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Contact Lens Exam

Perfect Contact Lens Fit for Clear and Healthy Vision

If you’re interested in wearing contact lenses, the first thing you need to do is come in to Dr. Philip Nicolson and Associates, for a thorough eye exam. Our expert optometrists will evaluate your vision and ocular health to make sure that you’re a good candidate for wearing contacts comfortably. Fortunately, the current range of lenses on the market is vast – and there’s a suitable pair for almost every visual condition. We’ll inspect your eyes closely to determine the best type of lenses for you. Schedule your contact lens eye exam in our Costco Vision Center, in Beltsville, MD, today!

Your Contact Lens Fitting

contact lenses in BeltsvilleA good relationship between our patients and our eye doctors, Dr. Philip Nicholson and Dr. Victoria Grinstead, is essential to helping you achieve comfortable, quality vision with contact lenses. We want to hear about your lifestyle and visual expectations. Do you like the idea of daily disposable lenses, or would you prefer lenses that are replaced less frequently or can be worn overnight? Are you seeking a new eye color?  Soft lenses are more popular nowadays, yet hard gas permeable lenses (GP) have certain benefits. We’ll explain the pros and cons of the different contact lenses available.

If you need bifocals, we’ll discuss the option of multifocal contacts with you. An alternative method is called “monovision”, which refers to using one lens for distance vision and the other for close vision. We’ll take the time to consider what’s best for your unique needs and preferences.

Measuring for Contact Lenses

Just as there’s a full spectrum of clothing sizes out there, contact lenses also come in a variety of sizes. The curvature of your eyeball must be assessed; some eyes have a steep curve, while others are flatter. If your contact lenses don’t sit right on your eyeball, irritation – and possibly damage to your eye - will result. Dr. Nicholson or Dr. Grinstead are experienced and skilled at measuring eyes to fit contact lenses, and the following measurements will be taken in our Beltsville, MD, office:

Corneal curvature:  With the help of a keratometer, we’ll assess your cornea to find the best curve and diameter for your contacts.  This measurement is very useful when fitting contacts on patients with astigmatism. When necessary, corneal topography mapping may also be used to provide more detailed, precise images of the eye's’ surface.

Pupil and iris size:  These measurements, taken with a template card, ruler or biomicroscope, are important for deciding the perfect contact lens design to match your eyes, especially if you will be wearing GP lenses.

Evaluation of tear film:  An adequate amount of moisture is needed in your eyes in order to wear contacts comfortably. It’s critical that your lenses and your cornea are well hydrated. We’ll assess your tear film by placing a thin strip of paper gently on your lower eyelid, or we may examine your eyes with a slit lamp. The amount of natural moisture present in your eyes will help us to prescribe the best lens material for you.

Trial Lenses

Trying out lenses is often the most efficient way to assess the fit. We’ll insert a trial pair and examine how they sit on your eye when you look in different directions and blink. Your feedback about how the lenses feel, especially after you wear them for at least 15 minutes, is also significant. If the trial contacts are appropriate, then we’ll be able to provide you with a prescription. Before you take your new lenses home, we’ll instruct you on how to wear them, care for them and handle them properly!

Your Contact Lens Prescription

Our eye doctor will issue your contact lens prescription, which includes the following:  power of the lenses, lens diameter, base curve and the brand name manufacturer of the lenses. Additional specifications may be necessary if you’ll be wearing hard, GP lenses.

Follow-up Exams

We strongly encourage follow-up visits to our Beltsville, MD, office, so that we can ensure your lenses fit well and your eyes are healthy. Our contact lens eye exams can detect signs of a problem or complication before you experience any symptoms. If we diagnose any type of problem, we may prescribe different lenses or advise you on a different wearing time. Annual routine exams are advised.

If you’d like to start wearing contact lenses, or if it’s time for your follow-up contact lens eye exam, contact us at Dr. Philip Nicholson and Associates. We look forward to helping you!


Book A Contact Lens Exam


If you have difficulty with scheduling or completing online registration forms, it works best on a computer. If you need assistance using the online scheduler, please text, email or call the office during normal business hours.