Scleral Lenses: Treatment for Irregular Corneas and Keratoconus
Have you been told that you aren’t a good candidate for contact lenses because of the shape of your cornea or because your eyes are too dry? It can be disappointing to learn that you won’t be able to wear contacts for vision correction. But, you might consider talking with another optometrist for a second opinion. Scleral lenses are a great option that might work for your eyes.
What are Scleral Lenses?
These contact lenses are designed with a larger diameter. They are gas permeable lenses that cover the entire surface of the cornea. Because of the design of the lenses, they rest on the sclera of the eye, which is the white area which allows for improved comfort.
The benefit of this design is that the scleral lenses can create a smooth optical surface, even when you have an irregular cornea. This smooth surface is an effective way to correct vision issues related to eye diseases such as keratoconus as well as other corneal irregularities.
How Do Scleral Lenses Compare with Other Types of Contact Lenses?
The diameter size of scleral lenses is similar to soft contact lenses. In fact, the scleral lenses might be created to be a little bigger than standard soft contact lenses. Even though scleral lenses are a type of gas permeable lens, they are sized to be larger than the standard gas permeable contact lenses.
The size runs between 14.5 mm and 24 mm. If the size is smaller than 18 mm, then the lenses are often called “mini-scleral.” Keep in mind that the average human cornea usually has a diameter of about 11.8 mm. So, even the mini-scleral lenses will fully cover the surface of the cornea which will enhance the comfort of the lens.
There are three types of scleral lenses, and these types are based on the size of the lenses and the way the lenses maintain contact with the eye. The three types of lenses include corneoscleral lenses, semi-scleral lenses, and full scleral lenses.
Benefits of Scleral Lenses
Compared with other types of contact lenses, there are several advantages to using scleral lenses. It is always best to talk with an experienced optometrist to get recommendations for your individual situation. If your eye doctor tells you that scleral lenses are right for you, then these are some of the benefits that you can expect:
• Improved durability
• Reduced risk of complications
• Easier to use
• Better vision
Since the scleral lenses are bigger in size, many people find that the lenses stay in the eye better. You don’t need to worry about the contact lens accidentally falling out of the eye. Since they are more stable within the eye, these contact lenses offer better comfort compared with other options.
Do you have irregularly shaped corneas, dry eyes, or sensitive eyes? Talk with us about the benefits of scleral contact lenses for your vision correction. Many patients with hard-to-fit eyes have experienced great success by using scleral lenses.
Candidates for Scleral Lenses
The following eye conditions can be treated with scleral lenses:
• Corneal Ectasia
• Post-RK (Radial Keratotomy Refractive Surgery)
• Dry Eye Syndrome
Are you interested in learning more about the different types of contact lenses that are available? Call our office at Village Eyecare, and we will setup a time for you to talk with an experienced eye doctor in Chicago.