What are Scleral Lenses?
Scleral contact lenses are an extra-large type of rigid gas permeable lenses. Unlike traditional contacts, scleral lenses vault over the entire cornea, leaving a gap between the lens and the corneal surface. They rest on the white part of your eye (your sclera).
Their unique design makes scleral lenses among the most comfortable contacts around, providing excellent vision for people of all ages.
They are particularly useful for managing eye conditions such as:
- Dry Eyes
- Giant papillary conjunctivitis (GPC)
- Post-refractive surgery (i.e. LASIK, PRK)
We welcome you to call Dr. Boaz Schwartz, O.D., FAAO to discuss your needs and assess whether scleral lenses are right for you.
Advantages Of Wearing Scleral Lenses
With scleral lenses, you’ll experience consistently clear vision—even if you have an irregular cornea. Here are some of the benefits provided by scleral lenses:
- Super-size diameter: This helps them stay centered and stable on your eye, and prevents them from popping out easily.
- Made from high-quality materials: This means they'll last for the long haul.
- Protects against allergies: The large size of the lens blocks debris, dust, and allergens.
- Highly breathable: Gas permeable material ensures ample oxygen reaches the eye.
- Lubricating Cushion: They have a pocket that fills with moisturizing tears, for a very comfortable wearing experience, and healthier eyes.
Ready to say goodbye to all those contact lenses that felt uncomfortable and didn’t give you sharp vision? Call Dr. Boaz Schwartz, O.D., FAAO in Mount Airy for more info.
Scleral Lenses for Keratoconus Treatment in Mount Airy
One of the most common conditions that scleral lenses help to address is keratoconus. This condition occurs when the normally round, clear part at the front of the eye, the cornea, begins to thin and bulge into a cone or football-like shape. This can severely harm your vision. Symptoms include:
- Blurred or distorted vision
- Sudden worsening or clouding of vision
- Increased light sensitivity
Scleral lenses help with this by providing a dome-like surface over the abnormal cornea, creating proper refraction for clear vision.
Ask the Doctor: Will Scleral Lenses Help Me?
Can scleral lenses help me see better while driving at night?
Scleral lenses have great potential for helping you drive at night. Typically, patients with night driving issues suffer from a condition called higher-order aberrations that is caused by some kind of corneal irregularities. Scleral lenses provide a smooth front surface and that in a combination with the tear layer (the layer between the lens and the cornea) that really neutralizes all the irregularities and creates a “perfect” optical surface. The area called the posterior tear layer (the area between the scleral lens and cornea) and in addition to that the front surface of the scleral lens, so you basically optimize the optics of the eye. You minimize or even eliminate those nighttime driving issues like glares, halos, and starburst effects. That is why this is such an ideal solution for patients who have undergone LASIK surgery that suffer from nighttime vision issues.
Can scleral lenses treat a high level of Dry Eye Syndrome?
Scleral lenses are a wonderful solution for people who suffer from forms of severe dry eye, such as Sjogren’s Syndrome. There’s a tear layer between the scleral lens and the eye. In essence, the tear layer constantly hydrates the corneal surface without a need to apply any artificial tears. Scleral lenses are often prescribed for people who suffer from severe dry eye, as preservative-free artificial tears can be inserted into the bowl of the lens which constantly lubricate the eye. It creates a very comfortable, hydrated visual environment.
Will my medical/vision plan provide coverage for scleral lenses?
It depends on the plan and on the patient’s corneal condition. According to some plans, scleral lenses may indeed be considered medically necessary, and are covered. It is best to contact us or come in for a consultation – we can contact your insurance and tell you what to expect.
FAQ | Understanding Scleral Lenses
How do scleral lenses help with dry eye syndrome?
Scleral lenses are filled with a saline solution prior to inserting it, so your eyes are always hydrated and comfortable. This protects against dry eye symptoms such as pain, discomfort, eye redness, and itchiness while providing sharp, clear vision.
What makes scleral lenses so comfortable?
Scleral lenses are custom-fit for each person, offering superior comfort. Their large size and shape also ensure stability, so that they don’t fall out even during sports or other active lifestyle activities.
Are scleral lenses hard to adjust to?
For some people, scleral lenses can take up to two weeks to fully adjust to. Helpful tips to adjust faster include wearing them a little each day to get used to them, being generous in how much solution you use when inserting them and closely following the hygiene instructions laid out by your eye doctor.