Eye doctors at Tower Clock Eye Center use scleral lenses for a variety of corneal conditions.
What are scleral lenses?
Scleral lenses are larger than normal gas permeable contact lenses that are custom designed for each wearer. The larger size of these lenses allows them to vault over the cornea and contact the sclera, or white part of the eye. By doing this, patients with irregularly shaped corneas are able to wear contact lenses. These lenses improve vision and can protect the eye from injury or disease.
The fluid-filled gap between the surface of the cornea and the scleral lens adds additional comfort to those who suffer from extreme dry eye who would not otherwise be able to wear contacts.
Tower Clock Eye Center doctors often use scleral lenses for eye conditions including:
- Keratoconus – Among the most common reasons for scleral lenses is keratoconus, a condition where the cornea is irregularly shaped. Patients with keratoconus who do not tolerate standard contact lenses often benefit from scleral lenses because how they fit on the eye.
- Irregularly shaped corneas – Following surgery (including cornea transplant surgery), eye injury or trauma, or congenital eye problems, the cornea may become distorted or lose its natural shape. Glasses and standard contact lenses often do not fix this issue and scleral lenses are great option to improve or maintain vision.
- Severe dry eye – Some patients do not tolerate conventional contacts. With scleral lenses there is a space between the cornea and the lens which holds a tiny amount of fluid. This fluid helps keep the eye better lubricated and aids in improved comfort.
information and cost
Scleral lenses are much like standard contacts in both handling and care. Few patients report complications from use, though wearers are advised not to wear them lenses overnight.
These lenses are custom designed for each wearer, so fitting them requires more expertise and time than standard contact lenses. Eye measurements are taken via computer and patients may receive several lenses to find which is most comfortable. Sometimes multiple visits to the eye doctor are required.
Due to the nature of these lenses, costs can be significantly higher than standard contact lenses. Few insurance plans cover them, though some vision plans may reduce a patient’s out-of-pocket expense.
To learn more about scleral lenses, please call us at (920) 499-3102 to schedule your appointment.