We normally associate the use of contact lenses with the need to correct vision impairments. However, sometimes people turn to contacts in order to gain a more natural appearance on a blind, disfigured, or otherwise flawed eye. In these cases, they use prosthetic contact lenses.
As AllAboutVision explains in its article, prosthetic contacts are like regular lenses in that both types come in the gas permeable (GP), or soft lens variety. Aside from being made from the same materials, prosthetic lenses do not require special cleaning and disinfecting solutions: the ones available for regular soft or GP lenses are perfectly suitable for the job.
Some prosthetic lenses also serve as a vision correction tool, helping people deal with nearsightedness, farsightedness, or astigmatism. Others come without corrective power and are just designed to hide eye flaws or disfigurements. The latter are usually the result of injuries or infections, and can leave people self-conscious about their appearance.
Prosthetic contacts are commonly used where conditions like aniridia (incomplete pupil formation), albinism, diplopia (double vision), and traumatic corneal damage are involved. Albinism, which refers to a lack of eye pigment, is among those conditions that trigger photophobia, or sensitivity to light. Prosthetic lenses help here by restricting the amount of light that enters the eye. Such lenses can also help in cases of “lazy eye,” which goes by amblyopia in medical terminology. This is the most common cause of vision problems in children, and special prosthetic coloured contacts can prove useful. The lens is worn on the healthy eye and blocks light, forcing the amblyopic eye to work harder and thus stimulating its development.