WHAT'S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN AN EYEGLASS PRESCRIPTION AND A CONTACT LENS PRESCRIPTION?

Dr. Jim Martin 05/20/2015

1531643_orig.pngOften one of the first questions asked when booking an appointment with the optometrist is “Do you need a contact or eyeglass exam, or do you need both?” While you are quick to answer the question, you may ask yourself what the difference is. Both prescriptions will have similar information, but there are significant and important differences between them.

Eyeglass Vs. Contact Prescriptions

One interesting difference between your eyeglass and contact lens prescriptions is your prescription for eyeglasses will always be higher than your contact prescription. This has nothing to do with your vision being worse while wearing glasses; it simply is higher because glasses sit a distance from your eyes, while the contacts sit directly on your eye.

Another difference is that your contact prescription will not only measure the strength you need, but the dimensions of your eye. You will have a measurement for the curve and diameter of your cornea. This is to assure the best and most comfortable fit on your eye. If you have astigmatism, this will also be noted on your prescription. In a contact prescription, the number associated with the astigmatism will help determine the type of contact that will need to be prescribed.

When prescribing glasses for astigmatism, the lens of the glasses will have to be shaped to a certain size based on the angle of the astigmatism in order to help correct it.

On a contact lens prescription, doctors will also have to assess situations, such as dry eye or other possible issues, when determining the brand needs of the contact lenses wearer. Unlike glasses, the contact prescription will have the exact type or brand of contacts suggested based on the client’s needs and environment.

Contact prescriptions will also contain tinting if any is necessary. This could be tinting used to simply make the contact more visible or tinting with a hue to change the color of the eye if requested by the patient.

Whether you are in the market for new eyeglasses or contact lenses, it is important to see a professional on a routine basis to make sure you are getting what you need out of your prescription. Eyesight and eye problems can change frequently and should be reviewed regularly to prevent any problems. If you are in need of a new prescription and live in the Amarillo area, contact Broome Optical toschedule an appointment. Clear vision is just a phone call away.

Learn More About Contacts