Part of getting fitted for contact lenses includes taking a few different pairs for a test drive. If you aren’t familiar with the process of getting contacts, this will likely feel like foreign territory. But fear not! We’re here to walk you through what to expect with trial lenses—and why you should definitely take advantage of them.
After your comprehensive eye exam, your optometrist will have a chat with you about how to take care of your contacts and what to expect if you’re wearing contacts for the first time. Spoiler: this information will become an upcoming blog so if you forget, you can always come back for a refresher.
So, why do I even need trial lenses in the first place?
You wouldn’t buy a car without test driving it (or at least, you shouldn’t!), and your eyes will last exponentially longer than a car. Finding the right fit is paramount for both comfort and for being able to see clearly. Additionally, all contacts are different and what may be super comfortable for, say, your best friend’s eyes may not be the best option for you. When you have different brands of trial lenses to play with, you get a better sense of what works for you.
Determining the right prescription for your contacts can be a process of trial and error, too. After all, your prescription for eyeglasses will be different from your contact lens prescription. This is because the lens sits on your eye and glasses can hang out a little further away (say 12mm further).
All that said, you definitely don’t want to leave your optometrist’s office with a finalized prescription only to have to come back later if your contacts aren’t the right power or if they irritate your eyes.
How long do trial lenses last?
Trial lenses have the same modality (wear frequency) as your permanent pair of contacts. If you were given dailies to trial, they’re good for a single use only. For example, if you’re given 2-week or monthly contacts, they’re good for either two weeks or a month. Usually, your optometrist will send you home for a week-long trial, regardless of the modality.
After a week of testing out your trial lenses, you can either schedule a follow-up appointment with your optometrist to finalize the fit or call them and let them know that you’re ready to roll with the prescription and brand of contacts you were trialing. Unless you’re seeing the same doctor and using the same lenses you have before, be ready to go back in for a follow-up just to make sure the fit is perfect.
If after a week you still aren’t sure, then definitely keep reading.
It’s up to your optometrist’s discretion! Because your contacts should be the appropriate power and comfort, it’s important to find the right fit. Some people trial more than one brand of lens, and if this is you, don’t worry. It’s normal!
Can I sleep in trial lenses?
Unfortunately, wearing your lenses overnight can come with risks, even if your doctor approves it. Sleeping in your contact lenses can deprive your eyes of oxygen which puts you at higher risk of eye infections. If you’re considering napping in your contacts, we highly recommend checking out this excellent resource (hint: just don’t do it).
Can I waterski in trial lenses?
If you really want to? Probably a good idea to pop in a new pair of contacts afterward so you don’t reintroduce icky bacteria to your eyes.
If you’re thinking about changing up your contact lenses—or even if you’re brand new to contacts—talk to your eye doctor about trialing different lenses to find the right fit. We can get you started by booking you with a highly-rated optometrist near you!