Scleral contact lenses are larger contact lenses than typical soft lenses, ranging in size from 14 mm to over 20 mm in diameter. The lenses are made from a rigid gas permeable material which allows the eye to breathe and reduces the chance of infection from protein deposits significantly. The size of the lens used is determined on a patient by patient basis and on the complexity of each condition. These lenses are named "scleral lenses" because they completely cover the cornea of the eye and extend into the sclera, the white part of the eye. The sclera is covered by a soft, clear tissue called the conjunctiva. The presence of the conjunctiva allows scleral contact lenses to be very comfortable because of the reduced sensation of the conjunctiva versus the sensitivity of the cornea. Due to their size, scleral lenses are more stable on the eye.
Benefits of scleral lenses include:
- Sharper vision
- Stronger durability
- Easier handling
- Less risk of complications
Patients who have been diagnosed with keratoconus (irregular cornea), severe dry eye, irregular astigmatism, or are post corneal transplant are a few patients who may benefit from wearing scleral contact lenses. These lenses hold a fluid reservoir beneath the scleral lens that may improve comfort for wearers. Scleral lenses are custom-made for the wearer, so the fitting of scleral lenses demands more time and expertise which means they take more time to fit than standard soft or gas permeable lenses. The entire process of fitting scleral lenses may take several visits to determine the best lens for the patient. Because of this, the cost of scleral lenses is higher than other contact lenses. However, your doctor can discuss the costs specific to each case upon determining that scleral lenses are right for you. Our own doctors at Yaryan Eye Care Center have extensive experience in fitting hard to fit contact lenses.
Please view this video from our partners at Art Optical for more information on scleral contact lenses:
Call (765) 377-1241 to schedule an eye exam and speak with one of our doctors about scleral contact lenses today.