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melanie81's avatar

What happens during a contact lens fitting? Can I drive afterward?

Asked by melanie81 (794points) September 22nd, 2009

I have an appointment for an eye exam/contact lens fitting (first timer!) this Saturday morning, but I have to drive to L.A. right after…is this safe? I live in Santa Barbara, about 1.5 hours away…

Also, what exactly happens during a fitting? Does it hurt? How long will it take to get my contacts? Thinking about ordering through

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14 Answers

DrasticDreamer's avatar

Usually, when you go in for a fitting they give you a “sample pair” to wear, to make sure your eyes take to the contacts. If all goes well, you make a return appointment to pick the rest of them up. The best thing to do on Saturday is ask your doctor if you should drive with them in. They may say it’s okay, or they may say it’s not a good idea since this will be your very first time wearing them.

Do you currently wear glasses? Or are you completely new to the world of contacts and glasses? If so, I suggest buying a pair of glasses along with your contacts – which can be done the same day as the appointment. That way you can wear the glasses while you drive and just put the contacts in once you get to L.A.

DarkScribe's avatar

Yes, sure. Unless they have trouble putting your eye back in after they have measured it. (Or if they accidentally put it back in upside down – that can cause problems.)

(Try not to sneeze for the next few hours…)

deni's avatar

Don’t wear eye makeup. You’ll be messy getting it in the first time and your makeup will end up everywhere. Mine did, I was embarassed, and the eye doctor assistant was really pretty.

erichw1504's avatar

Your eyes will need to get used to them for a couple days. Not sure how it will affect your driving. Ask the doc.

Also, 1800Contacts is great, I’ve always gotten mine from them. Very cheap and speedy service.

melanie81's avatar

Awesome advice from all – thanks! So, the doc will be able to just MAKE a set of contacts for me, on the spot?? That’s amazing.

@DrasticDreamer I do currently wear glasses, but not all the time…just got them about a year ago. My vision isn’t that terrible, so I only wear them when my eyes feel tired or if I’m reading a lot at work. However, I’m a musician, and I find myself having a hard time reading all the notes (especially if there are a lot)...and the glasses are a nightmare, since I need peripheral vision for chamber music, looking at conductors, etc. Hopefully contacts will solve that!

@deni THANKS for the head’s up…I totally would have gone in with liner/mascara on.

deni's avatar

You’re welcome :)

StephK's avatar

I’m going for my first-ever contact fitting Saturday, too! Thanks for asking this question—it’s one of those ones I never knew I had.

melanie81's avatar

@StephK Good luck! We should come back and report our experience :)

StephK's avatar

@melanie81 Good idea! Will definitely do so.

StephK's avatar

So… my experience:

- Entered office, told them I was there
– Waited an hour and a half
– Got the little puffs of air in my eye (um, why do they do that every time??)
– Waited some more
– Given my contacts and told how to put them in… Had no problem with this
– Had the eye doctor guy check to make sure the fit was right
– Waited some more
– Told to take them out… which took me about half an hour. (And it’s still taking me about half an hour to do)
– Told to put it back in
– Told I could leave and to come back for a progress check & more contacts in about two weeks.

PS: Drove home (about an hour & a half) with them. All was fine.

DarkScribe's avatar

@StephK Got the little puffs of air in my eye (um, why do they do that every time??)

It measures the “firmness” of the eyeball.

melanie81's avatar

@StephK Nice, thanks for the update! Mine went fairly similarly, except they ended up not having the kind I needed…

-Entered office, waited for the dr. to arrive (@ 11am? Wow.)
-Gave me a routine exam since it’d been a year since my last one; was told that my vision may not be bad enough to warrant contacts; later realized that it’s my astigmatism that is bothering me, and they don’t really make contacts for my “level” of astigmatism
-measured my eyes (didn’t do the puff thing, tho!)
-realized they were out of the special kind that I needed, dr. got pissed at his asst. for not ordering more, and we tried out two different kinds….he taught me how to insert/take out the lenses
-I walked around for about 20 minutes “trying out” the 2nd pair, loved them! Couldn’t feel a thing.
-They ordered the right pair for me and I’ll come back when they arrive.

@DarkScribe I heard the puffs are for testing Glaucoma…?

StephK's avatar

Testing glaucoma would make sense. I have an enlarged optic nerve so they’re always peering around in there with a bright light to make sure nothing’s developed. But measuring firmness makes a lot of sense, too.

I’m with you Melaine81. I love them.

DarkScribe's avatar

@melanie81 DarkScribe I heard the puffs are for testing Glaucoma…?

Yes, it measures the pressure inside the eye, how firm the eyeball is. Sort of like determining how “inflated” a car tyre is by kicking it.

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