All these eye exams you may be reading about can be confusing. You may be trying to book an appointment to get contact lenses but wondering which exam is which? All you want at the end of the day is to get your contact lenses.

However, it may seem like several eye exams need to happen before that. So, what is the difference between these eye exams, and do you need all the exams or the contact exam only?

What Is an Eye Exam?

An eye exam or a comprehensive eye exam is an in-depth look at the health of your eye. It checks for visual acuity in addition to other eye conditions. The doctor will read your medical history and ask if you are experiencing any vision problems. After that, they will start on the tests to check your eye health.

What Is a Contact Exam?

Contact exams are easy and will not take up much of your time. However, they are not for everyone. These exams are for those seeking to wear contact lenses. Let your doctor know that you want to do this before or during your comprehensive eye exam. It will help with scheduling.

Differences Between the Two

There are several differences between the two. These will help you differentiate which is which and what is happening when.


The comprehensive eye exam happens before the contact exam. The scheduling of the eye exam before the contact exam is ideal because it checks your eye health. It also detects if there are any other complications with your eyes besides vision problems.

Contact lenses help you see clearly. However, do not schedule your contact exam before the eye exam. You may have other eye complications that your doctor needs to help you deal with first. These conditions may affect the fit of your contact lenses.

One Is for All

Comprehensive eye exams are for everyone. In the end, you will have more information about your eye health. Contact exams are specifically for individuals who want to wear contact lenses. There is no need for a contact exam if you prefer to wear eyeglasses. There is also no need if you do not need to fix your vision.

Tests Each Performs

Eye exams involve more tests than contact exams. The tests in eye exams help determine if there are any problems with your eyes. They check for age-related eye conditions and may even detect health conditions. The tests include:

  • Visual field test.
  • Eye alignment test.
  • Color blindness test.
  • Test to check your eye movement.
  • Depth perception test.
  • Retinoscopy.
  • Glaucoma test.
  • Refraction test.
  • Slit lamp exam.

The doctor uses all the above tests to examine the inside of your eye. Contact exams concentrate on size and shape. They include:

  • Iris and pupil measurements.
  • Cornea measurements.
  • Tear film evaluation.

Contact exams are primarily for fitting your contact lenses. However, the doctor will also check for eye health issues that may affect your comfort. Hence, the resourcefulness of having your contact exam after your eye exam.

For more information on eye and contact exams, visit Village Optical at our New Hyde Park, New York office. Call (516) 352-2316 to schedule an appointment today.


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