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Medical contact lenses

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A contact lens in an eye The Optometry Department provides a specialist contact lens service for patients who have a medical need or 'clinical necessity' for contact lenses.

For example, those with:

  • marked corneal irregularities e.g.
    • corneal scarring
    • significant keratoconus
    • keratoplasty or post corneal graft where the vision is not adequately corrected with spectacles
  • complex spectacle prescriptions e.g. more than -15.00DS of myopia (short sightedness) or +10.00DS of hypermetropia (long sightedness)
  • therapeutic (bandage) lenses e.g. for pain relief or to aid healing
  • cosmetic lenses e.g. to improve the appearance of an eye following injury or infection
  • occlusive lenses e.g. to alleviate double vision
  • paediatric lenses e.g. following cataract surgery.

The decision to fit contact lenses is made in agreement with a hospital contact lens practitioner or consultant ophthalmologist.

Contact lenses are charged at a cost set by the NHS each year on 1 April. Some groups of patients are eligible for a voucher which covers the cost of the contact lens/es.

Scleral (haptic) contact lenses

A tertiary specialist scleral lens service is available at Oxford Eye Hospital. Referrals to this service can be made from GPs or other ophthalmic units.

A scleral lens may be needed in the management of a range of advanced eye conditions. The lenses may be fitted by impression or from preformed shapes. These lenses can often delay or even avoid the need for corneal transplant (graft).

Referrals made from outside Oxfordshire may require funding agreements from your referring trust or CCG, which may delay appointments.

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Patient leaflets

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