Anyone can be at risk for losing an eye or experiencing damage to their eye. A penetrating injury to the eye or disease can result in a loss of visual function or cosmetic disfigurement. Marshall B. Ketchum University offers one of very few prosthetic lens and eye centers in Southern California and with the $10,000 grant from Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian Community Benefit Program, qualified low-income patients will receive much needed assistance in off-setting these costs.
“Most insurance providers will not cover the cost for fitting a prosthetic eye, but may cover partially for the lens. The cost of prosthetic eyes can be prohibitive at just under $2,000 per eye, whereas prosthetic lenses can reach costs of approximately $800 per lens, a significant burden to many patients, even those with some insurance coverage,” said Dawn Lam, O.D., Associate Professor at Marshall B. Ketchum University’s Southern California College of Optometry. “As a result, the cost of care is shouldered by the patient. This grant reduces barriers to care for our underserved patients.”
The Prosthetic Lens and Eye Program at Marshall B. Ketchum University offers customized solutions for patients who have suffered damage to their eye due to injury or disease. For patients who still have their eye, but have damage to the pupil or iris, a prosthetic contact lens can be fitted to improve problems with glare, can help with light sensitivity, while potentially improving visual function. A prosthetic eye is used when an eye is damaged and removed. By fitting patients with a prosthetic that cosmetically matches their seeing eye this helps to hide a disfigurement and improve quality of life.
“At the University Eye Center at Fullerton, we are able to provide the full scope of care—both for the eye that is in need of a prosthetic device as well as the seeing eye. MBKU is able to provide patients with the exact lens they need,” said Tim Edrington O.D., M.S., Professor and Chief of the Cornea and Contact Lens Service at MBKU’s University Eye Center at Fullerton. “This process may take several visits to ensure the proper device and fit. MBKU utilizes a team approach in which a highly qualified doctor of optometry is teamed with an intern or resident doctor to provide patient care during these appointments. The information shared and lessons learned prove to be extremely valuable for our future health care practitioners.”