What Are Scleral Lenses?
These hard-to-fit contacts are rigid gas permeable lenses that have an extra-large diameter. They vault completely over your cornea, coming to rest on the whites of your eye (called the sclera). Scleral lenses thereby cover the irregular corneal surface with a rounded optical surface, helping you to achieve clear vision – even if you have keratoconus.
As the shape of scleral lenses creates a bridge over the eye, it leaves a gap that fills with tears. This pocket of tears enhances comfortable vision for people with dry eyes, which makes scleral lenses a great option for people with severe dry eye syndrome.
How Safe Are Scleral Lenses?
Although this may be the first time you have heard of scleral lenses, they aren’t a new invention. In fact, they are the oldest type of contact lenses, invented in the early 16th century by Leonardo da Vinci.
However, the first prototypes that were manufactured in Europe were not very permeable to oxygen. As a result, they caused many negative side effects, such as corneal swelling.
Nowadays, modern scleral lenses are designed and crafted with precise technology, new materials, and computer-driven lathes.
This leads to a higher level of safety and comfort. Contemporary sclerals have a high oxygen permeability, which reduces the risk of eye complications.
Patients with keratoconus can have crystal-clear vision along with protection of the sensitive corneal surface.
Scleral Lens Fitting
The eye doctor will map your cornea using advanced corneal topography equipment. This generates a detailed diagram of your cornea, which is used to make customized scleral contact lenses.
We equip our office with the newest technologies in order to ensure an efficient eye care experience and lenses that fit you perfectly.
Is it difficult to insert and care for scleral lenses?
Scleral lenses are very durable and easy to handle. In the beginning, it can be tricky to insert scleral contacts. Our optometrists provide complete instruction and training. After a short practice period of inserting and removing your lenses, you’ll have no trouble at all!
You must care for scleral lenses in the same way as standard contacts. Right after you remove them, clean and store them with the recommended disinfectant.
There are two basic methods of removing scleral contact lenses: with your fingers, or with the aid of a plunger.
Nowadays, various types of contact lenses can be prescribed for patients with keratoconus.
Dr. Richard Stegen, your New Hampshire optometrist, debunks these misconceptions.