What are scleral lenses?
A scleral lens, also known as an ocular surface prosthesis is a large contact lens that rests on the sclera and creates a tear-filled vault over the cornea. Scleral lenses are designed to treat a variety of eye conditions, many of which do not respond to other forms of treatment.
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 a comfortable vision for people with dry eyes, which makes scleral lenses a great option for people with severe dry eye syndrome. Also,
Scleral Lenses Can Let Anyone wear Contact Lenses!
Scleral lenses are specialized contact lenses that make contact lens use possible for many people for the first time – and they have advantages for normal contact lens wearers as well.
A scleral lens is a larger lens that rests on the sclera or white of the eye, rather than the colored portion (or iris). The lens has many advantages that can make contact lens wear an option for those who have previously been told otherwise.
Are you one of the 5 patient types that would likely benefit more from a scleral lens?
High or complicated prescriptions that have been told they can’t wear contact lenses.
Unsuccessful history with other lenses either due to poor comfort or poor vision.
Keratoconus or any type of corneal degeneration or dystrophy, transplants, scarring or trauma or post-LASIK complications.
Dry eyes or high sensitivity to light or Steve Johnson Syndrome.
What are the 5 main benefits of a scleral lens vs. a regular lens?
Easier to insert and remove
Improved, consistent quality of vision all day long.
Better comfort. Other lenses may dry out and get uncomfortable.
Longer lasting. With proper maintenance, they can last over a year
Applying Scleral Lenses
The first rule for healthy eyes with scleral lenses is to wash your hands well with a mild soap. To prevent small fibers from sticking to your contact lenses, dry your hands well with a lint-free towel.
Before inserting your lenses, inspect your eyes for any redness or secretions. If you notice any irritation or changes in your vision while wearing scleral lenses, call our office to schedule an appointment. Our optometrist will perform an eye exam to check for any complications.
Our eye doctor will instruct you on the best insertion methods for scleral lenses in our clinic. We advise patients to first place a mirror flat on the table in front of them. Remove one lens from its case and check it carefully for any debris or chips. If you hold your scleral lens against the light, you’ll be able to spot any cloudy deposits.
Fill the bowl of the lens with saline. Scleral lenses can be inserted using your fingers or a special inserter tool. If you prefer using your fingers, it is ideal to use two or three fingers (tripod method) to keep the lens stable and flat as you place it in your eye.
Look downwards towards the mirror. Use one hand to hold your eyelids open, and place the lens in your eye with the other hand. As soon as you feel the saline against your eyeball, press gently and let go. The scleral lens will attach to your eye. Repeat this process with the second lens.
If your scleral lenses feel uncomfortable, it may be due to an air bubble trapped beneath the lens surface. You may need to remove the lens and insert again.
Removal of Scleral Lenses
There are two basic methods of removing scleral contact lenses: with your fingers, or with the aid of a plunger.
After you wash your hands well, look straight ahead. If you’re using a plunger, wet the tip with saline and attach it to the lower third of the lens. Press gently on your eye, and pull up and out.
If you’re using your fingers, then place two fingertips on either side of the lens and gently break the seal from your eye. In this way, you’ll dislodge the lens. Be ready to catch it as it pops out! Although it sounds challenging, don’t worry – after a few times practicing scleral lens removal, it will become natural and simple.