Any patient who wears contact lenses could potentially benefit from scleral contact lenses. Their unique size and design can provide improved clarity, comfort and stability as compared to other types of contact lenses. For many patients without a significantly eye health history the convenience of a soft disposable contact lens outweighs the benefits of a scleral contact lens. For this reason, scleral contact lenses are often the first choice when prescribing contact lenses for the following groups of patients:
IRREGULAR CORNEA DUE TO CORNEAL DISEASE - Keratoconus | Pellucid Marginal Degeneration
Patients with corneal diseases, such as keratoconus or pellucid marginal degeneration have a cornea that is irregular in shape. Rather than being a smooth dome, the cornea will have areas that are steeper or flatter than normal. This abnormal corneal shape means that glasses and traditional contact lenses cannot provide adequate vision. If the disease is mild, a corneal rigid gas permeable lens may be used with moderate success. With moderate to severe cases, as the corneal shape becomes increasingly irregular, a scleral contact lens is necessary to provide clear vision, comfort, and stability (corneal gas permeable lenses move on the eye are are more likely to dislodge from the eye).
IRREGULAR CORNEA DUE TO SURGERY – Keratoplasty/Corneal Transplant | Refractive Surgery (LASIK, PRK, RK)
Surgeries such as LASIK, PRK, RK, or a corneal transplant affect the shape of the cornea. Refractive surgery (LASIK, PRK) for example changes the shape of the cornea in order to eliminate a prescription and the need for glasses. Unfortunately this new corneal shape, which may be significantly steeper or flatter, is not ideal for traditional contact lenses. By vaulting the cornea, scleral contact lenses are able to provide clear and comfortable vision for individuals who have had a corneal surgery in the past. This lens design is also ideal for people who have had a corneal transplant as it reduces irritation from interaction with sutures or any scarring that may be present.
DRY EYE SYNDROME
Conventional contact lens wear is usually limited by dry eye; negatively affecting both comfort and clarity with wear. For those patients with certain types of dry eye, or systemic conditions such as Sjogren's Syndrome or Stevens Johnson, scleral lenses provide a level of dry eye treatment that other contact lenses cannot. The design of a scleral contact lens creates a tear reservoir, or a supply of tears between the contact lens and the eye. This creates an environment that keeps the eyes moist and ultimately more comfortable. While wearing scleral contact lenses will not eliminate the need for other forms of dry eye treatment prescribed by the doctor, they will assist in the overall management of your dry eye syndrome.
DIFFICULT TO FIT PATIENTS
There are many people who have found limited success with traditional contact lenses; whether it is due to comfort, the prescription, the shape of the eye, or the specific activities you wish to perform with your contact lenses. The 100% customizable design of scleral contact lenses can correct a wider range of prescriptions and eye shapes than soft contact lenses. Because they avoid contact with the cornea (a highly sensitive tissue of the eye), many people find improved comfort with these lenses. For athletes and extreme sports enthusiasts, the larger diameter of these lenses decreases the changes that the lens will become dislodged during your activities.