Staci’s Contact Lenses:  A Trip to  Indianapolis

On November 20, 2010, Staci Mannella and her mother, Dr. Susan Arnold, traveled from their home in New Jersey to the Low Vision Center of Indianapolis. There, Staci was examined by Dr. Richard Windsor, low vision specialist and innovator in fitting achromats with filtered contact lenses.  Staci, age 14, is an adaptive alpine skier with her goals set on participating in the 2014 Winter Paralympics in Sochi, Russia.

Her story has just been added in our Pioneers and Heroes section. She is another amazing achromat that can serve as a wonderful example for other achromats.

Throughout her life, Staci has had to either wear very dark glasses inside or constantly squint her eyes.  She also has had to wear a very high farsighted correction common in achromatopsia.  She has used many different dark filters outside.

After her initial low vision examination with Dr. Windsor, Staci was tested with different types of filtered contact lenses including the NARZ, B30 and B60 contact lenses.

She has an incomplete form of achromatopsia, which means that she is able to see some colors. Because she has a small amount of limited color vision, it is important to select a contact lens filter that does not impair any residual color nor over enhance a color that can be seen, creating a red or pink world.  Staci did notice a slight reddening of her vision with the NARZ lens, which is made of red and black dyes. This is one reason our doctors use traditional red filtered contact lens in only about 28% of the cases.


Staci eyes through her eyeglasses. The light forces her to squint her eyes in normal room light


Staci’s can now open her eyes with the B60 contact. The hemeralopia or day blindness is now controlled fully inside.

Staci had a chance to wear different types of filters both inside and outside. The darker B60 contact lenses provided the best control of glare. The B60 also provides an excellent cosmetic appearance which is very important to a young lady of 14.  It is crucial in fitting achromats to test them with different filters. While red can be very effective for some achromats, we find more patients can be helped by customizing the color and density of filter to each patient.

To the right we see Staci learning to insert and remove her B60 contact lenses as her mother, Dr Arnold observes.

With the B60 filtered contacts in place, Staci no longer needs to squint her eyes.  We have also eliminated her thick farsighted correction and astigmatism by designing it into the contact lenses.  The cosmetic appearance is excellent with the B60 contact lenses. Her eyes appear a very natural dark brown.   

We appreciate Staci and her family’s willingness to tell her story.  We are all excited to watch Staci pursue her goals. Be sure to read her story in our Pioneers and Heroes section.


You can also reach Staci’s website at