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Can Ontario Optometrists Prescribe Contact Lens Prescriptions?

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A smiling young woman holds a contact lens on her left index finger.

Are Ontario Optometrists Able to Prescribe Contact Lens Prescriptions?

Contact lenses offer a different look and, with the advancements in contact lens technology, are a more viable alternative to glasses than ever. Your contact lens journey begins with a comprehensive exam with your optometrist to determine your prescription. 

But can your Ontario optometrist determine your prescription? Let’s look at what goes into your contact lens prescription, including proper maintenance and the importance of fitting.

Contact Lens Exam & Fitting

Contact lenses are medical devices, they sit on your cornea, and it’s essential that they fit properly. Your prescription will be based on your specific vision needs, so a contact lens fitting is vital to ensure your comfort. 

Your contact lens exam will include different tests. Your optometrist will check your visual acuity to determine how well you see letters and symbols from a distance. You will also be asked questions to assess your lifestyle and contact lens preferences. 

Your eye doctor may conduct measurements and evaluations such as: 

A crucial part of the exam and fitting process is ensuring that your comfort and safety take priority. That’s why your optometrist will fit you with trial lenses to evaluate how well your eyes adjust and respond to new lenses.

Proper Contact Lens Maintenance

During your contact lens fitting, your optometrist will provide detailed instructions about insertion, removal, and hygiene.

Ignoring proper contact lens hygiene habits can result in serious infections, so here are some precautions you can take: 

  • Avoid sleeping in contact lenses unless you have specialty extended-wear contacts
  • Avoid swimming, showering, or using a hot tub with contacts
  • Follow your replacement schedule
  • Do not clean your lenses with tap water—only use the recommended lens solution

Staying up-to-date with a consistent exam schedule can help your optometrist monitor your vision and eye health.

A contact lens care kit laid next to a pair of glasses and eye chart on a blue background.

Prescription Contact Lenses

You may be wondering if your Ontario optometrist can prescribe an updated or new contact lens prescription.

The answer is yes

Your optometrist will conduct a contact lens exam that takes a little longer than a standard eye exam. The exam will be comprehensive and cover various measurements and discover what you’re looking for in contact lenses. 

It’s crucial that your eyes are healthy, and your optometrist can monitor your tolerance for lens wear with frequent, consistent exams. Suppose you already have an existing prescription and require a refill. In that case, your optometrist can also help you order your lenses online

Types of Contact Lenses

The 2 main categories of contact lenses are soft contact lenses and rigid gas permeable (RGP) lenses. These 2 categories of lenses include specialized contact lenses that work to solve various vision problems.

Soft contact lenses offer a greater comfort level than RGP lenses and are ideal for intermittent wear. Soft contacts are also less durable than RGP lenses and require more maintenance.

RGP lenses correct most corneal astigmatism issues and are easier to care for than soft contact lenses. RGP lenses require a longer adaptation period and are more susceptible to foreign objects under the lens, such as dust.

Your overall eye health will play a part in determining the best lens for you.

Finding the Right Fit

A comprehensive contact lens exam and fitting include a detailed study of your unique vision situation. Your comfort is essential, and your optometrist will take the necessary steps to ensure that your contact fits comfortably and safely. 

Book an appointment with your optometrist today to get your comprehensive contact lens exam and fitting.

Dr. Shaina Nensi, OD and owner of Avenue Optometry

Written by Dr. Shaina Nensi, OD, FCOVD

Dr. Shaina Nensi, owner of Avenue Optometry & Vision Therapy, received her Doctor of Optometry degree from the University of Waterloo. Dr. Nensi went on to complete a residency in Pediatrics and Vision Therapy where she received additional training in the areas of pediatrics, neuro-rehabilitation, vision therapy and eyecare for special-needs populations. Upon completion, she received The Canadian Association of Optometrist’s Award of Merit and the COVD Award for Excellence in Vision Therapy. Dr. Nensi is also a board-certified Fellow in developmental vision and vision therapy by the College of Optometrists in Vision Development (FCOVD).

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