Have you been told you are unable to wear contact lenses due to an irregular cornea or other eye condition? Don’t give up, ask your optometrist about scleral contact lenses and whether they might be a suitable option for you. The team at Abernethy Owens are a group of professional optometrists who strive to provide the highest quality eye care service, aiming to give our patients clear and comfortable vision with the latest range of contact lenses, spectacle frames and sunglasses. Read on to discover more about scleral lenses.
What are Scleral Lenses?
Large-diameter gas permeable contact lenses that have been specially designed to fit over the entire corneal surface and rest on the sclera (the "white" of the eye), scleral lenses replace the irregular cornea with a perfectly smooth optical surface to correct vision problems caused corneal irregularities.
Who Should Wear Scleral Lenses?
The ideal candidates for scleral contact lenses are patients with an irregular corneal surface. This includes patients with:
- Pellucid marginal degeneration
- Corneal scarring
- Irregularities following refractive surgery
- Ocular surface disorders
They are also a suitable option for patients with healthy corneas who have very high prescriptions (such as high myopia, high hyperopia and high astigmatism). The gas permeable quality provides excellent vision as they centre well, have minimal movement and are not dependent on rotational orientation to correct astigmatism.
What are the Benefits of Scleral Contact Lenses?
Superior Comfort – Specifically designed based on the shape of the individual eye to which they are being fitted, these lenses land gently on the sclera, without causing any stress to the underlying tissue. When properly fitted, scleral lenses are extremely comfortable despite their size and rigidity, with many patients finding them more comfortable than other soft lenses.
High Performance - Due to their large nature, scleral lenses do not easily dislodge with quick eye movements. In addition, airborne particles and dust rarely get under the lens, both of these factors make them a great option for patients who play sports or lead active lifestyles.
Improved Corneal Health – As properly fitted scleral lenses ‘vault’ the cornea, they protect the eye by continually exposing it to a layer of tears that gives the cornea the moisture it needs to stay healthy. For sufferers of severe dry eye or any ocular surface disorder, scleral lenses provide a therapeutic effect by keeping the corneal surface protected from irritation and dehydration.
Alternative to Surgery – In cases where surgical intervention is required, in some cases scleral lenses can provide a more comfortable, convenient and cost-effective solution.
Scleral contact lenses have allowed many patients who were otherwise unable to use contact lenses report clear vision and an improved quality of life. The benefits associated with scleral contact lenses make them a popular and satisfying choice for many patients looking for clear and comfortable vision.
For more information or to speak with our experienced optometrists regarding your eye health, get in touch with the team at Abernethy Owens by calling one of our practices today or make an appointment online now.