Advanced Cornea & Contact Lens Clinic
Not everyone is a candidate for standard contact lenses. Many people suffer from conditions such as keratoconus, corneal scars, dry eyes, and many others. These conditions do not allow standard contact lenses to provide adequate vision and comfort. In these cases, specialty contact lenses are required and provide the patient with much better vision and comfort, and most importantly, increasing quality of life.
The Scleral Contact Lens
A scleral contact lens is a custom designed large diameter contact lens made of rigid high oxygen permeable material that rests on the sclera, the white of the eye, and creates a tear-filled vault over the cornea, the front surface of the eye. This tear-filled vault fills in the irregularities of the cornea and provides exceptional vision for those who could not otherwise achieve this with standard contacts or glasses. In addition, this tear layer provides constant moisture to front surface of the eye, allowing for incredible relief of dry eye symptoms.
Scleral Lens Indications
When the eyes become excessively dry, it leads to irritation, burning, redness and blurred vision. Standard contact lenses can make these symptoms much worse. Scleral lenses create a layer of moisture between the front surface of the eye and back surface of the lens. This moisture layer bathes the eye as long as the lens is in, providing dramatic improvements in dry eye symptoms. These lenses are used in these cases to provide relief, heal the irritated cornea, and improve vision.
This is a condition that happens when the cornea becomes thinner and allows the eye to bulge forward. This bulge forms a cone on the front surface of the eye. Patients who suffer from this condition usually cannot wear standard contacts or glasses because these options can be very uncomfortable and may not provide adequate vision. Scleral lenses are custom designed to vault over this abnormal surface, therefore creating an artificially smooth and regular front surface, while leaving the cone untouched to prevent scarring. This provides extremely improved vision and comfort compared to standard contacts and glasses.
Sometimes surgery to the cornea, either major such as corneal transplants, or minor such as LASIK, PRK, or RK, can cause permanent irregularities in the cornea. These irregularities can lead to symptoms of decreased vision, glare, halos, fluctuating vision and dry eyes. As with keratoconus, these conditions do not allow standard contacts or glasses to provide adequate vision. Scleral lenses, with their custom design, vault over these irregularities in the cornea and provide an artificially smooth and regular front surface. The result is much better vision and reduced symptoms.
Abnormally high prescriptions, such as extreme nearsightedness or farsightedness, can be difficult to fit with standard contacts due to limited parameters of commercially available lenses. High levels of astigmatism are also difficult to fit with standard contacts because even a small amount of rotation of the lens can cause very poor vision. Scleral lenses have an almost limitless number of parameters and can be manufactured to any prescription. They lock into place so rotation is never an issue. Sclerals are a perfect indication in these cases to provide exceptional vision.
Around the age of 40, we all start to lose the ability to see well up close. Although bifocal or progressive glasses are a great option, multifocal contact lenses are also available. Standard multifocal contact lenses, with there limited parameters, can provide good distance and near vision, but can cause some mild glare due to their optics. Scleral multifocal contact lenses, due to their high level of customization, reduce these multifocal effects and can provide exceptional distance and near vision.
Other Types of Specialty Lenses
Every patient is different and the type of lenses used depends on the specific needs of each individual. This may consist of any or a combination of the following:
- Custom Scleral Lenses
- Custom Rigid Gas Permeable Lenses
- Custom Soft Lenses
- Hybrid Lenses
- Custom Orthokeratology Lenses
- Custom Tinted Lenses
If you are interested in custom contact lenses, please call our office at (541) 726-5055.