Do you have questions about Scleral Contact Lenses? Most people have never heard of them, unless they have recently been diagnosed with Keratoconus or other corneal dystrophies. See below for some common questions and answers about Scleral Lenses.

What Are Scleral Contact Lenses?

Scleral lens closeup

Scleral Lens held by Dr. Barry Leonard

Scleral lenses are an alternative to traditional contact lenses and a perfect fit for people that have irregularly shaped corneas. The lenses have a larger diameter, so they vault over the cornea and trap fluid between the lens and the eye to keep the cornea moist.

The trapped fluid can help patients suffering from Keratoconus, Dry Eye Syndrome, and other Corneal Dystrophies. They also treat corneal transplant complications and major refractive errors, such as severe nearsightedness and farsightedness.

Are Scleral Contact Lenses Safe?

Scleral lenses are safe to wear when prescribed and used as directed. They keep the eyes moist and healthy with a very low chance of irritation. Follow the care and handling instructions given by your eye specialist, and avoid mistreating your scleral lenses, to ensure the safety and effectiveness of your lenses.

If you experience any discomfort or irritation while wearing the lenses, you should contact your eye doctor for advice.

How Do I Get Scleral Lenses?

Dr. Leonard, Director of the California Keratoconus Center (CKC), has developed the cKlear Method for treating Keratoconus and other corneal dystrophies.

Your treatment begins with a visit to the CKC and goes through 6 steps to ensure the best fit and greatest comfort possible. Sometimes, depending on your particular eye condition, there may be a 7th step. Overall, the process takes between 2 to 4 weeks, which includes follow up visits.

How Are Scleral Lenses Custom-Designed For My Eyes?

Dr leonard holding zenlens display

There are many scleral lens labs, including ZenLens

Dr. Leonard uses the latest Eaglet Eye technology to get precise measurements of your sclera and cornea. The technology uses 350,000 separate measurement points across a 20mm area to accurately map the entire surface of your eyes. The measurements are used to create scleral lenses that fit your eyes perfectly.

What Makes Scleral Contact Lenses Better?

“Better” is a subjective term that varies based on your specific eye condition. Traditional soft or RGP contact lenses are usually better for patients whose only issues are mild to moderate nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism.

Scleral lenses can be appropriate for people with corneal irregularities because they vault over the cornea, touching the eye only on the sclera.

Patients with corneal issues due to Stevens-Johnson syndrome, Sjogren’s syndrome, Graft Versus Host Disease, or neurotrophic keratitis usually can’t use traditional lenses because they have irregular corneas and traditional contact lenses cannot rest on them properly.

Since scleral lenses don’t rest on the cornea, they can be used on eyes with irregular corneas.

Scleral lenses also help to retain moisture on the cornea and have a different fitting process from traditional contact lenses.

Can You Wear Your Scleral Contact Lenses To Sleep?

Do not wear your scleral lenses to sleep because you don’t blink when asleep. This allows debris that is typically flushed by your tears to collect on or around your lenses. The debris can cause irritations that can fester while you sleep and cause an infection or inflammatory reaction.

How Do You Care For Scleral Lenses?

  • Only use contact lens cleaning fluids prescribed by your eye specialist on your lenses. Dr. Leonard recommends a high-quality preservative-free artificial tears solution.
  • Lubricate your lenses regularly to prevent overwear.
  • Handle the lenses with care, so they don’t break.
  • Keep your lenses in their containers when not in use.
  • Use the lenses for, at most, 10-16 hours daily or only as long as your doctor recommends.
  • Follow Dr. Leonard’s scleral lens care guide.

Does My Insurance Cover Scleral Contact Lenses?

Dr. Leonard showing image of scleral lens vaulting over cornea

Dr. Barry Leonard showing image from the Cirrus OCT of a Scleral Lens vaulting over a cornea

Every insurance company is different. If you are being fit with scleral lenses out of medical necessity, we will call your insurance company to see if your policy covers specialty contact lens fitting and materials.

If your lenses are not covered by insurance, we offer financing options through CareCredit. We understand that vision is important. So, we do our best to find an economical solution.

How Long Do Scleral Contact Lenses Last?

Scleral lenses last between one-two years on average but the lifespan of your lenses depends on how well patients follow the scleral lens care instructions given by their doctors.

How Can I Schedule An Appointment at The California Keratoconus Center For a Scleral Contact Lens Fitting?

You can call the California Keratoconus Center at 818-891-6711 or schedule an appointment online. You can also use the online patient scheduling system in the upper-left-hand corner of every page on this site. Click here to read more on Scleral Contact Lenses.

Who is a candidate for scleral lenses?

Scleral Contact lenses are generally for patients who have visual disability from corneal irregularity. They can be used to treat Keratoconus, trauma, or corneal transplant complications. Scleral lenses can also be used to manage patients with compromised corneas. This could be due to Stevens-Johnson syndrome, Sjogren’s syndrome, Graft Versus Host Disease, and neurotrophic keratitis.

What is involved in the fitting process?

The initial visit consists of a medical eye exam, computerized corneal maps, photography, and scleral fitting. After measurement for the lens parameters, the lab can start production of the contact lens immediately. If you are traveling, delivery of your scleral lenses can be made within 3-10 business days.

How are scleral lenses custom-designed for my eye?

Dr. Leonard uses a modern scleral lens design and fitting technique that streamlines the fitting process. Lenses are custom designed from measurements using diagnostic lenses. This process is a very efficient way to produce custom scleral lenses. He uses modern, efficient fitting methods to help minimize additional costs.

Will my insurance cover scleral contact lenses?

Every insurance company is different. We have relationships with all of the major insurance companies. If you are being fit with scleral lenses out of medical necessity, we will inquire if your insurance policy covers specialty contact lens fitting and materials. We do offer financing options through CareCredit. We understand that vision is important. So, we do our best to find an economical solution.

How can I schedule an appointment with Dr. Leonard for a scleral contact lens fitting?

Please call our office at 818-891-6711 for an appointment. You may also email us at And, of course, our online patient scheduling system is just a click away. You’ll find the button in the upper-left hand corner of every page on this site.

Want to learn more about Scleral Contact Lenses? Click here to read our article on Scleral Contact Lenses.

Scleral Contact Lenses from FRESHLOOK, AIR OPTIX and DAILIES
Scleral Contact Lenses have a variety of features designed to provide all-day comfort. AquaComfort and HydraGlyde technology allows scleral contact lense wearers in SFV to enjoy better, more comfortable vision.
Dr. Leonard Helps a Patient Better Understand Their Vision Health
Dr. Leonard takes the time to provide patients with a thorough eye exam and consultation. Vision health can be complex, but Dr. Leonard's team helps to put the information you need into focus.
Ensuring Every Patient Has the Vision Correction Tools They Need
From AMPLEYE to Zen RC, Dr. Leonard's office is stocked with the latest advances in scleral contact technology. His office is a convenient, one-stop solution to SFV's vision needs.