Scleral Contact Lenses
While scleral contact lenses have been around for over 100 years, they have returned as another option for those who require vision rehabilitation. A scleral contact lens is a large lens that is unique in design in that it fits onto and are supported by the sclera, the white portion of the eye, and creates a tear-filled vault over the cornea.
Modern scleral lenses are made of a highly oxygen permeable rigid material and are designed to treat a variety of eye conditions, many of which do not respond to other forms of treatment. They offer numerous advantages over traditional gas permeable lenses including the vision of a rigid lens with the comfort of a soft contact lens. Since these lenses are supported by the sclera, the chances of them popping out are rare.
Scleral lenses are utilized for gas permeable intolerant patients, keratoconus, post penetrating keratoplasty, post RK, dry eye, Stevens- Johnson syndrome, as well as either trauma induced corneal scars, and as herpetic scarring on the cornea. The lens allows a constant reservoir of fluid on the cornea, and there is no part of the lens touching the cornea, hence there is less likely hood of these lenses causing contact lens induced corneal scarring. Patients with pre-existing apical or traumatic scarring, those with injuries to the eye such as surgical complications, distorted corneal implants, as well as chemical and burn injuries also may be treated by the use of scleral lenses.
The reservoir of fluid provided by the use of the scleral lens can be an excellent treatment option for patients with dry eyes and corneal dystrophies where the corneal surface is compromised. Ideal candidates for this therapeutic lens are Rheumatoid Arthritis patients, anterior basement membrane dystrophy patients, and patients with Sjogren’s disease. Likewise, they work well on patients with irregular corneas secondary to the increased stability of the lens.
At Buena Vista Eye Care, we offer large variety of scleral lenses to fit the various needs of our patients. Should you have a patient who you think would benefit from scleral contact lenses, please schedule a consultation with Dr. Monica Ramirez.