A person with beautiful eyes is lucky indeed—they make a good impression on strangers and friends alike without even trying. It’s commonly said that the eyes are the window to the soul, which is great for people with pretty eyes. But what about for people with damaged eyes?
Unfortunately, there are countless ways that an eye can become disfigured. Congenital defects, trauma, accidents, surgical complications, and nutritional deficiencies are among the major causes of eye abnormalities. Something as simple as a knock on the head, a lack of vitamin A during childhood, or an infection picked up from swimming can cause permanent damage to the eyes.
Solutions For Damaged Eyes
Most people with normal, healthy eyes take them for granted, and equally take for granted being treated normally by others. Damaged eyes can not only lead to vision problems, but also to serious emotional distress.
To help mitigate these factors, doctors are now prescribing prosthetic contact lenses that can help people who face a variety of problems.
Many patients are unaware of the range of options available to eye doctors. These days, there are prosthetic lenses made to help with the appearance of a person’s eyes, and prosthetic lenses that can help problems that might arise from irregularities. Thus, broadly speaking, there are two categories of patients who wear prosthetic lenses: those who wear lenses for cosmetic purposes, and those who wear them to correct vision problems.
Imagine the discomfort and emotional strain that a person with visible eye defects must feel when introducing themselves, or even speaking with someone they know. It’s difficult for a person not to react, even internally, when seeing damaged eyes. Certainly, people with eye defects are acutely aware of this. It’s not uncommon for people with disfigured eyes to feel insecure and experience low self-esteem, which is heartbreaking when one recalls that it’s through no fault of their own.
Confidence and Self Esteem
Children, especially, might suffer from the emotional effects of disfigured eyes. It takes no stretch of the imagination to understand the problems a child might encounter in this situation, including bullying and social rejection. For example, strabismus—the misalignment of one eye—and amblyopia, often known as lazy eye, often require one eye to be patched. This can obviously lead to social problems for the child. By wearing a prosthetic lens, a child can avoid having to wear an eye patch. Adults, similarly, can lead a more normal social life by wearing lenses that make their eyes appear healthy.
In addition to cosmetic and emotional reasons, there are medical reasons for a patient to wear prosthetic lenses. For example, a damaged iris can lead to photophobia (light sensitivity), where the eye cannot control the amount of light entering it. A prosthetic lens can mimic the function of the iris, allowing the patient to experience more normal vision.
Another ailment that could be treated with prosthetic lenses is diplopia (double vision). Special lenses can help the patient regain normal eye function, dramatically improving their quality of life.
Working With Your Doctor
When choosing prosthetic lenses, a patient and their doctor will need to choose between soft or gas-permeable lenses. Soft lenses are easier to find and easier to come by. There are three kinds of soft prosthetic lenses.
First, there are tinted lenses, which are transparent and come in a wide variety of colors and strengths. These specialty bioMed lenses and can work well for problems like controlling glare. There are even lenses that can help with migraines and dyslexia.
Second, there are lenses that rely on a custom made lenses. These lenses have a design stamped on them that mimics the look of a normal, healthy eye. There are often lots of designs to choose from, and patients create a design that most closely matches their own eyes. Custom lens systems like Orion Vision Groups bioColors are a realistic and comfortable option.
Third, there are hand-painted lenses. A lens is painted to match a photo of the patient’s other eye, and will be the closest match of any of the options. Patients need to know that this is the most expensive option, and will take some time—sometimes up to six months to complete.
Typically, insurance will cover prosthetic lenses that provide a therapeutic benefit. However, insurance generally does not cover lenses that provide cosmetic benefits only, which is a shame considering the benefits it can bring to wearers.
Overall, patients must be aware that no lens can perfectly duplicate a natural, healthy eye. However, wearers often report much greater confidence and life satisfaction when wearing prosthetic lenses. There’s no surprise there. Your eyes say a great deal about you, and are a critical part of any human interaction. With the advances in optometry and lens making, life is getting easier for those unfortunate enough to have damaged eyes.
Orion Vision Group offers a wide selection of prosthetic lenses that can treat a variety of eye issues. Please feel free to contact us to discuss how Orion Vision Group can boost your confidence with custom prosthetic lenses.