Why Do I Have To Get A Contact Lens Evaluation Just So I Can Update My Contact Lens Prescription?

Contact lenses shouldn't be feared.

But they should be respected.

Maybe you've been wearing contacts for years.


Or maybe you are coming to our office to try them for the first time. 


Either way, you might notice that there is a contact lens evaluation (also known as contact lens "fitting") procedure included as a part of your fee.    

Why do we do that?

Let's say I'm your eye doctor, and after your eye exam, I simply walk over to my contact lens room (the room full of all the brands, all the powers, and all the updated styles - even the color ones). 


I can't decide which contact lens you need, so I leave it to chance.


I blindfold myself, and throw a dart at some random contact lens brand with random parameters, and pick the one I hit, give it to you, and send you on your way.


The truth is that this random contact lens will more than likely go on your eye, and stay put on your eye.  




The problem with this that even though you might see okay, and the lens might stay on the eye, we don't know if the the lens is fitting properly. 

We don't know if it is too tight, or too loose. 


We don't know if it is too big/small or whether it remains centered. 


We also don't know if the prescription will work as optimally as you need it to work. 


This is what we have to evaluate if you want clear vision. 


If you want comfortable eyes that don't get dry, itchy, scratchy and irritating.

What is A Contact Lens Evaluation?


Asssessing the way the contact lens fits ensures that your eyes will remain comfortable throughout the day and through wearing cycle of your lenses.

Repeating the procedure each year or two also provides a way to ensure your eyes are healthy enough to continue wearing them. 


Even thought a random lens might go on to the eye, contact lenses are not one size fits all.  They are actually Class II Medical Devices regulated through the FDA.  Again, you don't have to fear them.  But you should respect them. 


And the only way we can make sure you are going to see your best and stay comfortable, is with a separate contact lens evaluation.  

Do you need contacts?

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Summary of Steps In A Contact Lens Evaluation

  • Determine if the cornea and the front of the eyes are healthy enough to wear contact lenses.

  • Determine if the patient is a candidate for contact lenses based on lifestyle, prescription, and age.

  • Determine an eyeglasses prescription.

  • Determine the curve of the eye (keratometry).

  • Determine the wearing schedule based on lifestyle factors, age and habits.

  • Determine the size (diameter) of the lens based on the measurements taken during eye exam.

  • Determine curve/steepness of the contact lens based on the keratometry measurements.

  • Determine the prescription power of the lens first based on the eyeglasses prescription, then re-measured after the lenses are on ("over-refraction").

  • Determine if the lens is moving too little or too much while on the eye.

  • Determine if the lens is too tight or too loose.

  • Determine if the lens is too big or too small.

  • Determine if the lens is still fitting well and still clean on the the eyes after having worn them for a full day.

  • Train the patient in proper insertion/removal and contact lens hygiene.

So this is a summary of the process we take at Northwest Vision Development Center when we perform a contact lens fitting or evaluation.  We want to ensure your eyes are safe, comfortable and that you are seeing as well as you possibly can.

Contact Lenses
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Contact Us


1616 Cornwall Ave. #105

Bellingham, WA 98225

Phone: 360-393-4479  

Fax: 360-746-8661



TUESDAY          WEDNESDAY    THURSDAY    FRIDAY              SATURDAY        SUNDAY            

10 - 6 PM         

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Our Eye Clinic is proud to serve patients living throughout Whatcom and Skagit Counties as well as the students enrolled at Western Washington University (WWU), Bellingham Technical College (BTC), and Whatcom Community College


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