These are a special type of contact lenses. Compared to the usual soft lenses that are prescribed to most people, scleral lenses are larger. That is because they are designed to cover the cornea of the eye. Such lenses are prescribed for people with certain vision impurities and other eye conditions.
While soft lenses are designed to cover the cornea, sclera lenses are more significant. They cover the cornea and rest on the whites of the eyes. They are designed to be harder and are gas permeable. That is, they allow oxygen to reach the cornea, being better for maintaining the health of the eyes. They can last for longer periods and provide better vision. Such lenses are prescribed to those who have corneal irregularities or other conditions which makes regular soft lenses unsuitable for them.
Exploring the Different Types of Sclera Lenses
There can be different types of scleral lenses, prescribed as per the requirements or eye conditions of patients:
Full Scleral Lenses
These are the largest lenses in this category. They are designed to provide cover between the back surface of the lens and that of the cornea. They are usually prescribed for conditions such as severe ocular diseases, dry eyes, or advanced keratoconus.
Mini Scleral Lenses
These rest on the anterior sclera after vaulting over the cornea.
Corneo-Scleral or Semi-Scleral Lenses
These rest in the junction between the sclera and cornea. Such lenses are used often for post-corneal grafts, corneal surgeries, or after laser treatments.
Besides offering comfort for the above eye conditions, scleral lenses come with different cosmetic parameters as well such as black sclera red iris contacts.
Benefits and Considerations
Discovering the Advantages of Scleral Lenses
Are you looking for the best contact lenses for dry eyes and astigmatism? There are several benefits that scleral contact lenses provide such as:
- They are ideal for people who suffer from eye conditions such as dry eyes, aniridia, anesthetic corneas, complications of the post-corneal transplant, microphthalmia, and distorted implants of the cornea.
- Scleral lenses can treat many people who suffer burns or chemical injuries to the eyes.
- Those who find cornea-type lenses or smaller soft lenses irritating to their eyes need the cover of such lenses for better eye health.
- Those who need to correct vision conditions astigmatism are often prescribed rigid lenses for correcting their vision for which scleral lenses are ideal.
Understanding the Disadvantages of Scleral Contact Lenses
Disadvantages of scleral lenses are some such:
- Some people might find it difficult to handle scleral lenses. Those who are prescribed such lenses are given guidance and training. However, some might find it difficult to apply and remove such lenses from their eyes. Some patients can find that they blink uncontrollably. Others might face eye spasms.
- Scleral lenses are more expensive, as much as three to four times what soft contact lenses cost. However, most wearers of such lenses state that the cost is worth the advantages the product provides.
- Such lenses can collect debris and might need cleaning during daytime use.
Comparing Scleral Lenses to Traditional Contact Lenses
Differences and commonalities between hard contacts vs soft are the following:
|Scleral Lenses||Traditional Contact Lenses|
|Provide users superior comfort as they rest on the eye’s sclera. Scleral lenses vault over the cornea and are ideal for users who have corneal irregularities or irritations||Such lenses rest on the cornea|
|Those who play sports and need to move their eyes quickly will find scleral lenses more stable||Quick eye movements can make regular contact lenses fall out|
|The fitting process might be time-consuming||Regular contact lenses are easier to fit on the cornea of the eye|
|Helps protect the moisture of the eyes; ideal for preventing dry eye problems||Regular contact lenses are not recommended for long hours of wearing since they can reduce eye moisture|
|These lenses are gas permeable||Regular contact lenses are less gas permeable as compared to scleral lenses|
Ensuring Proper Contact Solution for Scleral Lenses
The solution that is ideal for scleral lenses is made of hydrogen peroxide. The common and best contact lenses brands available at the chemists are Clear Care, Lacripure, Nutrifill, or ScleraFil. These are usually prescribed for scleral lenses. They come in one-time-use vials or bigger bottles. It is important to fill the lens solution cases with fresh solutions regularly. The lens cases used for storage should also be cleaned regularly. Also, these need to be replaced every month or so.
Determining if Scleral Lenses Are the Right Choice for You
For certain people scleral lenses are the right choice:
- Those who are looking for what are the best contacts for astigmatism and dry eyes will find better comfort with this lens.
- Visual stability is better, especially for those who need to make quick eye movements, especially in certain sports or games.
- It helps reduce the risks of corneal abrasions since these lenses do not touch the cornea.
However, these lenses are usually prescribed by an eye doctor. Hence, as per one’s eye condition, determined by examination, an expert in ophthalmology will recommend such lenses with prescribed power or other conditions.
Examining Scleral Contact Lenses Price
Prices of scleral lenses are much higher than ordinary contact lenses. In general, they are three or four times the average cost of standard contact lenses. Customers can expect to pay in the range of $500 to $4,000 for a pair of lenses. Contact lens of such nature is expensive since they are custom-made. That is, you cannot purchase black sclera eye contacts cheap off the counter at a pharmacy store.
Inserting and Caring for Scleral Lenses – How Do Eye Contacts Work?
Step-by-Step Guide: How to Insert and Care for Scleral Lenses
How do eye contacts work? When inserting scleral lenses the following instructions should be kept in mind:
- One should wash their hands with a non-moisturizing, non-fragrant soap.
- After drying one’s hands the user can remove the contact lens from the case.
- After rinsing the lens with solution one can proceed to place the lens on their eyes or an inserter tool.
- There are open-ended inserters that are provided which can be used for positioning the lens on the eye.
- Without the inserter, one can use their fingers as well
- To begin, a user should hold open the upper and lower eyelid.
- When one’s hands are dry and clean then it is easy to maintain a firm grip.
Once the eyelids are held open, one can easily insert the lens into the eyeball. If you use an inserter then you can pull it away after inserting the lens, after ensuring that the lens is in place.
Steps to take to safely remove the scleral lenses from your eyes are:
- Ensure that your hands are clean.
- Use a rewetting drop or a saline solution to wet the tip of your fingers or the tip of a remover.
- If you are using a remover place it at the 6 o’clock position on the lens; put moderate pressure.
- Once the lens has come onto the remover, you can pull it away.
- If you are using your fingers, ensure that the tip of the finger is wet and clean.
- Use the tips of two fingers to gently pinch the lens and take it off the eye.
Maintaining the Proper Care of Scleral Lenses
A few basic steps are all it takes to care for your scleral lenses properly:
- When you are not wearing the lens, ensure that they are stored in a saline solution.
- Use a saline solution that is preservative-free.
- At the time of inserting or rinsing the lenses before putting them away, use a saline solution.
- Opt for a saline solution as recommended by the optometrists.
- Ensure that the contact lens case you use is cleaned often.
How Should You Store Scleral Lenses?
The right prescribed solution and case should be used for storing such lenses. One should not try to use other kinds of fluids such as saliva or water to store or lubricate scleral lenses.
Can You Store Unused Scleral Lenses?
If you wish to store such lenses for long without wearing them then it is best to keep them dry, inside a case. Before you wear the lens again it is recommended that you clean and store them in solution overnight.
Should You Sleep Wearing Such Lenses?
Physicians recommend that users of scleral lenses should not sleep wearing them. It can make the tear layer stagnant and eye infection problems can occur.
Is it Okay to Use Scleral Lenses Daily?
Even if you wear such lenses daily, it is best to wear them for a few hours. Also, after using them one should clean and properly lubricate them.
Can I Shower with Scleral Lenses?
It is best to avoid washing your face or taking a bath with such lenses on. That is because shower or tap water contains bacteria that could infect the lens.
Emphasizing the Benefits and Proper Care of Scleral Lenses
Since scleral lenses are custom-made, they are unique and need to be taken care of accordingly. Users should use the prescribed solution to store the lenses. Also, they should clean and lubricate the lenses after each wear. This helps increase the longevity of such lenses. Those who have eye conditions or need lenses that provide better comfort and sturdiness can ask their ophthalmologists about scleral lenses.
Making an Informed Decision about Scleral Contact Lenses
With many contact lenses available in the market, one might be confused as to what is right for them. This decision should be made by consulting an eye expert only. That is because scleral lenses are prescribed to those for whom ordinary or soft contact lenses are not ideal. Hence, such scleral lenses are always prescribed. It is also important to get scleral lenses from a reputed manufacturer who provided a warranty on such purchases. Customers should find out all about the care and longevity of the lenses from their eye experts before they start using such lenses.