What is a scleral lens?
A scleral lens, also known as an ocular surface prosthesis, was first created in the 1880s and resurfaced with larger diameters and more oxygenated material in 2008. Unlike a rigid gas permeable (RGP) lens that sits directly on the cornea (clear portion of the eye), scleral lenses are a larger contact lens that rest on the sclera (the white portion of the eye). Scleral lenses are uniquely designed with an outward bulge that is filled with a preservative free solution prior to insertion to help create a tear-filled reservoir between the cornea and the lens. The creation of this reservoir helps conform to any irregularities of a deformed cornea giving the patient the best corrected visual acuity (BCVA). A scleral lens cannot be slept in but a correctly fitted lens can be worn all day comfortably.
Good candidates for scleral lenses include patients with:
Vision problems caused by an irregularly shaped cornea, whether naturally occurring due to an eye condition such as keratoconus or resulting from eye surgery. These patients typically can not be fully corrected with glasses or soft contact lenses.
If your eyes cannot be fit comfortably with conventional gas permeable (GP) lenses or conventional soft lenses secondary to the shape of your eyes, i.e. high astigmatism.
Dry eye syndrome:
If your eyes are too dry from conventional contact lenses, scleral lenses can help. The tear reservoir created between the back surface of the scleral lens and the cornea results in improved all day comfort.
Corneal transplant patients:
Due to the large diameter of the lenses, scleral lenses vault over the already fragile cornea and rest on the sclera. The tear reservoir not only protects the corneal tissue but creates a smoother refractive surface to achieve BCVA.
If you want to wear contact lenses but have had trouble wearing them in the past or have been told you are not a good candidate for contact lenses, scleral lenses may the solution you are looking for.
Blog posted by Dr. Fabian Villacis. Dr. Villacis is one of the few eye doctors in the area experienced in fitting Scleral Contact Lens For more information about scleral contact lenses or to schedule an appointment, please contact us at (203) 878-1236, or at any of our 4 offices in Milford, Orange, Branford, or Shelton. We’re looking forward to hearing from you soon.