What to Expect During a Contact Lens Exam

Contact lenses offer an excellent vision correction option for many, providing an alternative to glasses. To begin wearing contacts, you must undergo a contact lens exam. This specialized eye exam includes additional steps and tests to ensure a proper fit and suitability for your eyes.

What Is a Contact Lens Exam?

To wear contact lenses, you must undergo a contact lens exam. This is not the same as a regular eye exam. This examination can have several components, such as:

  • Comprehensive eye exam: The eye doctor will assess your vision, eye health, and prescription using various tests and instruments.
  • Contact lens consultation: The doctor will discuss your vision needs, lifestyle, and preferences to recommend the best lenses. They will also address your questions about wearing and caring for contacts.
  • Eye measurements: Your eye doctor will measure your eyes’ size, shape, and curvature using a keratometer or corneal topographer. These measurements determine your contact lenses’ base curve and diameter for a proper fit and comfort.
  • Tear film evaluation: Your eye doctor will assess tear quantity and quality using the Schirmer or tear breakup time test. These tests diagnose potential dry eye issues that may affect your contact lens wear.
  • Contact lens fitting: Your eye doctor will provide trial contact lenses to check their fit, vision, and comfort. They may observe how your eyes react to the contacts over time.
  • Contact lens instruction: Your eye doctor will teach you how to safely insert, remove, clean, and store your contacts. You may practice these skills before leaving the exam.

How to Prepare

To prepare for a contact lens exam, you should do the following:

Schedule Your Appointment

When inquiring about an appointment, specify that you will need both a contact lens exam and fitting. This way, your eye doctor can schedule enough time for the exam and have the necessary equipment and materials ready.

Bring Your Information

Remember to bring your vision history, current issues or concerns, and vision insurance card or information to your appointment. If you have them, bring your current contact lenses or glasses prescription.

Avoid Wearing Contacts

It’s a good idea to refrain from wearing your contact lenses for at least 24 hours before the exam. That way, your eyes will have a rest and return to their natural shape and condition. That will ensure more accurate test results during the contact lens exam.

Be Ready to Learn

Stay open to trying various types of contacts until you discover the ones that suit you best. Finding the right fit and type may take some experimentation. However, it will lead to a more comfortable and enjoyable experience.

What Happens After a Contact Lens Exam?

After the exam, you might receive your contacts immediately or get them delivered later. Your eye doctor will provide your prescription, detailing the brand name, power, base curve, diameter, and expiration date.

A follow-up appointment is usually necessary within a week or two to assess adaptation, address issues, or adjust the prescription. Regular eye exams and contact lens checkups are crucial for maintaining eye health and vision quality.


A contact lens exam is crucial for starting or updating contact lens wear. It ensures a proper fit through a personalized and comprehensive eye exam. Follow these tips to prepare and enjoy the benefits of wearing contacts.

For more on contact lens exams, visit Lakhani Vision Care at our office in Marietta, Georgia. Call 770-509-9932 to schedule an appointment today.

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