Contact Eye Exams vs. Eyeglass Eye Exams

Contact Lenses

Photo Credit: Every Stock Photo Photographer: Paulius Peciura

You go to the optometrist and as you’re filling out your paperwork, the form asks, “Are you here for a contact lens exam, eyeglass exam – or both?

Like many, you would imagine that both prescriptions would be the same.  It’s not as if your vision suddenly gets better or worse if you put on one eye correction method compared to the other, right?

Well, that’s what I thought for a long time as well. And then, I finally learned the difference between a contact prescription and an eyeglass prescription. And the best part, it actually makes a lot of sense.

The Difference Between Contact Lens Exam and an Eyeglass Exam

Your eyeglasses will always have a higher power when compared to your contacts. Not because your vision is any worse, but solely because glasses typically sit further away from your eyes. In fact, most glasses sit about 12mm away from your eyes.

Contact Lens Eye Exams

Contact lens exams are a completely different ballgame. Contact lens exams are a lot more complex because of one major difference: the lens sits directly on your eye.

Because of this difference, doctors not only have to measure your true power, but they also have to measure your eye. Doctors measure the curvature of your cornea and the diameter of your cornea. After which, they prescribe the lens best fit in terms of comfort (if you suffer from dry eyes or have astigmatism) and the correct size lens.

Trial Contact Lenses

Your doctor then will supply you with a trial pair of contact lenses, ask you to try on the lens and examine how the contact lens fits.

The short of the long is you get two different types of exams depending on whether you’re looking for eyeglasses or contact lenses. Eyeglasses are just measuring your vision and how much or how little refractive correction you need (if any). Contact lens exams measure a few more things, and you have the flexibility to try on a pair right there in the doctor’s office to see how it fits and feels.

And because your comfort and health is out utmost priority, our optometrist typically ask you to make a follow-up visit to ensure that the lenses continue to fit correctly, or to evaluate your comfort if you’ve switched to a new brand.

Of course, once you have your prescription, you can always go to our online contact lens shop and reorder your supply anytime you want.

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