Skip to Main Content

Specialty Contact Lenses FAQs


Call or click for an in-person
or virtual visit.

Call us at


Insurance Plans

View a list of insurance plans accepted at Bascom Palmer Eye Institute.

Thousands of patients come to the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute each year for our specialty contact lens services. Here are some common inquiries. If you have more questions, please contact us.

Treating eye discomfort, replacement schedules, and more

What are specialty contact lenses?

Specialty contact lenses are custom-fitted lenses to correct serious eye problems that are not fixed with conventional measures. Unlike standard soft lenses, you can’t get specialty contact lenses from a regular eye doctor. You need to see a specially trained ophthalmologist to get specialty contact lenses created specifically for you. We can provide these services as part of our comprehensive care at Bascom Palmer Eye Institute.

Are specialty contact lenses right for me?

You may be a candidate for specialty contact lenses if you can’t get the correction you need with regular contacts, glasses, or topical treatments like eye drops. In addition to treating vision problems, specialty contact lenses can help with eye pain and discomfort, such as severe dry eye. For instance, some specialty lenses can provide an option that lubricates your eyes with saline solution throughout the day.

How long do specialty contacts last?

The replacement schedule for specialty contacts can vary. At Bascom Palmer, we’ve found that people can expect to keep a pair of specialty contact lenses for two to three years on average. This can change depending on your unique experience and how well you care for them. In general, specialty contact lenses cost more than conventional contact lenses but should last longer.

Does insurance cover specialty contact lenses?

There’s a common misconception that insurance doesn’t cover specialty lenses, but that is false. We work hard to get your lenses covered by your medical insurance policy whenever possible. Sometimes, insurance won’t cover the total costs, but often, it can provide some assistance.

Can I get specialty lenses if I live outside of Florida or internationally?

We routinely treat patients who live outside of Florida and in other countries. We need to provide services in person, so you can generally expect to make two separate visits to South Florida, lasting about two to three weeks each. We do everything we can to make your care as convenient as possible. As the No. 1 eye hospital in the U.S., we’re honored to help patients throughout the country and worldwide.

Can specialty contact lenses help me avoid eye surgery?

If you’re considering eye surgery and it’s not an emergency, we encourage you to meet with us first to discuss specialty contact lenses. In some – but not all – cases, specialty contact lenses may offer a possible treatment option. Here at Bascom Palmer, we offer a comprehensive team of ophthalmologists, surgeons, and specialists who can collaborate on your care and help you decide the proper treatment for you. With us, you can find all the care you need in one place.

Scleral lenses: Help for dry eye, the fitting process, and more

What are scleral lenses?

Scleral lenses are a type of specialty lenses that rest on the white part of your eye, called the sclera. This creates a vault (or space) above your cornea – which is the clear, dome-shaped cover in the center of your eye. Scleral lenses can help treat vision problems and surface problems with your eyes. For many people, they can improve comfort and correct problems that conventional treatments cannot fix.

How can scleral lenses help with dry eye?

Scleral lenses leave a space between your eye and the lens where they can hold and deliver a saline solution to your eyes while you wear them. This can lubricate your eyes continuously throughout the day and effectively treat severe dry eye.

How does the fitting process work for scleral lenses?

Getting the right fit is key to effective treatment with scleral lenses. At Bascom Palmer, we offer advanced technology and expertise to ensure your specialty lenses conform to your unique eye shape. This includes special mapping technology to take specific measurements of your eyes. Fitting usually takes some adjustments, but technology can speed up this process and support personalized lenses for you.

How do I take care of scleral lenses?

Scleral lenses require different care than conventional contact lenses. It takes some extra time and education at first, but you get used to it with practice. For example, you may need to remove your scleral lenses a couple of times throughout the day to clean them. Also, you’ll need to fill them with sterile saline solution if you use them for dry eye. We’ll give you specific information on these and other ways to care for your scleral lenses. Following the instructions is important to help keep your eyes and lenses functioning at their best.

PROSE treatment: Improved vision, comfort, and more

What is PROSE treatment?

PROSE is a specialty contact lens that treats patients with complex cases. For instance, it can help with problems like eye dryness, light sensitivity, blurry vision, and more. Bascom Palmer is one of only 15 fellowship-trained providers in the U.S. to offer the PROSE lenses.

What does PROSE stand for?

PROSE stands for Prosthetic Replacement of the Ocular Surface Ecosystem.

What is the difference between PROSE and scleral lenses?

PROSE is a specific type of scleral lens. In fact, it was the very first ultra-customizable lens, and it set the standard in specialty contact care. As with all scleral lenses, PROSE lenses are custom-fitted to your unique eye shape. Along with PROSE, Bascom Palmer offers a number of other types of scleral lenses.

How does PROSE treatment work?

Typically, PROSE treatment starts with a consultation, where we learn about your treatment goals and assess your eyes. We then use special PROSE software to create a custom lens for you. Our team provides PROSE treatment in South Florida and consults regularly with the main PROSE site in Boston, which pioneered the PROSE technology. Having access to advanced technology and software can help speed up the process of creating your lenses. Still, we usually make a series of adjustments to achieve a fit that’s right for you.

Can PROSE help with my eye discomfort?

For many people, PROSE treatment can relieve problems like dry eye, light sensitivity, blurriness, and more. We can talk with you about your treatment options and help you decide if PROSE is right for you. We offer many different options to help you see better – and enjoy a better quality of life.

Questions? We're here to help.

Our appointment specialists are ready to help you find what you need. Contact us today.