Better Vision & Comfort with Custom Molded Lenses - VA San Diego Healthcare System
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VA San Diego Healthcare System

 

Better Vision & Comfort with Custom Molded Lenses

A sample of a custom molded lens.

A sample of a custom molded lens.

Tuesday, May 4, 2021

Without his contacts, Army Veteran John Cancel would describe himself as almost legally blind. With specialized contacts, he still has problems with comfort and fit due to the specialized shape of his cornea. Using an innovative molding technology from EyePrint Pro that's available at VA San Diego Healthcare System (VASDHS), John has the right shape to help him see better with a greater fit and extended comfort.

This custom technology is new under the VA, with only one other facility having the right staff and certification for the program, according to Dr. Heather Jonasson, a VASDHS optometrist. In San Diego County, there is only one outside optometrist certified to offer these lenses. Since last June, Dr. Jonasson has seen seven or eight patients who are medically indicated to need molded contact lenses.

Molded contact lenses are scleral lenses that take the process further for a few patients. Scleral contact lenses are used to treat patients with irregular corneas that are hard to fit with regular contact lenses. They are large-diameter gas permeable lenses that offer patients with irregular corneas more comfort, stability, and sharper vision than other contact lens options available. For some patients, standard scleral contact lenses are not enough, and a custom mold of the eye must be made to reflect the unique shape of the patient's cornea.

"I was having this issue with some of my patients and I could not find an adequate contact lens option that would provide good comfort, vision, and maintain the eye health," said Dr. Jonasson. "The lenses would pop out of the patient's eye, the comfort was not there, and wearing time was too short for my patients."

These molded custom lenses provide a better fit over the cornea, allowing improved comfort, vision, and improved eye health. It really helped patients like John.

"I saw him seventeen times in one year trying to get a contact lens that would stay in his eye, or that would be comfortable for him," said Dr. Jonasson. "The outside doctor wasn't able to help him with the right eye. I made multiple revisions with different lenses to help him fix it, and this is the first time with these molded lenses where he's doing well as far as comfort, vision, and quality of life. He doesn't need to come back consistently to try and find a solution."

Of all the options available, "It's the only thing that works for me," said John.

As mentioned previously, molded lenses are available for medically indicated Veterans referred to the Optometry Clinic. For more information, please talk to your provider.

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