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What Are Scleral Contact Lenses?

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A More Versatile Lens

If you’ve had issues with contact lenses in the past, you may think that eyeglasses are the only option for your prescription. Standard lenses can indeed be uncomfortable, unstable, and irritating for individuals who need a more out-of-the-box solution. 

There’s no one-size-fits-all answer for clear vision. Thankfully, contact lens technology has advanced significantly in the last few decades, and there are specialty lens options available for nearly everyone. 

If you’re looking for specialty contact lenses, you may be interested in the versatility of a scleral lens.

The Skinny on Scleral Contact Lenses

Scleral lenses are gas permeable lenses, designed to dome over the surface of your cornea, resting on the sclera (the white of the eye).

Patients with eye conditions like keratoconus or irregularly shaped corneas may benefit from scleral contact lenses for their specialized prescriptions. Scleral contact lenses can help correct vision problems specifically related to corneal irregularities by providing a smooth optical surface. 

Patients with dry eyes may also enjoy the benefits of scleral contact lenses. Conventional contact lenses rest directly on the eye, whereas scleral lenses are fitted to leave space between the lens and the cornea.

The space between the back surface of the scleral lens and the cornea acts as a fluid reservoir, creating hydration and comfort for those not usually able to wear standard contact lenses. 

The Benefits of Scleral Lenses

Scleral Lenses & Your Prescription 

Scleral lenses are versatile, and can benefit various prescriptions and eye conditions, like: 

If you are interested in the benefits of scleral contact lenses, your next step is to book a contact lens exam and fitting. Your optometrist will discuss the details of scleral contact lenses, and help determine if this type of lens is the right choice for your vision.

EyePrint PRO Prosthetics 

EyePrint PRO designs unique contact lenses for each eye by scanning the ocular surface to create a custom fit. 

EyePrintPro is made from a gas permeable material that domes over the cornea, like a scleral contact lens. However, EyePrint PRO uses 3D printing and scanning technology to create a personalized lens for your eye. 

These personalized lenses offer improved comfort and stability, and are recommended for patients with conditions like:

Patients without the above conditions can still use EyePrint PRO lenses for a smoother, more comfortable contact lens experience. 

If you are considering EyePrint PRO prosthetics, contact your optometrist for further details. 

Will My Insurance Cover Scleral Lenses? 

Scleral lenses are personalized to each patient, and the prices can vary depending on the prescribed lens. Your optometrist should provide you with details on lens pricing. 

There are many types of vision coverage, with varying deductibles and costs. It’s essential to contact your insurance provider for specific information about your coverage. 

Young woman putting on contact lenses while she looks up on grey background

Caring For Your Scleral Lenses 

Your optometrist should provide care and handling tips for your new scleral lenses before you take them home. Don’t be afraid to ask questions if you’re unsure of the process –your eye care provider will walk you through the details as many times as needed. 

Taking care of your lenses is a vital step towards healthy eyesight. You’ll want to handle your lenses properly to avoid bacteria and infections. And great news! Caring for scleral lenses is very similar to caring for standard contact lenses. 

Follow the instructions provided to you by the optometrist, and:

  • Wash your hands thoroughly before handling your lenses or touching your eyes
  • Put the contacts in the palm of your hand with some drops of the solution recommended by your optometrist
  • Rub both sides of each lens in a gentle, circular motion
  • Rinse your contacts with the recommended solution
  • Make sure to put each lens in the correct case, and fill the case with fresh solution
  • Tightly close the case 
  • Ensure you are using fresh solution each time you rinse and store your lenses
  • Replace your contact lens case every 3 months

Are You Ready For A Fresh Start?

If you’ve been told in the past that contact lenses won’t work for your prescription or lifestyle, scleral contact lenses may be the game-changing solution you’ve been searching for. You can enjoy a frame-free life with scleral lenses without sacrificing your comfort. 

For further details about scleral contact lenses or EyePrint PRO Prosthetics, book an appointment with our team at the Eye Care Center of Colorado Springs. We’ll get you on the right path to clearer, more comfortable vision. 

Written by Dr. Sara Johnson

Dr. Sara Whitney graduated with a B.S. in Biochemistry from Rockford College in Rockford, IL and received her Doctor of Optometry degree from Southern College of Optometry in Memphis, TN. As an optometry student, Dr. Whitney completed a primary care externship in Wilmington, NC, and a hospital-based rotation at the Naval Health Clinic of Corpus Christi in Corpus Christi, TX. Dr. Whitney has cared for patients as an optometrist in the Colorado Springs area since May of 2009. She has experience in family eye care, including pediatric eye examination, adult eye care, treatment and management of ocular disease, contact lens fitting, and eye surgery co-management. Colorado State licensed and certified in ocular pharmaceutical agents, Dr. Whitney’s training and experience allow her to diagnose, treat, and manage or co-manage all eye conditions. Professional memberships include the American Optometric Association, Colorado Optometric Association, and Southern Colorado Optometric Society.
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