Contact lenses are well known as being a popular alternative to regular glasses. Each lens, which is custom-made with your prescription, sits directly on the surface of the eye and once in place, you can see clearly. Plenty of patients actually prefer contacts since they don’t alter the way that you look, you don’t need to remember to take them out with you and they can be worn alongside protective eyewear, meaning there are few limitations in terms of what activities you can enjoy. Whilst many patients can benefit from contact lenses, they are not automatically a suitable solution for everyone. In fact, there are some groups of patients who aren’t recommended to have contact lenses. Fortunately, the design of contacts has continued to evolve and now there is a type of lens that is now often recommended for patients who were previously considered unsuitable for this solution and so was reliant on conventional glasses. These specialty contacts are known as scleral lenses.
Corneal irregularities are the primary reason why patients are considered unsuitable for regular contact lenses. However, scleral lenses have been designed specifically to overcome the problems posed by an irregular cornea. These large diameters, gas-permeable lenses are big enough to cover the entire surface of the eye. This includes the cornea itself, and the white part of the eye, which is called the sclera.
Their larger-than-average size means that they do not have contact across the entire front part of your eye. Instead, depending on the type of scleral lens you choose, the parts that touch your eye are much wider apart. This enables oxygen to flow freely underneath them, preventing unpleasant side effects such as dry eyes and ensuring that your eyes feel as healthy as possible.
Scleral contact lenses work in exactly the same way as regular contacts and once in place, you can expect to enjoy clearer, sharper and more stable vision without the need for glasses or contact lenses.
There are various types of scleral lenses available so that you are more likely to be able to find one that counteracts your corneal abnormalities. Which is right for you will be based on your individual requirements, and our experienced team will be able to recommend the most suitable option based on our assessment of your eyes. The different types of scleral lens are as follows:
Full scleral lenses. These are the largest type of scleral lens and give the greatest amount of coverage plus leave the largest clearance between the surface of the eye and the cornea.
Mini-scleral lenses. These lenses cover the entire corneal surface and make primary contact with the anterior part of the sclera, enabling oxygen to circulate beneath them.
Semi-scleral lenses. These larger lenses make contact with the surface of your eye at the junction between the cornea and sclera.
If you have previously been considered unsuitable for contact lenses and would like more information about scleral lenses, or if you would like to schedule a consultation to see if scleral lenses may be a potential solution for you, please get in touch with Modern iCare Optometry in Palm Desert, CA 760-674-7272.