undergo another quick examination to make sure the lenses are a good fit and that you can see through them clearly. You'll also need to demonstrate to the eye doctor that you can insert and remove the lenses by yourself. You'll probably schedule one or more follow-up appointments so the optometrist can check your eyes to make sure the lenses cause no problems. Once you and your eye doctor are assured the lenses are a good fit, you can resume your normal eye examination schedule.