Having custom-designed contact lenses is priceless but is also a process. Leading our patients through this process is joyful for us because we get to know our patients very well and make sure that they are happy with the vision and comfort of their lenses before letting them go for their annual appointments.
So what can one expect if they are getting specialty contact lenses?
1.) It all starts with a consultation.
This is an hour+ long appointment where the Doctor will go over your eye history, your goals for vision, take many measurements and high-level scans, and trial specialty lenses in the office to see how good your vision can be. You may even decide to take molds of the eye at this appointment if they are recommended.
2.) After ordering your lenses, you will have another appointment in 2-4 weeks where you will try on your new lenses, learn how to insert, remove, and care for the lenses, and take them home.
This is called the "Dispensing Appointment" and is about an hour-long. After your consultation, the Doctor will custom-design lenses for you, order them with a company who will send them through the manufacturing process and ship them to us. This takes about 2 weeks. The Doctor will insert the lenses, look to see if they need any initial adjustments (for better comfort or vision). Then, you will learn to insert and remove the lenses. You will also receive instruction on how to clean and store the lenses overnight. You will get a bag with all of this information as well as all cleaning solutions you may need.
Our office also gives our patients written handouts as well as emails with links to where they can purchase additional cleaning solution, etc. It is also linked for convenience on our website HERE.
3.) Expect a few months of coming back for regular appointments in the office and obtaining at least 1-2 new lenses.
When a specialty lens is placed on the eye, we need to observe the lens over time. This includes taking into account how easy it is to remove the lens, how the lens feels on the eye, does the lens rub on the eye too much, does vision stay clear? The lens is made of a plastic material that interacts with every single eye differently (because we are all so unique!). We must observe this unique interaction patient by patient and there are generally some changes that need to be made after receiving the initial lens.
If you need a change to the prescription or design of the lens, we will order new lenses for you. Sometimes we ship the lenses to our office and many times, for convenience, we ship new lenses directly to our patients' homes and see them in 3-4 weeks. This allows our patients time to wear the new lenses and see how they are working and provide us with feedback.
Every specialty contact lens design process comes with a 3-Month Warranty, meaning that you may come to the office for as many appointments, insertion & removal training sessions, and order new lenses, until we reach a point where your vision is a clear, and the lens is as comfortable as we can make it. Our final appointment is "Graduation Day" where you leave with your final lenses!
4.) What can I expect year to year?
After your specialty contact lenses are finalized, we recommend an annual exam and lens check up, or if you have swiftly changing visual conditions, a 6-month follow up to make sure everything is still fitting well and vision is still clear. You will continue to see your regular Eye Doctor for all glasses and dilated eye exams.