Differences between Comprehensive Eye Exams & Contact Lens Exams | Yardley Eye Care (2023)

Here at Yardley Eye Care, our optometrists in Yardley offer bothcomprehensive eye examsandcontact lens exams. The type of exam you need will depend on when you had your last eye examination and your corrective lens needs.

Comprehensive Eye Exam VS Exams for Contact Lenses

Comprehensive eye exams are an in-depth vision and eye health exams that test your visual acuity and for certain eye diseases. Exams for contacts, by contrast, only check your visual acuity and fit you for contact lenses.

Comprehensive Eye Exams

When you schedule an appointment for a comprehensive eye exam, you can expect your visual acuity, depth perception, and peripheral vision to be tested. You’ll also undergo an eye pressure test for glaucoma.

These exams also include a dilated eye examination to check the back of your eyes. This allows our eye doctor to check your retina, macula and optic nerve for signs of age-related macular degeneration (AMD), diabetic retinopathy and problems with the retina.

If you have any eye health problems, our optometrist will explain the finding and recommend a course of treatment along with monitoring. If any problems with your visual acuity are found, you will be given a prescription foreyeglasses.

Contact Lens Exams and Evaluations

Contact lens exams and evaluations include two appointments. These exams do not include an eye health examination beyond a glaucoma test and tests for conditions that would affect your ability to wear contacts.

  • First Appointment– Your first appointment for a contact lens evaluation with our eye doctor includes a visual acuity test via a Snellen eye chart, vision correction testing, evaluation and measurement of the cornea to determine the type and size of the contact lens to be used. Trial contact lenses will be put on the eyes and your vision re-assessed. This evaluation may or may not be done at the same time as your annual comprehensive exam. If this is your first time wearing contact lenses, you will be instructed on the proper wear and care and taught techniques for insertion and removal of the lenses.
  • Second Appointment– Your second appointment is scheduled after you have been given the opportunity to wear your new contact lenses for a period of time. This appointment double-checks the fit of your lenses and your corrected vision and to ensure that you are happy with the comfort and vision with the lenses.

Scheduling Your Eye Care Exam with Our Optometrist

If you are unsure as to which type of exam you need, our optometrist would be happy to answer your questions. In general, you need a comprehensive eye examination every 12 months, and you need a contact lens exam every 12 months or when your last contact lens prescription expires.


What is the difference between a comprehensive eye exam and a contact lens exam? ›

Comprehensive eye exams are an in-depth vision and eye health exams that test your visual acuity and for certain eye diseases. Exams for contacts, by contrast, only check your visual acuity and fit you for contact lenses.

What does comprehensive eye exam mean? ›

During a comprehensive eye exam, your ophthalmologist will assess much more than your visual acuity. He or she will test for common eye diseases, assess how your eyes work together and evaluate the health of your retina, optic nerve and retinal blood vessels.

What is the difference between a routine eye exam and a diagnostic eye exam? ›

A medical exam includes diagnosis and treatment of an eye disease or malady (like glaucoma, conjunctivitis, or cataracts). A routine eye exam, on the other hand, includes diagnosis and treatment of non-medical complaints, like astigmatism, or farsightedness.

What is the most thorough eye exam? ›

Pupil dilation is very important for people with risk factors for eye disease, because it allows for the most thorough evaluation of the health of the inside of your eyes.

What does a contact lens exam include? ›

A contact lens exam will include both a comprehensive eye exam to check your overall eye health, your general vision prescription and then a contact lens consultation and measurement to determine the proper lens fit.

What does a contact lens exam consist of? ›

A contact lens exam can have several components, including a consultation with the optometrist, measurements of a few key parts of your eyes, a tear film evaluation, and a contact lens fitting.

Why is comprehensive eye exam important? ›

Eye exams can easily identify common causes of blindness such as glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy and macular degeneration. Occurrences of these conditions increase significantly as we age. Vision loss often can be prevented or reduced with early detection from regular eye exams.

Why do contact lens exams cost more? ›

Why is a contact lens exam more expensive? Additional testing is required for contact lenses because they are classified as medical devices. The optometrist will need to evaluate the size and shape of your eye, as well as other factors like your tear production levels.

How do I prepare for a comprehensive eye exam? ›

Eye Exam Preparation
  1. Bring Your I.D. and Insurance Card to Your Appointment. ...
  2. Keep a Log of Your Symptoms. ...
  3. Take Note of Your Current Medications. ...
  4. Ask Your Family About Their Eye Health History. ...
  5. Bring Your Existing Glasses and Contact Lenses. ...
  6. Create a List of Questions for Your Optometrist. ...
  7. Create a Frame Wishlist.

Are all eye charts the same for eye exams? ›

5) There are different types of eye charts

There's not just one but different types of eye charts and all are used to test vision. These include Snellen Chart, LogMAR Chart, Jaeger Chart, E Chart, and Landolt C Chart.

What tests and procedures go into a routine eye exam? ›

A technician will often perform a few basic tests before you see the doctor, including a color sensitivity test, peripheral vision test, a glaucoma (or “air puff” test) and a cover test to determine how well your eyes work together.

What is a regular eye exam called? ›

Visual Acuity Test

This is the "eye chart" test that you may be familiar with. You're positioned about 20 feet away from the chart and asked to identify a series of letters printed on a chart (officially called a Snellen Eye Chart).

Do I have to get a contact lens exam every year? ›

When Should You Get the Exam? If you wear contacts, you need to see your eye doctor annually for an exam. Since contact lenses cover a portion of the eye they reduce the amount of oxygen getting to the cornea. Over time, this can impact the health of the eye and cause damage.

Can I get glasses prescription with contact lens exam? ›

The answer is no. While they both have the same objective — to correct what eye doctors call “refractive errors” that prevent you from seeing correctly — prescriptions for eyeglasses and contact lenses are distinctly different.

Does an eye exam give you a contact prescription? ›

Your eye care professional has to give you your contact lens prescription when they complete your fitting. They also should ask you to sign a confirmation that you got a copy of your prescription.

What happens in a contact lens eye test? ›

During your eye exam for contact lenses, your visual acuity will be tested using an eye chart, and a number of tests will be performed to determine your eye health and whether prescription eyewear is required to correct refractive errors.

How long is a contact lens exam good for? ›

The expiration date for your contact lens prescription is currently set by the State of California — for normal prescriptions, it is one to two years. If you have additional health concerns, your doctor may place a shorter time period on your contact lens prescription.

Are comprehensive eye exams are the best way to ensure healthy vision? ›

Vision screening programs can't substitute for regular professional vision care. Children or adults who pass a vision screening could still have an eye health or vision problem. Comprehensive eye examinations are the only effective way to confirm or rule out any eye disease or vision problem.

Can a comprehensive eye exam detect brain tumor? ›

A regular, routine eye test can sometimes detect eye problems that indicate the presence of a brain tumour before any symptoms become obvious. An eye test is particularly good at identifying any swelling of the optic disc (a condition called papilloedema) and can also identify when there is pressure on the optic nerve.

Should you get a routine eye exam? ›

If you don't have any symptoms or vision problems, doctors recommend getting regular eye exams based on your age: Ages 20 to 39: Every 5 years. Ages 40 to 54: Every 2 to 4 years. Ages 55 to 64: Every 1 to 3 years.

How much does Walmart charge for a contact lens exam? ›

A. A comprehensive eye health and vision exam is $80. A contact lens exam is $115. If you need bifocal correction or want to wear contact lenses for the first time, the exam cost $145.

Why is the contact lens exam not covered by insurance? ›

When I sat down and asked him what the contact lens fitting fee is all about, he said it's charged because vision insurance providers only view glasses — not contacts — as “medically necessary.” That explains why my vision insurance covers all but $25 of the $175 comprehensive exam and not the contact lens fitting fee.

How much should a contact lens fitting cost? ›

Typically, the average cost of a contact lens exam ranges between $120-$250. The average cost of a regular eye exam will vary depending on where you live and the type of optometry office you visit. With that said, keep in mind these are averages. Contact lens fittings without insurance can start as low as $100.

What time of day is best for eye exam? ›

If you want to get the best results from your eye exam — and the most accurate prescription — research suggests 8 a.m. or 8 p.m. is the best time to book your eye exam.

Does a routine eye exam include dilation? ›

Once the initial routine eye exam is complete, the pupil dilation portion of the exam takes place. In this portion of the exam, your doctor will place a few drops of a solution in each of your eyes that cause the pupils to dilate or widen.

What letters are never on an eye chart? ›

Even the types of letters used are carefully chosen. You'll notice, next time you look at an eye chart, not every letter of the alphabet is used. Only the letters C, D, E, F, L, N, O, P, T and Z.

What is the most common chart used to test near vision? ›

The most common in clinical practice is the Snellen chart, while research studies more often use logMAR charts, such as the Early Treatment of Diabetic Retinopathy Study (ETDRS) chart. The Snellen Chart uses a geometric scale to measure visual acuity, with normal vision at a distance being set at 20/20.

What are the 3 types of vision tests? ›

There are three different types of eye exams, including a comprehensive eye exam, a routine eye exam, and a contact lens exam. Depending on when your last appointment was and the kind of vision correction you need, the optometrist may use a different exam.

What 5 procedures are in an eye exam? ›

Tests During Your Eye Exam
  • Visual Acuity. This test measures the sharpness of your vision using an eye chart projected onto the wall. ...
  • Visual Field. ...
  • Pupillary Reactions. ...
  • Cover Test. ...
  • Alignment. ...
  • Retinoscopy. ...
  • Refraction.

How often should you get your eyes checked after age 60? ›

Everyone over age 50 should have a dilated eye exam every year or as recommended by your eye care professional, even if you have good vision and don't wear contacts or glasses. After age 60, you should get a dilated eye exam every year or two.

Is refraction part of routine eye exam? ›

What is a Refraction Test? A refraction test is usually given as part of a routine eye examination. It may also be called a vision test. This test tells your eye doctor exactly what prescription you need in your glasses or contact lenses.

Why shouldn't you drink coffee before an eye exam? ›

Many providers recommend avoiding caffeine before your appointment because it can raise your blood pressure. High blood pressure can cause your exam results to be inaccurate because they can cause symptoms like blurry vision or headaches.

Should I wear glasses or contacts to an eye exam? ›

Don't: Wear Your Contacts To Your Eye Exam

If you wear your contacts to your exam, you'll probably have to take them out before the exam. It's best to wear your glasses and take them off when asked. To be safe, bring your contact lenses to your appointment.

Do I need a separate eye test for contacts? ›

Why do I need a new eye test for a contact lens prescription? In addition to the numbers on your glasses prescription, your optician will need to make some additional measurements if you're planning to wear contact lenses.

Is contact lens evaluation covered by insurance? ›

Does your vision insurance cover contact lens exams? Actually, many insurance policies do not. Some plans offer a high copay, such as $40, for a standard lens exam. Others offer a discount off of the optometrist retail price.

How often do you need to get a contact lens exam? ›

If you wear contacts, you need to see your eye doctor annually for an exam. Since contact lenses cover a portion of the eye they reduce the amount of oxygen getting to the cornea. Over time, this can impact the health of the eye and cause damage.

What is the average price for a contact lens exam? ›

Typically, the average cost of a contact lens exam ranges between $120-$250. The average cost of a regular eye exam will vary depending on where you live and the type of optometry office you visit. With that said, keep in mind these are averages. Contact lens fittings without insurance can start as low as $100.

Can I use my glasses prescription for contact lenses? ›

Can You Use Your Glasses Prescription for Contact Lenses? Unfortunately, you can't use your current glasses prescription for contact lenses. While both can correct your vision, your prescription for glasses differs from a contact lens prescription in many ways.

Are contact lens prescriptions stronger than glasses? ›

Because eyeglasses sit some distance away from your eyes, the prescription for glasses is typically a bit stronger than for contact lenses. This is the primary difference between the two prescriptions.

Is it better to use vision insurance for glasses or contacts? ›

Most plans, including VSP insurance, provide a higher benefit for glasses, allowing for the cost of both frames and lenses and usually amounting to almost double to what is given for contact lenses.

What is the average cost of contact lenses without insurance? ›

What You Can Expect to Pay. Disposable contact lenses cost approximately $200 to $1,000 per year or $15 to $85 per month for regular wearers, if you're buying for both eyes. This range is so broad because it encompasses different types of contact lenses for different kinds of vision correction.

Why are glasses cheaper than contacts? ›

Glasses are generally less expensive than contacts in the long run because they do not need to be replaced as often. However, if your glasses break, they can be expensive to replace.

Are contacts more expensive with higher prescription? ›

Specialty contacts that require a higher or uncommon prescription may cost more than those designed for mild to moderate myopia (nearsightedness) or hyperopia (farsightedness). There are also many different types and brands of contacts, which can impact price.

Do I have to get a contact lens fitting every year? ›

The wrong prescription could lead to an uncomfortable fit and potential eye damage. You may be wondering, “do I need a contact lens fitting every year?” It's important to get an annual fitting, as well as a yearly eye exam, to check for any changes in your eye shape and health.

Do you have to do a contact lens fitting every year? ›

You should have at least one regular fitting each year. Although, this could be every 6 months, depending on which type of contact lens you use and how frequently your prescription needs adjusting. The daily wear and tear on the eye caused by wearing contacts can cause damage over time.


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