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. However, 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 around the iris and 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.

New Technology: sMap3D Custom Contact Lenses

One million measurement points – only one device. sMap3D technology from Visionary Optics is currently the most precise method on the market for 3D mapping and fitting specialty contact lenses. Featuring 360-degree coverage and 10-micron precision, the sMap3D corneo-scleral topographer captures highly detailed maps of the cornea and sclera. The data collected informs the design of totally customizable scleral lenses, even for patients that are hard-to-fit and/or have irregular corneas.

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 may be created to be a little bigger than a standard soft contact lens. 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. This will allow the mini-scleral lens to fully cover the surface of the cornea, which will enhance the comfort of the lens.

There are three types of scleral lenses. Your lens type will be determined by 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

When compared to 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, some of the benefits that you can expect are:
• 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 on 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 to 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:
• Keratoconus
• Corneal Graft (Post-Keratoplasty)
• Post-Lasik Ectasia
• Post-RK (Radial Keratotomy Refractive Surgery)
• High Myopia and Astigmatism
• Dry Eye Syndrome
• Sjogren’s Syndrome
• Graft Versus Host Disease

Are you interested in learning more about the different types of contact lenses that are available? Call one of our offices and we will setup a time for you to talk with an experienced eye doctor in Chicago.


Are scleral lenses right for you?

Book an exam with our team today to determine which one of our contact lens options are the right fit for you!