Contact lenses come in various shapes and styles to suit the range of needs of individual patients. This means that there is almost certainly a contact lens that will both feel comfortable for you and improve your vision.
Some types of contact lenses are known as specialty lenses. Specialty lenses are designed to overcome some eye issues which may prevent a patient from wearing the most common and generic styles of contact lenses. In fact, specialty contact lenses have transformed the vision options of many patients who would otherwise have only had the choice between wearing glasses or undergoing laser vision correction. There are numerous types of specialty contact lenses, one of which is scleral lenses.
Scleral contact lenses take their name from the fact that, unlike regular contacts, they vault over the entire corneal surface and rest only on the white part of the eye, which is called the sclera. This makes them larger than standard contacts, which in turn provides a variety of benefits. Their size makes them easier to handle, and they are more stable when on the eye, which in turn provides the patient with sharper and more reliable vision. They are also less likely to become dislodged and come out.
Scleral contact lenses are also gas permeable, meaning that oxygen can pass right through them and reach the surface of the eyes. This is important for comfort, particularly for patients who experience dry eyes. The gap that is created between the back of the contact lens and the front surface of the eye can trap tear film, acting as a fluid reservoir that will keep the eyes moist and healthy.
Within the category of scleral lenses, there are several different sizes available. The names of these sizes are based on where the lenses meet the surface of the eye:
Full scleral lenses: the largest type, they provide the greatest amount of clearance between the cornea and lens and rest on the outer sclera.
Mini scleral lenses: the mid-size variety, these make contact with the eye on the anterior sclera.
Semi-scleral lenses: although larger than conventional lenses, they are not huge, and the edge of the contact lens rests on the junction between the cornea and the sclera.
Your scleral lens provider will be able to recommend the correct size for you, which will be based on your individual requirements.
Although technically anyone can wear and benefit from scleral lenses, they are a particularly good option for patients with eye conditions or irregularities for which regular contacts are unsuitable. This includes patients with:
For more information about scleral lenses, please do not hesitate to call our expert eye care team.