Can Optometrists Provide Specialty Services Such as Scleral Lens Fitting?

Learn how optometrists can provide specialty services such as scleral lens fitting and how it can help strengthen the relationship between optometry and ophthalmology.

Can Optometrists Provide Specialty Services Such as Scleral Lens Fitting?

Scleral lenses can be a great way to expand a practice, providing multiple opportunities for attracting patients. Existing office patients, referrals from current patients through word of mouth or marketing, and external optometrists or ophthalmologists can all be sources of new clients. Additionally, scleral lenses can help strengthen the relationship between optometry and ophthalmology, as they are an important tool for treating serious conditions. The investments needed to build a contact lens specialty office can be worth it, as a residency can improve contact lens skills and set you on the path to lifelong learning. If you've been told that contact lenses aren't an option, consider consulting an optometrist who specializes in fitting special contact lenses.

These professionals use various devices to determine if a particular special lens is suitable and to accurately measure the unique shape of the cornea. They also decide how much to charge for the lens and what the installation costs are. It's essential for ophthalmologists to understand the role that scleral lenses can play, especially in corneal ectasia and ocular surface diseases. Sanjay V. Now, I serve as a mentor for other optometrists on scleral lenses; colleagues ask my opinion about their cases and often refer their patients to me.

Offering scleral lens fitting and care in an optometry office provides a unique specialty niche that offers personalized and specialized eye care to a growing clientele. That year, optometrists learn to adapt to special lenses and become comfortable with a broader range of corneal diseases, Dr. Then said. Then, I completed my residency in cornea and contact lenses in 1999 at the School of Optometry at the University of the Pacific, in Oregon. The optometrist responsible for placing the lenses requires special training, and the adaptation process is time-consuming and requires multiple visits. Special contact lenses are different from regular ones, and few optometrists have received the training necessary to adjust special lenses such as scleral lenses, hybrid lenses or custom rigid gas permeable lenses. When scleral lenses are used for ocular surface disease, the comprehensive ophthalmologist or corneal specialist must collaborate closely with the optometrist, as the underlying condition needs to be monitored for neovascularization or potential infection.

Some optometrists overlook this aspect, but to develop a specialized lens practice, it's important to keep an eye on anterior segment disease.

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