A bandage used for a cut has to be clean and protective but not attach or pull on the part of the skin that needs to heal. Up until a few years ago the only thing that could bandage an eye was the eye itself. The eye would be simply taped shut to let it heal.

But modern soft contact lenses have become so advanced, they have become the best way to bandage an eye for many conditions. These lenses are protective, breathable and tend to soothe the surface of the eye. They allow the patient close to normal vision while recovering. The lenses allow healing overnight and provide relief as it covers and protects the damaged area.

Another type of bandage lens for eyes that are in even worse shape is manufactured using human amniotic membrane. The tissue is acquired from banks who receive it as a donation from healthy mothers who have undergone an elective Cesarean section delivery. The tissue is donated, harvested and made into a protective bandage lens product used by eye care physicians for difficult cases.

According to one company’s website: “Cryopreserved amniotic membrane is the only tissue cleared for wound healing by the FDA.” These lenses have incredible regenerative properties that can allow an eye to heal even when proper healing seems unlikely. These bandage lenses are so effective, they can allow an eye to heal when nothing else will work to prevent scarring and a loss of vision.

Dr. Jace Picken is an optometrist at Prairie Vision Center in Wahpeton

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