What are scleral lenses?
Scleral lenses are a type of specialty hard contact lens that rests on the sclera (the white part of the eye). It does not actually touch the cornea, which is the structure that most standard contact lenses sit on.
What are they used for?
Scleral lenses are used to correct and enhance the quality of vision in many patients, however they work especially well in patients who may have a corneal disease, have had a previous eye injury, or any condition that could cause an abnormally shaped surface or lots of scarring on the cornea. These eyes don’t typically do well with regular contact lenses because soft contacts won’t sit right or align properly on an abnormally shaped eye. Glasses don’t always work well, either - depending on the eye’s shape and the difference in the prescription between the two eyes, the optics of glasses does not compare to the visual clarity that most patients receive when they are fitted with these specialty contact lenses.
I use bifocals/progressives. Are they also available for bifocal wearers?
Yes. Scleral lenses can be fit either for distance, for monovision (one eye for distance and the other eye for reading), or multifocal (bifocal fits where both eyes can see distance, computer and reading).
I am interested in scleral or specialty contacts. What should I do now?!
If you haven’t had a recent eye examination within the last two years, you would need to schedule one first. If you have a corneal condition or degeneration, your eye exam and a portion of the contact lens fitting fees may be covered by MSI. After your eye examination, if you are a candidate for specialty contact lens wear, the optometrist may recommend an additional test to map the front surface of your eye. This will ensure that the best and most customized contact lens fit can be achieved for your eyes. Then, the contact lens fitter will train you on how to insert/remove/clean and care for your lenses. At this point, the optometrist will check the lens fit and your vision, and you can then try out your new scleral lenses!
Family Vision Clinic is pleased to offer patients the option of having custom and specialty contact lenses fitted.Please give us a call or send us an email if you would like more information or to schedule with our eye doctor in Halifax, Dartmouth, Sackville or Bedford!