Almost everyone is familiar with contact lenses. Chances are, you wear contacts or know someone who does. However, most people are not aware of scleral contact lenses. In this post, Northern Virginia Doctors of Optometry talks about the lesser-known alternative to corrective contact lenses.
What Are Scleral Lenses?
Scleral contact lenses, simply known as scleral lenses, are used by patients with corneal irregularities, tear film conditions and refractive errors. Scleral lenses cover the cornea and a large portion of the sclera, unlike their soft contact lens counterparts, which only cover the cornea. They are rigid gas permeable lenses, with a size that typically spans 14 millimeters to 20 millimeters in diameter. Lenses that are smaller than 18 millimeters are considered as mini-sclerals.
Scleral lenses provide a tear-filled vault over the cornea, making it a perfect contact lens alternative for people with chronically dry eyes or for people who encounter issues when wearing regular contact lenses. In any case, you should consult your optometrist if you’re experiencing any eye discomfort while wearing contacts or otherwise.
Who Can Benefit From Scleral Lenses?
Patients who suffer from eye diseases like keratoconus can greatly benefit from scleral lenses. Keratoconus is a disease characterized by the thinning of the cornea. The corneal shape becomes cone-like.
Advantages Over Contact Lenses
While scleral lenses are larger than contact lenses, they provide more comfort. Scleral lenses are made of a durable plastic that’s capable of transmitting oxygen. The “breathability” feature of scleral lenses makes it ideal for people with dry eyes. Due to its size, it stays in place better. Even if you somehow lose it, you can find it easier because it’s larger compared to regular contacts.
Northern Virginia Doctors of Optometry provides comprehensive eye exam packages that can determine whether scleral lenses are suitable for you. You may contact us at (703) 573-1200.