If you’ve never worn contact lenses before, it can seem a bit intimidating. After all, you’re inserting something into your eyes! Let’s ease your mind about the first step – your contact lens exam. This will walk you through what’s involved in a contact lens exam and what you can expect every step of the way.
Dr. Kubota will first determine your overall eye health and vision. This includes a discussion of your health history and then a series of standard eye tests. These tests will evaluate your neurological system, eye focusing, eye teaming, depth perception, peripheral vision, the response of your pupils to light and your eye’s fluid pressure. Next, Dr. Kubota will measure the power of your eyes to obtain your glasses prescription. Then to make sure your eyes are healthy INSIDE and to complete your comprehensive eye exam, Dr. Kubota will evaluate your retina, optic nerve and macula by having you do either Retinal Scan and OCT tests or return for a dilated fundus exam.
Contact lenses require precise measurements of your eyes to fit properly. Using an instrument called a keratometer, the curvature of your corneas will be measured. The external health of your eyes and your tear film will also be examined using a biomicroscope to make sure your eyes are ready for contact lenses. Contact lenses may not be a good choice for you if you have eyelid, cornea, conjunctiva and/or tear film complications. Your pupil size is also assessed if this is pertinent for the type of contact lenses that you need. Once all the test results are gathered, Dr. Kubota can assess whether contact lenses are right for you.
If contact lenses are appropriate for you, Dr. Kubota will take into consideration your lifestyle, activities and how you use your eyes the most, to determine the contact lens options that would work the best for YOU. Every person has different needs and Dr. Kubota will CUSTOMIZE the contact lenses specifically for your personal needs. For example, do you spent a lot of time on a computer or phone? Are you at the age where you need bifocals? Do you play a specific sport? Do you want to enhance or change your eye color? Would you prefer daily disposable, 2-week disposable or monthly disposable contacts? How high is your prescription and your astigmatism? How dry are your eyes? Dr. Kubota will take into considration all these things and more and then talk about the benefits or drawbacks of each type of contact lens and each wearing modality, so that you can make the best decisions to suit your lifestyle. If you’re over 40, Dr. Kubota will also discuss age-related vision changes and how contact lenses can address these issues.
If you have dry eyes, Dr. Kubota will perform a tear film evaluation to assess the quantity and quality of the tear film on the surface of your eye. If your tear film is insufficient or you have chronic dry eyes, contact lenses may not be a good option for you unless you undergo dry eye treatments. However, some newer contact lenses deliver more moisture to the surface of the eye, making them a better choice for individuals with dry eye issues.
The next step is to fit you with a trial pair of contact lenses and teach you how to use and care for them! Once Dr. Kubota calculates the correct contact lens powers for you, she will have her staff either select trial contact lenses from our wide variety of contact lens fitting sets, or order them for you. Then Dr. Kubota's staff will train you on how to insert, remove and clean (if needed) your contact lenses. Depending on how you are seeing and feeling on the day of your training, Dr. Kubota will either examine the lenses in your eyes that same day or have you return for your follow up in about a week.
Your contact lens exam and training are over, but now there is one last VERY IMPORTANT step in order to ensure your contacts are right for you: the Contact Lens Follow Up Visits! After wearing your new contact lenses for about a week, you will need to come back for a short visit, after wearing your contact lenses for 4 consecutive hours or more. At this visit Dr. Kubota will 1) check the alignment and movement of the lenses on the surface of your eye to determine if the contact lenses fit your eyes well, 2) check your vision and the prescription to ensure that the contact lens power is correct and 3) discuss your personal experiences with comfort and vision. This visit is very important because it lets Dr. Kubota examine the lenses once they have settled down! If they fit well, they are comfortable and your vision is good, then you will be able to order a year's supply of contact lenses. If not, then Dr. Kubota will either change the power or the brand of the contact lenses to try to improve your vision and comfort and confirm that the contact lenses are right for you with another follow up visit. These visits are all INCLUDED in your initial contact lens fitting fee. Astigmatism and Multifocal contact lenses often require 3-4 follow up visits since they are more complicated to fit. Ultimately, you will not purchase your contact lenses until you and Dr. Kubota are both extremely happy with them! In the rare occasion that someone wants a different type of contact lens IN ADDITION to their first type, for example colored contact lenses in addition to their regular clear contact lenses, then there is also a reduced second contact lens fitting fee for additional types and all the fitting and follow ups will need to be done for the additional type/brand of contact lens.