If you don’t like the idea of having to wear glasses to see properly, you’re not alone: An estimated 45 million people in the United States have made contact lenses their primary choice for vision correction. At Optik Birmingham in Birmingham, Michigan, Joe Ales, OD offers comprehensive eye and vision exams, including contact lens fittings, to men and women in the Metro Detroit area. To schedule an appointment for a vision evaluation and contact lens exam, call the office or book online today.

Contact Lenses Q&A

How are contact lenses prescribed?

Prior to prescribing contact lenses, Dr. Ales performs a comprehensive eye exam and vision evaluation to assess your eye health and determine what level of vision correction you require.

During the exam, he evaluates your personal degree of refractive error by measuring how your eyes focus on different lenses placed in front of them. You can wear contact lenses to correct:

  • Myopia, or nearsightedness
  • Hyperopia, or farsightedness
  • Astigmatism, or blurred vision
  • Presbyopia, or the age-related loss of close-up vision

After establishing your individual prescription, Dr. Ales performs a contact lens exam to evaluate your vision with contacts. This includes measuring the surface of each eye to determine the size and type of contacts that will work best for you. It may also include a tear film evaluation to determine whether you need special contacts made for dry eyes.

Because contact lenses sit directly on the surface of your eyes, proper fit and prescription are essential — improperly fitted or prescribed contacts can damage your eyes.

What types of contact lenses are available?

Once you have the correct prescription and fit for your contact lenses, Dr. Ales can help you choose the type that best suits your needs. Most contact lenses fall into two main categories:

Soft Contacts

These are the most commonly prescribed lenses because they’re very comfortable. They’re also easier to adjust and tend to stay in place better than hard contacts. Soft contact lenses include:

  • Daily wear, which can be worn for up to 18 hours
  • Extended wear, which can be worn overnight
  • Disposable, which can be discarded after one use

Hard Contacts

Also known as rigid or gas-permeable lenses, hard contacts are often the best choice for correcting severe nearsightedness or astigmatism. Hard contacts are extremely durable, give you sharper vision than soft contacts, and are less likely to harbor bacteria. They also don’t have to be replaced as often as soft contacts.

Multifocal and bifocal hard or soft contacts are available for people who require multiple prescriptions in one lens. Color-changing hard or soft contacts are designed to change the color of your eyes, with or without vision correction.

What are toric contact lenses?

If you have moderate to severe astigmatism, toric contact lenses may be your best choice. Their special shape creates different refractive, or focusing, powers that can compensate for virtually any type of astigmatism. These special lenses are available as soft or hard contacts and come in every wear schedule, ranging from disposables to extended wear.

If you’re ready to make the switch from eyeglasses to contacts, or if it’s simply time to update your contact lens prescription, call Optik Birmingham or book an appointment online today.