Scleral Lenses and Corneal Transplants
Scleral lenses are specialized contact lenses that are used to treat a variety of vision problems, including keratoconus, a condition in which the cornea becomes thin and irregular in shape. These lenses are designed to rest on the sclera, or the white part of the eye, and provide a smooth, even surface for light to pass through, helping to correct vision problems caused by irregularities in the shape of the cornea.
Evidence For Reducing the Need for Corneal Transplants
There is evidence to suggest that scleral lenses may be able to reduce the need for corneal transplants in certain cases. Corneal transplants are typically used to treat advanced cases of keratoconus or other conditions that have caused significant damage to the cornea, such as scarring or thinning. These procedures involve replacing the damaged cornea with a healthy donor cornea, which can help to restore vision and improve the overall health of the eye.
However, scleral lenses can be an effective alternative to corneal transplants in some cases. These lenses are able to provide the same level of vision correction as a transplant but without the need for surgery. They can also be more comfortable for patients to wear, as they do not come into contact with the cornea and do not require frequent adjustments or replacements.
One study published in the Journal of Refractive Surgery found that scleral lenses were able to significantly improve visual acuity and reduce the need for glasses or other vision correction in patients with keratoconus. The study followed a group of patients with moderate to severe keratoconus who were fitted with scleral lenses and found that the majority of patients experienced significant improvements in their vision and a reduction in the need for glasses or other forms of vision correction.
Another study published in the Journal of Cataract and Refractive Surgery found similar results, with scleral lenses being able to effectively treat patients with advanced keratoconus and other conditions that had previously required corneal transplants. The study found that scleral lenses were able to provide the same level of vision correction as a corneal transplant, with a high success rate and few complications.
While scleral lenses may not be suitable for all patients with keratoconus or other conditions that require corneal transplants, they can be a valuable alternative for those who are not candidates for surgery or who are looking for a more comfortable and convenient treatment option.
It’s important to note that scleral lenses should only be used under the guidance and supervision of a trained eye care professional. These lenses require proper fitting and adjustments to ensure that they are comfortable and effective, and regular follow-up care is necessary to monitor the health of the eye and ensure that the lenses are working properly.
In conclusion, scleral lenses may be able to reduce the need for corneal transplants in certain cases by providing effective vision correction and improving the overall health of the eye. However, it’s important to work with a trained eye care professional to determine the best treatment option for your specific needs and to ensure that the lenses are properly fitted and maintained.
An alternative to surgery
Scleral contact lenses may be an effective treatment option for patients with keratoconus, as they have been shown to significantly reduce the need for a corneal transplant. These custom-designed lenses provide a smooth, regular surface for light to pass through when worn, helping to improve vision in patients with corneal irregularities. Made of gas-permeable material, scleral lenses are large enough to cover the entire surface of the cornea and rest on the conjunctiva (the membrane covering the white part of the eye). This design allows the lenses to bypass the irregular corneal surface and provide a perfectly shaped optical surface to correct vision problems. In addition, the dome shape of the scleral lens acts as a fluid reservoir, providing hydration and lubrication for patients with dry eyes.
What you should know about scleral lenses?
How do scleral lenses work?
Scleral lenses work by providing a smooth, even surface for light to pass through and improving the overall shape of the cornea. They are designed to fit over the entire cornea and rest on the sclera, effectively bypassing any irregularity on the surface of the cornea. This allows light to pass through the lens in a more focused manner, improving vision and reducing distortion.
Who can benefit from scleral lenses?
Scleral lenses are often used to treat patients with keratoconus, corneal scarring, irregular corneal curvature, aphakia (absence of the natural lens), and dry eye syndrome. They may also be used to correct vision after LASIK surgery or other corneal refractive surgeries.
How are scleral lenses fitted?
Scleral lenses are custom-made to fit the specific shape and size of an individual’s eye. The fitting process typically involves several visits to the eye doctor and may include the use of specialized equipment to measure the shape and curvature of the eye. It is important to work with an experienced eye care professional to ensure that the lenses are properly fitted and provide the best possible vision and comfort.
What are the benefits of scleral lenses?
Scleral lenses offer a number of benefits for patients with certain eye conditions. They can provide improved vision, reduced distortion, and increased comfort compared to traditional contact lenses or glasses. In addition, scleral lenses can help to protect the cornea and reduce the risk of further damage or scarring.
What are the potential drawbacks of scleral lenses?
Scleral lenses may not be suitable for everyone, and there are a few potential drawbacks to consider. They may be more expensive than traditional contact lenses, and the fitting process may be more time-consuming. In addition, scleral lenses may be more difficult to care for and handle than traditional contact lenses. It is important to discuss any potential drawbacks with your eye care professional to determine if scleral lenses are the right option for you.
How do you care for scleral lenses?
Proper care and maintenance of scleral lenses are important to ensure the health and comfort of your eyes. This may involve using special cleaning solutions and following a specific cleaning routine. It is important to follow the instructions provided by your eye care professional and to regularly visit your eye doctor for check-ups to ensure that the lenses are fitting properly and that your eyes are healthy