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A contact lens, or simply contact, is a thin lens placed directly on the surface of the eye. Contact lenses are considered medical devices and can be worn to correct vision, or for cosmetic or therapeutic reasons. In 2004, it was estimated that 125 million people (2%) use contact lenses worldwide, including 28 to 38 million in the United States.
Before being fit with contact lenses, a comprehensive eye exam for contact lenses is performed. In this exam, your eye doctor determines your prescription for corrective lenses (just a glasses prescription at this point) and checks for any eye health problems or other issues that may interfere with successful contact lens wear. If all looks good during your eye exam, the next step is a contact lens consultation and fitting.
With so many contact lens choices, the first part of the consultation is a discussion with your eye doctor about your lifestyle and preferences regarding contact lenses. One choice that today's contact lenses allow you to make is whether you want to change your eye color. Different eye colors are available with contact lenses. Other options include whether you want contact lenses that are designed to be replaced daily or those which can be worn for more extended periods. Most people choose soft contact lenses for their ease and comfort. However, there are also advantages of hard or what are called rigid gas permeable (RGP) lenses. All the specifics will be discussed prior to your contact lens fitting.
Believe it or not, if you need bifocals, you can even opt for multifocal contact lenses or monovision (a prescribing technique where one contact lens corrects your distance vision and the other lens corrects your near vision). Once you have determined the type of contacts you want, the next step is the actual contact lens fitting.
If You Are a New Contacts Wearer: If this is the first time you are trying contact lenses, you need to have a complete eye exam and evaluation to make certain you are a good candidate for wearing contacts. We will ask about your vision goals. For example, you may only want to wear contacts for sports once per week, or you want your contacts to replace your glasses for everyday activities.
There are many choices in contact lenses these days, so at Grande Prairie Eye Care we will listen to you carefully and choose the lens that will best meet all your needs.
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