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Scleral Contact Lenses
Can I wear scleral lenses continuously or sleep while wearing my scleral lenses?
In General, most eye care providers recommend that you remove scleral lenses before sleeping. Stagnation of the tear layer behind the lens could lead to a higher risk of eye infection. Since most of the people who need scleral lenses have already had some trouble with their eyes, further challenge to the surface of the eye would not be advised.
In some cases, scleral lenses may serve to protect the surface of the eye overnight. In such cases, overnight wear may be specifically recommended by an eye care provider. However, if your eye care provider doesn’t specifically tell you to wear the lenses overnight, plan to remove them before retiring for the evening.
How long can I wear scleral lenses during the day?
Many patients who wear scleral lenses are able to wear them for 12-14 hours daily. Some patients may need to remove the lenses, clean them, and reapply them with fresh saline periodically throughout the course of the day in order to maintain the best possible vision and comfort..
Will scleral lenses completely correct my vision so that I don’t need glasses when I'm wearing them?
Scleral lenses will mask irregularities on the surface of the eye, and may give you better vision than other forms of correction. However, it’s possible that you’ll still need to wear glasses over the lenses in order to see clearly at all distances, especially if you’re over the age of 40 and are now using reading glasses for near tasks.
I have dry eyes.With scleral lenses, can I stop using eyedrops and/or other medication for my dry eyes?
Scleral lenses are a useful addition to your current therapy, but are not likely to completely replace other things that you’re doing to manage your condition. While scleral lenses protect the cornea, the back of your eyelid will still need to move over the front surface of the lens. Lubricant drops can help to reduce irritation caused by this interaction.
If you are using any medications prescribed to manage corneal infection or inflammation, you should continue to do so when wearing scleral lenses unless your eye care provider specifically instructs you to discontinue the medication. Furthermore, you should plan to remove scleral lenses before using prescription eyedrops, and reapply the lenses after instilling the drops.
What eye conditions are best treated with a scleral lens?
There are a number of eyes diseases and conditions that are best treated with a scleral lens. What must be appreciated is the fact that a scleral lens, when fit correctly is a medical device and a therapeutic device all in one. The lenses that we design can be fit to virtually any eye shape and for any degree of visual error while at the same time allowing the diseased or injured eye to heal.
How long will a scleral lens last?
Depending upon your tear film’s tendency to coat the lenses and your care habits, scleral lenses should last approximately as long as other rigid lenses (1-3 years).
I have keratoconus. Should I consider scleral lenses?
Scleral lenses are very often a very good solution to keratoconus and can give both good vision and great comfort.
Why do scleral lenses work well with keratoconus?
Scleral lenses do not touch or rest on the irritated corneal tissue. Instead these lenses vault over the cornea and are supported by the white portion (the sclera) of the eye. A special fluid fills the space between the back portion of the lens and the front of the cornea. There is very little lens movement and the edges of the lenses are beneath the eyelids.
Due to the increased stability of these lenses over conventional gas permeable lenses, comfort and vision is usually excellent. In addition, the fluid environment between the back of the lens and the front of the cornea tends to promote healing of the irritated corneal tissue.
I have visual distortions because of dry eye. Can a scleral lens help me?
A gas permeable scleral lens replaces the cornea as an optical surface. It does not matter how distorted your corneas are. A well fitted scleral lens gives you the equivalent of a new cornea. As far as dryness issues area concerned, the bowl of the scleral lens is filled with unpreserved saline solution.
When placed on your eye, the lens does not touch your cornea. A liquid reservoir of pure saline solution fills the space between the back surface of the lens and the front surface of the cornea. In other words, your corneas are always in a moist environment.
My keratoconus is very advanced. Can scleral lenses help me?
The scleral lenses are made of highly oxygen permeable materials that can be fit to provide excellent comfort and vision and virtually never pop out.
In fact, patients with a number of corneal diseases actually undergo a healing affect after scleral lens wear. The scleral lenses create a reservoir of fluid that bathes the corneal surface while the lenses are worn. This often reduces the pain and light sensitivity that can be debilitating to patients with corneal diseases such as Stevens-Johnson Syndrome, post-lasik surgery, post-corneal transplants, corneal ectasia, keratoconus and so on
I am an athlete and this forces me to be out in the wind and dust. Could scleral lenses work for me?
Scleral lenses can provide great vision and comfort in the wind and dust and can be a great alternative to conventional gas permeable contact lenses in this environment. Additionally, they virtually never pop out of your eyes unintentionally.
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