Mt. Juliet eye consultant puts sports fisherman McDonald at ease with special lenses
After having difficulty with hard contact lenses for 50 years, Art McDonald finally found relief in the hands of Dr. Brad Altman at Aprima, Consultants in Eye Health, in Mt. Juliet. Dr. Altman was able to fit McDonald with lenses that conformed to the shape of his cornea.
An athlete and avid sports fisherman, Art McDonald fought a losing battle for over 50 years when it came to wearing hard contact lenses.
After a few visits for testing and measurements in 2012 with Dr. Brad Altman at Aprima Eye Care, the past four years have proven clear sailing for McDonald.
“I had been wearing hard contact lenses for well over 50 years, and over the years they kept becoming more and more uncomfortable,” said the owner of Crown Ford in Nashville. “I have a nasty case of keratoconus. That means there is a ridge on the surface of your cornea.
“What happens is the contact lens fits over the pupil and iris and sits on top of a ridge, so the discomfort was outrageous. I had to take them out in the middle of the day and was blind as a bat. It was really a problem.”
A number of optometrists told McDonald that hard contacts were never going to fit him properly. Thank goodness, one told him that there was an eye care specialist in Mt. Juliet who specialized in scleral lenses.
“Dr. Altman was on the cutting edge of that kind of eye care, so I went in to see him. Instantly we bonded. He is so thorough. He’s caring. He takes his time. His staff is wonderful, and, boy, I mean it took a while for the measurements and the lenses must be ground for specifications, but from the moment I got them, I have never had a problem with them,” said McDonald.
Dr. Altman reported that McDonald told him one of the most frustrating problems was simply getting the lenses to stay on his eyes.
“He reported losing multiple lenses over the years, and these type of keratoconus lenses are very expensive,” Altman said. “He was very athletic and told me stories of several interrupted basketball games while everyone was on their knees looking for a popped out lens.
“When I first met Art in 2012, one of the things we discussed was his hobby—deep sea fishing. I knew immediately one of his potential challenges—being on a boat in a windy environment with a contact lens on a football-shaped cornea. There’s great potential for that lens being dislodged, or being blown out and lost. Since I fitted him, he has never lost a lens at sea and can comfortably wear them all day.”
“I lost lenses in every manner you can think of, especially when I played basketball in college,” said McDonald. “I’ve lost them overboard while fishing. For the first time in my life I can put them in and forget about them. I don’t even think about my glasses or my contacts anymore, whereas before I was always rubbing my eye.
“My eyesight is much better, and from the moment I put these on I’ve never had discomfort at all. To me it’s like a miracle.”