- What are the benefits of scleral lenses over corneal transplant?
Corneal transplant carries a significant immediate risk, including the risk of rejection and serious infection. Scleral lenses are a non-invasive option that does not carry these risks. In addition, scleral lenses do not carry any of the long-term risks of corneal transplant, such as limited lifetime of the graft, risk of wound rupture during trauma and a lack of stable vision after a year. Finally, around half of patients who choose corneal transplant still need to wear some type of lens to achieve their desired visual acuity.
- What are scleral lenses, and how do they work?
Scleral lenses have a larger diameter than traditional contact lenses. They are oxygen permeable lenses that sit still on the eye. These lenses do not come in contact with the eye, but rather vault over it. A sterile saline fills the space between the eye and the surface of the lens, filling in irregularities of the cornea to restore vision. The edges of the lens sit on the white of the eye, increasing comfort while also improving the individual’s vision.
- What eye conditions can be treated with scleral lenses?
Scleral lenses can be used to treat a variety of eye conditions, including:
- Complications after LASIK
- Radial Keratotomy RK Complications
- Pellucid Marginal Degeneration
- Chronic dry eye
- Conditions affecting the cornea, including damage to the cornea due to trauma
These lenses are individually shaped and are considered a medical, therapeutic device. This means they fit almost any eye shape and can correct vision losses of all types, all while allowing an injured or damage eye the chance to heal.
- How Hard are Scleral Lenses to Use?
Scleral lenses are not hard to use, but they do require instruction. Your doctor will spend about 30 minutes with you, teaching you how to insert and remove the lenses using a special plunger style applicator.
- What is the typical life span of scleral lenses?
While every patient is different, these lenses tend to last an average of three years. Some patients have them much longer, however, and the right cleaning products can help keep the lenses in the best possible condition for a longer period of time.
- I cannot wear contact lenses because they hurt or pop out of my eye. Can I wear scleral lenses?
When they are fit properly to your eye, scleral lenses will not pop out. They also should not cause pain. They do not move on the eye or touch the cornea directly, but rather fit under the eyelids and on the white of the eye. This helps protect your eye from discomfort while wearing the lenses. Most patients report greater comfort than they had with soft lenses used in the past.
- I had LASIK Because I Don’t Want to Wear Contacts Anymore. Is There Any Surgery I Can Have to Repair My Eye?
Many patients are discouraged about the need to wear scleral lenses after having surgery to remove the need for glasses or lenses. Unfortunately, any surgical procedures available to repair your eyes requires the removal of corneal tissue, and this will not fix your vision. When you have damaged eyes due to LASIK or similar procedures, the complications cannot be fixed, and any attempt to do so only makes the risk of future complications even greater. Scleral lenses are a non-invasive, effective and comfortable solution when you suffer this form of damage.