What is a Scleral Lens?
A scleral contact lens is a lens that vaults over the cornea to avoid any contact with the tissue and lands on the sclera. A scleral lens may be warranted when a cornea has been compromised from conditions such as:
- Pellucid marginal degeneration
- Post-refractive surgical complications
- Steven’s Johnson Syndrome
- Cicatricial diseases
- Dry eyes
- High astigmatism
How Does a Scleral Lens Work?
A scleral lens is a large diameter lens that uses a gas permeable material with five curves that are highly customizable to be tuned to each persons’ cornea.
This lens aids in restoreing vision by providing an optically smooth surface to an irregular cornea. The optically smooth surface is obtained by a saline interface between the lens and the irregular cornea. The saline interface acts like a new cornea by properly directing light to the back of the eye.
A scleral lens is also protective against the mechanical forces of the eye lid. When the lid blinks over an irregular cornea, areas of the cornea that are protruding may receive more friction from the underside of the lid causing irritation. The lens will protect these areas by covering the entire cornea and effectively providing comfort.
Another purpose of the scleral lens is for therapy. The saline interface between the lens and the cornea will provide the cornea time to heal from any surface irritation. Scleral lenses are also great for anyone suffering from dry eyes because the cornea is bathed in the saline interface.