If you have difficulty wearing traditional contact lenses because of an irregular cornea, such as keratoconus, scleral contact lenses may be a good alternative. You can also benefit from these lenses if you have severely dry eyes or have undergone a corneal transplant or LASIK.
At Issaquah Optometric Center, we are pleased to offer scleral contacts to our patients. Once we perform a comprehensive eye exam and learn more about your unique needs, we can determine whether you’re a good candidate for scleral contacts. If scleral contact lenses do make sense, we can suggest the ideal type and size for your specific eyes.
How Do Scleral Contacts Work?
Scleral contacts are named after the sclera or white part of your eye. Compared to traditional contact lenses, they are larger in diameter and designed to cover the entire corneal surface and rest on the sclera.
They replace the irregular corneal surface with a smooth surface, allowing for greater comfort and the correction of vision problems that stem from corneal irregularities. Since the space between the corneal and scleral lens serves as a fluid reservoir and provides extra moisture, scleral contacts are a great option and FDA-approved for dry eyes.
Scleral lenses are available in a variety of sizes to cater to various patients and their particular conditions. While the smallest options rest on the edge of the sclera and cornea, the largest contacts rest outside of the cornea.
Who are Scleral Contacts For?
In most cases, we prescribe scleral contact lenses for patients with:
- Pellucid marginal degeneration
- Severe dry eyes
- Patients who have undergone a surgical procedure like a cornea transplant, radial keratotomy, or LASIK
- Those who enjoy gas permeable (GP) lenses but struggle with comfort issues or who are tired of getting debris underneath their contact lenses
- Patients with high residual prescriptions left over
Traditional Lenses vs. Scleral Lenses
Traditional lenses are smaller and rest on the outer portion of the cornea, often leading to discomfort for those with cornea irregularities and certain eye conditions. Scleral lenses differ from traditional lenses because they retain their shape within the eye.
The large lens doesn’t conform to the shape of the eye and can easily rest over the corneas of those with conditions like keratoconus. As a result, it often leads to better visual acuity than you would be able to get with a gas permeable (GP) lens, glasses or soft contact lenses. In addition, the large space behind the lens can hold a lot of tears, making scleral lenses ideal for patients with dry eyes. If you’ve had a cornea transplant, LASIK, or any other eye surgery, you may wear scleral lenses so that nothing presses on your sensitive cornea.
Contact Issaquah Optometric Center
Interested in scleral contact lenses in Issaquah? Contact us today to schedule an appointment. We look forward to hearing from you!