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How do you insert scleral lenses?
This is a question that we receive every single day from patients all over the world. Scleral lens insertion problems are the number one reason that patients drop out of scleral lenses. It is very important that you have many ways to insert your scleral lens, so that you feel confident each day.
- Scleral Lens Plunger: The most common way to insert a scleral lens is with a large plunger or suction cup. First, hold the plunger with the fingers of one hand, while using the other hand to place the scleral lens onto the device. Next, fill the bowl of the lens with non-preserved saline. Then, use your hand that’s not holding the plunger to control your eyelids and pull them back as much as you can. Then, move the plunger toward your eye. When you feel the liquid, that means you’re close, but keep pushing! Once the lens is on your eye, let go of your eyelids and remove the plunger. I would highly recommend purchasing more than one of these so you can keep one at home, one in your pocket or purse, one in your car, and one at work. This is in case you need to remove and insert your lens in a pinch. I highly recommend the DMV brand for scleral lens plungers. There are other ones you can find online, but they are not made with the same material, and I notice the quality is not great. These are the ones that I’ve used for the past 10+ years on my patients, and these are the ones we give to our patients during their dispense. I have no financial disclosures in the DMV company, it is just a product I recommend.
- Scleral Lens Insertion Ring: There is a wonderful device that was actually invented by a patient who has severe keratoconus. It is called the EZI ring. The story is actually very touching, and I always love supporting companies who are passionate about their products. The ring is made from a flexible plastic, so it can be fit on any finger size. Simply place the ring onto any finger (most patients will use their index finger). The bowl of the ring should be resting on the pad of your finger. Next, place the scleral lens onto the EZI applicator. Then, fill the bowl of the lens with non-preserved saline. You can now use your hand that does not have the scleral lens on it to control your upper eyelid and hold your upper eyelid back. Then, you can use the free fingers on the hand that has the scleral lens to control your bottom eyelid. Then, move the EZI ring with the scleral lens toward your eye, and gently place the scleral lens on your eye. I have no financial interest in this company. https://clinevada.myeyestore.com/product/ezi-lens-applicator-for-scleral-lenses.html
- Orthodontic Bands: Yes, this seems like a strange recommendation! However, you can use a dental orthodontic band to insert a scleral lens. The reason these are great is because they are cheap and they are disposable, so you never have to use the same band more than once. Simply remove one of the bands from the package and place it on the pad of your finger (most people use their index finger or middle finger). Then, place the scleral lens on top of the orthodontic band. Fill the bowl of the scleral lens with non-preserved saline and then bring the scleral lens toward your eye and gently place it onto your eye.
- Chio hard contact lens inserter: This is a great device that is used to assist not only scleral lens patients, but patients who need help with the hard contact lenses or gas permeable contact lenses. This is a unique device because it can be used for insertion AND removal. For insertion, you will place the plunger at the insertion end of the device. Then place that end onto the pad of your finger for stability. Place the scleral lens onto the plunger and fill it up with non-preserved saline. Use the other hand to control your eyelids and look toward the floor or at a mirror on the counter. Gently place the scleral lens on your eye. I have no financial interest in this technology.
- If you REALLY have problems inserting your scleral lens, you are lucky. There is a scleral lens stand that you can use that allows you FULL control of both hands and fingers. This has been a lifesaver to many patients in my practice. The scleral lens stands rest on a countertop or other firm surface and has a light that you turn on. Then, you place your scleral lens onto the plunger of the stand and fill it with non-preserved saline. Next, use one hand to pull back your upper eyelids and one hand to pull back your lower eyelids. You want to get the eyelids pulled back as far as possible to expose as much of your eye as you can. Then, simply lower your eye toward the scleral lens stand and the light until you feel the liquid. Once the scleral lens is securely on your eye, you can let go of your eyelids. This is a wonderful device for patients who have difficulty inserting their scleral lenses with the other methods and devices listed above. This is a great tool for patients who seem to have a tough time getting their scleral lens in their eye. Do you find yourself making multiple attempts over and over again every day to insert your scleral lens? This can drastically cut down on the amount of attempts you make over and over again to get your lens in. Do you insert your lens but find you have an insertion bubble and have to take the lens out and start all over? A device like this might be able to help you with getting your scleral lens in without bubbles. Again, this device has been a life saver and game changer for many of my scleral lens patients. I have no financial interest in this technology or this company.
To see videos demonstrating all the techniques listed above, visit our page with scleral lens insertion videos: https://www.clinevada.com/how-to-videos/