Contact Lens Eye Exam

Understanding Scleral Lenses

For individuals facing vision challenges, the correct eyewear is crucial for daily activities like reading, driving, and working. Standard solutions like glasses and soft contacts don't always fit everyone's needs, especially for those with unique eye conditions. 

At The EyeDoctors Optometrists, we believe in personalized vision care. While glasses are sufficient for many, some prefer the unobstructed peripheral vision that contacts offer. However, traditional contact options, including Rigid Gas Permeable (RGP) lenses, might not suit everyone. These lenses require a perfectly smooth corneal surface to function properly, which is not always available. 

Fortunately, advancements in eye care technology have made scleral lenses a viable option for many who previously had no choice but to rely on glasses. These lenses have revolutionized treatment for those with irregular corneas or specific corneal conditions, providing them the freedom to wear contacts. 

This article from The EyeDoctors Optometrists will explore the details of scleral lenses, their advantages, and their suitability for various eye conditions. 

The Different Types of Contact Lenses

In the world of eye care, there are numerous options for contact lenses. To better understand how scleral lenses are a unique form of specialized contact lens, it’s best to compare them to other types of lenses commonly prescribed. The two most commonly prescribed types of lenses are soft contacts and Rigid Gas Permeable Lenses. 

Soft Contact Lenses

Soft contacts are the most common choice due to their flexibility and comfort, molding well to the cornea's shape. They are typically more affordable and available in disposable formats in daily, weekly, and monthly sets. However, they may not offer the best breathability, leading to dry eyes for some users. 

Rigid Gas Permeable (RGP) Lenses

RGP lenses, composed of stiffer silicone, provide sharper vision and better oxygen flow to the cornea than soft lenses, which can help prevent dry eye symptoms. They are durable and long-lasting (upwards of over a year if proper contact maintenance is followed) but can dislodge more easily due to their less conforming fit. They also tend to cost a bit more than soft contacts. 

How Scleral Lenses Enhance Vision

Scleral lenses fall under the RGP category but are distinct in their design and function. Larger than typical contacts, they vault over the cornea and rest on the sclera, the eye's white part, bypassing corneal irregularities that can interfere with vision correction. 

Each scleral lens is custom-fitted to the wearer's eye shape, offering precise vision correction and long-term usability. This means every set of scleral lenses is one of a kind. 

Benefits of Scleral Lenses

The primary advantage of scleral lenses is their ability to provide excellent vision to those who might not be able to use other contacts. They distribute pressure across the sclera, a thicker part of the eye that is less sensitive, offering exceptional comfort. Additionally, they maintain eye moisture through a saline solution reservoir. This feature is particularly beneficial following corneal surgeries, aiding in recovery. 

Scleral lenses are tailored for individual vision needs, similar to the precision in crafting prescription glasses, making them highly effective for various corneal conditions and astigmatism. 

The Drawbacks Scleral Lenses 

Despite their many benefits, scleral lenses have a few considerations to keep in mind. They’re more costly than other lenses because they require detailed measurements and are made custom for your unique eyes. Additionally, they require diligent maintenance. They may need to be removed and cleaned a few times a day to prevent vision obstruction from accumulated debris inside the saline reservoir. Their size might also require a period of adjustment for new users. 

Eligibility for Scleral Lenses

Not everyone will get the majority of benefits from scleral lenses. But those who will see the most advantages to switching to scleral lenses are patients with conditions that affect the cornea's surface, such as astigmatism, keratoconus, and dry eye disease. They are also advantageous for post-surgical recovery and managing conditions like Stevens-Johnson Syndrome and Sjogren’s Syndrome. 

To find out if you’re a good candidate for scleral lenses, talk to your eye doctor. 

Find Scleral Lenses at The EyeDoctors Optometrists

While finding specialized care for scleral lenses can be challenging, The EyeDoctors Optometrists simplifies this with accessible, high-quality eye care across Kansas. Our 22 locations are staffed with professionals trained in the latest eye care technology to ensure your scleral lenses are perfectly fitted, providing clear vision and comfort. 

Visit any of The EyeDoctors Optometrists locations in Kansas for a personalized contact lens consultation to find out if scleral lenses are right for you. Our team is ready to assist with your eye care needs and is only ever a call or click away. 

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