Scleral contact lenses are one of the most popular technologies in eye care. These specialty lenses are uniquely designed to provide comfortable and clear vision all day long, even for those who have been unable to wear contact lenses in the past. Because of their innovative design, these lenses can be used for patients with corneal diseases or irregularities. They can also provide superior vision and comfort for the everyday contact lens wearer. Whether you have struggled with contact lenses in the past because of an eye condition, or just want to experience the clear, comfortable vision provided by these new lenses for yourself, scleral lenses may be a viable option for you!
Scleral lenses are large, rigid lenses. While this may sound like an uncomfortable option, this lens design actually provides improved comfort for many people. Because of their large diameter, scleral lenses arch over the entire cornea, instead resting comfortably on the white portion of the eye, called the sclera. The well of the lens is filled with a fluid solution prior to insertion, meaning the cornea is constantly nourished and lubricated during lens wear. Because the fluid in the lens provides such significant comfort to the cornea, scleral lenses have been compared to a “spa for your eye.”
The large size of the lens also makes them more stable than soft contact lenses or traditional rigid gas-permeable lenses. Instead of moving around the cornea with every blink, these lenses remain stable and relatively stationary on the sclera. This improved aspect of stability makes these lenses highly valuable for patients with irregularly shaped corneas or other front surface problems. Many people notice that scleral lenses can improve their vision better than glasses or traditional contact lenses because of their unique shape and design. Continue reading to learn more about a few ocular conditions that may benefit from scleral lens wear
Keratoconus is a condition characterized by an irregular corneal shape. In this condition, part of the cornea, called the cone, will protrude outward. Because the front surface of their eye is unevenly shaped, these patients often have decreased vision in glasses or traditional contact lenses. The stability provided by scleral lenses can help regulate the corneal surface for patients with keratoconus and allow for clearer, more steady vision than glasses or traditional lenses.
Refractive error includes conditions such as nearsightedness, farsightedness, or astigmatism. For patients with extreme amounts of refractive error, scleral lenses may be a better option. Oftentimes these patients, especially those with extreme nearsightedness, notice a dramatic difference in the size of objects through the lenses of their glasses. Scleral lenses can help correct vision without causing the drastic minification or magnification caused by spectacles.
Dry Eye Disease is not only highly uncomfortable; it also negatively affects vision by disrupting the corneal surface. With the use of scleral contact lenses, the cornea is constantly nourished by a layer of fluid. This helps reduce discomfort by preventing corneal dehydration. It also promotes a more stable corneal surface and tear film, which can improve vision.