What is a Scleral Lens?
A scleral lens is a type of contact lens that can provide either vision correction or therapeutic benefits for patients who suffer from ocular surface diseases such as dry eye. It is a large, hard contact that sits on the whites of your eye – the sclera – rather than directly on your cornea. Patients who have trouble with traditional soft or hard lenses are often able to benefit from scleral lenses.
How Do Scleral Lenses Work?
It’s a bit like putting a new “perfect front” on the eye. A regular, soft contact lens lays on the cornea like a sheet on a table, so it takes the same shape as the your eye. When you have unusual corneal anatomy, there can be aspects of your vision that aren’t adequately corrected by traditional lenses. With the newest technology in scleral lenses, we are able to fit even the most unusual eyes with lenses that are healthy, comfortable, and provide excellent vision.
Common Questions About Scleral Lenses
What Types of Conditions Can Scleral Lenses Treat?
- Corneal Scarring
- Corneal Transplant
- Dry Eye Disease
- Irregular Astigmatism
- Ocular Surface Disease
- Pellucid Marginal Degeneration
- Post-LASIK Ectasia
Are Scleral Lenses Right for Me?
It’s possible! Scleral contact lenses are an amazing technology available that make lens wear an option for patients with unusual prescriptions or corneal diseases.
I’m Worried I Might Not Be Able to Wear Them Successfully
Our doctors will work with you to make sure you have all the skills necessary to insert and remove your lenses at home before you leave the office! It’s quite rare for someone to be unable to successfully wear their scleral lenses.
How Have Scleral Lenses Changed?
Before the development of highly oxygen-permeable plastics, patients in need of specialty contact lenses had to be fit with smaller, rigid-gas-permeable (RGP) lenses. These lenses offered excellent vision but were notoriously uncomfortable. This is because the smaller lenses were much less stable and moved quite a bit on the eye. Scleral lenses can be intimidating due to their size, but it’s this much larger size that makes the lenses substantially more comfortable. Being made of rigid materials also give them the ability to offer better vision than you may be able to achieve with glasses or traditional contact lenses.
How can scleral lenses help Dry Eye?
The MOA team is at the forefront of new treatment options for patients suffering from Dry Eye and in addition to scleral lenses, offer a new tear-stimulating nasal spray and heat-based treatments that stimulate healthy tear production. Scleral lenses are a great addition to the therapy options that can be customized to treat Dry Eye.
Who else can benefit from Scleral Lenses?
If you have had difficulties in the past with consistent, clear vision with regular soft contact lenses or glasses, scleral lenses may be a good option for you. For patients with significant amounts of astigmatism, keratoconus (having an irregular or cone-shaped cornea), or post-refractive surgery vision issues, a scleral lens can help alleviate symptoms in many of these cases.
How do I know if Scleral Lenses are a good option for me? What’s the process to get Scleral Lenses?
In order to determine if a scleral lens is right for you, your doctor will evaluate your eye at an initial consultation. During this exam, your eye’s shape will be measured, vision tested, and surface evaluated with advanced imaging while wearing a contact lens selected from a specialized “fitting set”. After establishing your unique fit, an initial set of lenses is ordered that is designed for your eye. When the lenses arrive, you will return for training on proper insertion and removal of the lenses. Once educated on how to safely handle your lenses, you can then take the lenses home and begin to adapt to your new wearing patterns.
Dry Eye and Scleral Lenses
If you are a Dry Eye sufferer who has tried other therapies with limited success or are having complications following an eye surgery, there is an innovative solution you may not be aware of – scleral contact lenses. Scleral lenses are also a good option for patients who need a high-powered prescription contact lens, who are struggling with their vision after eye surgery (including LASIK, PRK, and RK), or for patients who are hard to fit with regular contact lenses.
MOA – Newtown Square is one of the few eye health centers in the area to offer this exciting option for patients. Scleral lenses are a comfortable, healthy and cost-effective treatment option for patients who have struggled with dry eye or with other eye conditions impacting their vision.