Scleral Lenses for Keratoconus, Dry Eye, and Other Conditions

Jun 12 2019

There are multiple eye conditions that can make wearing contacts difficult, such as keratoconus, dry eye, or severe and irregular astigmatism. If you’ve been told in the past that regular contacts won’t work with your eyes because of an irregularly shaped cornea or severe dry eye, then you should speak to your Central Oregon eye doctor about scleral lenses.

Regular Contacts and Keratoconus

Keratoconus is a condition where the cornea begins to bulge and forms a cone-like shape. This makes it very difficult to wear normal contacts, as they can slide and cause irritation.

Similarly, dry eye also makes it difficult to wear regular contacts. When a person suffers from dry eye, they lack proper lubrication due to tear gland dysfunction and other issues. Regular gas permeable, or “soft” lenses can cause dry eye to become worse as the lens dries in the eye.

What are Scleral Lenses?

Scleral lenses were developed to rest on the whites of the eye, the sclera, to create a bridge over the cornea. They have a larger diameter than regular gas permeable lenses and create a “vault” around the cornea to allow for enhanced moisture in the eye.

Scleral contacts vary in size depending on how much of the cornea and sclera needs to be covered. Even the smallest scleral lens covers the entire cornea, offering more stability around the cornea. The sizing can be adjusted and personalized based on the patient and the severity of the eye condition.

Are You a Good Candidate for Scleral Lenses?

Most people can wear scleral lenses, but they are specifically helpful for people who have irregular corneas and extremely dry eyes. These cases are considered, in industry terms, to be “hard to fit” situations. Central Oregon Eyecare is unique in our commitment to finding solutions, even in these unconventional situations.

Irregular Corneas and Keratoconus

When you are diagnosed with irregular corneas, it could be from several different factors. The cause could be completely natural, from eye conditions such as keratoconus or irregular astigmatism, or resulting from eye injury or surgery. These conditions typically cannot be fully corrected with glasses or soft contact lenses. Scleral lenses provide sharper images for these conditions, allowing for even irregular eyes to have clearer vision.

Dry Eye

Dry eye syndrome, also known as Ocular Surface Disease, can be exacerbated by regular gas permeable lenses because of the contact lays directly on the cornea and dries out. Scleral lenses are designed to have a generous amount of space between the back of the lens and the cornea. This creates a moisture reservoir for tears to gather, effectively alleviating regular dry eye symptoms and allowing the eye to be moist and comfortable.

Scleral Lenses at Central Oregon Eyecare

Scleral lenses could be a very effective treatment for your eyes if you wish to see clearer. The doctors at Central Oregon Eyecare are ready to help fit you with the best lenses for your eyes, allowing you to get clear vision with comfortable contacts.

If you still have questions about the different types of contact lenses that are offered at Central Oregon Eyecare, you can find more information here, or you can call 541-548-2488 and have all your questions answered.

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