Prosthetic contact lenses are used to hide faults and improve the appearance of an eye that has been deformed due to a birth defect, accident, or disease.
Special prosthetic lenses can be developed to prevent extra light from reaching the back of the eye, decreasing glare and boosting comfort if certain portions of the wounded or damaged eye also fail to work properly.
Using a pre-made trial set or buying custom-painted contact lenses, your eye care practitioner can match prosthetic contact lenses to the appearance of a healthy eye.
Prosthetic contacts, like ordinary contact lenses, can be composed of gas permeable or soft lens materials. And, like traditional soft or gas permeable lenses, most prosthetic lenses may be washed and disinfected using the same multipurpose contact lens solutions.
Custom prosthetic lenses are available in a wide range of lens powers to correct nearsightedness, farsightedness, and/or astigmatism, as well as without power to improve the appearance of a blind or disfigured eye.
Conditions for Which Prosthetic Contact Lenses May Be Beneficial
Many injuries, diseases, and infections can cause eye deformity and make a person feel self-conscious about their look. Prosthetic lenses can be made to look as close as feasible to the appearance of the unaffected eye, decreasing the visibility of the disfigured eye.
Prosthetic lenses that lower the quantity of light entering the eye can help people with albinism or other eye diseases that cause light sensitivity (photophobia). In some cases, prosthetic lenses are used to correct double vision (diplopia) caused by specific eye disorders.
In cases of childhood amblyopia, special prosthetic colored contact lenses are occasionally used to improve eyesight. Two identical colored contacts are worn, but one of them is painted with an opaque pupil to keep light out. This lens is worn on the eye with normal vision, forcing more use of the amblyopic eye to help the damaged eye develop eyesight.
Occlusion therapy with prosthetic lenses is more effective than using an eye patch to cure amblyopia, which children may oppose or remove due to shame. However, because of the cost of the prosthetic lenses, amblyopia treatment with contacts is more expensive.
Prescriptions for Prosthetic Contact Lenses
A comprehensive eye exam is the first step in getting fitted with prosthetic contact lenses. Your optometrist or ophthalmologist will thoroughly inspect your eyes during this test to rule out any issues that could prevent you from wearing prosthetic contacts successfully.
The next step is to get your contact lenses fitted. Your eye doctor may take close-up images of your eyes in addition to conducting the stages in a standard contact lens exam and fitting. These color images are sent to a prosthetic contact lens producer to help them design a lens that closely resembles your natural eye color and appearance.
Some eye doctors who specialize in hard-to-fit contacts may have fitting sets of sample prosthetic lenses on hand, so you may immediately observe how effectively the lenses restore a natural appearance to your damaged eye.