If people have been telling you that you cannot wear contact lenses because it causes irregularity in your cornea or other problems, don’t worry. You have a second option and it is called Scleral Contact Lenses.
Scleral lenses are large-diameter gas permeable contact lenses. These lenses are special because they are designed to vault over the entire corneal surface and the sclera, the white part of the eye. These lenses functionally replace the irregular cornea with a perfectly smooth optical surface. It helps in correcting vision problems which are caused by keratoconus and other corneal irregularities.
Types of Scleral Contact Lenses
Usually, these lenses are larger than a standard contact lens, but they are still gas permeable. The lenses vary from size to size. The range is usually from 14.5mm and then all the way to 24mm. The ones which are below 18mm are considered as mini lenses. Even the smallest size of the scleral contact lenses covers the corneal surface as the average human cornea is 11.8mm.
These lenses are different from the standard lenses as they only cover up the 80% part of the cornea. The size of the lens is usually known by the complexity of the eye condition. Smaller Scleral Lenses can be used if you have a mild form of astigmatism and keratoconus. They are easier to apply, requires less care and cost less too. We would recommend you to pay a visit to your eye specialist as they will suggest you the best lens and the size which suits you the most.
Advantages and Disadvantages
Although scleral contact lenses are a very good concept and used by many, it has its advantages and disadvantages. Below are some advantages and disadvantages, have a look.
-They do not move from their place
-They are comfortable in wearing, as there is no eyelid sensation
-Dust cannot go behind the lenses
-They are not fragile like the normal lenses which make it easy to maintain them
-If someone has an irregular corneal surface, Liquid layer gives optical correction to the cornea
-Virtually any corneal irregularity is easy to fit in
There have been some complaints regarding scleral lenses based on the old designs and fitting methods. Most of the problems have been solved by introducing gas-permeable materials.
Cost of Scleral Lenses
Scleral Contact Lenses are custom made for every wearer. Fitting these lenses need a great expertise as they consume more time in fitting that standard soft or GP contact lenses. The specialists have computerized maps of the curvature of the whole cornea which helps them while fitting the lens. However, you might have to pay several visits during the fitting process. It is because they have to make those lenses easy for you to wear, it helps them to know whether or not your eye can tolerate these lenses.
Therefore, Scleral lenses are a great choice as they do not move from their place. Invest in these lenses as they will not cause any sensation in your eye. Schedule an appointment today to get your first pair!