If you’re considering switching from eyeglasses to contact lenses, you might be wondering why contact lens exams cost more than regular eye exams. Keep in mind that an eyeglass prescription will not test for how contact lenses might fit. This is why a regular exam is no substitute for a proper contact lens prescription. A contact lens exam, on the other hand, offers the additional procedures and tests required to determine the best fitting contact lenses.

Obtaining an eyeglass prescription requires a regular comprehensive eye exam. Your doctor will perform tests to evaluate vision acuity, eye coordination, prescription strength and fluid pressure. Your doctor will also dilate your eyes to check for more serious health conditions.

Contact lenses are more complex to prescribe because lenses fit directly on the eye. Eyeglasses, on the other hand, sit about 12mm away from the eyes, which means that eyeglasses will have a higher power when compared to contacts. Eyeglass exams measure vision, and how much refraction correct will be needed, if any. For contact lens exams, doctors not only measure true power, they also have to measure the curvature and diameter of the cornea. Contact lens exams also test the best fitting lens and the correct size lens. For first-time contact lens wearers, a doctor may also provide a tear film evaluation test to determine if your eyes produce enough tears for contact lens use.

When it comes to contact lenses, comfort is very important. An optometrist will likely supply you with a trial pair of contact lenses to find out how they fit. This requires a follow-up visit to ensure the lenses fit properly and comfortably. Improper fitting contacts can impact the overall health of your eyes.

When getting an eye exam, you should consider whether you need a prescription for contact lenses in addition to an eyeglass prescription. This requires more time to perform additional tests. It’s a good idea to have the same eye care professional perform a general exam and a contact lens exam so you don’t have to repeat the same procedures. For more information about choosing the right eye exam for you, please contact our Los Angeles eye doctors at 877-871-1684.

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