Scleral contact lenses are specialty contacts primarily used to improve the vision of people with corneal irregularities. In fact, the most common reasons to wear scleral lenses are if you have keratoconus, had a corneal transplant, or are suffering from severe dry eye disease.
In the video below, Dr. Jaclyn Garlich talks about what you need to know before being fit with scleral contact lenses.
If you don’t like the video or want more information, continue reading.
What are scleral lenses?
Scleral contacts are large, bowl-shaped hard contact lenses that range in size, typically from about 15 mm to 18 mm in diameter.
Unlike standard hard lenses, sclerals rest on the white part of your eye and vault over your cornea. By resting on the white part of your eye, instead of your highly sensitive cornea, they’re actually quite comfortable.
Being fit with scleral lenses
When fit with a scleral contact lens, your eye doctor will take a few measurements of your cornea before selecting a lens to put on your eye.
Because fitting these lenses is more difficult than standard lenses, it may take a few trips to your eye doctor to get things just right! This is also why being fit with scleral contacts lenses is typically more expensive than other contacts.
Putting in and taking out scleral lenses
Before being placed on your eye, these lenses need to be filled with preservative-free saline solution. This is wonderful for patients with dryness because their eye is bathed in saline all day long! Also, by vaulting over the cornea, these lenses create a smooth refracting surface for clearer, sharper vision.
Taking out scleral contacts is different than taking out regular lenses. In fact, most patients prefer to use a scleral plunger to remove these lenses (pictured above).
How long do scleral lenses last?
Like standard hard contacts, scleral lenses can last for up to a couple of years! This all depends on how you take care of them, how you’re seeing, and how they fit your eye.
Overall, scleral contact lenses can be life-changing for patients with severe corneal disease and even for patients that have struggled with other types of contacts in the past. To see if you’re a candidate for scleral contacts, talk to your eye care provider for more information.