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The Importance of Proper Contact Lens Measurements and Fitting

Many times in life, One-size-fits-all can be really great! It takes the stress out of finding the right fit and is often quick, easy and convenient. But when it comes to contact lenses, one-size-fits-all is not only an uncomfortable, but also a potentially damaging, concept that can result in serious vision and eye issues. Contact lenses generally sit directly on the cornea, making it very important that the measurements of your contact lenses are 100% accurate to ensure a comfortable, healthy fit. This will prevent eye infections and other eye conditions such as corneal abrasion, a painful scratch on the surface of the eye that can make even blinking uncomfortable!

Switching from glasses to contacts or changing your contact lens prescription are processes best overseen by an eye care professional that will measure your eyes properly and find the best fit for you. Below, Dr. John T. Giannone walks us through some of the most important parts and points of proper contact lens measurements and fitting.

Taking Measurements

Each person’s eyes are just a little bit different. Some corneas are steep, while others are shallow. Some people have mild astigmatism, while others’ astigmatism is more severe, and yet others don’t have at all. All these considerations and more make proper corneal measurements a very important starting point. Your eye’s curvature will first be measured using a measuring device known as a keratometer. This is a very simple procedure, in which you simply rest your chin on a support while the instrument takes photographs of your eye. These photographs are used to analyze reflections of light from your cornea to help the doctor determine the exact curvature of your eye and the size of contact lens that you will need.

In a case in which a patient has a hard-to-fit cornea, based on an unusual curvature of the eye, further computerized measurements are often taken using corneal topography, allowing a more precise picture of the shape of the corneal surface.

With astigmatism the surface of the eye is irregular and causes poor focusing. In this case toric contact lenses, which are made specifically to correct the distortions of the eye caused by astigmatism and requires more detailed measurements than a standard lens.

It is also important to get an accurate measurement of the pupil, the opening at the front of the eye where light enters, as well as the colored part of the eye, the iris. This is measured either with a ruler or with an automated device.

Your eye doctor may also perform a tear film evaluation in order to assess if you are prone to dry eyes. If you are, your eye doctor may be able to prescribe you specialty lenses that help keep the eye properly hydrated and prevent dry eye symptoms such as red, itchy, uncomfortable eyes.

The Fitting

After completion of all the required measurements, your eye doctor will know what type and shape of contact lens you require. Many doctors give their patients a trial pair of lenses to try on at this point. An instrument called a biomicroscope may be used for a magnified view of the cornea with the contacts in, to assess the fit. This same instrument can also be used to detect and assess any change in the health of your eyes after beginning contact lens wear. You are likely to also have a number of follow-up visits after the initial fitting. These visits are meant to ensure that your eyes are remaining healthy with contact lens use. Your doctor should be able to order your permanent prescription after the second or third visit, assuming that he or she has not seen any damage to your eyes from the trial pair and has confirmed that the fit is proper.

It is important that your lenses be properly fitted to your eyes for maximum comfort and health at all times. For more information, contact your eye doctor today.

Welcome to our New Website

We invite you to take a look around our new site to get to know our practice and learn about eye and vision health. You will find a wealth of information about our optometrists, our staff and our services, as well as facts and advice about how to take care of your eyes and protect your vision.

Learn about our Practice specialties including comprehensive eye exams, contact lens fittings and the treatment of eye diseases. Our website also offers you a convenient way to find our hours, address and map, schedule an appointment online, order contact lenses or contact us to ask us any questions you have about eye care and our Practice.

Have a look around our online office and schedule a visit to meet us in person. We are here to partner with you and your family for a lifetime of healthy eyes and vision. We look forward to seeing you!

Pink, Stinging Eyes?

Conjunctivitis, also called pink eye, is one of the most frequently seen eye diseases, especially in kids. It can be caused by viruses, bacteria or even allergies to pollen, chlorine in swimming pools, and ingredients in cosmetics, or other irritants, which touch the eyes. Some forms of conjunctivitis might be quite transmittable and quickly spread in school and at the office.

Conjunctivitis is seen when the conjunctiva, or thin transparent layer of tissue covering the white part of the eye, becomes inflamed. You can identify conjunctivitis if you notice eye redness, discharge, itching or swollen eyelids and a crusty discharge surrounding the eyes early in the day. Pink eye infections can be divided into three main types: viral, allergic and bacterial conjunctivitis.

The viral type is usually a result of a similar virus to that which produces the recognizable red, watery eyes, sore throat and runny nose of the common cold. The red, itchy, watery eyes caused by viral pink eye are likely to last from a week to two and then will clear up on their own. You may however, be able to reduce some of the discomfort by using soothing drops or compresses. Viral pink eye is transmittable until it is completely cleared up, so in the meantime maintain excellent hygiene, remove eye discharge and try to avoid using communal pillowcases or towels. If your son or daughter has viral conjunctivitis, he or she will have to be kept home from school for three days to a week until symptoms disappear.

A bacterial infection such as Staphylococcus or Streptococcus is usually treated with antibiotic eye drops or cream. One should notice an improvement within just a few days of antibiotic drops, but be sure to adhere to the full prescription dosage to prevent pink eye from recurring.

Allergic pink eye is not contagious. It is usually a result of a known allergy such as hay fever or pet allergies that sets off an allergic reaction in their eyes. First of all, to treat allergic pink eye, you should eliminate the irritant. Use cool compresses and artificial tears to relieve discomfort in mild cases. When the infection is more severe, your eye doctor might prescribe a medication such as an anti-inflammatory or antihistamine. In cases of chronic allergic pink eye, topical steroid eye drops could be used.

Pink eye should always be diagnosed by a qualified eye doctor in order to identify the type and best course of treatment. Never treat yourself! Keep in mind the sooner you begin treatment, the lower chance you have of giving pink eye to loved ones or prolonging your discomfort.