A contact lens exam is not all that different from a regular eye exam. In addition to testing your vision with an eye chart and phoropter, your Brighton eye doctor will also measure the curvature of your cornea and examine internal eye structures. Obtaining accurate dimension numbers during your contact lens evaluation is important to creating contact lenses that sit comfortably on the surface of the cornea.

If you have pre-existing eye conditions or your eye doctor discovers a visual or eye abnormality during your contact lens exam, you may need additional tests to ensure you receive contacts conducive to your vision and eye health.

Tests and Devices Used During a Contact Lens Evaluation

Keratometer Measurements

Vital to your contact lens fitting is measuring the curvature of your cornea using a keratometer so that your eye doctor can select the optimal curvature and diameter dimensions for your new contact lenses. Keratometer evaluation is also helpful for detecting unknown corneal abnormalities like keratoconus, astigmatism or corneal scarring. Irregularly shaped corneas may require non-standard contact lenses that provide accommodations for a variety of corneal conditions.

Corneal Topography

An advanced, medical imaging procedure for mapping corneal surface and curvature, corneal topography is used during a contact lens evaluation to support the assessment of contact lens fitting measurements. Corneal topography provides your Brighton optometrist with a three-dimensional, multi-colored map of your cornea. Within seconds of completing a corneal topography procedure, your eye doctor receives a detailed grid map consisting of thousands of illuminated points at various positions and heights across your cornea. These points of light tell your eye doctor exactly how your cornea is curved and also shows where any abnormalities exist.

Depth Perception Test

You will be asked to view images comprised of pictures or dots through special eyeglasses to determine if you have good depth perception. This test can help diagnose eye diseases like stereopsis, amblyopia or strabismus.

Eye Muscle Test

By asking you to follow object movement across several different positions, your Brighton optometrist can tell if your eye muscles are working together properly. Muscle imbalances may impair the ability of your eyes to converge or focus on an object in front of you.


Retinoscopies are performed during both regular and contact lens exams to determine the severity of refractive errors (astigmatism, nearsightedness, and farsightedness). A handheld retinoscope device reflects a light beam off a mirror into your eye while your eye doctor observes shadowy areas and the way the light moves as the mirror is rotated.


If you are over 40, your optometrist will probably test the pressure in your eye (intraocular pressure) during a contact lens evaluation. Higher than normal intraocular pressure may indicate glaucoma, a potentially serious eye disease that can cause partial or total blindness if not treated. Tonometry testing involves a computerized instrument that sends a light puff of air into each eye or a handheld device that measures eye pressure by gently touching the surface of each eye.

Slit Lamp Exam

A slit lamp is an ophthalmological instrument composed of a light beam and microscope that enables your eye doctor to closely examine interior eye structures such as the retina, pupil and lens. Slit lamp tests are also important for ensuring your eyes are healthy enough to wear regular contact lenses or if you might need specialized contacts to accommodate certain eye disorders.

Pupil Dilation Test

If your eye doctor wants to look further into your eye, he may dilate your pupils with eye drops. Using a light and microscope mounted on a headset, your Brighton optometrist can get a more comprehensive view of your inner eye tissues and capillaries. Pupil dilation is routinely performed on older adults and people with diabetes, glaucoma, hypertension and other chronic diseases.

Call Brighton Eye Associates Today to Schedule a Contact Lens Exam

Contact us today at (303) 659-3036. If you are new to Brighton Eye Associates, you will receive a $10 Starbucks card just for making an appointment!