Scleral contact lenses – explained

Insertion of Scleral Contact Lenses

A lot of folks ask us, what is the difference between a scleral contact lens compared to a regular soft or rigid RGP contact lens?

Scleral Lenses vs Regular Lenses

Like most lenses, scleral contact lenses and mini-scleral lenses are used to correct vision defects. However, unlike other contact lenses, scleral lenses are also used to protect the cornea for a therapeutic effect. Because scleral lenses vault over the sensitive cornea and rest on the less sensitive white part of the eye (sclera), they are useful in conditions where the cornea might be compromised.

Irregular corneas, damaged corneas, and eyes with diminished or inadequate tear film(severe dry eye) might all be helped by scleral lenses. The scleral lens itself holds and maintains a constant layer of soothing liquid up against the cornea, which can have a healing or restorative function.

Other patients who may benefit from scleral lenses include those whose eyes are just too sensitive for other smaller corneal-type lenses, but who have astigmatism or other conditions where a rigid lens is more beneficial for vision correction.

Scleral Lens Advantages

The vision provided by scleral lenses is equivalent to other rigid lenses, while the comfort is far superior. One can expect the scleral lens to provide superior performance in dusty and windy conditions, as well as in low humidity environments. Athletes and other outdoor enthusiasts will appreciate these qualities. Because LaserFit lenses are uniquely designed to follow the natural shape of the eye via a patented scanning process, the lenses do not rotate on the eye. This property makes it possible to correct even the smallest amount of astigmatism easily and effectively. Another patented process enables the LaserFit lens to be made with wavefront-guided optics for the best possible vision. To summarize, the advantages are:

  • Extremely comfortable
  • Not effected by wind or dust particles
  • Will not fall out the eye during outdoor sports activities
  • Consistent vision, due to non rotating Laserfit lens design
  • Excellent vision even with challenging cornea issues
  • Durable and can last for 2 – 5 years or longer

Scleral lens Insertion and usage mastery

Despite their many beneficial features, scleral lenses can present some challenges for some patients. One of the issues with scleral lenses can be internal fogging. This can occur when debris builds up inside the liquid reservoir between the lens and the cornea. Our experience is that this problem can be resolved to a greater or lesser degree through design variables. Because of their size, scleral lenses can seem intimidating at first. Proper lens insertion and removal techniques are more important for scleral lenses than other types of lenses. Finally, the cost of scleral lenses is greater than with other types of lenses. This cost is somewhat offset by their durability, with an estimated lifespan of from 2 – 5 years or more with proper care.

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  1. Rhoda Boucher says

    I have trouble with my contacts fogging up before I even get them inserted. I’ve done all the proper cleaning, etc. Any advice would be appreciated. Rhoda

    • Gregory Gemoules says

      Rhoda, that sounds unusual. It sounds as if there might be a wetting problem with the lens front surface. Perhaps they need to be professionally cleaned and have the lens surface plasma treated.

  2. says

    After a couple of hours wearing my lenses they sting and burn my eyes. I have tried different solutions, not using the cleaners that contain peroxide, only cleaning with water instead of dish detergent. Nothing works, they sting and burn my eyes so badly that I can’t wear them, which is a shame because they cost almost $3000. I have gone back to my rigid gas perms. Any clues as to why I have this problem?

    • Gregory Gemoules says

      Of course this is not a typical reaction, but without knowing what kinds of solutions you are putting into the lens reservoir, it’s difficult to say. I can’t imagine that you would be using tap water or detergent to clean your scleral lenses. If you were my patient I would advise you to come in so I could have a look.

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