Who Is a Candidate for Scleral Lenses?

The unique design of scleral lenses allows them to treat eye conditions that may not respond to other eye treatments. In addition, their large contact lenses enable them to rest on the eyeball’s white outer layer called the sclera. By doing so, the lens creates a tear-filled vault over the eye’s cornea.


 

Who Are Scleral Lenses Meant For?


Scleral lenses were popularly known for use on patients with irregularly shaped corneas. While this may be so, their use has broadened over time to include eye conditions unrelated to corneal problems.


Candidates of scleral lenses may include patients who have had minimal to no success with contact lenses or prescription glasses. If you suffer from any of the following conditions, you are a scleral lens candidate:

  • High astigmatism.
  • Injuries from chemical burns.
  • Abnormalities of the eyelid.
  • Corneal degeneration.
  • Keratoconus, where the corneal tissue swells outwards.
  • Recovery from cornea surgery done to correct myopia.
  • Complications arising from corneal transplants.
  • Stevens-Johnson syndrome, a rare condition that damages the mucous membrane and skin tissue.
  • Sjogren’s syndrome, whose common symptoms include dry mouth and dry eyes.


 

Observations Necessary for a Proper Fit 


Many medical eye care practitioners have enough skills to determine how a scleral lens should fit your eye. They follow critical observations to ensure a proper fit, as follows:

  • Central clearance - Clinicians evaluate how thick the tear film is to establish the right corneal clearance. 
  • Evaluate limbal clearance - This evaluation ensures the limbus does not have a long-term bearing to avoid redness and irritation of the eye.
  • Evaluate landing profile - The goal of the fitting evaluation is to ensure that the scleral lens is the exact size and lands on the eye seamlessly. If the bearing is too much, the conjunctival vessels will impinge, and this will show. Also, if there is excessive lifting, the lens will show more.


 

Insertion


Scleral lenses are easy to insert. One can insert them into your eye directly by using clean fingers or a plunger. First, lift the lens with a sterile prescribed solution. To ensure you do not trap any bubble inside the lens, fill it with the solution and let some of it drip from the scleral lens during insertion. Once you have ensured the lens has no bubble during insertion, you can rotate it to its proper orientation.


 

Removal and Storage


Again, one can remove scleral lenses using a plunger or clean fingers. Unlike regular lenses, one can store scleral lenses while dry if unused for a long period.


 

Scleral Lenses Are Not for Every Patient


While scleral lenses appeal to a wide variety of eye conditions, they are not ideal for everyone. Patients who struggle to wear and remove these lenses no matter the number of attempts may not tolerate them. Also, patients who have a very low endothelial cell count cannot use scleral lenses. The lenses may make them prone to a serious case of corneal edema.



For more on who is a candidate for scleral lenses, visit Omaha Primary Eye Care at our office in Elkhorn, Nebraska. You can also call 402-383-0780 to book an appointment today.