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Contact Lens Eye Exams

Eye exams for contact lenses aren’t exactly the same as regular eye exams. Heartland’s contact lens exams include additional tests just for contact lens users, so they take longer to perform. We want to ensure that you’ve been prescribed the correct type of contacts and that your contact lenses aren’t creating problems for your eyes, so follow-up visits will also be scheduled.

Fittings and exams for contact lenses are performed by a licensed optometrist at all Heartland Vision locations.

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Contact lens exams in Indiana

Contact lens fitting and procedures

Contact lens eye exams begin like regular eye exams: your eye doctor checks your eyes for any possible health issues and tests your vision. Contact lens exams also include detailed eye measurements to determine the size and type of contacts you need, as well as a lens fitting and evaluation.

Your overall health, unique eye anatomy, history of contact lens use, and other factors will determine which specific tests are included in your contact lens exam. In general, a contact lens eye exam may include:

Corneal topography during contact lens fitting Corneal topography

Biomicroscope used in contact lens exam Biomicroscopy

Measuring the pupil and iris in a contact lens fitting Pupil & iris measurement

Evaluating the tear film during a contact lens exam Tear film evaluation

**There are contact lenses made for dry eyes, but those with low tear production may be advised to avoid contact lenses.

How often you need an eye exam for contacts

Regardless of your age, you should consider scheduling annual contact lens exams if you’re a contact lens user. Contact lenses reduce the amount of oxygen getting to your cornea, so monitoring the impact this has on your eye health is necessary to prevent damage.

Why contact lens exams are important:

Don’t wait to schedule an exam and risk your eye health. Contact your eye doctor immediately if you begin having issues with your vision or how your contact lenses are fitting.

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  • Contact lens exam & fitting in Indiana

    Cost of a contact lens exam & fitting

The cost of a contact lens exam can vary based on extra tests, measurements, evaluations, and follow-up visits to make sure you’re prescribed the right type and size of contact lenses.

  • CareCredit for contact lens exams in Indiana

    CareCredit for contact lens exams

Since contact lenses are seen as optional and not medically necessary, contact lens fitting fees generally aren’t covered by vision insurance.

Exceptions to contact lens fitting fee coverage is if your provider deems your contact lenses as medically necessary. Sometimes you’re also able to use part of your insurance plan’s contact lens allowance to offset the fitting fee. If you’d like us to help you understand your plan and avoid surprise costs, we can provide you with a free insurance coverage check.

Even if you don’t have insurance, you can still get a contact lens eye exam.

  • Vision insurance for contact lens exams

Vision insurance coverage can also affect the out-of-pocket cost of a contact lens fitting. In general, insurance providers consider contact lenses optional and not medically necessary, so fitting fees usually aren’t covered.

Some providers cover medically necessary contact lenses, and some cover part of a contact lens fitting fee. In other cases, you’re able to use part of your plan’s contact lens allowance to offset the fitting fee. We provide free insurance coverage checks so you can understand your plan and avoid surprise costs.

You can also get a contact eye exam and contacts without insurance.

Eye exams for contact lenses

Do you need a separate eye exam for contacts?

Even if you already have a prescription for eyeglasses, you’ll need to schedule a separate exam for contacts because prescriptions are very different. Since contact lenses rest directly on the surface of your eye and corrective lenses sit about 10-15 millimeters away from your eye, lens power and magnifying power in your prescriptions will change. You’ll receive individual eye measurements in a contact lens exam for a perfect fit.

  • Base curve measurement for contact lens prescription

    Base curve measurement

    is how much the back (inside) of the contact lens needs to curve to fit your cornea properly.
  • Measuring eye for correct diameter of contact lenses


    determines the size of your contacts, which varies depending on the type of contact lens you wear.
  • Contact lens brands and materials

    Lens brand (or material)

    are specified in the prescription.

First time contact lens exam

Be prepared to answer questions about your medical history and lifestyle if you’ve never worn contacts before or are seeing a new eye doctor. This exam will also take longer than a regular eye exam.

You can ask for a benefits check (if you have vision insurance) to check your out-of-pocket costs. We also recommended writing down questions or concerns about contact lenses so you don’t forget to ask them during your appointment.

Bring your current prescription glasses or contact lenses if you have them. If you’re interested in colored contacts, you can bring that up in the appointment. For safety purposes, don’t buy colored contact lenses through a general retailer, only purchase through an eye doctor.

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First time contact lens exams in Indiana

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does a contact lens exam cost?

A contact lens exam price can vary depending on the number of tests needed, and how many follow-up visits are required to achieve a comfortable fit. For a more accurate quote, please contact your local Heartland Vision.

Does a contact lens exam include an eye exam?

Yes. A contact lens exam usually starts with a vision test and an assessment of your eye health. Then, eye measurements and contact lens fittings are completed during your contact lens exam. 

Do you need a contact lens exam if you're currently wearing glasses?

If you wear glasses already and would like to get contacts, schedule a contact lens exam at Heartland Vision! Your prescription specifications will likely be different with contact lenses since contacts sit directly on your eye. 

Be sure to bring your prescription and your glasses to your appointment. 

How often should I get a contact lens exam?

Children and adults should get contact lens exams once a year to ensure up-to-date prescriptions and to minimize contact-related eye discomfort. 

If you're experiencing discomfort or difficulty with your contacts, schedule an exam with one of our Heartland Vision optometrists today.

How can I prepare for a contact lens exam?

To prepare for your contact lens appointment:

  • Bring your contact lenses to your appointment
  • Plan for a longer appointment than a typical eye exam to account for lens fitting and testing
  • Be prepared to ask questions and if needed, be ready to receive training on inserting, removing and caring for your contacts
  • Get a good night's sleep so your eyes aren't fatigued for your exam
  • Bring your insurance information with you to your contact lens appointment
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