Scleral contact lenses are rigid gas permeable lenses with an extra-wide diameter. As opposed to standard contacts, scleral lenses vault over the entire cornea, leaving a gap between the lens and the corneal surface before coming to rest on the white part of your eye (your sclera).
They are custom-fit to your eye and are perfect for those with hard-to-fit eyes, astigmatism, keratoconus, severe dry eye, or for those simply seeking more comfort when wearing contact lenses.
Here are 8 reasons why scleral contact lenses may be beneficial for you:
1. Clear Vision For Those With Keratoconus
Keratoconus (keh-rah-toe-cone-us) is an eye disorder in which the round dome-shaped cornea progressively thins and causes a cone-like bulge to develop. The irregular, cone-shaped corneas cannot be properly corrected using glasses or traditional contact lenses. Scleral lenses, on the other hand, sit comfortably sit on the sclera without touching the cornea, while providing sharpness, clarity and comfort in vision.
2. Great Solution for Hard-to-Fit Eyes
Patients with an irregularly shaped cornea, whether due to natural causes, an eye condition (i.e. keratoconus or astigmatism) or complications following surgery (such as LASIK), can occasionally develop vision problems that cannot be corrected with glasses or soft contact lenses. Consider scleral lenses for a comfortable, secure fit, and improved vision.
3. Relief for Dry Eyes
Though generally used to treat corneal irregularities and refractive errors, scleral lenses can also provide immense relief to dry eye patients.
These custom-designed lenses vault over the cornea and rest on the sclera while avoiding the cornea. The liquid reservoir between the lens and the cornea provides a continuous moist environment that protects the cornea and provides relief for those with dry eyes.
4. Stable Vision
The lenses' super-size diameter ensures that they stay centered and stable on your eye, which also prevents them from popping out easily, even if you play sports or lead an active lifestyle.
5. Wide Visual Field and Reduced Glare
Because of their large diameter, scleral lenses are more stable and have a wider optic zone than other lenses. They offer a more accurate perception of peripheral vision and help minimize glare and sensitivity.
6. Eye Protection
The large size of the lens protects your eyes from debris, dust, and allergens, providing a perfect solution if you suffer from eye allergies.
7. Long-Lasting Lenses
These rigid gas permeable contacts are made of high-quality, durable materials made to last for the long haul. Refer to your eye doctor to discuss the right time to replace your lenses.
Because they're custom fit, the cost of scleral lenses is usually higher than standard contact lenses. However, sclerals last up to 2 years, so they're more cost-effective in the long term. Your insurance coverage may pay for scleral lenses if you have a corneal disease or other eye condition.
Ready to Try Sclerals?
If you’re looking for an eye doctor in Albuquerque who can assess whether scleral contacts are right for you, look no further than Eyes of New Mexico Family Optometry and Contact Lenses. Whether your contacts are uncomfortable or you have a corneal irregularity that makes wearing regular contacts impossible, we welcome you to contact us today to discuss whether sclera lenses are right for you!
Q: Why are regular lenses uncomfortable for people with dry eye syndrome?
- A: When the contact lenses dry out, they can create discomfort, especially if the eye is also dry. People with dry eye syndrome suffer from itchy, red, burning or a gritty feeling in the eye. That is why scleral lenses are better for dry eye patients than regular contact lenses because they have a wider curve to hydrate the eye and keep it moist, alleviating dryness.
Q: Why is it difficult for people with keratoconus to wear traditional contact lenses?
- A: Keratoconus is caused by a weakness in the cornea that causes it to bulge forward and compromise vision. Contact lenses help keratoconus patients see properly, and yet, because of the irregular shape of the cornea, it can be difficult to fit them with standard contact lenses. Since scleral lenses are wider and are custom-designed, they are usually the contact lens of choice to correct vision in keratoconus patients.
Our practice serves patients from Albuquerque, Rio Rancho, South Valley, and Sandia Heights, New Mexico and surrounding communities.