Scleral contact lenses have been called “life-changing” and “transformative” by patients who wear them.
What makes these contact lenses so revolutionary?
What Are Scleral Lenses?
Scleral lenses are contact lenses that vault over the entire cornea and rest on the white part of the eye (sclera). Their diameter is much larger than standard lenses, which adds to their comfort and compatibility with hard-to-fit eyes.
Here’s why they’re gaining popularity in the contact lens world and why patients and doctors are calling sclerals a big deal.
1. Sclerals are Ideal for People with Corneal Irregularities or Dry Eyes
There was a time when patients with corneal irregularities or severe dry eye syndrome weren’t able to wear contact lenses at all, due to the discomfort associated with direct corneal contact. Nowadays, patients with keratoconus, other corneal aberrations or dry eye can successfully wear scleral contact lenses and enjoy comfortable and crisp vision.
Scleral lenses are also great for patients with corneal dystrophy, high astigmatism, Sjorgren’s syndrome, corneal trauma and corneal ectasia, or who have undergone cataract surgery.
2. They’re Completely Custom-Made
Each pair of scleral contact lenses is custom-designed to gently and securely rest on your unique eyes. The fitting process for scleral lenses starts with corneal topography, where the optometrist creates a digital map of your eye’s surface. This information is then used to customize your perfectly fitted pair of sclerals.
3. They Offer Optimal Visual Clarity and Comfort
The liquid reservoir that sits between the lens and the eye helps enhance the visual optics of the lens. Moreover, scleral lenses are made of very high-grade materials and don’t place any pressure on the cornea, delivering ultimate all-day comfort. Many patients have reported that they comfortably wear sclerals for up to 14 hours a day, which is longer than the wear time for standard soft contact lenses.
4. They Promote Eye Healing
Scleral contact lenses protect the eye by surrounding it with an oxygen-permeable, liquid-filled chamber. This hydrating environment gives the eye the moisture and oxygen it needs to stay healthy and ward off outside irritants.
This can also explain why scleral lenses promote healing of the eye’s surface, whether after a corneal transplant or when recovering from a chemical burn or other eye injury.
If you or a loved one have been diagnosed with a corneal condition that prevents you from wearing standard contact lenses, consider scleral lenses. To schedule an appointment or to learn more, call Eye Mechanix in Lincoln Park today!
Eye Mechanix serves patients from Chicago, La Grange , , and throughout Illinois.
Frequently Asked Questions with Dr. Randall Ricketts
- A: Scleral lenses can last 1-2 years before requiring replacement. Your optometrist will provide you with instructions on how to wear and care for your lenses to keep them feeling fresh and clean, day in day out.
- A: Just like any other customized product, scleral lenses tend to be more expensive than standard soft contact lenses. Although they have a higher price point, most patients who wear them will tell you that their comfort, visual clarity and stability make them worth the cost.