HomeVA ProstheticsVA Handbook 1173.12 - Prescription Optics and Low-Vision DevicesSpecial Eyeglasses, Lenses, Tints, or Frames

12.5. Special Eyeglasses, Lenses, Tints, or Frames

a. Lenses, tinted lenses, prismatic lenses, and other ophthalmic aids and low-vision devices may be procured upon approval of the Chief of Optometry or Chief of Ophthalmology, as appropriate, on a per-beneficiary basis provided a medical need exists and justification is given for the prescription.

b. Special frames, prescribed for medical reasons and not for cosmetic purposes, are procured upon prescription by a VA staff ophthalmologist or optometrist.

c. Special eyeglasses or frames required for cosmetic facial restorations may be procured upon the recommendation of the Chief, Plastic Eye and Restoration Clinic, and the approval of a VA staff ophthalmologist or optometrist. In such cases, corrective lenses are authorized for any refractive error present.

d. Prescriptions of safety spectacles and/or for eyeglasses with tinted lenses are filled for beneficiaries who are monocular, and those with post-cataract surgery, chronic uveitis, severe corneal disease, clinically significant macular degeneration, clinically significant cataract, ocular photosensitivity from drugs, significant visual field loss, significant amblyopia in the fellow eye (worse than 20/40 correctable visual acuity by conventional lenses), photophobia and/or retinal or other medical eye conditions, as appropriate. Tinted lenses will not be provided solely for comfort; medical need must be documented by a VA staff or VA contract ophthalmologist or optometrist; this need may include the need for ocular protection from undesirable incident radiations, such as UV radiation, etc.

e. Special upgrade requests for eyeglasses, lenses and frames between the veteran and the vendor are not encouraged by VA. While private transactions are not prohibited, direct solicitation by the vendor is not allowed and as such are the sole responsibility of the veteran beneficiary.


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