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Vision exam vs. Contact lens exam…What’s the difference?


How Does Dr. Shirley Perform a Vision Exam?

An eye exam is completely painless and should be scheduled yearly. Even though you may feel that you see well, a comprehensive eye exam will evaluate the health of your eyes.  When you come in for an eye exam, you can expect the following types of tests to be done:

  • Pupil dilation – this lets the eye doctor see important parts of your eye such as the retina and optic nerve
  • Tonometry – a test done to measure the eye’s inner fluid pressure to check for glaucoma
  • Slit lamp test – eyes are examined under a microscope to check for cataracts and other problems
  • Eye function testing – tests peripheral vision, eye coordination, and focusing power
  • Vision test – determines how well you can see letters on an eye chart

Once Dr. Shirley completes all of these tests during a vision exam, you’ll receive the appropriate prescription and/or treatment.  If you need glasses, let the fun of choosing a great frame begin!  We have lots of shapes, styles, and colors to chose from and very skilled and knowledgeable staff members available to help you select the best frame.

How Does Dr. Shirley Perform a Contact Lens Exam?

During a contact lens exam,  the doctor may perform many of the same tests performed in a regular vision exam. However, with contact lenses, there are a few more additional tests that are required in order to fit patients with the perfect pair of comfortable contacts. Dr. Shirley will check your eyes for for the following items: visual acuity, eye performance, and eye health to help determine the prescription necessary to correct any refractive errors. Since contact lenses aren’t one-size-fits-all, the eye doctor will also have to take measurements of certain parts of the eye.   On many occasions, your glasses prescription and contact lens prescription can be different.  This helps to explain the separate exam.

In order to get fitted for contacts, several visits may be required.  At Shirley Eye Care, we call this exam a “Design, Fit, Follow Up”.  Dr. Shirley first selects the best design for your eye.  He then fits the contact to your eyes.  Finally, if there is any follow up involved, he will see you again to make any necessary changes.

Your contact lens prescription is good for 1 year.  Once that prescription is expired, you must have another contact lens exam in order to get another prescription for contacts.