Eye doctors have traditionally prescribed scleral lenses for people who suffer from keratoconus. It’s an eye condition wherein the corneal tissue thins out and bulges outward into a cone shape. Eye doctors have also used scleral lenses to correct vision after eye surgery. Today, though, experts use it to treat many other eye diseases and visual problems. The vision needs and the corneal shape of every patient vary. For these reasons, eye doctors are careful to tailor the sclera lenses for each person’s case. Are you looking to achieve sharper focus through these specially designed contact lenses? You can be a good candidate for scleral lens use if you have any of the following conditions:
Keratoconus: Scleral lenses are larger in diameter than standard gas permeable (GP) contact lenses. Eye doctors designed them to vault over your entire corneal surface. It rests on your sclera or the white part of your eye, replacing the irregular shape of the cornea. Scleral lenses provide a perfectly smooth optical surface. This corrects vision problems brought about by keratoconus and other corneal shape irregularities.
Corneal Ectasia: This is a condition marked by the abnormal thinning of the cornea. It resembles keratoconus and is almost always caused by refractive eye surgery. Undergoing laser-assisted in situ keratomileuses (LASIK) can cause the corneal wall to thin. The internal ocular pressure can expand or distend the cornea. This leads to corneal surface distortions. The distortions make it hard for patients to have a clear vision. Often, scleral lenses will be necessary to restore lost vision.
High Astigmatism: Astigmatism is a type of refractive error caused by corneal shape irregularities. The abnormality causes eyestrain, headaches, and blurred or distorted vision. For patients with moderate to severe astigmatism, the distortion is sometimes too severe. Unlike soft contacts, which only conform to the cornea, scleral lenses sit on the sclera. They’re rigid and keep the shape regardless of corneal dimensions.
Dry Eye Disease and Eyelid Abnormalities: Rigid GP material makes up scleral lenses. The lenses also have a larger diameter. The design also offers a fluid reservoir. This allows scleral lenses to support and restore a healthy ocular surface. They are excellent at reducing evaporation and drying. This can protect you against challenging environments that cause advanced dry eye disease. Scleral lenses are also known for treating eyelid abnormalities. The lenses can partially prop up the upper eyelid. By tailoring scleral lenses this way, eye doctors can correct some ptosis. Patients who were born with abnormal eyelids have a better chance of improving their vision using scleral lenses rather than traditional contact lenses.
Patients with corneal degeneration can also be good candidates for scleral lenses. The same goes for those who suffer from chemical burn injuries, Sjogren’s Syndrome, or Stevens-Johnson Syndrome. Even people who have complications from corneal transplants and eye surgeries may enjoy these special lenses.
Do you suspect that you have any of these eye conditions? Advanced Eyecare Consultants can help you determine whether you need scleral lenses. To do that, you can call our offices in Libertyville or Lake Zurich, Illinois, to schedule your eye examination.