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Eye tests and hospital contact lens appointments

Posted: Thu 16 May 2024 7:51 pm
by Lia Williams
Many years ago, when I was first referred to the hospital contact lens service, I thought I no longer needed high street eye tests.

The reason I thought this was that as glasses were of no use to me why did I need an eye test for glasses? My thinking was not unlike people who don't wear glasses, and believe nothing is wrong with their eyes, so never go for an eye test.

This was until I was reminded that the contact lens fitting only examines the 'front of the eyes'. An eye test is not only refraction but also checks for field of vision and abnormalties and conditions such as cataracts or glaucoma.

So after missing a couple of years' eye tests I now make sure that I have an eye test before I go for my annual contact lens check.

In an ideal world it'd be great if I could get an eye test and my contact lenses in the same place. But it's a minor inconvience as it is the outcome that is important. An eye test to check for potentially harmful conditions and contact lenses that improve my vision.


Re: Eye tests and hospital contact lens appointments

Posted: Fri 17 May 2024 4:14 pm
by RedOnion
Wholeheartedly agree. I was told this both by my surgeon and ophthalmologist in so much that my hospital appointments were only to look at the KC but my ophthalmologist was the all round eye health. I’ve made sure to keep with mine, albeit I’m overdue the ophthalmologist especially as KC can leave us vulnerable to other eye conditions.

Great advice to share.

Re: Eye tests and hospital contact lens appointments

Posted: Sat 18 May 2024 12:43 pm
by Lia Williams
In my case I've not seen an ophthalmologist since 1997 when I was told "Yes, you do have keratoconus" and sent to the contact lens department. Prior to that I'd been able to get my contact lenses on the high street. So my eye check is with the high street optometrists. Who eventually did manage to prescribe me with some back up glasses.

Unfortunately, even though my keratoconus is only moderate, contact lens fitting is rarely straight forward.

Over the last couple of years my right eye has become less short sighted which has meant that my current right lens is slightly over powered. As the lens was over three years old I decided it was time to get a new lens to the new prescription. So far there have been two attempts at a new lens. One was too tight and impossible to remove, the second was a little better and would do as a spare. Except I don't need a spare, as I have lenses from 2010 and 2017 which I still carry as spares which give better vision and comfort than the new lens.

Over the last 25 years I have collected a stash of 17 right lenses and 13 left lenses most of which have had little use. There have been others which were returned to the hospital as unwearable.

I think my wish would be for contact lens fitting to be straight forward and on the High Street.

Meanwhile when I get a lens that works I look after it. The 2010 lens I wore for seven years the current lens is four years old.