Scleral Lens Fittings In Scranton, PA
In the past it was common to hear an optometrist say “sorry, you are just not the right candidate for contact lenses. With advances in technology came advances in contact lens design, making contact lenses accessible to virtually every patient.
The Scleral lens, given its name because the lens sits on the white of the eye called the sclera, is considered the ultimate in custom contact lens design.
The benefits of Scleral Lenses Are:
- Clarity and quality of vision
- Reduced dryness
Why Are Scleral Lenses More Comfortable?
The lens, which covers a larger area than a normal contact lens, creates a pocket filled with artificial tears, fitting securely around the eye. Due to their size, which adds moisture and keeps the contact lens in place, scleral lenses provide sharper vision, greater durability, easier handling and a lower risk for complications.
Who is a good candidate for scleral lenses?
In general, any individual who wants to optimize their vision with contact lenses can be a suitable candidate for scleral lenses. However, these specialized lenses are most appropriate for people with the following conditions:
- Hard-to-fit eyes: if you can’t be fit well with traditional gas permeable lenses, or lenses tend to pop out of your eye easily, scleral lenses may give you a more secure fit.
- Dry eyes: when the tear film that coats your eyes is insufficient, conventional contacts may be uncomfortable or painful. Scleral lenses have a large gap between the contact lens and your cornea, and this space acts as a place for tears to collect. More moisture thereby remains on the surface of your eyes.
- Irregular corneas: no matter what the cause of your irregularly shaped cornea, scleral lenses will usually give you much clearer vision than eyeglasses or standard contacts.
- Post-corneal surgery: surgeries, such as corneal transplants, often leave you with vision that is not fully normal. Post-surgery scleral lenses offer sharp, comfortable eyesight while simultaneously protecting the delicate eye tissues from any damage to the graft.
- Allergies: the Scleral lens design protects the eye from allergens.
- Conditions: such as high sensitivity to light, Sjorgens, or Steve Johnson Syndrome
What are three main differences in the Scleral lens design?
- The lens doesn’t touch the cornea but rests on the sclera or the white part of the eye to create a vault over the eye.
- Microscopic adjustments to the lenses can be made with new advanced manufacturing technology to customize the fit of each lens to each patient’s unique needs.
- Each lens can have a unique prescription to provide even better vision.
Special Instances That Can Benefit from Scleral Lenses
It is not uncommon for someone who is legally blind from a corneal irregularity to regain great vision. This lens design provides a protective cushion of saline that can reduce pain and photosensitivity caused by other lens designs.
Scleral lenses are great for athletes who require excellent acuity and a stable lens fit while they are physically active.
They are also useful in situations where other contact lens types are not effective or appropriate, including dusty environments and contact sports.
Protective & Therapeutic:
Scleral lenses can provide hydration to the cornea in severe cases of dry eye and ocular pemphigoid.
They can also help in keeping the eye hydrated in conditions where the eyelids do not close properly such as facial nerve palsy, trauma, or ptosis.
Our Scranton optometrists customize the lenses to the exact specifications of each individual wearer.
The entire process may take several visits in order to optimize the design and ensure the process of application and removal is comfortable and efficient. For these reasons professional fees associated with fitting sclera lenses and lens replacement costs are higher than other contact lenses. We are happy to discuss your specific costs based on your individual needs.
Are scleral lenses safe?
Although this may be the first time you have heard of scleral lenses, they aren’t a new invention. In fact, they are the oldest type of contact lenses, invented in the early 16th century by Leonardo da Vinci. However, the first prototypes that were manufactured in Europe were not very permeable to oxygen. As a result, they caused many negative side effects, such as corneal swelling.
Nowadays, modern FDA approved scleral lenses, that we use in our Scranton practice, are designed and crafted with precise technology, new materials and computer-driven lathes. This leads to a higher level of safety and comfort. Contemporary sclerals have a high oxygen permeability, which reduces the risk of eye complications. Patients with keratoconus can have crystal-clear vision along with protection of the sensitive corneal surface. Scleral contacts tend to have less complications due to their extreme comfort, moisture retention, ability to block allergens, and their tendency to stay in place.
What happens during a fitting for scleral lenses?
Our eye doctor will map your cornea using advanced corneal topography equipment. This generates a detailed diagram of your cornea, which is used to make customized scleral contact lenses. We equip our Scranton office with the newest technologies in order to ensure an efficient eye care experience and lenses that fit you perfectly.
Scleral Lenses For Irregular Corneas
Effective Treatment for Irregular Corneas
An irregular cornea generally causes problems or limitations with vision, and can be more complicated to correct with standard eyeglasses or contact lenses. If eyeglasses and regular contact lenses aren’t helping you see clearly due to an irregular cornea, scleral lenses may be the perfect solution to give you sharp, comfortable vision. Our Scranton, PA Eye doctors will evaluate your cornea using first-rate skill and the latest optometric technology. If we find that you are a good candidate for treatment with scleral lenses, we’ll fit you expertly with a pair of these premium, specialized contacts.
What causes irregular corneas?
A large variety of causes may be responsible for irregular corneas. Some of the most common culprits include:
- Prior eye surgeries, such as LASIK or cataracts
- Eye injuries or burns
- Scarring after an eye infection
- Corneal ulcers
- Severe cases of dry eye
- Congenital defect
- Pterygium (conjunctival degeneration)
- Pellucid marginal degeneration