Scleral lenses are a type of specialty contact lens. They are considered specialty because they have a few unique design elements that set them apart from conventional contact lenses and because they are designed to address certain visual issues that can make it hard or impossible to wear standard contacts.
Here are some of the benefits of scleral contact lenses and some of the reasons why your eye doctor may recommend them as the best choice of lens for you.
Although all scleral lenses are larger than standard contacts, they also come in a variety of different sizes, enabling you to pick the type that will best suit your ocular needs. They are as follows:
Corneo-scleral lenses: 12.9 - 13.5mm diameter
Semi-scleral lenses: 13.5 – 14.9mm diameter
Mini scleral lenses: 15.9 – 18.0mm diameter
Full scleral lenses: 18.1 – 24.0mm diameter
The larger your scleral lenses are, the more easily they can usually be handled. They are also much stiller and more stable on the surface of the eye, keeping them centered and preventing them from popping out if you are engaged in physical activity. This also ensures that patients who wear them can enjoy clear, crisp vision.
Scleral contacts are made from a rigid, gas-permeable material that enables oxygen to pass through them and reach the surface of the eyes. This helps to keep your eyes as healthy and comfortable as possible.
Unlike any other type of specialty contact lenses, scleral lenses have a unique, vaulted design. This means that they don’t make contact with the entire surface of the eyes, but instead rest on the edges, with a gap between the front of the eye and the back of the contact lens. This provides space to accommodate any corneal abnormalities, such as scarring or the bulging that characterizes the condition known as keratoconus. They can also trap tear film, creating a fluid reservoir that makes scleral lenses a particularly good option for patients who have the condition known as dry eye.
Your field of vision is everything that you can see both directly in front of you and at the edges of your vision (peripheral vision). However, the extra-wide optic zones of scleral lenses (since they are much larger than conventional contacts) provide much wider peripheral vision, maximizing what you can see.
Since scleral lenses vault over the surface of the cornea, the pocket of fluid that is trapped between the surface of the eye and the back of the lens makes them much more comfortable to wear than regular contact lenses. It also helps to improve the health of your eyes since they are less likely to become dehydrated.
Scleral lenses are made from high-quality, durable material which typically makes them longer lasting than generic contact lenses. This means that although they are usually a little more expensive, their durability offsets this cost. With the right care and attention, your scleral lenses could last indefinitely.
For more information about the benefits of scleral lenses, visit Professional Eye Care at Westar in Westerville, Ohio. Call (614) 686-2300 to schedule an appointment today.