If you wear scleral contact lenses, you may be familiar with the unique process of inserting these larger, rigid lenses compared to traditional soft contact lenses. While it may seem daunting at first, with practice and training, it can become an easy and repeatable process. In this blog, we will walk you through the steps of correctly inserting a scleral contact lens to help you feel more confident in handling these specialized lenses.
## Step 1: Prepare Your Scleral Contact Lenses and Saline Solution
Before inserting your scleral contact lens, ensure that you have properly cleaned and disinfected it. Follow your eye care professional's instructions for cleaning and storage. Once your lens is clean, fill it with sterile saline solution. This helps to cushion the lens and maintain the hydration of your eye during wear.
## Step 2: Find a Comfortable Position
To insert the scleral contact lens, find a comfortable and well-lit area where you can sit or stand with a mirror in front of you. Ensure that your hands are clean and dry before handling the lens.
## Step 3: Use a Small Plunger or Suction Cup
To hold the scleral contact lens, you can use a small plunger or suction cup specifically designed for this purpose. These tools provide a hygienic way to handle the lens, ensuring that you do not touch the lens surface with your fingers.
## Step 4: Face Horizontally Toward the Floor
Tilt your head slightly forward and face horizontally toward the floor. This position helps ensure that the lens will be oriented correctly when you insert it into your eye. By facing downward, you also minimize the risk of the lens coming into contact with any unwanted debris or contaminants.
## Step 5: Insert the Lens Slowly and Carefully
While looking into the mirror, gently hold the upper and lower eyelids open with your non-dominant hand. With the plunger or suction cup in your dominant hand, bring the lens towards your eye. Avoid blinking or squeezing your eye shut during this process.
## Step 6: Place the Lens on Your Eye
Place the edge of the lens onto the white part of your eye, known as the sclera, rather than directly on the cornea. Avoid touching your eyelashes, as this can cause discomfort or dislodging of the lens. Slowly and steadily, release the lens onto your eye.
## Step 7: Blink and Evaluate Comfort
Once the lens is on your eye, blink gently to help center and distribute the saline solution over your entire cornea. Assess the comfort level of the lens. It may take a few blinks for the lens to settle into a comfortable position. If discomfort persists or if the lens feels misaligned, you may need to remove and reinsert it.
## Practice Makes Perfect
Inserting scleral contact lenses can be a challenging skill to master initially, but with consistent practice and proper guidance from your eye care professional, it becomes easier over time. They can provide detailed instructions tailored to your specific needs and offer additional tips to help improve your lens insertion technique.
Remember to follow your eye care professional's recommendations for cleaning, disinfecting, and storing your scleral contact lenses. Proper care and maintenance are essential to ensure the longevity of your lenses and the health of your eyes.
If you are having difficulties with inserting your scleral contact lenses or have any concerns, consult with your eye care professional. They will be able to address your questions, provide further guidance, and ensure that you are using your scleral lenses correctly.