Scleral Lenses at Our Midland Optometrist
Scleral lenses are large contact lenses that rest on the sclera, or white part, of the eye instead of resting on the cornea like normal-sized ones. Thanks to a recent trend of wearing colored ones for cosmetic purposes, there are some misconceptions about them. In reality, scleral lenses from your optometrist are very safe options for treating certain eye conditions. These FDA-approved versions are often the only solution for those with these disorders.
What Conditions do Scleral Lenses Treat?
One of the conditions most commonly treated with scleral lenses is keratoconus. This disease results in the cornea taking on a protruding cone shape, and in turn, this results in irregular astigmatism. Irregular astigmatism itself presents problems: Regular lenses can't compensate for it because it creates many focal points within the eye. Scleral lenses take care of this problem by vaulting over the cornea and providing a smooth surface. The other problem is the shape of the cornea, which regular contact lenses won't fit. Scleral lenses do because they don't rely on corneal contact in order to work.
Other problems with the cornea, such as scratches, scarring, or other damage, are also best dealt with by using scleral contact lenses. Since they don't touch the cornea itself, the cornea is able to heal without a need to switch to eyeglasses. Your doctor of optometry will prescribe them in these cases.
Dry eye and other issues involving the tear layer can call for the use of scleral lenses, too. Their shape and size make it so that it doesn't take as much lubrication to wear them comfortably.
They also treat a wide variety of other conditions, including post-LASIK ectasia, pellucid marginal degeneration, Stevens-Johnson syndrome, post-corneal transplant recovery, limbal stem cell deficiency, and many more.
It is also possible to use scleral lenses purely for cosmetic effects. It is always best to consult with our optometrist to see if these types of lenses are beneficial for your eyes or if there are alternatives.
Who is a Good Candidate for Scleral Lenses?
Anyone who suffers from one of the above conditions, or any other condition that makes wearing regular contact lenses uncomfortable, is a candidate for scleral contact lenses. They can also be used to treat common refraction errors (nearsightedness and farsightedness), and it is okay to wear them for this purpose. By schedule an eye exam with our optometrist we can see if you are a candidate for scleral lenses.
To be evaluated for scleral contact lenses or to have an eye exam, contact us at Urias Eyecare at (432) 368-4102.