How Do I know if My Contact Lens Fitting is Right?

Understanding Contact Lens Fitting

When it comes to contact lenses, proper fitting is of utmost importance to ensure comfort, vision clarity, and eye health. The fitting process involves various considerations and safety requirements to ensure that the contact lenses suit your eyes and visual needs.

Importance of Proper Contact Lens Fitting

Proper contact lens fitting plays a crucial role in ensuring optimal vision correction and comfort. Ill-fitting contact lenses can cause discomfort, eye irritation, and even potential damage to the eyes. Fitting involves finding contact lenses that match the specific curvature, size, and prescription requirements of your eyes. This personalized approach ensures that the lenses sit properly on the eye’s surface, allowing for clear and comfortable vision. Failing to get the right fit can lead to blurred vision, dryness, redness, and potential complications.

To achieve the best fit, it’s essential to have a comprehensive eye examination conducted by a qualified eye care professional. During this examination, the eye care professional will assess your eye health, measure the curvature of your cornea, and determine the prescription needed for your contact lenses. By obtaining a prescription, you ensure that the contact lenses are tailored to your specific vision needs, helping to optimize your visual acuity.

Safety Concerns and Prescription Requirements

Prescription requirements for contact lenses are in place to protect the health and safety of contact lens wearers. These requirements ensure that individuals have a valid prescription for the specific type of contact lenses they need. Wearing contact lenses without a valid prescription can lead to various complications, including eye infections, corneal abrasions, and other vision problems.

In the United States, most retailers do not sell contact lenses without a prescription due to safety concerns associated with wearing contact lenses (Discount Lenses). This requirement helps to ensure that individuals receive proper professional guidance and care when it comes to their eye health. Proper fitting and prescription are essential for selecting the right type of contact lenses, such as Acuvue, silsoft aphakic adult, or diamond contact lenses.

Prescription requirements can vary depending on the country and local regulations. Some countries may have specific elements that need to be included in the prescription, such as patient gender, age, weight, or allergies. It’s important to be aware of the prescription requirements specific to your jurisdiction to ensure compliance with regulations.

When obtaining a prescription, it’s crucial to ensure that it includes prescriber information, such as the name, title, contact information, and signature of the prescribing eye care professional. This documentation is especially important when prescribing controlled substances to prevent unauthorized use or fraud.

Prescription formats can also vary, with traditional paper prescriptions being the norm. However, electronic prescriptions are becoming more common, reducing the risk of errors due to illegible handwriting and decreasing the likelihood of fraud associated with printed prescriptions.

By adhering to proper contact lens fitting procedures and prescription requirements, you can ensure the health and safety of your eyes while enjoying the benefits and convenience that contact lenses offer.

Choosing the Right Contact Lenses

When it comes to contact lens fitting, selecting the right type of contact lenses is essential for optimal comfort and vision correction. There are various types of contact lenses available, each with its own unique features and benefits. Let’s explore the different types of contact lenses and the factors to consider when choosing the most suitable option.

Types of Contact Lenses

  1. Soft Contact Lenses: Soft contact lenses are the most common type, made of soft plastics or silicone hydrogel, a material that allows more oxygen to the cornea (Clearly.ca). They are available in various replacement schedules, including:
  • Daily Disposable Lenses: These lenses are designed to be worn once and then discarded. They provide a fresh lens feel every day and eliminate the need for cleaning and storage.
  • Weekly/Bi-weekly Lenses: These lenses need to be taken out at night for cleaning and storage. They can be worn for up to a week or two, depending on the specific brand and recommendation.
  • Monthly Lenses: Monthly lenses can be worn for up to 30 days before they need to be replaced. They require regular cleaning and storage at night.
  • Extended Wear Lenses: These lenses are designed for continuous wear, even during sleep. However, extended wear lenses require careful monitoring and follow-up with an eye care professional.
  1. Hard Contact Lenses (Rigid Gas Permeable – RGP Lenses): Hard contact lenses, also known as RGP lenses, are less common but can provide better vision for those with high prescriptions. They are made of a rigid plastic material and offer longer durability compared to soft lenses. RGP lenses require a longer adaptation period and a more in-depth fitting process. Each RGP lens is individually made to the wearer’s specifications (Clearly.ca).

It’s important to consult with an eye care professional to determine the most suitable type of contact lenses based on your specific needs and preferences.

Factors to Consider in Lens Selection

When choosing contact lenses, several factors should be considered to ensure a proper fit and optimal eye health:


  1. Prescription Requirements: Contact lenses are available in different types to address specific vision needs, such as nearsightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism, and presbyopia. Your eye care professional will determine the appropriate prescription strength and lens design based on your eye examination results.



  2. Replacement Schedule: Consider the replacement schedule that best fits your lifestyle and maintenance preferences. Daily disposable lenses provide the highest level of convenience and hygiene, while other options like weekly, monthly, and extended wear lenses require regular cleaning and storage.



  3. Eye Sensitivity and Comfort: Some individuals may have more sensitive eyes or allergies. In such cases, it may be necessary to choose lenses made from specific materials that minimize discomfort and provide enhanced moisture retention.



  4. Lifestyle and Activities: Consider your lifestyle and activities when selecting contact lenses. If you engage in sports or have an active lifestyle, lenses with better stability and a lower risk of dislodgement may be preferable. Additionally, special lenses are available for those interested in halloween contact lenses or diamond contact lenses for cosmetic purposes.



  5. Eye Shape and Corneal Health: The shape and health of your eyes, as well as the curvature of your cornea, will influence the type and fit of contact lenses that are suitable for you. An eye care professional will take measurements and evaluate these factors during the contact lens fitting process.


By considering these factors and working closely with your eye care professional, you can choose the most appropriate contact lenses that provide clear vision, comfort, and support overall eye health. Remember to follow proper hygiene practices and adhere to the recommended replacement schedule to ensure optimal contact lens performance and eye safety.

The Contact Lens Fitting Process

When it comes to contact lenses, a proper fitting is essential to ensure comfort, clear vision, and eye health. The contact lens fitting process typically involves several steps, including a comprehensive eye examination, measurements and evaluation, as well as a trial lenses and follow-up visit.

Comprehensive Eye Examination

The first step in the contact lens fitting process is a comprehensive eye examination. During this examination, your eye doctor will assess your overall eye health, check your visual acuity, and evaluate the specific needs of your eyes. This examination helps to determine if you are a suitable candidate for contact lens wear and identifies any underlying eye conditions that may affect your lens selection.

Measurements and Evaluation

After the eye examination, measurements and evaluations are performed to ensure the best fit for your contact lenses. Your eye doctor will take various measurements, such as the curve, diameter, pupil size, and iris size of your eyes. These measurements help determine the appropriate size and shape of the contact lenses needed for your eyes (Naples Eye Physicians). Evaluations of tear production are also conducted to ensure that your eyes produce enough tears to keep the contact lenses moist and comfortable (Naples Eye Physicians).

Trial Lenses and Follow-up Visit

Once the appropriate measurements and evaluations have been completed, your eye doctor will provide you with trial lenses. These trial lenses allow you to experience how the lenses feel and fit on your eyes. It is important to note that trial lenses do not have a prescription and are used primarily to assess comfort and proper fit before ordering the actual lenses (St. Mary’s Family Eye Care).

After receiving the trial lenses, a follow-up visit will be scheduled. During this visit, your eye doctor will assess the comfort, fit, and vision provided by the trial lenses. They will also address any concerns or issues you may have encountered while wearing the lenses. If everything is satisfactory, your eye doctor will proceed to order your supply of contact lenses.

Ensuring the proper fit and comfort of your contact lenses is crucial for a successful contact lens-wearing experience. The contact lens fitting process allows your eye doctor to tailor the lenses to your unique needs, ensuring optimal vision and eye health. By following the recommended steps and attending the necessary follow-up visits, you can enjoy the benefits of contact lenses with confidence.

For more information on contact lens fitting and other eye care topics, feel free to explore our website or consult with your eye care professional.

Potential Complications of Contact Lens Wear

Wearing contact lenses comes with certain risks and potential complications that contact lens wearers should be aware of. It’s important to understand these hazards and be vigilant about any symptoms that may arise.

Hazards and Risks

Contact lens wear carries certain hazards and risks that can range from minor annoyances to serious ocular damage or even loss of the eye (NCBI Bookshelf). Some of the key risks and hazards associated with contact lens wear include:


  • Reduced Oxygen Levels: The cornea requires oxygen for proper metabolism, and contact lenses can reduce the oxygen supply to the cornea. This reduction, combined with the already low oxygen levels at high altitudes, can lead to corneal swelling or edema. Prolonged corneal hypoxia can also deplete the cornea’s energy reserves (NCBI Bookshelf).



  • Low Humidity: Environments with low humidity, such as airplane cabins, can cause the tear film to dry out on the lens, leading to discomfort and potential mechanical irritation of the lid, cornea, and surrounding tissues. Low humidity can also cause rapid dehydration of hydrogel lenses, affecting their fit and optical properties.



  • Mode of Lens Wear: The length of time contact lenses are worn is a significant factor in determining the risk of complications. Extended-wear lenses, which are meant to be worn overnight, present a higher risk compared to daily-wear lenses. Users of extended-wear hydrogel lenses, for example, are 10 times more likely to develop complications than those using daily-wear hydrogel lenses. The risk of ulcerative keratitis is also higher with extended-wear lenses.


Common Complications and Symptoms

Contact lens wear can result in a range of complications, each with its own set of symptoms. It’s important to be aware of these potential complications and seek professional advice if any symptoms arise. Some common complications and their associated symptoms include (NCBI Bookshelf):


  • Infection: Symptoms may include redness, pain, discharge, and blurred vision. In severe cases, there may be corneal infiltrates or ulcers.



  • Corneal Edema: Symptoms may include blurred vision, discomfort, and halos around lights.



  • Superficial Keratitis: Symptoms may include redness, pain, light sensitivity, and reduced visual acuity.



  • Excess Mucus Production: Symptoms may include a foreign body sensation, eye irritation, and blurred vision.



  • Corneal Vascularization: Symptoms may include redness, pain, and reduced visual acuity.



  • Giant Papillary Conjunctivitis: Symptoms may include itching, redness, mucus discharge, and contact lens intolerance.



  • Dryness-related Effects: Symptoms may include dryness, discomfort, redness, and a foreign body sensation.


If you experience any of these symptoms or suspect any complications, it is important to seek professional help from an eye care practitioner. They will be able to provide a proper diagnosis and guidance on the appropriate course of action.

Understanding the potential complications of contact lens wear allows contact lens wearers to take proactive measures to prevent these issues and ensure the long-term health and safety of their eyes. Regular check-ups and following proper lens care and hygiene practices are essential for minimizing the risks associated with contact lens wear.

Travel Tips for Contact Lens Wearers

As contact lens wearers, it’s important to maintain good hygiene and care for our lenses, especially when traveling. Here are some essential travel tips to ensure the well-being of our eyes while on the go.

Maintaining Hygiene while Traveling

When traveling, it’s crucial to maintain our usual hygiene routines to prevent potential complications. Follow these tips to keep your contact lenses clean and your eyes healthy:


  1. Carry enough solution: Make sure to pack an adequate amount of contact lens solution for the duration of your trip. It’s essential to clean and disinfect your lenses regularly to remove any debris or bacteria that may accumulate.



  2. Bring a clean case: Always carry a clean contact lens case to store your lenses when they’re not in use. Ensure that the case is washed and dried thoroughly before every use to prevent the risk of contamination.



  3. Pack spare glasses: It’s a good idea to have a backup pair of glasses with you while traveling. In case of any contact lens-related issues, such as discomfort or damage, you can switch to your glasses temporarily to give your eyes a break.



  4. Avoid water exposure: Contact lenses should never come into contact with water from any source, including tap water, swimming pools, or hot tubs. Water can harbor harmful microorganisms that can lead to eye infections. Stick to using contact lens solution for cleaning and storing your lenses.



  5. Follow proper hand hygiene: Before handling your contact lenses, always wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water. This step is essential to prevent transferring any dirt, bacteria, or viruses onto your lenses and into your eyes.


For more information on maintaining hygiene while wearing contact lenses, check out our article on contact lens cases.

Seeking Help during Travel-Related Issues

In case you experience any contact lens-related issues during your travels, it’s crucial to seek immediate help from an eyecare practitioner. They can provide guidance and assistance to address your concerns and ensure the well-being of your eyes.

Common travel-related issues that may require professional attention include:


  • Discomfort or pain: If you experience persistent discomfort or pain while wearing your contact lenses, it’s important to consult an eyecare practitioner. They can examine your eyes and determine the cause of the discomfort, providing appropriate treatment if needed.



  • Lens damage or loss: If your contact lens becomes damaged or lost during your trip, seek professional advice to ensure a proper replacement. Wearing damaged lenses can cause irritation or injury to your eyes.



  • Unusual symptoms: If you notice any unusual symptoms such as redness, excessive tearing, blurred vision, or sensitivity to light, it’s essential to consult an eyecare practitioner. These symptoms could indicate an underlying issue that requires attention.


Remember, your eye health should always be a priority, even when you’re away from home. By following proper hygiene practices and seeking professional help when needed, you can enjoy your travels while keeping your eyes safe and comfortable.

For more information on potential complications of contact lens wear, refer to our article on possible contact lens complications.

Safe travels!

Advanced Training in Contact Lens Fitting

For those who are passionate about contact lens fitting and want to expand their knowledge and skills in this specialized field, advanced training programs can provide valuable opportunities. One such program is offered at the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT). Let’s take a closer look at the program overview and the benefits and career opportunities it offers.

Program Overview at NAIT

The Optical Sciences – Contact Lenses program at NAIT is an intensive 1-year independent study advanced practice program designed for licensed and practicing opticians. It aims to provide specialized training in fitting contact lenses, including design, care, and management of soft and hard lenses, as well as specialty lenses (Northern Alberta Institute of Technology).

The program consists of 500 hours spread over two clinical practicum courses. During these courses, students work under the direct supervision of practicing contact lens practitioners, optometrists, or ophthalmologists, allowing them to apply their theoretical knowledge in a real-world setting. This hands-on experience is invaluable in developing the skills necessary to excel in the field of contact lens fitting (Northern Alberta Institute of Technology).

Upon successful completion of the program, students are awarded a certificate that recognizes their advanced competency in fitting contact lenses. This certificate enhances their value to employers and clients, opening up new opportunities in the optical industry.

Benefits and Career Opportunities

Graduates of NAIT’s Optical Sciences – Contact Lenses program gain a competitive edge in the job market. Their advanced training and practical experience make them highly sought after by employers in the optical industry. With their specialized knowledge and skills, they can excel in various roles, such as:

  • Contact Lens Practitioners: Graduates can become licensed Contact Lens Practitioners, registered through the National Alliance of Canadian Opticians Regulators (NACOR). This national licensing examination enables them to practice in Canada and demonstrates their expertise in fitting contact lenses.
  • Opticians: Graduates can enhance their career prospects by adding advanced contact lens fitting skills to their repertoire. This expanded skill set can lead to increased job opportunities and the ability to provide comprehensive eye care services to their clients.
  • Optical Industry Professionals: The program equips graduates with in-depth knowledge of contact lens design, care, and management. This knowledge allows them to work closely with manufacturers, suppliers, and industry professionals. They can contribute to product development, sales, and education within the optical industry.

It’s important to note that in Alberta, Optician Contact Lens Practitioners are required to obtain a provisional license from the College of Opticians of Alberta (COA) until they pass the NACOR exam. Additionally, ongoing continuing competence requirements ensure that practitioners stay current with the latest advancements and maintain high standards of practice throughout their careers (Northern Alberta Institute of Technology).

By pursuing advanced training in contact lens fitting, individuals can elevate their expertise and expand their career opportunities. The program at NAIT provides a comprehensive curriculum and practical experience that prepares graduates to excel in the field. If you’re passionate about contact lens fitting and want to make a meaningful impact in the optical industry, consider exploring advanced training options like the one offered at NAIT.