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Specialty Contact Lenses


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Solving complex eye problems can be life-changing. If you’ve tried conventional contact lenses or other treatments without success, our expert team at Bascom Palmer Eye Institute is here for you.

We’ve helped thousands of patients improve their eyesight and restore their quality of life with specialty contact lenses. These lenses go beyond standard eyecare to provide customized, therapeutic, effective treatment. For many patients, they can help relieve problems like:

As the No. 1 eye hospital in the U.S., we provide specialty contact lens services for patients of all ages, from children to older adults.

Care starts with a consultation to learn more about your eye health and needs. The benefits of choosing our team include:

  • Recognized as the nation’s No. 1 Eye Hospital by U.S. News & World Report.
  • Compassionate, customized treatment using cutting-edge technology and techniques.
  • Collaborative care from a skilled team of eye specialists to support you every step of the way.

Specialty contacts vs. standard (soft) lenses

For routine eye problems, standard (soft) contact lenses can often provide the needed correction. However, specialty contact lenses offer distinct advantages that can make them better for treating more serious conditions.

One key advantage is that specialty contact lenses are custom-fitted for each person’s unique eye shape. This customized approach can make specialty lenses better at correcting irregularities and hard-to-treat refractive errors – such as astigmatism (blurry vision).

Specialty contact lenses can also offer innovative ways to address problems like severe dry eye. For example, some specialty contact lenses can be filled with sterile saline solution to continuously lubricate your eyes while wearing them.

Getting specialty contact lenses requires expert care from an ophthalmologist team like ours, which is specially trained in the fitting process. At Bascom Palmer, we provide three types of specialty contact lenses:

  • Scleral lenses
  • Rigid gas-permeable (RGP) lenses
  • Hybrid lenses

Are specialty contact lenses right for me?

You may want to consider specialty contact lenses if:

  • Glasses or soft contact lenses do not effectively correct your vision problems.
  • You’ve tried different drops and topical treatments for eye discomfort without success.

Most commonly, our specialty contact lens services support patients suffering from:

  • Severe ocular (eye) surface disease and damage, resulting in problems like eye pain, severe dry eye, and blepharitis (inflammation of the eyelids).
  • Irregular corneas, including keratoconus. Keratoconus is a thinning of the cornea, which is the clear, dome-shaped layer of your eye. Keratoconus causes the cornea to become cone-shaped, possibly leading to blurred vision, astigmatism, and nearsightedness.

What does the treatment and fitting process entail?

Getting the correct fit is essential to helping you see and feel your best with specialty contact lenses. Key steps in our process include:

  • Consultation. We schedule a consultation to discuss your concerns and treatment goals. During the consultation, we use advanced mapping technology to take measurements of your eyes and perform a trial contact lens fitting. After that, we talk with you about what to expect and schedule a follow-up appointment to receive your first set of lenses.
  • Follow-up visits. You’ll receive your first set of custom contact lenses at your first follow-up visit. Our mapping technology helps us achieve more precise results and noticeable improvements from the start. Still, you can expect additional revisions to get your ideal fit. Time can vary, but on average, it can take about six months to complete this process.

Caring for specialty contact lenses

Once you have your specialty contact lenses, you can plan to keep them for a long time. To care for them, you’ll need to follow certain steps depending on which lenses you use.

Care instructions are different than standard contact lenses and may require some extra measures. We’ll discuss this with you beforehand to ensure you’re prepared. For example, instructions may cover:

Inserting and removing your lenses

As with standard contact lenses, you’ll need to take your specialty contact lenses out each night before you go to sleep. Some scleral lenses provide a special tool for you to use when inserting and removing them. Also, each eye has a specific lens. Following a regular order when inserting and removing your lenses can help ensure you don’t mix them up. We’ll walk you through this process to be sure you feel comfortable.

Additional steps

Some specialty lenses may require extra steps. For example, if you use scleral lenses to help keep your eyes moist, you’ll need to fill them with sterile saline solution before inserting them.

Cleaning and disinfecting your lenses

Cleaning your lenses each time you remove them is important to maintaining their function and preventing infection. Some specialty contact lenses may collect debris and need more frequent cleaning in general. We’ll be sure you have the information you need regarding cleaning recommendations, storage, and any other concerns.

Our specialty contact lens services locations

Maintaining your eye health is important for your well-being and quality of life. When you need a higher level of eye care, our team can help.

For your convenience, we offer specialty contact lens services at three locations in South Florida.

We provide consultations and most services in Miami, Plantation, and Naples. We offer PROSE treatment in Plantation and Naples.

Soft Contact Lenses

For standard soft lenses, contact the optical service at 305-326-6092.

Questions? We're here to help.

Contact us today to schedule your contact lens consultation.