A scleral contact lens is a specialty hard contact lens. They are Rigid Gas Permeable (RGP) contact lenses that are larger in diameter. Their large diameter allows them to vault over the cornea of the eye providing a more comfortable fit for some patients.
Patients with some eye disorders can find them particularly comfortable. Any patient with an irregular corneal surface can also enjoy scleral lenses. Each custom scleral contact lens patient is provided a custom fit at our clinic to deliver exceptional comfort.
10 Benefits of Custom Scleral Contact Lenses
- Due to the vaulting of the lens over the cornea, there is space between the back of the lens and the front of the cornea to hold saline solution to keep the eye moist. This promotes a healing environment for the eye.
- RGP lenses, including scleral contact lenses are made from a durable material that will last significantly longer than regular contact lenses.
- The larger diameter of the lens creates a firm and stable area reducing the lens from moving around. This maintains consistent steady vision for the wearer.
- A wider lens supports contact over a broader area distributing the weight for a more comfortable fit.
- Lenses are composed of highly breathable gas permeable material allowing much needed oxygen to reach the eye.
- The lens protects the wearer from debris and dust. This is also an ideal solution for those that suffer from allergies.
- The wider lens provides increased peripheral vision and reduces glare and sensitivity to light.
- Scleral lenses often work when other lenses fail for the patient. Due to their size and custom fit they provide a comfortable option with a healing environment for some eye conditions.
- They will hold firmly when patients are playing sports or during other activities so wearers don’t have to worry about them falling out.
- Custom scleral contact lenses typically last 2-5 years or longer.
Who Wears Scleral Contact Lenses?
Due to their wide diameter, vaulting over the cornea, and customization, scleral contacts are particularly suited for certain eye conditions:
- Keratoconus patients can experience clear vision and a comfortable fit due to the vaulting over the cornea that is created with custom scleral contact lenses.
- People with astigmatism or irregular astigmatism can benefit greatly from wearing scleral lenses. Wearing the lenses can delay or eliminate the need for corneal transplant surgery.
- Those with Dry Eye Syndrome will find that the ability to hold liquid between the back of the lens and the front of the cornea of notable benefit.
- Chemical or burn injury patients will find comfort in a completely custom fit for irregular ocular surfaces.
- After a corneal transplant, patients can continue to see improvement of visual acuity while wearing scleral contact lenses. Scleral contact lenses are ideal after a corneal transplant as the lens won’t touch the surface of the cornea, but rather, will vault over it.
- Following Lasik surgery or refractive surgery, some patients can use lenses to improve their vision.
- Anyone with hard to fit eyes or irregular corneas will appreciate that lenses can be custom fit for irregularities and can help with vision correction.
Scleral Contact Lenses Cost
Scleral contact lenses are a custom fit for each patient. This may require a higher upfront cost and more visits to the office to get the fit right. The longevity of the lenses and the comfortable fit will outweigh the cost for most patients as they will not need replacement as often, unless the eye condition changes.
Although most patients find custom scleral contact lenses comfortable, there is an adjustment period to get used to wearing them. Once adjusted, most patients find their lenses to be quite comfortable. The eye care routine is not that different from soft contact lenses.
If you want to find out if you’re a good candidate for custom scleral contact lenses, contact our office to book an appointment. One of our eye doctors that specializes in fitting custom scleral contact lenses will discuss your eye health with you and provide a recommendation.