Scleral contact lenses are a specialized contact lens used for managing a variety of eye conditions. They are typically used when traditional lenses will not work, especially when a rounded or irregular cornea is causing vision problems. Doctors who prescribe scleral contacts in SFV will size them for the patient’s eyes. Scleral lenses offer patients who would otherwise require glasses or surgery a chance at clearer vision.
Scleral contact lenses are different than traditional gas permeable contacts because of their larger diameter. A traditional lens may be 9.0-9.5mm in diameter. These often cover 70-80% of the cornea, whereas a scleral lens covers the entire cornea and beyond.
The cornea is 11.8mm in diameter on a person with a healthy eye. Sclerals stretch beyond this, being between 14.5mm and 24mm in diameter. They are fitted to the white of the eye. Then, the lens ‘humps’ over the cornea depending on how irregular the corneal shape is.
Each scleral lens is custom made for the eye. They are designed so the lens rests on the sensitive white area of the eye, which is known as the sclera. Then, the lens ‘vaults’ over the cornea. It almost fits like a bridge, arching over the irregularities of the eye. Scleral lenses are made of fixed materials that do not allow movement. The lens are immediately comfortable since they are uniquely designed for the wearer’s eye.
The customized shape of scleral contact lenses let them treat a number of eye conditions, mostly those that cannot be treated by gas permeable lenses or glasses. This includes those involving irregularly shaped corneas, as well as conditions where the cornea is diseased. It is not uncommon for someone who is legally blind from corneal irregularity to regain near perfect vision when wearing scleral lenses. Some of the conditions scleral contacts can treat include:
A unique property of the scleral lens is that the ‘arched’ section is filled with a fluid reservoir. This acts as a liquid bandage to help treat extremely dry or diseased corneas. The fluid reservoir also masks irregularities of the cornea which can dramatically improve the vision in a patient who has diseased or traumatized eyes. This includes everything from patients with severe keratoconus to those recovering from a corneal transplant.
Want to learn more about Scleral Contact Lenses? Click here to read our article Scleral Contact Lenses – Frequently Asked Questions.
If you have been told that traditional contact lenses cannot correct your vision, consider asking about scleral lenses. Before you choose an optometrist for scleral contacts in SFV, remember that you are making a long-term decision that will impact your vision. Find an eye doctor knowledgeable about scleral lenses and learn if they are a good choice for you.
Dr. Leonard and his team have served the San Fernando Valley for more than 40 years. Their friendly, knowledgeable team love helping eye patients in the valley access the vision care they need in order to see clearly. If you’re worried about your vision, or just overdue for an eye exam, give his scheduling team a call 818-891-6711! Or, you can schedule an eye appointment online!