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What are Scleral Lenses?
Scleral lenses are very large diameter gas-permeable lenses ranging from 14mm to 20mm that completely vault the cornea, "land" and rest on the white part of the eye called the sclera, and create a reservoir of tears.
They are called "scleral" lenses because, these lenses cover the "white" of the eye (the sclera). Because of this type of fit, they are less likely to accidentally dislodge from the eye compared to conventional GP lenses.
Are Scleral Lenses Comfortable?
Because of their size and this tear reservoir, they are typically extremely comfortable and at times may provide better vision correction than other standard contact lenses, glasses, and even surgery.
The lenses are made of materials that let oxygen pass through the lens and provide a thin cushion of fluid that stays between the lens and eye that makes them very comfortable, reduces redness and creates a healthy environment for the eye.
Who can wear Scleral Lenses?
The lens is appropriate for most prescriptions and is available for patients who need help reading (multifocal / bifocal) and those with astigmatism (torics).
Scleral lenses incorporate a unique design that eliminates irregularities of the shape on the front surface of the eye to correct your vision.
Can I wear scleral lenses continuously?
In General, most eye care providers recommend that you remove scleral lenses before sleeping. Stagnation of the tear layer behind the lens could lead to a higher risk of eye infection. Since most of the people who need scleral lenses have already had some trouble with their eyes, further challenge to the surface of the eye would not be advised.
Can I sleep while wearing my scleral lenses?
In some cases, scleral lenses may serve to protect the surface of the eye overnight. In such cases, overnight wear may be specifically recommended by an eye care provider. However, if your eye care provider doesn’t specifically tell you to wear the lenses overnight, plan to remove them before retiring for the evening.
How long can I wear scleral lenses during the day?
Many patients who wear scleral lenses are able to wear them for 12-14 hours daily. Some patients may need to remove the lenses, clean them, and reapply them with fresh saline periodically throughout the course of the day in order to maintain the best possible vision and comfort..
Will scleral lenses completely correct my vision so that I don’t need glasses when I'm wearing them?
Scleral lenses will mask irregularities on the surface of the eye, and may give you better vision than other forms of correction. However, it’s possible that you’ll still need to wear glasses over the lenses in order to see clearly at all distances, especially if you’re over the age of 40 and are now using reading glasses for near tasks.
I have dry eyes. If I wear scleral lenses, will I be able to stop using eyedrops and/or other medication for my dry eyes?
Scleral lenses are a useful addition to your current therapy, but are not likely to completely replace other things that you’re doing to manage your condition. While scleral lenses protect the cornea, the back of your eyelid will still need to move over the front surface of the lens. Lubricant drops can help to reduce irritation caused by this interaction.
If you are using any medications prescribed to manage corneal infection or inflammation, you should continue to do so when wearing scleral lenses unless your eye care provider specifically instructs you to discontinue the medication. Furthermore, you should plan to remove scleral lenses before using prescription eyedrops, and reapply the lenses after instilling the drops.
Are follow-up visits included?
Our patients are always seen the day following the procedure and then again at one week, one month, three months, and six months following surgery. On occasion, patients require being seen more often. We offer our services twenty-four hours-a-day should you have any questions or concerns.
I have scleral lenses, and notice that my vision seems a little blurry after several hours of wear. What causes this, and what can I do to prevent it?
Blurred vision that you notice after a few hours of wear could be due to deposits on either the front or back surface of the lens. Removing the lens, cleaning it, reconditioning the front surface, and reapplying it with fresh saline should clear your vision. If your vision remains blurred even after cleaning and reapplying the lens, check with your eye care provider to make sure that your lens is still fitting properly.
How long will a scleral lens last?
Depending upon your tear film’s tendency to coat the lenses and your care habits, scleral lenses should last approximately as long as other rigid lenses (1-3 years).
I have keratoconus. Should I consider scleral lenses?
Scleral lenses are very often a very good solution to keratoconus and can give both good vision and great comfort.
Why do scleral lenses work well with keratoconus?
Scleral lenses do not touch or rest on the irritated corneal tissue. Instead these lenses vault over the cornea and are supported by the white portion (the sclera) of the eye. A special fluid fills the space between the back portion of the lens and the front of the cornea. There is very little lens movement and the edges of the lenses are beneath the eyelids.
Due to the increased stability of these lenses over conventional gas permeable lenses, comfort and vision is usually excellent. In addition, the fluid environment between the back of the lens and the front of the cornea tends to promote healing of the irritated corneal tissue.
My doctor says that my keratoconus is mild yet I can’t seem to tolerate my contact lenses and the vision with my glasses is getting worse. My doctor has tried everything. Will scleral lenses work for me?
The use of scleral lenses is not based on the severity of the disease. It is very appropriate to fit scleral lenses based solely on reduced comfort
My keratoconus is very advanced. I see well with my contact lenses but one lens pops out 6 or more times a day and I can only wear the other lens for a few hours because it hurts. My doctor says that this is the best fit that I can get. Can scleral lenses help me?
Your doctor’s response is not unusual, as many doctors have little or no experience with scleral contact lenses. The scleral lenses are made of highly oxygen permeable materials that can be fit to provide excellent comfort and vision and virtually never pop out.
In fact, patients with a number of corneal diseases actually undergo a healing affect after scleral lens wear. The scleral lenses create a reservoir of fluid that bathes the corneal surface while the lenses are worn. This often reduces the pain and light sensitivity that can be debilitating to patients with corneal diseases such as Stevens-Johnson Syndrome, post-lasik surgery, post-corneal transplants, corneal ectasia, keratoconus and so on
I am an athlete and this forces me to be out in the wind and dust. I have to wear gas permeable contact lenses for good vision. My lenses continually get debris under them and this is very painful. Could scleral lenses work for me?
Scleral lenses can provide great vision and comfort in the wind and dust and can be a great alternative to conventional gas permeable contact lenses in this environment. Additionally, they virtually never pop out of your eyes unintentionally.
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InVision Family Eye Care
1211 Hauck Dr.,
Rolla, MO 65401
InVision Family Eye Care
1211 Hauck Dr.
InVision Family Eye Care is proud to serve Rolla and the surrounding areas of Northwye, Newburg, Powellville, Cuba, St. James, Salem, St. Robert, Waynesville, Seaton, Jerome, Lake Spring, Dixon and Vichy
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