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Optometry. 2007 Dec;78(12):652-6.

Prescription and management of contact lenses in patients with monocular visual impairment.

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Department of Ophthalmology, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota 55905, USA.



Contact lens correction for refractive error in patients with monocular visual impairment may be desirable. However, the potential for damage to the sound eye must always be considered in such patients. This report outlines the prescription and management of contact lens wear in a monocular patient. The case report is followed by a discussion of the risks of vision loss associated with contact lens wear.


The author conducted a clinical interview, refraction, ocular examination, and contact lens evaluation of a 38-year-old female patient who had undergone a lensectomy in her right eye and the enucleation of her left eye. The patient presented wearing a conventional aphakic hydrogel contact lens in her right eye. She routinely wore her contact lens for up to 16 hours daily and occasionally slept while wearing it. Best-corrected spectacle acuity was 20/40-2 with +13.75 diopter sphere in her right eye. Clinical examination showed 3 to 4 mm of well-perfused neovascularization with associated pannus in the superior quadrant of her cornea and 1 to 2 mm of peripheral neovascularization in the remainder of the cornea. She was refit with a 2-week replacement hydrogel contact lens that partially corrected her refractive error, and she was encouraged to wear polycarbonate spectacles full time for the remainder of her refractive correction and for protection of the right eye.


Monocularly impaired patients who choose to wear contact lenses for the correction of refractive error should be aware of the risk of potentially sight-threatening contact lens complications. The importance of meticulous hygiene and appropriate contact lens wearing schedules should be emphasized with monocular patients. They should also be encouraged to wear the appropriate spectacle correction to reduce the risk of injury to their sound eyes.

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