When traditional contact lenses are no longer suitable for certain eye conditions, scleral contact lenses can offer improved vision and comfort. These specialized hard contact lenses can be an excellent option for various conditions, including keratoconus, corneal transplants, and irregularities resulting from surgeries related to diseases like glaucoma. By undergoing specific testing and receiving customized lenses, individuals with these conditions can experience the benefits of scleral contact lenses.
Keratoconus is a progressive eye disorder characterized by the thinning and bulging of the cornea into a cone-like shape. This condition can cause significant visual distortion and may lead to increased sensitivity to light and glare. Traditional contact lenses often fail to provide a stable vision for individuals with keratoconus due to the irregular shape of the cornea. In such cases, scleral contact lenses can be a game-changer.
Scleral lenses have a larger diameter than standard contact lenses and vault over the cornea, resting on the white part of the eye (sclera). This creates a smooth, uniform surface that corrects the corneal irregularities caused by keratoconus, thus improving vision. The space between the lens and the cornea also acts as a reservoir for fluid, keeping the eye hydrated and reducing discomfort.
For individuals who have undergone a corneal transplant due to conditions like corneal scarring or endothelial dystrophy, the shape of the cornea may be irregular, leading to visual abnormalities. Traditional contact lenses may not adequately address the irregularities caused by the transplant, resulting in suboptimal vision.
Scleral contact lenses can provide an effective solution for post-transplant patients. By vaulting over the cornea, these lenses create a smooth optical surface, compensating for any irregularities and improving visual acuity. Additionally, the fluid reservoir between the lens and the cornea can help promote corneal health and enhance comfort for individuals with corneal transplants.
Irregularities from Eye Surgeries
Certain eye surgeries, such as those performed to address conditions like glaucoma, can cause irregularities in the front surface of the eye. These irregularities, including astigmatism or corneal scarring, can result in blurred vision and distorted images. Correcting these irregularities with traditional contact lenses may be challenging.
In such cases, scleral contact lenses can offer significant benefits. The customized fit of these lenses can mask corneal irregularities and provide a smooth optical surface, leading to enhanced visual clarity. Individuals who have undergone eye surgeries can benefit from the improved vision and comfort provided by scleral lenses.
To fit with scleral contact lenses, individuals undergo special testing to determine the precise measurements and design needed for their specific eye condition and shape. Eye care professionals can then order and fit customized lenses for each eye, ensuring an optimal fit and maximizing visual outcomes.
An optometrist who specializes in difficult or unique contact lens fittings can maximize visual function and comfort with a scleral contact lens.
Regardless of the reason for needing a scleral contact lens, the fitting process is detailed and tailored to each patient.