Scleral lenses may be an option for those who require vision correction but wish to be free of eyeglasses. However, in most cases scleral lenses are worn by those who have specific corneal conditions. These individuals typically have poor success wearing soft contact lenses, rigid gas permeable lenses or other types of contact lenses.
Scleral lenses are used to treat a variety of conditions, including:
- Irregular corneas, irregular astigmatism, deformed corneas
- Glare, Halos, Starbursts and Ghosting
- Dry Eyes
- Complications from LASIK, PRK and RK
- Pellucid Marginal Degeneration (PMD)
- Sjogren’s Syndrome
- Corneal Scarring
Scleral Lenses are also used for patients who have had the following eye treatments/surgeries:
- Corneal Cross-Linking (CXL)
- Corneal Grafts (PKP)
- LASIK, PRK and RK
What are Scleral Lenses?
Scleral lenses are large diameter contact lenses designed specifically to correct complex visual problems, which result in providing clear and comfortable vision. They are different to other types of contact lenses in that they do not actually touch the cornea. Instead, scleral lenses vault over the entire corneal surface, resting on the “white” portion of the eye known as the “sclera.”
The space between the back portion of the scleral lens and the front of the cornea is filled with unpreserved sterile saline solution, which means that the eye always remains in a liquid environment, creating a more comfortable wearing experience. These larger lenses are also more stable than conventional gas permeable contact lenses, which are much smaller in size and move with each blink.
With scleral lenses there is usually no lens awareness as the edge of the lens sits on the sclera, away from the sensitive cornea. Moreover, scleral lenses do not fall out, bits of grit do not lodge behind them during wear, and they are extremely comfortable to wear when fitted properly.
Since scleral lenses are custom made for the wearer, fitting scleral contact lenses requires more time and a greater amount of expertise than fitting standard soft or gas-permeable contact lenses. It is important to be evaluated and fitted by a specialist eye doctor such as Dr. Hetel Bhakta, who has more in depth training and knowledge in fitting scleral lenses.
For those who have severe dry eyes and cannot tolerate normal contact lenses, scleral lenses are the perfect solution. This is because the space between the cornea and the scleral lens can act as a fluid reservoir, making it more comfortable to wear. Since scleral lenses are custom made for the wearer, fitting scleral contact lenses requires more time and a greater amount of expertise than fitting standard soft or gas-permeable contact lenses.