We have discussed scleral lenses, the large-diameter specially designed contact lenses that have been able to provide many people with clear vision and superior comfort. These lenses are popular for those who struggle to successfully wear soft contact lenses, and have a very wide range of potential uses and benefits.
A Review of Scleral Contact Lenses
Scleral lenses are rigid lenses that completely vault over the cornea, resting gently on the white part of the eye called the sclera. Because of the size and curvature of these lenses allow them to cover the front surface of the eye without touching the super-sensitive corneal surface, many people note that scleral lenses are more comfortable than traditional rigid contact lenses. Unlike soft contact lenses or traditional rigid gas permeable lenses, scleral lenses have excellent stability. The lenses remain stationary in their resting position on the sclera instead of sliding across the corneal surface with every blink. Many aspects of the design of scleral lenses, including their size and their stability, make them a top choice among eye care professionals in the treatment and management of several conditions. Continue reading to learn more about the many potential uses for scleral lenses.
Scleral Lenses and Dry Eye Disease
Before scleral contact lenses are placed over the front surface of the eye, the wells of the lenses are filled with a fluid solution. Throughout wear, this sterile liquid continually covers the front surface of the eye, providing adequate lubrication, nourishment, and comfort. This aspect of scleral lenses makes them an excellent option for those suffering from severe dry eye symptoms, especially those who have been unable to successfully wear soft contact lenses due to extreme symptoms of dryness. Beyond improving comfort and diminishing symptoms of Dry Eye Disease, scleral contact lenses can improve vision for those with dry eyes by stabilizing the tear film and improving the optics of the corneal surface.
Improving Vision in Keratoconus
Keratoconus is a degenerative corneal condition. It is characterized by irregular corneal steepening, and is very difficult to treat and manage. Because of the progressive nature of keratoconus, many of those affected by the condition are unable to achieve clear vision by using glasses or traditional soft contact lenses alone. Scleral lenses have proven to be useful in creating stable vision for many of those suffering from keratoconus by stabilizing the shape of the corneal surface. By eliminating the distortions caused by the corneal steepening and irregularity, scleral lenses have become a useful tool in managing this ocular surface condition.
Helping with High Refractive Error
High amounts of refractive error refers to cases of extreme nearsightedness, farsightedness, or even astigmatism. When the glasses prescription, or the refractive error, is extremely strong, it usually means spectacle lenses are thick and unsightly. Oftentimes these thick heavy lenses create annoying visual distortions and can affect image perception. Because they are much thinner, rest directly on the eye, and have an optical zone that is always centered over the pupil, many people with high amounts of refractive error find scleral lenses to be much more visually comfortable than strong prescription glasses.