A young woman sitting in an optometrist's office while an optometrist interviews her during a comprehensive eye exam.

Contact lenses can be an excellent alternative for people who want to improve their vision without the hassle of wearing glasses.

However, wearing contact lenses that don’t fit properly can cause discomfort, irritation, and even serious eye problems. Getting an eye exam each year is essential for maintaining good eye health and ensuring your contact lenses fit properly. 

Additionally, eye exams allow your eye doctor to check for eye diseases and monitor your lens use to reduce the risk of infections.

How Often Should You Get a Comprehensive Eye Exam?

The frequency of eye exams for both glasses wearers and contact lens wearers depends on a few factors, including your:

  • Age
  • Eye health
  • Contact lens type

Regardless of age or lens type, many eye doctors recommend annual eye exams to ensure your eyes are healthy and your contact lenses fit properly. Annual exams can be especially important for children, adults over 65, and individuals with other health conditions that can cause changes to eye health, such as diabetes and high blood pressure. 

Why Are Annual Eye Exams Important for Contact Lens Wearers?

Contact lens wearers should have regular eye exams for several reasons, including:

  • To ensure proper fit: Contact lenses come in various sizes and shapes, and it’s important to get the right type and fit for your eyes.
  • To check for eye diseases: Regular eye exams allow your eye doctor to screen for eye diseases that can impair your vision and eye health, such as glaucoma, cataracts, and macular degeneration.
  • To monitor contact lens use: To reduce the risk of eye infections, your eye doctor can monitor how often you wear your contact lenses and provide advice for proper contact lens care.
A senior woman sitting in a chair and looking into a medical device while an optometrist examines her eyes.

What Happens During a Contact Lens Exam?

A contact lens exam is a type of eye exam that focuses on determining your proper contact lens prescription and ensuring your lenses fit properly on your eyes. 

Medical History and Current Eye Health Evaluation

Your eye doctor may begin by asking about any eye conditions you may have, as well as your overall health and any medications you are taking. They will also assess your current eye health to determine the right type of contact lenses for your eyes.

Visual Acuity Test

A visual acuity test is the standard eye chart test that measures how well you can see letters and shapes from a distance. Your eye doctor will ask you to read letters or numbers on a chart while standing a specific distance away.

Refraction Test

A refraction test helps determine your contact lens prescription. Your eye doctor will ask you to look through a series of lenses to determine which ones give you the clearest vision.

Measurement of Your Eye Surface

Your eye doctor may use a keratometer to determine the curvature of your eye’s front surface. This aids in determining the best fit for your contact lenses.

Tear Film Evaluation

Your eye doctor may perform a test to measure the quality and quantity of your tears. This is important because some types of contact lenses can cause or worsen symptoms of dry eyes.

Contact Lens Fitting

After determining your prescription and assessing the health and shape of your eyes, your eye doctor may fit you with trial contact lenses. You’ll be asked to wear them for a short time while your eye doctor assesses how they fit your eyes.


Your eye doctor may also ask you to return for a follow-up visit to evaluate how well your contact lenses are fitting and to make any necessary adjustments to your prescription or the fit of the lenses.

Overall, a contact lens exam is designed to help you find contact lenses that provide clear vision while supporting your eye health. It’s important to follow your eye doctor’s instructions for wearing and caring for your contact lenses to avoid eye problems or complications.

Types of Contact Lenses

There are various types of contact lenses, each with its own set of characteristics and advantages. The following are some of the more common types of contact lenses:

  • Soft contact lenses: These are one of the most common types of contact lenses. They are made of a soft, flexible material that conforms to the shape of your eye.
  • Rigid gas permeable (RGP) contact lenses: Made of a rigid, gas-permeable material that allows oxygen into the eye. RGP lenses are a type of specialty contact lenses that are more durable than soft lenses and are commonly used to support the vision needs of individuals with conditions like astigmatism or presbyopia.
  • Hybrid contact lenses: These lenses have a rigid gas-permeable center surrounded by a soft outer ring. Hybrid lenses can provide the clarity and durability of RGP lenses with the fit of soft lenses.

Need a Contact Lens Exam?

If you wear contacts, you should have regular eye exams to ensure your eyes are healthy and your contacts fit properly. Your eye health is an important part of your overall health, so make it a priority by scheduling regular eye exams with River City Eye Care.