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Contact Lens Health Week will be observed Aug. 16–20, which makes this a good time to learn more about contact lenses and whether they might be right for you.
An eye exam involves a series of tests to evaluate your vision and check for eye diseases. Regular eye exams can detect eye problems at their earliest stage — when they're most treatable, and might provide clues to your overall health. Eye dilation, which is part of many eye exams, causes your pupils to widen, allowing in more light and giving your health care professional a better view of the back of your eye. This may help diagnose common disease and conditions, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, macular degeneration, retinal detachment and glaucoma.
Regular eye exams also give your eye care professional a chance to help you correct or adapt to vision changes. Several tests may be conducted, including a visual acuity test, refraction assessment, and visual field or perimetry test, to determine if you need corrective lenses to improve your vision. Laser refractive surgery, such as LASIK, is another option for correcting some vision problems.
For many people, including those tired of wearing glasses and not interested in surgery, contact lenses are the right choice. Several types of contact lenses are available, and the best type for you will depend on your vision problem, lifestyle and budget.
Soft contact lenses are the most commonly prescribed contact lenses. They can be used to correct various vision problems, including:
Rigid gas-permeable lenses also provide clear, crisp vision for people with most vision problems. This type might help if you've tried soft contact lenses and been unsatisfied with the results, or if you have dry eyes. Depending on your vision needs, you also might consider specialized contact lenses, such as hybrid and multifocal contact lenses.
Eye infections and other injuries related to poor contact lens hygiene can lead to permanent damage to your eyes. No matter the type of contact lens you choose, these guidelines can prevent problems:
Connect with others talking about vision, contact lenses, and supporting one another in the Eye Conditions support group on Mayo Clinic Connect, an online patient community moderated by Mayo Clinic.
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