What are Scleral Contact Lenses?
Scleral contact lenses are a type of corrective eyewear that are designed to provide vision correction for individuals who may not be suitable candidates for traditional contact lenses. These lenses are made to fit over the sclera, or white part of the eye, and are filled with a saline solution to create a smooth, evenly curved surface over the cornea. This makes them suitable for individuals with irregularly shaped corneas or certain ocular health conditions that may prevent them from wearing traditional contact lenses.
In addition to providing vision correction, scleral contact lenses can also offer therapeutic benefits for patients with ocular conditions such as dry eye disease. These lenses can help to lubricate the eye and provide a protective barrier against environmental irritants, which can help to alleviate symptoms of dry eye.
When determining which scleral contact lens is right for you, there are several factors to consider. The size and shape of your eye, as well as your visual needs and any corneal health issues, will all play a role in selecting the most suitable lens for you. It’s important to work with an eye care professional who is experienced in fitting scleral lenses to help identify the best lens for your needs. They will be able to assess your specific requirements and guide you towards a lens that is comfortable and effective for your needs.
Surprising Facts You Need To Know About Scleral Lenses
- Scleral lenses can improve vision in challenging situations: Scleral lenses are known for their ability to provide crisp, clear vision in challenging situations, such as in low light or for individuals with high prescriptions. This is because the lenses create a stable, even surface over the front of the eye, which can help to reduce visual distortions.
- Scleral lenses can provide therapeutic benefits: In addition to improving vision, scleral lenses can also offer therapeutic benefits for individuals with certain ocular conditions. For example, these lenses can help to lubricate the eye and provide a protective barrier against environmental irritants, which can be helpful for individuals with dry eye disease.
- Scleral lenses require a special fitting process: Because scleral lenses are larger and have a different shape than traditional contact lenses, they require a special fitting process. It’s important to work with an eye care professional who is experienced in fitting scleral lenses to ensure that the lenses are properly fitted and comfortable for you to wear.
- Scleral lenses can be worn for extended periods of time: Some scleral lenses are approved for daily wear, while others are approved for overnight wear. This means that you may be able to wear your scleral lenses for an extended period of time without having to remove them.
- Scleral lenses are custom-made: Because scleral lenses are larger and have a different shape than traditional contact lenses, they are typically custom-made to fit the individual wearer. This ensures that the lenses provide a comfortable fit and effective vision correction.
- Scleral lenses can be used to correct a wide range of visual impairments: Scleral lenses can be used to correct a wide range of visual impairments, including nearsightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism, and presbyopia. They can also be used to correct more complex visual impairments, such as those resulting from keratoconus or other corneal abnormalities.
- Scleral lenses can be made from various materials: Scleral lenses can be made from a variety of materials, including silicone hydrogel and hydroxyethyl methacrylate (HEMA). The material chosen will depend on the specific needs of the wearer and the type of lens that is being fitted.
Eye Health and Sclerals
Eye health is a key consideration when selecting a scleral lens, as certain ocular conditions or corneal abnormalities may impact the type of lens that is most suitable for you. A comprehensive eye examination that includes your medical and ocular history is the first step in determining the best scleral lens for you. If you have dry eye disease, you may be prescribed a quadrant-specific or toric scleral lens. These types of lenses are designed with a built-in saline-filled reservoir, which helps to keep the eye hydrated and comfortable. They may also be suitable for individuals with keratoconus, eye injuries, or complications resulting from LASIK surgery.
Size and Sclerals
Size is an important factor to consider when determining which scleral lens is right for you. Scleral lenses are larger in diameter than traditional contact lenses, and can range from 14.5mm to 24mm in diameter, compared to corneal rigid gas permeable lenses, which are typically up to 9mm or 9.5mm in diameter. Your eye care provider will assess whether a larger scleral lens, which offers an increased peripheral vault and better ocular surface protection, or a smaller scleral lens, which is easier to insert and remove, will be more suitable for you. Smaller scleral lenses are often ideal for patients with lower degrees of irregularity, while larger scleral lenses can provide the most clearance for the cornea and lens.
Fit and Sclerals
Fit is a crucial factor to consider when selecting a scleral lens, as these lenses are specifically designed for individuals with eyes that are difficult to fit for traditional contact lenses or those with irregularly shaped corneas. The large surface area of the scleral lens allows it to compensate for an irregular corneal shape and allows light to pass through easily, providing wider visual coverage, fixed placement, and lasting comfort.
Types of Scleral Contact Lenses
There are two main types of scleral lenses: software-based and impression-based. Software-based scleral lenses, such as the Latitude scleral lens, are designed using computer software to conform precisely to the shape of the sclera. These lenses are ideal for individuals with more severe irregularities or issues that make fitting more challenging, and can provide an exact fit and optimal vision correction. Impression-based scleral lenses, such as the EyePrintPRO lens, are created using an impression of each eye. These lenses are tailored to the unique shape of each individual’s eye, providing an ideal solution for those who have trouble with traditional lenses and other scleral lenses. EyePrintPRO lenses are known for their unmatched comfort.
Scleral Lens Specialists
It’s important to work with an eye care professional who is experienced in fitting scleral lenses to ensure that you receive the most appropriate lens for your specific needs. They will be able to assess your individual requirements and help you determine the best fit for your eyes.