Scleral Lenses at Eagle Vision & Eye Clinic
As a rule, contact lenses have shrunk a good deal in size since the very first contacts were invented in the 19th Century. Those lenses were what we today would call scleral lenses -- and this style of lens continues to provide very real benefits for patients with specific eye or vision conditions. Here at Eagle Vision & Eye Clinic, any optometrist on our five-member team can determine whether you're a good candidate for these specialized lenses.
What Are Scleral Lenses?
Most contact lenses on the market today are corneal lenses. They're generally 9.5 millimeters in diameter, meaning that they rest entirely on the surface of the corneas. This approach works perfectly well for people with simple refractive errors and no underlying complicating conditions. Some individuals, however, cannot use ordinary corneal contacts. Scleral contacts extend well beyond the diameter of corneal contacts, typically measuring 18 millimeters or more in diameter. This means that their rim rests, not on the cornea, but on the white of the eye or sclera. The lens surface forms a smooth sphere that encompasses the cornea without resting on it or even touching it.
Principal Benefits and Ideal Candidates
Why might you need or want scleral contacts? Ideal candidates for this type of lens include people struggling with conditions that ordinary contacts either can't correct or may aggravate. Examples include:
- Keratoconus, an abnormally bulging cornea on which an ordinary contact lens wouldn't fit uniformly enough to correct vision
- Dry eye, which benefits from the tear reservoir created by the space within scleral contacts
- Post-operative corneal complications
- A form of corneal thinning called pellucid marginal degeneration
- Corneal diseases such as Sjogren's syndrome or graft-versus-host disease, which benefit from the extra coverage and protection of scleral lenses
- Strong astigmatism or other severe refractive errors
Scleral lenses may also be useful if you play sports or work industry environments. These lenses are less prone to trapping dust or other particles underneath them, providing greater safety and comfort. In fact, scleral lenses as a whole are usually very comfortable, despite their larger size, once you learn how to apply and remove them correctly. You might end up choosing scleral contacts even if you're a candidate for standard contacts.
Get the Lenses You Need at Our Longmont Optometry Center
Whatever contact lenses you may need, scleral or otherwise, you'll find them right here at Eagle Vision & Eye Clinic. Call our Longmont optometry center at (303) 651-2020 to schedule a contact lens exam with your trusted optometrist.
We can help you pick the perfect contact lenses for your vision, ocular health, and personal preferences! Don't just take our word for it! Check out our testimonials.
"When I found out I had keratoconus I thought my only options were hard contact lenses or cornea transplants. Hard contacts gave me clear vision but also substantial pain!! When Dr. Forrest introduced me to the Scleral Contact Lens I was skeptical of their large size, but the clarity of vision and comfort out did the hard contacts I was wearing. No longer do I worry about windy days or excruciating pain at the twitch of my eye...For anyone with cornea problems this is the solution."
- Andrea W