Scleral contact lenses are an excellent option for those who were told they are unable to wear contact lenses due to an irregular cornea or other eye problems.
This type of lens has a large diameter that creates a smooth optical surface for the wearer while also correcting vision problems caused by keratoconus and other cornea irregularities.
Even though they are larger lenses, they are comfortable to wear.
This type of lens is large in diameter and gas permeable with a design that allows it to cover the entire corneal surface, resting on the sclera, also known as the “white” of the eye. This makes them more comfortable since they rest on the sclera rather than the cornea, which is more sensitive. They also remain tucked beneath your eyelids, so there is less irritating movement, making them comfortable to wear all day.
Scleral contact lenses are great for dry eyes.
Scleral contact lenses create a fluid reservoir to help provide comfort to those who suffer from severe dry eyes and could not tolerate wearing regular contact lenses.
Scleral lenses provide stable and consistent vision.
Another significant benefit of scleral lenses is the stability they provide. They are very stable on your eye, allowing them to provide consistent, stable vision. In addition, they also provide a tear film between your cornea and the back surface of the lens. This fluid keeps your cornea consistently moist throughout the day, not only enhancing comfort but also contributing to consistent vision.
Soft contact lenses range in diameter from 9.0-9.5mm and cover only 75-80% of the cornea, whereas scleral lenses range from approximately 14.5mm in diameter and up to 24mm in diameter.
Mini-scleral lenses are approximately 18mm in diameter or smaller. With the average human cornea being approximately 11.8mm in diameter, mini-scleral lenses will also cover the entire corneal surface.
What Size Lenses Should I Get?
Your lens will depend on the severity of your eye condition. You can use smaller scleral lenses for milder cases of keratoconus and irregular astigmatism from refractive surgery or corneal grafts.
When it comes to more severe and complex conditions, such as advanced keratoconus, you will need larger lenses because of their ability to hold more fluid or bridge larger changes in corneal curvature.
Your eye care professional will determine what size scleral contact lenses will best work with your eye condition during your examination for contact lenses.
Cost of Scleral Contact Lenses
Typically, scleral lenses are more expensive than GP corneal lenses, mainly because they must be custom-made to fit the wearer. This process requires more expertise and, in some cases, more fittings than with the standard soft or GP lenses.
Scleral lenses can sometimes cost up to three or four times more than the standard contacts, but when you compare the cost of hybrid lenses or soft contacts, the actual difference in price is not very significant. Scleral lenses can provide you with more stable and consistent vision and more comfort than soft or GP lenses, so don’t allow potential cost to deter you from experiencing the many benefits of scleral contact lenses.
Scleral lens coverage may vary depending on your insurance provider, so be sure to consult with your eye care professional to learn more about your payment and insurance coverage options.
Contact Dittman Eyecare today to schedule your contact lens exam and see if scleral lenses are right for you!