Most people are familiar with traditional soft lenses, which provide clear vision for those who are nearsighted or farsighted.
In certain cases, particularly for those with corneal irregularities or astigmatism, standard gas permeable (GP) lenses may be recommended. However, people with several eye conditions can’t tolerate standard GPs and find scleral lenses a much better, more comfortable alternative.
What are Scleral Lenses?
Patients with sensitive eyes or corneal abnormalities may benefit from custom-designed scleral lenses, which provide crisp vision and comfort thanks to their unique design.
Scleral lenses are usually recommended for those with keratoconus, severe dry eye syndrome, astigmatism or anyone who find it difficult or impossible to wear standard contact lenses.
Scleral lenses are large gas permeable lenses that vault over the cornea and rest on the sclera, the white part of the eye, instead of the cornea. This creates a new optical surface and prevents corneal irritation. Furthermore, a reservoir of pure saline solution between the back surface of the lens and the front of the cornea keeps the eye hydrated all day long.
Benefits of Wearing Scleral Lenses
Scleral lenses provide comfort, visual acuity and stability.
With scleral lenses, you'll experience continual clear vision. Because of their wide diameter, the lenses remain centered on your eye. Even if you play sports or lead an extremely active lifestyle, scleral lenses will stay in place and won't easily pop out.
These gas permeable lenses are made of high-quality long-lasting materials. As a result, scleral lenses usually last between 1-2 years. While the initial cost of scleral lenses is higher than the cost of regular contacts, they give you more bang for your buck.
Safe and Easy-to-Use
Scleral lenses are easier to insert and remove from your eyes than regular GP lenses, thanks to their large size and rigid material. This also limits the risk of damaging your cornea while handling your lenses.
Comfort for Dry Eyes
It's not uncommon for certain contact lens wearers to suffer from eyes that feel dry, red, itchy, uncomfortable, and at times very painful. Eye drops and artificial tears can deliver relief, but they are no more than a temporary solution.
One of the best contact lenses for optimal comfort and hydration are scleral lenses, as they simultaneously provide vision correction, protect the eyes, and lubricate them.
If you’ve experienced discomfort while wearing regular contact lenses, you may have keratoconus, irregular corneas, dry eyes or hard-to-fit eyes. Find out whether custom-designed scleral lenses are right for you by scheduling an eye exam at Dr. Selena Chan today!
The Scleral Lens and Keratoconus Center at Pacific Rims Optometry serves patients from San Francisco, Oakland, Berkeley, and San Mateo, California and surrounding communities.
- A: It’s not recommended to wear scleral lenses while you sleep. Sleeping with your scleral lenses on can cause the tear layer behind the lens to become stagnant, thus increasing the risk of eye infections.
- A: Scleral lenses provide clear vision and long-term comfort for those with irregularly shaped corneas. This is due to their unique design that covers a wider area of the eye while avoiding direct contact with the cornea.