At Northwood Vision we offer a wide selection of contact lenses including disposable soft contact, bifocal/multifocal, toric, and colored lenses. Whether you wear daily, weekly or monthly disposables, or conventional (vial) lenses, check out our selection of lenses that fit your needs. Visit Northwood Vision for a full eye exam and to learn all about your contact lens options.
Our eye doctor will help you determine the best fitting lens based on your lifestyle needs, the shape and health of your eye. In most cases, you’ll have the opportunity to try lenses on the same day as your exam. You can even go home with a few samples before making a final decision.
We follow up the initial fitting and then make any necessary changes in fit or materials to get you the best possible fit. We teach all our patients proper contact lens care and also possible consequences if proper care is not taken. Then we continue with long-term follow-up to monitor the condition of the lenses and to ensure that proper hygiene is being maintained.
Dr. Keats answers your questions about contact lenses:
1) What is the difference between an eye exam geared toward wearers of glasses and an eye exam geared toward wearers of contact lenses?
An eye exam for glasses is also known as a comprehensive eye exam. The vision is tested, glasses needs are addressed, including the ability for the two eyes to work together. The front surface of the eye is tested along with the intra-ocular pressure, and the internal parts of the eye, like the macula and optic nerve are assessed for a comprehensive medical assessment of the eye. An eye exam for wearers of contact lenses is exactly the same, but the patient is billed an additional charge for a contact lens fitting and follow up. Here, the most appropriate contact lens modality is discussed and fitted. The contact lenses are evaluated on the eyes, and changes to the powers are made for the most enhanced vision possible. A final trial lens is given or ordered and there is potentially a secondary or even a tertiary visit to check for potential harm the lens might cause to the eye, and to finalize the powers. This care is inclusive with the contact lens assessment.
2) If I have had a glasses exam by another eye doctor, can I just come to you for a contact lens fitting?
If the doctor who did the glasses examination sends me a letter stating they did a comprehensive eye examination and present with a summary including the glasses prescription, and they express a desire for me to do the contact lens fitting for them, then I can proceed with that portion of the evaluation and send them a report back with my findings and final contact lens prescription. However, if I do not receive the request by your doctor in writing, I must, by state law, conduct a comprehensive eye examination first, and then proceed with the contact lens fitting.
3) Does a contact lens examination cost more than a glasses examination?
Yes. The glasses examination, better known as a comprehensive eye examination, will be done first. Then a separate and additional charge will be given for the contact lens evaluation. It is required for us to do this by state law, unless another doctor requests in writing that they want us to do the contact lens fitting only after they have done the eye exam. The fitting fee for the contact lenses can vary depending on the complexity of the care. Patients may need spherical, astigmatism, monovision, multifocal, rigid gas permeable (RGP), RGP multifocal, kerataconus, or scleral lens designs for optimal vision and lifestyle needs. The time it takes to fit, analyze, refit, and finalize the custom designs can create a variety of pricing structures. We can give you more specifics when we understand the nature of your glasses prescription.
4) What are some advantages and disadvantages of contact lenses?
Contact lenses are popular with many patients mostly because they offer a wider peripheral field of view, and no magnification or minification as seen with higher powered glasses. They are preferable when patients are exercising, or working outside in sweaty conditions, or for patients who have trouble with their glasses fogging up going form one temperature to another at work. Some patients struggle to comfortably wear eyeglass frames or simply don’t like the way they look in them, so contact lenses solve these issues. Conversely, most contact lenses will exacerbate a dry eye problem, and if the eyes are dry, it is not uncommon to have fluctuating vision when blinking. Patients with astigmatism can have intermittent blur compared to the stability of glasses. There is increased risk of infection wearing contacts comparted to wearing glasses. The cost of wearing contact lenses is greater as they should not be worn all waking hours in most cases. It is recommended to wear them about 14 hours per day and wear glasses in the evening at home, and on days when the eyes are red or tired. Contact lenses are a wonderful option for many people, however and the negative consequences rarely dissuade patients from wearing them comfortably and clearly.
5) Can you explain the difference between contacts lenses you keep for a month and ones you throw away on a daily basis?
Years ago, patients would have only one pair of contact lenses to last the whole year. The cost of owning that pair made it impractical to throw them away more often due to the overall cost. As mass production of contact lenses became mainstreamed, and the grave complications and blinding events with these lenses were increasing, manufactures were able to offer monthly lenses. The risk of complications went down significantly. But dryness/irritation concerns and over wear abuse has not resolved the complications. So to help patients have less dryness, lower risk of infection, and the joy of not having to worry about whether or not the lenses were cleaned properly every single night, daily disposables have now been popularized and eliminate these concerns. About 60 percent of our patients wears daily disposables due to the convenience, the comfort and the added safety. Yes, they cost a little more per month, but for many patients, that is a small price to pay for the benefits of daily disposable contact lenses. And, in today’s technology, there are good options for almost all of our patients.