Contact Lens Exam/Fitting

Discussion in 'Contact Lenses' started by Gary, Oct 23, 2003.

  1. Gary

    Gary Guest

    Hi all,
    I've been wearing eye glasses for more than half my life. Anyways, my
    RX for the glasses are:

    R: -4.50 -1.00 168
    L: -3.75 -1.00 165

    Before I make an appointment with an eye doctor for a contact lens
    fitting ( Do I need another Eye exam? )... I would like to know the
    average cost for fitting lenses and stuff.

    Could anyone tell me what a "fitting" involes? Also, do Lenscrafters'
    independent doctors charge a generally lower rate?

    Gary, Oct 23, 2003
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  2. I'm not a doctor, but I can tell you from personal experience what a
    fitting will involve, and the docs here can fill in anything I

    If it's been a long time since you got that spectacle prescription,
    you may be asked to get another eye exam. In fact you may be asked to
    get another exam no matter how long it's been. They examine your eyes
    differently and take extra readings for contacts than they do for
    glasses, and the measurements may also differ depending on whether you
    are prescribed soft or rigid contacts. The fitting appointment will
    probably be separate from the eye exam. That's when you'll go in to
    have them show you how to insert and remove the lenses and to check
    the lens size/shape for correct fit.

    As for costs, I don't know what the average is, but I can tell you
    what I paid. The eye exam will cost whatever your insurance copay is.
    I have no idea how much it costs to pay for an entire non-insured
    exam. The fitting fee varied among the two practices I've been to.
    One charged US$125 for the initial fitting appointment and any number
    of follow-up visits necessary to get the lenses properly fitted. I
    had to go back for so many follow-up visits to get mine properly
    fitted (I have unusual problems with my eyes) that I think my doctor
    decided it was no longer profitable to have me as a patient, and he
    dumped me. The second practice I went to charged $75 for the initial
    fitting, plus $25 for each follow-up. How many follow-ups you will
    need depends on your eyes and how good a match the first lenses are
    for you, but I think you can probably plan on at *least* 1 or 2,
    possibly a lot more.

    I can't answer your question about Lenscrafters, so I'll leave that to
    others. I'd be interested in how many people have had different
    experiences than what I just described.

    Lothar of the Hill People, Oct 23, 2003
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  3. I forgot to include the cost of the lenses themselves. In my
    research, a year's supply of lenses might cost from US$120-600,
    depending on what type you get (rigid gas permeables, daily, weekly,
    or monthly disposables/frequent replacement), or traditional
    non-disposables), and whether you buy them from a doctor's office
    (which has its benefits) or mail order. To that you should also
    figure in the cost of cleaning solutions, saline, rewetting drops,
    etc, which might cost another $100 or more. If you wear daily
    disposables or 30-day lenses like Focus Night and Day, you won't have
    to pay for cleaning solutions, but the lenses will cost much more. It
    very much depends on what will work for your eyes. Unfortunately it's
    not so simple as deciding, "I'm going to wear the least expensive
    lenses on the market."

    Lothar of the Hill People, Oct 23, 2003
  4. Gary

    The Real Bev Guest

    I had a prescription from an optometrist. I took the prescription to an
    optician who specialized in multifocal RGPs and who charged $450 for
    fitting and lenses. If he couldn't fit me at all, he agreed to give
    back either $200 or $250 (can't remember). If he couldn't fit me with
    RGPs but could fit me with softies, he would keep the refund and I would
    get a year's worth of softies.

    I tried 8 pair of RGPs and 5 pair of soft single-vision lenses and
    settled on the least bad set of single-vision softies -- Cooper
    Frequency 55 Torics, which are generally available from the usual
    sources for $55 per six-pack.

    "It is a matter of regret that many low, mean suspicions
    turn out to be well-founded." -- Edgar Watson Howe
    The Real Bev, Oct 23, 2003
  5. Gary

    Gary Guest

    Hi pple,

    appreciate some advice if you could.

    I went for my eye exam and fitting. The doctor was very good and
    patient, and he tried to get some soft lens on me. Cooper Vision and
    Acuvue torics. It seems my eyes might be too small or something, and
    he couldn't get the contacts in. In the end, after a good 10 tries or
    so, he suggested I try out RGPs.

    He wrote me up for a Boston EO lens. What I'm a little puzzled about
    is that I have astigmatism, but it seems the Rx for the contacts don't
    state so. Also my BC seems to be a little low? I'm waiting on the
    lens order and will try them out when he gets them. It seems its a
    little costly too, after I did some research online. Pearle vision
    charged me around $80 for each lens. I see that vision direct and
    other online retailers only charge $35 each lens.

    Could anyone advise if the lens are too expensive and that really soft
    contacts will not work for me? I was pretty disappointed, but the
    doctor was really nice and tried hard to work with me.

    My eyeglasses Rx:
    SPH -4.25 OD -3.75 OS
    CYL -100 OD -125 OS
    Axis -177 OD -170 OS

    My Contact lens Rx:
    SPH -4.75 OD -4.25 OS
    CYL - DS for both... whats DS
    Axis - nil
    BC - 7.85 OD 7.75 OS
    DIA 8.5 OD 8.5 OS

    The online stores alls state that the BC should be between 8-10. My
    Rx doesn't seem to fit the profile.

    Any help would be good.

    Gary, Oct 25, 2003
  6. Gary

    Dr Judy Guest

    The direct sales places are not including a charge for lens design, only
    lens replacement, ie they do not include a fitting fee as they are not doing
    a fit. During the initial fitting period, your doctor may need to modify
    the lens design which is usually done without another charge. The online
    places will be charging you for every lens change.
    Unlike soft lenses, RGP's usually do not specify astigmatism unless the fit
    is back toric, usually used only for high astigmatism (over 2D).

    Base curve is dependent upon the curvature of your cornea, which you have
    not provided. I'm surprised at the 8 - 10 online restriction as RGP lenses
    in that range reflect a minority of corneal curves; RGP range would
    typically be between 7 and 9.

    Dr Judy
    Dr Judy, Oct 25, 2003
  7. Gary

    Gary Guest

    Dr Judy,

    thank you for the reply.

    I asked the online retailers and they said that those Boston EO lenses
    are a custom BC, hence my BC reading is fine.

    Yes, I do have a follow up with the doctor when my RGPs arrive. What
    I'm kind of dissappointed that each lens costs is double what I can
    get online. I did not obtain the measurements for my curvature of my
    cornea... he only wrote up the RX i put up earlier. Should I obtain
    this from him and is this obtainable?

    I'll try out the RGPs and see how they work out. He's hoping that it
    being smaller in size will help me get it in more easily. The soft
    ones were too flexible or I fought the fitting process too much.

    Gary, Oct 26, 2003
  8. Gary

    Dr. Leukoma Guest

    Most patients I know who purchased RGP lenses online were disappointed and
    frustrated by the experience. The BC, diameter, power and material are not
    the entire story, and there are other parameters that can affect the fit
    and comfort, namely: optical zone diameter, intermediate and peripheral
    curve widths and radii, edge treatment, center thickness, etc. This is why
    lenses with ostensibly the same parameters can fit and feel differently. I
    recently refit one of my patients who had worn the same pair of lenses for
    several years. The only changes I made were to reduce the optical zone
    size by 0.2mm and the power. The patient complained of excessive lens
    movement and discomfort that were not completely accounted for by the
    changes I made. However, I did notice that the center thickness was
    greater by 0.3mm, which did explain the appearance of dryness and staining.
    Since I omitted the thickness specification, the lab used a default value
    based upon their own design preferences. The original pair of lenses was
    made by a different lab.

    The relationship your OD has with the local lab permits these variables to
    be manipulated as necessary to obtain the desired result, including
    warranted exchanges of the lens. This "added value" is reflected in the
    higher mark-up on the lens price. The online vendor does nothing to add
    value to the process, but only shifts profit from the local economy to some
    large money-sucking machine located in some far away location (probably in

    Dr. Leukoma, Oct 26, 2003
  9. Gary

    Dan Abel Guest

    It's not fair to compare the two. Your doctor is doing an initial
    fitting. The online places are selling replacement lenses. Ask your
    doctor what they would charge for a replacement lens, for instance if you
    lost one of them.

    When I first got contacts, many years ago, my doctor charged $250 for
    fitting and two lenses. When I lost a lens, he charged me $30 for a
    Dan Abel, Oct 27, 2003
  10. Gary

    Dr. Leukoma Guest

    (Dan Abel) wrote in
    The point I was trying to make is that even the replacement lenses might
    not be identical because of various unspecified parameters that can
    influence the comfort and fit. Maybe my patients are too particular.

    Dr. Leukoma, Oct 28, 2003
  11. Gary

    Gary Guest

    Thanks to everyone for the information.

    I tried the RGPs last saturday. They popped in so easily compared to
    the soft contacts. The good doctor then put in some yellow dye to see
    how the lens fit.

    I teared ALOT and blinked alot.... he determined that the lens was
    probably a little too small and I think the upper edge was sitting
    uncomfortably. He said he'd order a larger lens.

    I'm quite happy that the RGPs might just work for me. He did say that
    the inital 2 weeks would not be as comfortable as soft contacts, but
    that in the long run, the RGPs would be more if not as comfortable as
    soft contacts. Does anyone have an opinion about that statement?

    Hopefully, I'll be getting the RGPs real soon and I'll check with him
    again how much replacements would cost.

    thanks again!

    Gary, Nov 3, 2003
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