Scleral lenses are made of a breathable polymer. They are designed to bridge the cornea and sit on the sclera of the eye, increasing comfort, and allowing high amounts of oxygen to the cornea.
Because the cornea is one of the most sensitive tissues of the body, many previous contact lens options become uncomfortable after hours of wear. Even daily soft lenses can be uncomfortable for patients with dry eyes.
Scleral lenses are custom made for each patient to vault over the cornea and create a tear reservoir that cushions the cornea for hours of comfortable wear time.
Previous options for Keratoconus patients included RGP or piggyback lenses; options were uncomfortable, limited outdoor activities or dry out quickly.
Scleral lenses both protect the thinned cornea by bathing it with saline, and create an even, clear surface for light to enter. Patients who are unable to wear spectacles due to distortion and blurry vision are best fit in a large scleral contact lens.
Even after cross-linking surgery or a transplant, scleral lenses are a solution for patients with Keratoconus.
Scleral contact lenses require close monitoring and proper fitting by an expert for best results. Proper instruction on care, instruction, and removal are key to being successful.
They can be life-changing!
Am I a candidate to wear scleral contact lenses?
Possible scleral lens contact lens candidates include those who have been unhappy with other types of contacts for both vision and comfort reasons.
Those with Keratoconus are ideal candidates for this technology. The optics are more clear than traditional RGP or piggyback lenses, but the comfort is far greater.
Patients with dry eye who can not wear soft lenses even dailies may benefit from the all day comfort of scleral contact lenses.
Furthermore, patients with high prescriptions or high amounts of astigmatism are ideal candidates for scleral contacts.
Night-glare or halos after Lasik or RK surgery in the past? Scleral lenses are a great options!
How can I be fit for scleral contact lenses?
The fitting of scleral lenses is a multiple step process which will occur over the course of weeks or months. Patients with more complicated corneas or advanced corneal disease can expect a longer process.
The initial exam includes a refraction to determine your prescription, and an eye health evaluation. If scleral lenses are determined to be the best option for you, you will be scheduled for a fit. After the initial fit appointment, your lens with the correct prescription will be ordered.
When the scleral contacts arrive, you will be scheduled for another evaluation and will be shown how to care for, insert, and remove your lenses properly. If Dr. Dryer is happy with the fit, she will want to see you later in the day to insure the lens still fits properly after 3-4 hours of wear.
Depending on your eyes and the reason for scleral lens wear, scleral contact lenses can often be covered under your vision insurance policy as medically necessary contacts.