The contact lens department at Sankara Nethralaya like many other departments in the institution has the pride of being a pioneer and trail blazer in its field, the department is credited with creating a high degree of awareness on Contact Lens usage and best practices, a fact that is underlined by its head Dr. Rajeswari Mahadevan being elevated as the Asia Pacific Regional President of the Executive Board of the ‘International Association of Contact Lens Educators’ (IACLE) the highest body governing contact lens usage. As a facility that screens and fits contact lens to a large number of people the department is well aware that there are a good number of people who cannot wear conventional contact lens for multiple reasons like ailments and aberration in the eye that make it unsuitable for the same. These patients need Scleral Contact Lenses a more advanced and customized version of the same. This coupled with the fact that scleral contact lenses not only serve as a vision aid but help in actively treating surgical complications, issues caused due to distorted corneal transplants and chemical burns/injuries which makes it a critical device.
While awareness on contact lens has improved with constant counselling, education and increasing usage, Scleral Contact Lens are still relatively unknown, not only among end users but contact lens practitioners. Scleral contact lenses are filled with liquid saline and hence are very effective in restoring vision, reducing ocular surface reaction and enhancing user comfort. There is a need for special training to fit these lenses as it is quite different from fitting normal contact lenses. While many ophthalmic manufacturers have started producing scleral contact lenses the number of contact lens practitioners with expertise on fitting the same is not enough to meet the demand. Sankara Nethralaya’s contact lens department conducted a workshop titled ‘Getting ready with sclerals’- A customized training on scleral contact lens fitting, on the 16th and 17th of February 2018, to impart knowledge and hands on training and trouble shooting. The workshop conducted by Dr. Rajeswari Mahadevan, Associate Professor & HOD, Contact lens clinic and executive optometrists, Rinu Thomas and Asif Iqbal touched upon every aspect of scleral contact lens fitting and was enthusiastically received by the 7 participants from Ms Bausch&Lomb. The session received a high level of praise for its content and the knowledge and expertise exhibited by the trainers.