Scleral lenses are large diameter rigid gas permeable contact lenses. The material is highly oxygen permeable. Scleral lenses are loosely suctioned to the white part of the eye (the sclera). For this reason, the eyelids do not interact with the edge of the lenses which makes them generally very comfortable. Because the lenses are loosely suctioned, the vision is quite stable. There are new coatings as of 2018 that can be added to the front surface to improve surface wettability (Tangible Hydrapeg). The lenses are filled with preservative-free saline, which makes them a nice treatment for many types of dry eye.
Who is a candidate for scleral lenses? Anyone with surface irregularities of the cornea such as:
Pellucid Marginal Degeneration
Post corneal transplant
Post LASIK, PRK or RK
For these patients the scleral lens can provide a new, stable, spherical surface for the image to enter the eye, which can lead to greatly improved vision
Another reason someone may choose this type of lens would be extreme dry eye such as in:
Steven’s Johnson Syndrome
Graft vs. Host Disease
With scleral lenses the eye is continually bathed in preservative-free saline or ocular lubricant. This can greatly increase the quality of life for patients with extreme dry eye.
Why many patients prefer these lenses over RGP (traditional rigid gas permeable lenses)
Don’t move around on eye
Don’t fall out
More stable vision
Can be better for correcting residual astigmatism
"I had eye damage years ago, and my eye sight has always requiring special attention. So these Scleral lenses have been a huge and welcome surprise! For the first time in years I can see 20/20 - in both eyes! And they are so comfortable I have to be reminded to remove them! Dr. Kaufman, thanks to you and your staff for a great experience in the process of fitting these Scleral lenses. All of you have been a pleasure to work with. I have felt well cared for. I’ve already been talking you up to friends and family."
- Rod Shockley, Kent WA