Some people wear eyeglasses for “refractive errors”, while others wear contact lenses. There are also many who wear both glasses and contacts. There are different types of glasses, and there are different types of contacts too. What the optometrist will prescribe is based on the patient’s needs.
What Are Refractive Errors?
Prescription glasses and contact lenses are used to help a person see clearly. Refractive errors are a group of vision problems that can affect how clearly a person sees. This means the shape of the patient’s eyes has a problem correctly bending light, which is crucial for clear eyesight.
Refractive errors include hyperopia (farsightedness), myopia (nearsightedness), astigmatism (asymmetrical curvature of the cornea), and presbyopia (aging of the cornea). Wearing prescription glasses or contact lenses helps the eyes see clearly.
Can You Use an Eyeglass Prescription to Order Contacts?
No. You cannot use your eyeglass prescription to order contact lenses, and you cannot use your contact lens prescription for eyeglasses. While both glasses and contacts are used for correcting refractive errors, the prescription for one is not the same as for the other.
You cannot correctly calculate the prescription for glasses by using a contact lens prescription, and vice versa. In addition, not everyone who wears glasses is a candidate for wearing contact lenses. The eye exam for one is different from the other. If you have sensitive corneas or any other complication, that can disqualify you from wearing contacts.
How Does One Differ From the Other?
How glasses and contacts are worn, respectively, is what sets them apart from each other. This is why you can’t use your prescription for glasses as a prescription for contacts, and vice versa.
While every prescription might be different from another, there are basic pieces of information that you might find that will help you differentiate between prescriptions for glasses and contact lenses. For example, your contacts are measured for diameter and base curve, but this information is not necessary when getting a prescription for eyeglasses. Lens material is also included in a contact’s prescription.
Prism is present on an eyeglass prescription but not on a contact lens prescription. When you buy a new pair of glasses, the manufacturer of the frame or the lenses is not important. When you reorder contacts, the prescription will often include the manufacturer’s brand so you and the optometrist know which contacts you need.
If you have questions regarding your glasses or your contacts or would like to know if you can switch to contacts or use them interchangeably with your eyeglasses, get in touch with Vienna Eyecare Center. Call us now at (703) 938-7633 or message us here. We work with patients from Fairfax, Reston, and Tysons Corner, VA.