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If you currently wear contact lenses, but want to try something new, whether it is a different brand, bifocal contact lenses, or just a new prescription, you should see your contact lens fitter to be reassessed and have the new contact lens evaluated. This is usually a shorter appointment that your first time, because you do not have to learn how to insert and remove, or how to care for your lenses.
The process is usually shorter, but more troubleshooting may be required, since you as a contact lens wearer now know more about contact lenses, and you also know more about your requirements. You are now fine-tuning your needs.
For example, you may be in your early 40's, and decided against multifocal (or bifocal) contact lenses because when you wear your glasses, you can take them off to read. With contact lenses, that's not so easy. So you may decide to try monovision (described here). Monovision, multifocals, toric contact lenses (for astigmatism) are all more complicated, and may require more than one followup appointment to fine-tune your vision to the best vision you can have.
Typically, if you are trying new contact lenses, but have worn before, the steps involved in your fitting will be:
The contact lens parameters that are given to you should include the following:
This information will allow you to purchase your contact lenses wherever you choose, whether it be the same store, another retail optical store, or on the internet.
It is also important to note that any time you go to a new location, a new store, or a new optometrist, that you have never seen before, you will have to go through a new fitting. Because contact lenses are medical devices, and are in direct contact with your eyes, a fitter needs to know your history, medical issues related to the eyes, as well as a number of other things that allow them to understand any issues you may have. Even if you are getting an exact duplicate of what you were previously wearing, and depending on the laws of the state or province, you will most likely need to have another fitting. it is not uncommon for a patient to be unaware that there are better contact lenses suited to them!
* different states, provinces, and countries have different legislation as to what is legally required of eye care professionals. In British Columbia, a statement of contact lens parameters is legally required to be given to a patient, whether they request it or not, after the fitting has been finalized.
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