Medical/Specialty Contact Lens Service

About Medical and Specialty Contact Lens Service

At Columbia, our medical and specialty contact lens experts can help treat your cornea issues.

  • 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 some people can wear.  They are made by taking detailed measurements of a person's eye and considering minute variations 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 and PRK. 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 distinct 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 Columbia Ophthalmology that allows custom contact lenses to be created from even more exact measurements than previous methods available. With technology like EyePrintPRO™ , custom lenses can now be created from a physical mold of the eye, resulting in a better fit and more comfortable contact lens.
  • Patients who qualify for these difficult contact lens fits are those with ocular surface disease, cornea scarring, severe dry eye, corneal dystrophies, and those who have had corneal transplants.
  • Hybrid Contact Lenses – Made of gas permeable rigid contacts have an outer ring or “skirt” made from soft contact lens material. Because most 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.
  • Piggybacking – This 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. Piggybacking might be useful when patients develop intolerance to RGP lenses.
  • Prosthetic Contact Lenses – These 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. Discrete prosthetic lenses can be used to cover-up size and color disparities, creating the appearance of two, normal matching eyes and can block the amount of light that enters the eye, without the use of cumbersome occlusive glasses or eye patches. 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.

Why Choose Columbia?

Columbia’s Dr. Sherman is the only optometrist in New York City, and one of only a handful in the tri-state area, certified as an EyePrint Practitioner.