What are Scleral Lenses?
Scleral contact lenses are an extra-large type of rigid gas permeable lenses. Unlike traditional contacts, scleral lenses vault over the entire cornea, leaving a gap between the lens and the corneal surface. They rest on the white part of your eye (your sclera).
Their unique design makes scleral lenses among the most comfortable contacts around, providing excellent vision for people of all ages.
They are particularly useful for managing eye conditions such as:
- Dry Eyes
- Giant papillary conjunctivitis (GPC)
- Post-refractive surgery (i.e. LASIK, PRK)
We welcome you to call Dr. Jonathan Andrews to discuss your needs and assess whether scleral lenses are right for you.
Advantages Of Wearing Scleral Lenses
With scleral lenses, you’ll experience consistently clear vision—even if you have an irregular cornea. Here are some of the benefits provided by scleral lenses:
- Super-size diameter: This helps them stay centered and stable on your eye, and prevents them from popping out easily.
- Made from high-quality materials: This means they'll last for the long haul.
- Protects against allergies: The large size of the lens blocks debris, dust, and allergens.
- Highly breathable: Gas permeable material ensures ample oxygen reaches the eye.
- Lubricating Cushion: They have a pocket that fills with moisturizing tears, for a very comfortable wearing experience, and healthier eyes.
Ready to say goodbye to all those contact lenses that felt uncomfortable and didn’t give you sharp vision? Call Dr. Jonathan Andrews in New Holland for more info.
Scleral Lenses for Keratoconus Treatment in New Holland
One of the most common conditions that scleral lenses help to address is keratoconus. This condition occurs when the normally round, clear part at the front of the eye, the cornea, begins to thin and bulge into a cone or football-like shape. This can severely harm your vision. Symptoms include:
- Blurred or distorted vision
- Sudden worsening or clouding of vision
- Increased light sensitivity
How Do Scleral Contact Lenses Help With Keratoconus?
Before putting them in, scleral lenses are filled with a preservative-free saline solution that creates a fluid reservoir that helps mask many of the irregularities on the cornea, which helps to improve vision.
The scleral lens also corrects vision by vaulting over the cornea and resting on the white part of the eye known as the sclera. This allows the lens to form a smooth refracting surface over the uneven or warped cornea, focusing light more accurately at the back of the eye.
Vision With Keratoconus: Glasses or Soft Contacts vs. Sclerals
Patients with milder keratoconus can actually do quite well in very specific soft contact lenses and glasses. But for the most part the optics of hard contact lenses like scleral lenses and gas permeable (RGP) lenses are typically superior to glasses or soft contact lenses because they help mask a lot of the irregularities on the surface of the cornea.
So, typically if a patient with moderate to severe keratoconus wears normal soft contact lenses or glasses, they’d experience a lot of visual distortion, glare and halos around lights, specifically at night time, and double vision. Scleral lenses help reduce these and other vision issues that can severely impact the clarity of their vision.
FAQ | Understanding Scleral Lenses
How do scleral lenses help with dry eye syndrome?
Scleral lenses are filled with a saline solution prior to inserting it, so your eyes are always hydrated and comfortable. This protects against dry eye symptoms such as pain, discomfort, eye redness, and itchiness while providing sharp, clear vision.
What makes scleral lenses so comfortable?
Scleral lenses are custom-fit for each person, offering superior comfort. Their large size and shape also ensure stability, so that they don’t fall out even during sports or other active lifestyle activities. As their name suggests, scleral lenses rest on the sclera, which has very little sensory input. This means that there are less nerves there than on the cornea, where most other types of contact lenses sit. This makes sclerals more comfortable, and often better tolerated than traditional rigid gas permeable or soft disposable lenses.
Do you fit any other type of specialty contact lenses in your office besides scleral lenses?
Yes. We fit a wide array of contact lenses beyond scleral lenses. For instance:
- Synergeyes hybrid contact lenses, a mix of hard and soft contact lens components, with a rigid gas permeable construction in the center and soft lens material on the edges for comfort.
- NovaKone lenses, a type of soft contact lens made specifically for patients with keratoconus.
- Rose K lenses, a rigid gas permeable contact lens also specifically made for patients with keratoconus.
What technologies are you most proud of in your practice?
At Optometric Associates, we have access to a lot of advanced and modern technology that not all institutions or practices necessarily have access to.
For example, we utilize something called the Corneal Scleral Profiler software, which helps map out not just the curvature of the cornea, but the curvature of the sclera, or the white part of the eye, as well. This helps us come up with better scleral lens designs.
We also utilize another software called Wave software. We can use scans we’ve taken of your eye and upload those to the Wave software. The software then digitally designs a lens to perfectly match the contour of your eye.
Learn More About Scleral Lenses