Scleral lenses are a growing topic in the contact lens and eye care world. At one time, scleral lenses were relegated to addressing only a few conditions, but today, sclerals are part of the treatment regimen for many eye disorders previously untreatable.
Scleral lenses are unlike any other contact lens on the market. They are large-diameter, rigid gas permeable lenses. Because of their size (14mm to 24mm), they rest on the sclera which is the white part of the eye. (Photo courtesy of Wikipedia) Hence the name “scleral” lens. The sclera has considerably fewer nerve endings than the cornea. Fewer nerve endings means less sensitivity which ultimately means a very comfortable contact lens! In fact, most patients will report that scleral lenses are the most comfortable contact lens they have ever worn even when compared to soft contact lenses. Due to their wide coverage well under the eyelids, they also provide a more secure fit feeling for patients.
Any patient can wear a scleral lens, but, they are most beneficial for patients who have corneal diseases, dystrophies, and degenerations (i.e. keratoconus), patients who have corneal scars and irregularities, and patients who have had a corneal transplant or refractive surgery (i.e. LASIK and RK) and patients with Dry Eye Syndrome. The common denominator eligible patients is their corneas are altered in some way. If the cornea does not have a perfect convex or dome shape, vision will be poor through both glasses and traditional contact lenses.
So, how can a scleral lens help you? Between the scleral lens and the cornea, there is a fluid-filled reservoir. This reservoir fills in all the corneal irregularities and creates a perfectly rounded surface. And, VOILA… most patients report the best vision they have ever experienced!
Call to make an appointment to evaluate if scleral lenses are right for you. Tried contacts in the past to no success? Sclerals may provide the opportunity you have been seeking. Dr. Jared Ivie in our Idaho Falls office will provide a comprehensive and complete scleral lens examination.