The straightforward answer to this question is a resounding no. Contact lenses are not just another accessory; they are FDA-approved medical devices. It's imperative for a qualified eye doctor to conduct what's known as a contact lens fitting evaluation. Moreover, the organization or store that sells you the contact lenses has the responsibility to confirm that your prescription is still valid and that it was issued by a licensed optometrist or ophthalmologist in your state. This requirement is so important because contact lenses are medical devices specifically fitted to the unique characteristics of your eyes. Incorrect fitting of contact lenses can lead to numerous problems related to contact lens use, including infections, and can sometimes even result in permanent vision loss, something we all wish to avoid.

What is Involved in a Contact Lens Fitting Evaluation?

Initially, the eye doctor will aim to understand your goals and needs with regard to wearing contact lenses. Given that there are a plethora of different types and brands of contact lenses available, it's crucial to determine which specific type will be most suitable for you. To do this, the doctor performs a refraction test to pin down your exact prescription. Additionally, they will take specific measurements of the curvature of your eye to ascertain whether you should go for soft contact lenses or hard ones.

For example, if you're better off with soft contact lenses, the doctor will then seek to determine what kind of wearing schedule or modality will be best for you. This could mean deciding between daily, biweekly, or monthly contact lenses. If daily lenses are deemed ideal for you, they'll also need to figure out which brand of daily lenses will be the best fit for your eyes.

How Do Different Brands of Contact Lenses Compare?

Different brands of contact lenses offer varying parameters, including, but not limited to, the diameter and size of the lenses as well as the type of material they are made from, like silicone hydrogel or regular hydrogel. Furthermore, given that our eyeballs are uniquely shaped, a set of contact lenses that fits one patient comfortably might cause discomfort to another patient. This underscores the importance of conducting a comprehensive evaluation before settling on a specific brand of contact lenses.

Trying Out Contact Lenses: The Importance of Trials

After ascertaining your prescription and suitable lens type, the eye doctor will apply trial lenses to your eyes. You'll need to let these settle for a few minutes. The doctor will then examine the fit of the lenses through a microscope. This is done to ensure that the lenses are well-centered on your eyes and cover the entire front part of your eyes while moving correctly when you look up or keep your gaze level. If your contact lenses are too steep, meaning they don’t move sufficiently, they could cause irritation, and new blood vessels might grow on the surface of your eyes due to inadequate oxygen supply, which is clearly unhealthy.

The Necessity of Follow-up Appointments

Lastly, the eye doctor will schedule follow-up appointments to check how well the lenses fit after you've worn them for a couple of hours. These appointments are often accompanied by training sessions where you'll be taught the proper methods for inserting and removing your contact lenses. You'll also learn about maintaining hygiene and proper care of your lenses to avoid any contact lens-related infections or inflammations. Note that showering or sleeping while wearing contact lenses is generally not recommended. There are specialized hard lenses that can be worn overnight, but if you opt for soft lenses, it's crucial not to shower, sleep, or swim while wearing them.

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