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What is that ring around my eye after removing a scleral lens?

If you have a compression ring, or ring on the white part of your eye when you remove your scleral lenses, it could be from a variety of reasons.

When you insert a scleral lens, all the weight of the contact lens rests on the conjunctiva. The conjunctiva is a thin membrane that covers the white part of your eye. This membrane is what the scleral lens rests on. The conjunctiva is squishy and is easily moldable. When you wear a scleral lens for a long period of time, the lens can settle into this portion of your eye.

When you remove the lens, you may notice a ring on the white part of your eye. This is where the scleral lens was resting while you were wearing it. This tissue will go back to its original shape. The amount of time varies from patient to patient.

Think of it like when you wear a sock. When you remove the sock, there are some lines on your foot or ankle where the sock was. Eventually, your skin reverts back to its original shape. It is harmless.

Is a compression ring normal? In some cases, yes. Since the scleral lens rests directly onto the tissue all day, it is normal for that tissue to change shape. However, if you have a very large compression ring, or your eye becomes very red as you wear the scleral lens, the fit of the edge may need to be adjusted.

My eye gets really red after a few hours of scleral lens wear, and I also have a really large compression ring, is that normal? No. If your eye is getting very red (and worsens throughout the day), it means the fit likely needs to be altered. Sometimes the shape of your eye may be the culprit, and a custom scleral lens may be a better option.

If you have a compression ring when you remove your scleral lens, take a photo with your phone and then show your doctor at your next visit. They may be able to troubleshoot the fit based on images you show them.

 Check out a patient who was successful in a custom scleral lens here.

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