"He couldn't see. He just couldn't live his life. He stayed indoors with a pillow over his head to protect his eyes," says Alastaire.
Helen's son Ian falls in that category of blindness caused by a chemical injury. In his case, he had a bad reaction to an antibiotic that left him legally blind. But about 100,000 people are affected by corneal diseases that leave them blind. And it's that group that may be able to see again with the help of a Scleral Lens.
"This lens can help patients who are blind or disabled from diseases of the cornea. People, who haven't been able to see for years, for decades, all of a sudden put on this lens and they can see," says Dr. Perry Rosenthal, opthamologist, Scleral Lens inventor.
Here's how it works. The cornea is the clear tissue over our eyes. And when it's damaged, people cannot see. But the Scleral Lens, which is much larger than a standard contact, fits completely over the cornea, creating a new clear surface through which the eye can focus.
For more information, you can contact the Opthamology Department at the Texas Tech Health Sciences Center and ask for Dr. Steven Matthews, who is director of contact lenses there.