Scleral lenses are gas permeable contact lenses with a large diameter that vault over the cornea (the transparent front of the eye) and rest on the sclera (the white of the eye). The scleral lens has a smooth optical surface that helps to address vision impairments caused by keratoconus and other irregular cornea issues.
Unlike traditional lenses, which sit on the cornea, they are fitted to leave room between the lens and the cornea. Before being installed, scleral lenses are filled with isotonic fluid. The area between the cornea and the rear side of the lenses serves as a tear reservoir, keeping the eye moist. This moisture aids in the fight against dry eyes, relieving those suffering from severe ocular conditions.
The Advantages of Scleral Lenses
Scleral lenses are bigger than standard lenses, making them more sturdy and lowering the chance of shifting or slipping off during blinking. Although scleral lenses are bigger, they give more clarity and comfort than conventional lenses.
Scleral lenses act as a tear reservoir, continuously supplying moisture and oxygen to the eye and providing comfort to individuals suffering from dry eye illness. This steady supply of moisture also aids in the prevention of eye ailments such as corneal abrasions.
The scleral lens not only corrects your eyesight but also improves your eye health. It can potentially lessen the requirement for surgical intervention in individuals with severe ocular surface disorders.
Are Scleral Lenses for You?
Your optometrist will inform you if a scleral lens is suitable for you and which type is ideal for you during your contact lens exam and fitting.
Scleral lenses are usually a suitable choice for people who have:
- abnormalities in the cornea induced by keratoconus or a surgical procedure
- illness of the ocular surface
- significant refractive defects, difficulty fitting conventional lenses, or lack of stability with typical contacts
If you have dry eyes, scleral lenses may be an option for you. The large area between the rear side of the lens and the cornea works as a tear reservoir, hydrating the eye and making contact lenses more comfortable to use.
The Cost of Scleral Contact Lens
Given the personalised nature of the lens, the cost of scleral lenses will vary from patient to patient. Your optometrist can tell you how much the treatment will cost and whether your insurance will pay some of the costs.
Maintaining Scleral Lenses
You must take proper care of your contact lenses to avoid transmitting bacteria into your eyes and creating infections. Scleral lenses require the same care as standard lenses.
In addition to the following, follow any directions provided to you by your optometrist:
- Always thoroughly wash your hands before handling contacts or touching your eyes.
- Place the lenses in your palm and add a few drops of multi-purpose solution.
- Rub the lens gently in a circular motion, rubbing both sides of the lens.
- Rinse the lens well with the multi-purpose solution.
- Place each lens in the appropriate lens case and refill with a new solution.
- Close the case securely.
- Use a new solution each time you rinse and store your lenses and case.
- Every three months, replace your case.