Contact Lens Exams and Fitting

Contact Lens Exams and Fitting

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Whether you need contact lenses for routine vision correction or a more complex condition, we can help correct your vision so you can see clearly. We routinely perform contact lens fitting and management; we also work with people who have complex eye conditions and require specialty care.

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Contact Lens Fitting and Management

Duke eye specialists offer fitting and management of contact lenses to correct nearsightedness, farsightedness, vision affected by an irregularly shaped cornea (astigmatism), and presbyopia (also known as reading vision). We also provide specialty services and custom lenses to improve your vision if you have keratoconus or irregular astigmatism, which can result from an eye injury. We work closely with people who need contact lenses following LASIK surgery -- to improve either near or distance vision not corrected by surgery -- or following trauma to the eye. If you were born without a lens in your eye or it was surgically removed (a condition known as aphakia), or if you have a condition called aniridia -- in which you lack some or all of the colored part (iris) of your eye -- we recommend and fit custom contact lenses that improve your vision.

Our Locations
Duke Health offers locations throughout the Triangle. Find one near you.

Exam, Fitting, and Follow-Up

Contact lenses are FDA-regulated medical devices used in direct contact with the eye. A comprehensive eye exam and contact lens fitting are required before contact lenses can be dispensed or a contact lens prescription released. This exam ensures your optimal eye health and determines whether contact lens wear is suitable for you.

Contact Lens Exam

Tests your vision using an eye chart and assesses your eye health. Measurements of your cornea's shape and curvature, as well as of your pupil and iris, help determine the appropriate shape and size of your contact lenses. Your eyes' ability to produce tears will also be assessed.

Contact Lens Options

Your doctor will discuss the many options in contact lenses available to you, including monovision lenses, which correct one eye for near and one eye for distance vision, and multifocals, which can correct both near and distance vision. You will also learn the pros and cons of short-term lenses that are removed daily, and lenses that can be worn for longer periods of time. Your doctor will also review the differences between soft and rigid lenses, and lenses that can change your eye color. If yours is a complex case, your doctor will discuss with you any specialty lens options that are appropriate.

Contact Lens Fitting

You will be trained to place the contact lenses in your eyes and then asked to do it yourself. After a few minutes of wearing the contact lenses, your eyes will be checked to evaluate the contact lens fit and how the lenses are positioned in your eyes. After your fitting is completed, you will receive your prescription, which includes the power, curve, and diameter of your contact lenses.

Follow-Up Care

While you may only need one fitting session, there are times when the process requires several appointments. This ensures your ultimate satisfaction and the health of your eyes. Follow-up appointments may be necessary to ensure:

  • Your contact lenses are fitted well
  • Your prescription provides you the best possible vision
  • Your eyes have responded positively to the contact lens material
  • You are not having problems with insertion or removal
  • You understand and are complying with the recommended wear schedule, replacement schedule, and care regimen

If you need follow-up appointments, you will not receive your contact lens prescription until after you have completed those appointments.

Online Contact Lens Ordering Discontinued; Specialty Lenses Still Offered

You may use your prescription from a Duke Eye Center doctor to order routine contact lenses from anywhere contact lenses are sold. We continue to offer specialty lenses to our patients. 

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Fees and Refunds


Contact lens wearers must undergo an annual comprehensive eye and contact lens exam. Contact lens exams have a separate fee that is not included in your comprehensive exam. The contact lens exam fee is determined by the type of lenses prescribed, the difficulty of the fit, and whether or not you are a first-time contact lens wearer. This fee is nonrefundable and due at the time of service. Payment for specialty contact lens is due at the time of order.

Refund Policy

We offer a 100 percent refund on specialty contact lenses returned within the warranty period, which is typically 60 or 90 days. Contact lens fitting fees are nonrefundable. There is no warranty for lost lenses.

Best Eye Hospital in NC
When it comes to your care, you want the very best. Duke University Hospital’s ophthalmology program is ranked seventh in the nation and best in North Carolina by U.S. News & World Report for 2019–2020.

Why Choose Duke

Routine Eye Care
We offer comprehensive eye care to children and adults as part of annual visits and contact lens fittings in convenient locations throughout the greater Triangle area.

Comprehensive Care for Multiple Eye Conditions
Many of the people we treat experience more than one eye concern. Our specialists work closely together to manage your eye diseases. If you require multiple visits for different eye disorders, we make every effort to coordinate your care and maximize your convenience.

Specialty Services
Medical conditions that require complex fittings may be treated with a variety of lens types. We work closely with your eye specialist to ensure you receive the contact lens that is best for you.

Custom Contact Lenses
In addition to customizing your contact lenses, we help you find the best color contact lenses or disposable contact lenses for your needs.