Custom Contact Lenses - These are soft or rigid gas permeable lenses that can be specially made to fit a person's eye and are often the only type of contact lens people who have difficult to fit eyes can wear. They are made by taking detailed measurements of a person's eye and taking into account minute variations in order to create a custom fit for best vision and comfort.
Custom contacts treat irregularly shaped cornea caused by disease or degeneration (keratoconus, pellucid marginal degeneration, etc.) and complications from corneal refractive surgery, such as LASIK, PRK and RK. Trauma, injury and chemical burns as well as eye growths (ptergyium and pinguecula) are also treated with custom contacts, as is high myopia, presbyopia and severe astigmatism.
Stem cell failure or deficiency, dry eye disease and discomfort or visual problems with regular contacts can also be treated with custom contact lens.
There are a variety of different types of custom contact lenses from various lens manufacturers. The fitting may employ the use of a specialized device called a corneal topographer that can take thousands of measurements of the cornea curvature to create a custom tailored fit.
Eye Print Prosthetics (EyePrintPRO™) - New technology is now available at ColumbiaDoctors Ophthalmology that allows custom contact lenses to be created from even more exact measurements than previous methods available. With technology like EyePrintProTM, custom lenses can now be created from a physical mold of the eye, resulting in a better fit and more comfortable contact lens.
Indications for eye print prosthetics include: optical correction for keratoconus, pellucid marginal degeneration, post-LASIK ectasia, post- radial keratotomy, corneal transplant, high myopia or hyperopia, and aphakia; ocular protection for neurotrophic keratitis, dry eye disease, Graft vs. host disease, Stevens-Johnson syndrome, ocular cicatricial pemphigoid, chemical burns, and limbal stem cell defifiency; and ocular comfort for pinguecula, pterygium, scarring (post operatice or post traumatic), post-trabeculectomy (bleb), or tube-shunt glaucoma surgery, scleral patch grafts, and highwind or high dust environments.
Hybrid Contact Lenses - Gas permeable rigid contacts have and outer ring or “skirt” made from soft contact lens material. Because the majority of the contact with the eye is with this soft outer edge, irritation from the rigidity of gas permeable lens is reduced. Due to their hybrid design, these lenses can provide many of the benefits of gas permeable rigid contacts, while still maintaining much of the ease in wear ability that comes with soft contact lenses.
Piggy Backing is a technique where soft contact lenses are worn under gas permeable rigid (RGP) contacts. The soft contact lens provides a buffer between the rigid lens and the eye, creating more comfort for the wearer while still providing visual clarity of a gas permeable rigid lens. Gas permeable rigid contacts are the preferred treatment for many refractive errors and corneal issues. Their stiffer structure makes them able to hold their shape when worn in the eye, making them ideal for correcting irregularities in corneal shape. A technique called piggy backing maybe be useful, when patients develop intolerance to RGP lenses.
Prosthetic Contact Lenses are specialty lenses prescribed for both cosmetic and therapeutic uses. They are available as hydrophilic “soft” contact lenses or rigid gas permeable (RGP) lenses, corneal or scleral lenses, and with or without refractive correction power. They are available in a variety of colors and styles or can be custom-made to ensure a perfect match for both eyes.
Congenital defects, acquired disease, or trauma can result in a variety of cosmetic anomalies of the iris and pupil. Prosthetic lenses can be used to cover-up size and color disparities, creating the appearance of two, normal matching eyes.
The discrete nature of prosthetic lenses also makes them an attractive option for a variety of therapeutic uses. Most notably, prosthetic lenses can block the amount of light that enters the eye, without the use of cumbersome occlusive glasses or eye patches.
The light-blocking properties of prosthetic lenses can also be a very effective and discreet solution for people suffering from conditions that cause sensitivity to light (photophobia). These prosthetics can block the amount of light that enters the eye? By occluding the eye or by filtering the light with a colored tint. Specialty tinted lenses can also improve visual clarity by increasing contrast in images, a property that is of particular importance in select sports or occupations where the highest visual acuity is crucial for top performance.