What Are Scleral Contact Lenses?

Scleral contact lenses are one of the largest and most comfortable types of contact lenses available today. Unlike regular soft contact lenses that only cover the colored part of your eye (the iris), scleral lenses vault over your entire corneal surface and land on the white part of your eye (the sclera).

This makes them an excellent option for people with irregular corneas or ocular surface disease who struggle with discomfort wearing regular contacts. If you’ve dealt with contact lens discomfort or conditions like keratoconus, keep reading to learn if scleral contacts could be a solution for you!

What Are Scleral Lenses?

Scleral contact lenses are a type of rigid gas permeable lens with super-size diameters. Rigid gas permeable, sometimes called RGP or GP, lenses are made using a firm, oxygen-permeable material.

Oxygen permeable means that these lenses allow air to pass through, letting your eyes breathe. Scleral lenses are specially designed for people who have difficulty wearing traditional contact lenses due to irregular corneas.

Their wide diameters ensure they completely cover your corneal surface and rest on your sclera.  They also hold a small pool of preservative-free saline solution between the lens and your eye, providing longer-lasting moisture to your cornea.

Who Needs Scleral Contact Lenses?

Scleral contact lenses are especially useful for patients with any of the following conditions that make wearing traditional contacts more challenging:

  • High levels of refractive error, including astigmatism
  • Corneal dystrophies
  • Keratoconus
  • Ocular Surface Diseases, including severe dry eyes
  • Corneal ectasia
  • Eye allergies
  • Corneal trauma, including scars and corneal transplants

What are the Benefits of Wearing Scleral Lenses?

With scleral contact lenses, you’ll consistently have uninterrupted, crisp, sharp vision. If your eye doctor has recommended scleral contacts, it’s likely for one or both of these reasons:

Custom Fit

Some people have an irregularly shaped cornea due to an eye condition like keratoconus, complications after surgery, or natural causes. In this case, they may have developed a vision problem that can’t be fully corrected by standard contacts, as the shape of their eyes can cause them to be uncomfortable, shift, or pop out easily.

Luckily, scleral lenses can provide an excellent alternative. These contacts are custom-fit to your eye, ensuring a perfect, secure, and more comfortable fit.

Stable Vision

Conventional contact lenses tend to rotate on the eye, which may cause vision to fluctuate. On the other hand, the extra-wide diameter of scleral lenses allows them to remain centered and stable on your eyes instead of rotating with every blink.

Because of this, scleral lenses don’t easily dislodge.  Scleral lenses can transform even the most irregular corneas into smooth, well-rounded surfaces that deliver consistently crystal-clear vision.

Are Regular Contact Lenses Not Working For You?

If you are interested in learning more about scleral lenses or determining if they may be right for you, schedule an appointment with Dr. Jeffrey Huettemann, our scleral contact lens expert, at VisionPoint Eye Center in Bloomington, IL.

Dr. Huettemann is highly qualified and experienced in fitting and dispensing scleral lenses. He’ll measure your cornea to fit scleral contact lenses precisely, customizing them to suit your unique vision needs.

Schedule your consultation today to get on the path to greater comfort and sharper, crisper vision.

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