Are you a good candidate for scleral lenses?
Here are some ocular conditions that can benefit from scleral lenses:
- High astigmatism
- Moderate to severe dry eyes
- Patients who are unhappy with their vision in glasses or traditional contact lenses
- Post-corneal transplantation or refractive surgeries
- Neurotrophic keratitis
- Keratoconus or other corneal irregularities
To understand how scleral lenses work as therapeutic contact lenses, there are two important ocular structures we must examine: sclera and cornea. Sclera is the white layer of the eye that is visible to the human eye. Cornea is the transparent layer that contributes to how well we can see as it is the first window through which light travels.
A scleral lens is a type of large, hard contact lens that completely arches over the cornea and rests on the sclera. Between the hard contact lens and the front surface of the eye, a preservative-free saline solution is filled to provide all-day lubrication and protection to the ocular surface. This type of contact lens also provides optimal visual correction that sometimes glasses cannot provide due to the irregularly shaped or unstable ocular surfaces.
What to do prior to booking a scleral lens fitting examination:
- A completed routine eye examination dated within 3 months prior to contact lens fitting.
What to expect at your first scleral lens fitting examination:
- Acuity testing: how well you can see now with your best-corrected glasses or contact lenses.
- Corneal topography: examine the integrity of your cornea to determine if scleral lenses would be a good option.
- Slit lamp examination: various testing behind the slit lamp to determine the health of your ocular surface.
- Diagnostic lens trials: the optometrist will apply a trial lens on your eye to help determine the lens that will be custom-made to fit you.
What to expect at your follow-up scleral lens fitting appointments:
- Application and removal training provided by the optometrist or trained staff to allow for safe use of scleral lenses.
- Expect changes to your first set of lenses to allow for best-fitted lenses on your eyes. This may require multiple follow-up appointments.
- Continue to follow-up after you receive your final lenses to achieve the best treatment and safety.
Scleral lenses can be replaced every 1 to 2 years depending on how well you take care of your lenses and whether or not your prescription changes. It is highly recommended that you have your contact lenses assessed at least yearly to ensure that the lenses are still fitting properly and that there is no damage or warpage to the lenses. This should be done at your annual eye examination. A replacement can be done only when it is determined that a refit is not necessary or a lens has been lost or broken within the year of the initial fit or refit.
In order to prevent infections and maintain the health of your eye, scleral lenses must be cleaned and disinfected before and after every time they are worn. Recommended solutions can be bought at our clinic, your local pharmacy or online.
If you are interested to be fitted for scleral lenses at our office, please contact us to schedule an appointment.