Am I a Good Candidate for Scleral Lenses?

If you are planning on wearing contact lenses, you’ll be given a choice as to which type of contact lens you wish to use. There are many varieties to choose from, one of which is scleral lenses.


 

Scleral contact lenses are a type of specialty contact lens, meaning that they are different from the standard variety that most patients are familiar with. The primary ways in which they are different are as follows:


 

  • Although available in different sizes, they are all much larger than standard contact lenses and make contact with the eye on the white part, called the sclera. The larger the scleral lens, the more stable it will remain on your eyes
     

  • Scleral lenses vault over the surface of the cornea, leaving a gap between the back of the contact lens and the front of the eye. This space acts as a chamber that traps tear film to keep the eyes moist, while also enabling enough oxygen to reach the surface of the eyes too
     

  • The lenses are also made from rigid gas-permeable material, known as RGP. This enables oxygen to flow through them and reach the surface of the eyes, while also being firm enough for them to retain their shape and position on the eye


 

An increasing number of patients are now choosing scleral lenses. The reason for this is that they offer greater comfort, a better fit, and less irritability. Their large size also makes them easier to handle. However, not everyone is a suitable candidate for scleral lenses.


 

Who Is A Candidate For Scleral Lenses?



Scleral lenses were originally created as a specific solution for people who have irregularly shaped cornea. This can occur for a number of reasons, and these patients are still largely considered to be good candidates for scleral lenses. However, their popularity has grown so that some other groups of individuals now also choose this particular style of contact lens.


 

People With Dry Eyes



Dry eye is a common eye condition that occurs when patients are unable to generate enough of their own natural tear film, or the tear film that they have is poor quality. It can also be caused by tear film draining too quickly. As a result, the eyes aren’t lubricated enough to be comfortable, or to make wearing standard contact lenses possible. Fortunately, scleral lenses have a gap between the lens and the surface of the eye that functions as a tear film reservoir, decreasing the effects of dry eye and making it possible to enjoy the benefits of contact lenses.


 

Keratoconus



Keratoconus is an eye condition characterized by the progressive thinning and bulging of the cornea. As it extends outwards into a conical shape, the patient’s vision becomes increasingly more distorted. Unsurprisingly, the bulging also means that regular contacts don’t fit properly. The good news is that the vaulted shape of scleral lenses provides enough space to accommodate the bulging, while their large size helps to keep them stable on the eye.


 

Corneal Abnormalities



There are other types of corneal abnormality, such as scarring or unusual steepness that make regular contacts difficult to fit. Again, the vaulted design of scleral lenses enables these patients to overcome the discomfort and instability of regular contacts.


 

Ocular Surface Disease



Ocular surface diseases refer to diseases that damage the surface layers of the eyes and include dry eyes and blepharitis. Scleral lenses are particularly useful since they act as a shield for the damaged surface, keeping it safe from further harm.

 


 

If you would like to find out if you are a good candidate for scleral lenses or to schedule an appointment, contact us today. You can call HineSight Vision Care in Flowood, Mississippi at (601) 519-4466 to schedule an appointment. 

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