Contact Lens Exam

Contact lenses offer a convenient alternative to wearing eyeglasses. There are many different options available whether you’d like to wear them every day, during sports, or simply for special occasions. Whether you are new to wearing contact lenses or have been wearing them for some time, you’ll need a contact lens exam to obtain a prescription to wear contact lenses.


What is a Contact Lens Exam?

During a comprehensive eye exam, we assess your overall eye health and vision. A contact lens exam specifically evaluates your eyes to determine if you are a good candidate to wear contact lenses. The contact lens exam is typically conducted in addition to the comprehensive eye exam. The doctor will perform special tests to determine your contact lens prescription and proper fit. If you currently wear contact lenses or would like to wear contact lenses, please let us know when you schedule an appointment so that your contact lens exam can be conducted in addition to your comprehensive eye exam.  

Specifically, a contact lens exam will include:  

  • Measuring your cornea (the front surface of the eye) to determine the curvature and size of your contact lens. Astigmatism may require you to wear a toric lens (a special type of lens that counteracts flaws on the surface). 
  • Measuring the size of your pupil or iris size. 
  • Evaluating your tear film to ensure you have sufficient tears to keep the contact lenses moist and comfortable.  

Your doctor will also take your health history and lifestyle into account to determine the best type of contact lens for your needs. 


Your Contact Lens Prescription  

Contact lens prescriptions are different than eyeglass prescriptions, which is why you need a contact lens exam. The contact lens prescription will designate contact lens power, a base curve (a shape matching the curvature of your eye), and diameter. Your doctor may give you a trial pair of contact lenses for you to wear to find the contacts which sit most comfortably on your eye and provide you with the clearest vision. 

The team at Primary Eye Care of Arlington and South Main will ensure you know how to insert and remove your contact lenses, and if applicable, how to properly store them. It is important to follow their instructions, particularly on the contact lens wear schedule, to ensure you have comfortable, clear vision every day and to avoid developing an eye infection.  

Contact Lens Follow-Up Exam  

Depending on your history with the prescribed contact lens, your doctor may ask you to schedule an additional appointment so that we can assess whether your contact lenses are a good fit and to see if your eyes are properly adjusting to the contact lenses.  

If you are interested in wearing contact lenses, contact Primary Eye Care of Arlington and South Main today to schedule your contact lens exam and fitting.   

Your Contact Lens Options  

We have many different contact lens options for patients. When recommending contact lenses, our eye doctor considers your lifestyle, visual needs, and eye health.

Contact lens options include the following:  

Rigid Gas Permeable Lenses 

Rigid gas permeable lenses, also known as RGP lenses, are firm or hard instead of soft. They are made of materials that allow oxygen to flow through to the cornea, the front surface of the eye.   

RGP lenses keep their shape on the eye, so they don’t move around on the eyes the way soft contact lenses do sometimes. RGP lenses are sometimes recommended to slow down the progression of nearsightedness in young people.  

Toric rigid gas permeable lenses are a good option for people with astigmatism because they are customized to the eye shape, so they often feel more comfortable and provide better quality vision.  

Soft Contact Lenses  

Soft contact lenses are the most common type of contact lens and are very popular. These lenses are used for correcting nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. They typically feel more comfortable initially and are easier to adjust to than RGP lenses. There are several types of soft contact lenses to meet unique visual needs, such as astigmatism, and different wear schedules. Whichever type of contact lens the doctor prescribes, it is important to follow directions on how long you should wear them to avoid infection.  

Daily disposable soft contact lenses are meant to be worn for one day only and disposed of at the end of the day. Daily wear soft contact lenses are worn all day and then removed at night for cleaning and storage. Daily wear soft contact lenses should be replaced each day because the materials will break down. 

Colored Contact Lenses  

These are worn to enhance or completely change the visual color of the iris. They are still prescription contact lenses, however, and need to be treated with the same care you would give to regular lenses. Many— but not all—brands of contact lens companies offer colored lens options. 


Schedule a Contact Lens Exam 

Our expert doctor and team are here for your contact lens exam and contact lens prescription needs. We take your health history and unique visual needs into account. Make your healthy vision a priority and contact our office in Memphis or Arlington to schedule your contact lens exam.  

Can I sleep in my contacts?

There are contact lenses that are approved for overnight wear. You should understand that sleeping in contacts increases the risks of corneal inflammation and/or infections that can lead to extreme discomfort and possible vision loss.

Can I use my eyeglass prescription to buy over-the-counter contact lenses?

The prescriptions for eyeglasses and contact lenses are different. Contact lens prescriptions require the doctor seeing the contact lens on the eye and see how it fits the eye and interacts with the ocular surface. Many times since the contact lens sits at the ocular surface instead of in front of it, the numbers are different as well.

Is it safe for me to clean my contact lenses with a homemade solution?

No. It is best to use contact lens solutions that we recommend to clean your contact lenses. And we really love contact lenses that you don’t have to clean at all…daily disposable l