Breakthroughs in scleral contact lenses are some of the newest technological advances in the world of eye care. These specialty contact lenses have gained attention among eye care providers for their ability to provide clear and comfortable vision, even to those who typically struggle in contact lenses.
What are Scleral Contact Lenses?
Scleral lenses are large-diameter gas-permeable lenses. Because of their increased size, these lenses arch over the entire cornea and rest comfortably on the sclera, or the white portion of the eye. Before inserting the lens, the curved portion is filled with a fluid solution which keeps the front surface of the eye nourished and comfortable. This constant source of lubrication makes scleral lenses an ideal option for patients who suffer from dry eye disease or other corneal surface conditions.
Increased Stability for Improved Vision
The rigidity of the scleral contact lens and its increased diameter provides an element of stability that is not available with a traditional gas-permeable contact lens. For patients with high amounts of astigmatism who may have been previously unsuccessful in regular soft contact lenses, the scleral lens provides an opportunity for stable clear vision. Scleral lenses are also a well-accepted treatment and management option for patients with keratoconus, a corneal condition in which the front surface of the eye is irregularly shaped.
A Universal Option
While scleral contact lenses have gained scholastic popularity as treatment options for irregular corneas and ocular surface disease, they can be used to provide high quality clear vision to the general population as well. Like all contact lenses, scleral lenses may require a short adaptation period. Insertion and removal of the lenses takes training and practice, and the fitting process requires patience as the lenses are custom designed for each cornea. But many patients agree that the superior vision and incredible comfort provided by these lenses are well worth the wait.