ABOUT CONTACT LENSES
Over 24 million people choose contact lenses to correct vision. When used with care and proper supervision, contacts are a safe and effective alternative to eyeglasses. And with today's new lens technology, many people who wear eyeglasses can also successfully wear contacts.
Contacts are thin, clear discs that float on the tear film that coats the cornea, the curved front surface of the eye. Contacts correct the same refractive conditions eyeglasses correct: myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness) and astigmatism (an oval- rather than round-shaped cornea).
Contact lenses can be made from a number of different plastics. The main distinction among them is whether they are hard or soft. Most contact lens wearers in the United States wear soft lenses. These may be daily wear soft lenses, extended wear lenses or disposable lenses. Toric soft lenses provide a soft lens alternative for people with slight to moderate astigmatism.
Hard lenses are usually not as comfortable as soft lenses and are not as widely used. However, rigid gas permeable lenses provide sharper vision for people with higher refractive errors or larger degrees of astigmatism.
The majority of people can tolerate contact lenses, but there are some exceptions. Conditions that might prevent an individual from successfully wearing contact lenses include dry eye, severe allergies, frequent eye infections, or a dusty and dirty work environment.
Individuals who wear any type of contact lens overnight have a greater chance of developing infections in the cornea. These infections are often due to poor cleaning and lens care.
The fitting process for contact lenses - What does the Doctor actually do?
Imagine you have just had your eyes examined and the doctor has given you a prescription for glasses. Can you use that prescription to get contact lenses? The answer is no.
The prescription you received at the end of your exam is a prescription for eyeglasses only. An accurate prescription for contact lenses can only be issued after several tests are performed that are not part of an eye exam. At the Boston Eye Group we have Optometrists who specialize in contact lenses so we can be sure you are fit with contact that are safe and healthy for your eyes.
A proper contact lens fitting involves special measurements of the curvature of the front surface of your eye and this is the starting point for determining the proper curve and size for your contact lenses. Contact Lenses that are too flat or too steep for the shape of your eye can cause damage to the cornea. In complex fittings the use of special diagnostic tests may be needed.
In addition, an evaluation of the tear film on the front of your eye is performed to determine which contact lens materials will be best suited for your eyes and if you are a good candidate for contact lens wear. A biomicroscope will be used by the Doctor to carefully evaluate the health of the corneas to make sure there are no other prevalent conditions that could make contact lens wear a risk to your ocular health. It also gives your doctor a baseline from which they can monitor any changes to your eyes from contact lens wear.
Trial lenses will be evaluated with the biomicroscope to judge the fit of the lenses and how much they move with each blink. Sometimes, lenses that appear to fit fine when first applied can tighten up after several hours of wear. Checking the fit of your lenses is essential to ensure your lenses continue to fit properly and cause no adverse effects to the cornea.
If you wear your current lenses to your appointment, the Doctor will evaluate them for deposits that could result in a condition called Giant Papillary Conjunctivitis (GPC) which can be painful and possibly result in the inability to wear contact lenses for a substantial period of time. After your doctor is sure your lenses fit properly, provide satisfactory vision and comfort, and are causing no harm to you eye, your final contact lens prescription can be written.
All contact lenses, no matter how well they fit or how new they are, reduce the amount of oxygen that reaches the cornea and increases the risk for eye infections. Annual exams and contact lens fittings are important in order to maintain the health of your eyes and to avoid unnecessary complications from contact lens wear. Contact lens prescriptions are valid for one (1) year. A valid prescription is required to purchase contact lenses, thus an annual contact lens visit is required to maintain an up to date prescription.
What is the cost of the Contact Lens Appointment? An accurate prescription for contact lenses can only be issued after several tests are performed that are not part of an eye exam. These services routinely range from $100 - $250 depending on the complexity of the fit. This covers any contact lens related appointment within the initial fitting period of 60 days. Additional charges outside of the initial fit will incur an additional charge of $39 per appointment.
Will my Insurance cover the Contacts?
Most insurances view contact lens evaluations as cosmetic and do not cover the cost of the appointment or the lenses. In this case , the services would be considered self pay with an out-of-pocket expense ranging from $100 - $250 depending on the complexity of the fit. This cost includes two 30 minute personal training sessions with our contact lens associates. Any additional training outside of the first two are $35 per 30 minute session. The following vision plans may provide coverage towards your contact lens appointment:
- Vision Service Plan (VSP)
- Davis Vision
Contact your specific vision plan for information regarding your plan and benefits.
**Please be aware that some vision plans require that you purchase contact lenses through the office you received contact lens services from. Contact your insurance to learn more about the specifics of your plan.
I have Keratoconus - What does that mean?
Keratoconus is an ocular disease that affects the cornea. Boston Eye Group will do its best to fit you with specialty contact lenses which may enhance your ocular health. However, each person with this disease is a unique case therefore; certain patients may require an extended level of time spent in our office. If this is the case with your eyes, you may incur additional charges.
What is the cost of a Keratoconus Fit?
Keratoconus contact lens fittings require more time and testing than a routine contact lens fitting. The Fit/Refit costs $450 and the Complex Fit costs $550. This covers any contact lens related appointment within the initial fitting period of 60 days. Additional charges outside of the initial fit will incur an additional charge of $39 per appointment.
Will my Insurance cover a Keratoconus Fit?
Contact lenses are usually medically necessary for patients with keratoconus. Contact your insurance company to find out if they provide coverage. It is not uncommon to find that your insurance does not cover the appointment even though the lenses may be medically necessary. Many insurances that do cover this specialty fit require a prior authorization which the Boston Eye Group can submit to your insurance on your behalf.
Now I have a Prescription for Contacts - Where can I purchase them? The contact lenses are not included with the cost of the fit. The price of the lenses varies by brand and other parameters.
Save $10 a box by ordering your contact lenses via our website! You may order them online here or call our Contact Lens Department at (617) 566-0062 x602.
If you have any questions please contact our office at (617) 566-0062 x602 for further assistance.