Prosthetic contact lenses are made to cover an eye that has been disfigured due to trauma, disease, or birth defect. They can also be used to limit the amount of light entering the eye but still allow enough light to allow the patient to see. Dr. Gording specializes in the prescribing of soft contact lenses for these purposes. They are typically the size of standard soft lenses, but they can be made larger to cover a wider area. A standard soft lens has a diameter of between 14 and 15 mm. Larger soft lenses, referred to as scleral lenses because they fit farther out over peripheral sclera, can be used to cover large defects, such as a Nevus of Ota. In a case where the patient’s own eye is pointed in different direction in relation to their other eye, we can produce a scleral lens with a hand painted eye looking straight ahead and white covering the actual eye, thus creating the effect of both eyes looking straight ahead. Below is an example of a HAND PAINTED CONTACT LENS
Patient with strabismus and wearing hand painted scleral contact lenses from SCL Contact Lenses.
The lenses can be simply tinted. This works particularly well in a situation where the patient has a brown iris in their good eye and a corneal scar in their disfigured eye. The dark brown tint can cover the scar making it look normal. Additionally, we add a black dot in the center of the lens to give it the appearance of a pupil. This may be a less expensive option than a hand painted lens. Below is an example of CUSTOM TINTED PROSTHETIC LENS
Patient has a corneal scar in the left eye and wearing a tinted soft lens with a black dot in the center.
Hand painted lenses or printed lenses can more accurately appear like the fellow eye. This is more often true in lighter colored eyes. They are generally more expensive, but the results can be quite dramatic. Prosthetic lenses can have a clear center that allows light to enter the eye and thereby allow the patient to see, or can be completely opaque. It can sometimes be preferred over the hard scleral shells for a totally blind eye. Many years ago, there were only hard contact lenses. They were often very comfortable, but many people found them too uncomfortable to wear. In the same way, a soft prosthetic lens can be considerably more comfortable than a hard scleral shell.
Blind patient wearing soft lenses instead of hard shells.
A prosthetic lens can be used to limit the amount of light that enters the eye. This can be a great help for people who have an irregular iris. The lens can have a black ring which the limits the light, or it can be simply tinted.