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What Vision Problems Do Scleral Lenses Correct?

6 Reasons Scleral Lenses Can Manage Your Dry Eye Syndrome 640×350If you have been wearing standard contact lenses but find that you want to see better or more comfortably, then consider scleral lenses. A scleral lens is usually about the same size as a standard soft lens, but when designing Scleral Lenses, the doctor can decide if they should be made smaller or larger, change the power of the lens or any of the parameters. This is very different than soft lenses where the manufacturer dictates what they produce. With Scleral lenses and corneal gas permeable lenses, we can change the lens parameters and power to customize it to your needs.

Scleral lenses vault the cornea and create a dome over the cornea. Since it never touches the cornea and rests on the white part of your eye, the sclera, they are very comfortable. The space between the front part of your eye and the back surface of the lens is a reservoir of fluid.

Scleral Lenses correct vision and give greater comfort even for people who need multifocal lenses to see at a distance and near.

These lenses are especially helpful for those patients who have not been able to get good results with other types of contact lenses, eyeglasses, or other treatments.

Scleral lenses are probably best known for treating patients with corneas that have irregular shapes, for example, those who have high astigmatism, Keratoconus, and Pellucid marginal degeneration.

Some of the vision problems we commonly treat with scleral lenses are:

  • Keratoconus – “Kera” means ‘cornea’, and “conus” means cone, as in an ice cream cone. The cornea bulges outwards and bends light irregularly, and that’s why people with keratoconus can’t see clearly. The light doesn’t bend properly onto the back part of the eye.
  • Post-Surgical EctasiaWhen someone has had LASIK, PRK, or any refractive procedure, the cornea is surgically made thinner. Since it is now thinner, it can then bulge out. This is called ECTASIA.

Scleral lenses are the best choice to normalize these abnormally shaped corneas.

  • Dry eye syndromewe all spend a considerable amount of time on computers and other screens and this can bring on dry eyes. Certain medications, such as high blood pressure medications, and other medications can cause dry eye. The scleral lens creates a space between the front of the cornea and the back of the scleral lens. This space is then filled with fluid and keeps the cornea moist. These lenses are the most effective type of contact lenses for keeping the eyes wet (hydrated). These lenses keep the front part of the eye protected from the outside environment.
  • Corneal Transplant complicationsCorneal transplants are often a last resort for a cornea that has keratoconus or an injury to the cornea, for example, a trauma. Especially in these cases, we want to minimize any strain to the cornea. Corneal transplants can fail and often cause a lot of corneal irregularities. Corneal transplants, called grafts, are more susceptible to infection.

A standard contact lens places extra strain, irritation, and risk onto the new corneas. Scleral lenses create a protective clear dome over the cornea and provide more protection for the eyes, and give the corneal grafts a better chance of success and improved comfort compared to other types of lenses.

  • Eye trauma caused by chemicals or burnsEye injuries caused by chemicals or burns can cause scarring to the cornea. Individuals will then see blurry or cloudy. It can cause astigmatism, discomfort or pain, or visual distortion. Scleral lenses help provide clearer vision while keeping the cornea moist and hydrated. This then protects it from further harm or irritation and allows the cornea to heal as best as possible.
  • Corneal Opacitiesa scar or cloudy area on the cornea can be caused by many reasons. The cornea may be become exposed because of a lid problem. A Foreign object or corneal ulcer can leave a scar.
  • Stevens-Johnson Syndrome (SJS), Fuch’s Corneal Dystrophy, and Ocular PemphigoidFortunately, these are more rare. SJS is a severe reaction that some patients have to chemicals, often certain medications. If you have SJS, you may experience side effects to medications such as flu-like symptoms or painful rashes on the skin. These blisters or rashes can affect the eyes or eyelids. This can lead to conjunctivitis (pink eye). In some cases, SJS-related inflammation can damage the eye tissues and cause permanent visual impairment. Scleral lenses help resolve dry eyes, a common symptom for individuals with SJS. The scleral lens protects the eyes from irritation and strain that can make the risk of tissue damage worse.

Scleral lenses are effective in treating these problems. They are an excellent choice for solving problems that have been caused by eye disease or surgical procedures such as radial keratotomy surgery, PRK, and LASIK. Those problems often cause sensitivity to light, halos, difficulty driving at night, and glare from headlights or sunlight.

If you have one of these problems or know someone who does, please call us to see if we can help you with scleral lenses.