IN SEATTLE WASHINGTON
Scleral Lenses are a revolutionary breakthrough in contact lens design that allows patients that traditionally were unable to wear contact lenses or patients with irregular corneas to enjoy the benefits of contact lenses combined with superior visual acuity and the gold standard of comfort. Scleral lenses are particularly helpful for patients with Kerataconus and severe dry eyes due to the vaulted design of the contact that creates a new replacement surface of the cornea as well as creating a pocket for lubrication.
Experiencing any of these symptoms/conditions?
Irregular Cornea | Sjögren’s syndrome | Graft-versus-host disease |Stevens-Johnson syndrome | Astigmatism | Dry eye | Post Eye Surgery Discomfort
We can help! Read below to see how.
SCHEDULE A SCLERAL LENS FITTING IN THE SEATTLE WA AREA
What are scleral contact lenses?
Who is a good candidate for scleral lenses?
Effective Treatment for Irregular Corneas
A scleral lens rests like a bridge over the cornea, and not on it. A ring, termed a flange, sits on the white of your eye (the sclera) and gaps between your eye and the contact lens are filled with tears. Corneal scarring or an extremely irregular corneal surface may make it impossible to wear standard contact lenses comfortably and with a good fit. With their extra-large diameter, gas permeable scleral lenses offer a great alternative.
The unique shape of scleral lenses allows them to be used for many hard-to-fit ocular conditions, such as keratoconus, pellucid degeneration and where there is a great deal of corneal scarring. Your sclera tissue is not as sensitive as the cornea, and therefore scleral lenses are usually very comfortable – even when worn on a daily basis.
There are three main types of scleral lenses, with the differences being in size and where the lenses meet your eye’s frontal surface:
- Corneo-scleral lenses – have a wide diameter and rest close to the seam of your sclera and cornea.
- Mini-scleral lenses – span over your entire cornea
- Full scleral lenses – the largest type, creating the greatest clearance space between the contact lens and your cornea.
In general, any individual in Seattle who wants to optimize their vision with contact lenses can be a suitable candidate for scleral lenses. However, these specialized lenses are most appropriate for people with the following conditions:
- Hard-to-fit eyes: if you can’t be fit well with traditional gas permeable lenses, or lenses tend to pop out of your eye easily, scleral lenses may give you a more secure fit and can help with hard to fit patients.
- Dry eyes: when the tear film that coats your eyes is insufficient, conventional contacts may be uncomfortable or painful. Scleral lenses have a large gap between the contact lens and your cornea, and this space acts as a place for tears to collect. More moisture thereby remains on the surface of your eyes and allows for our Seattle optometrist to use sclera lenses for dry eye patients.
- Irregular corneas and Keratoconus: Kerataconus is the most common reason patients visit us from Seattle WA for Sclerals, but no matter what the cause of your irregularly shaped cornea, scleral lenses will usually give you much clearer vision than eyeglasses or standard contacts.
- Post-corneal surgery: surgeries, such as corneal transplants, often leave you with vision that is not fully normal. Post-surgery scleral lenses offer sharp, comfortable eyesight while simultaneously protecting the delicate eye tissues from any damage to the graft.
An irregular cornea generally causes problems or limitations with vision and can be more complicated to correct with standard eyeglasses or contact lenses. If eyeglasses and regular contact lenses aren’t helping you see clearly due to an irregular cornea, scleral lenses may be the perfect solution to give you sharp, comfortable vision. Our Seattle eye doctor will evaluate your cornea using first-rate skill and the latest optometric technology. If we find that you are a good candidate for treatment with scleral lenses, we’ll fit you expertly with a pair of these premium, specialized contacts.
A large variety of causes may be responsible for irregular corneas. Some of the most common culprits include:
- Prior eye surgeries, such as LASIK or cataracts
- Eye injuries or burns
- Scarring after an eye infection
- Corneal ulcers
- Severe cases of dry eye
- Congenital defect
- Pterygium (conjunctival degeneration)
- Pellucid marginal degeneration
At Optical Images in Kirkland, WA we will evaluate your cornea and recommend the best type of scleral lenses for your eyes.
What are the benefits of a scleral lens vs. a regular contact lens?
What are three key differences in the scleral lens technology?
Candidates for Scleral Lenses Include Patients with:
- Easier to insert and remove.
- Improved, consistent quality of vision all day long.
- Better comfort. Other lenses may dry out and get uncomfortable, especially for people suffering from Dry Eye Syndrome.
- Longer lasting. With proper maintenance, taught by our Seattle optical staff, they can last over a year.
- The lens doesn’t touch the cornea but rests on the sclera or the white part of the eye to increase comfort.
- Microscopic adjustments to the lenses can be made with new advanced manufacturing technology to customize the fit of each lens to each patient’s unique needs.
- Can add highly customized, unique prescriptions onto each lens to provide even better vision.
- High or complicated prescriptions that have been told they can’t wear contact lenses.
- Unsuccessful history with other lenses either due to poor comfort or poor vision.
- Keratoconus or any type of corneal degeneration or dystrophy, transplants, scarring or trauma or post-LASIK complications.
- Dry eyes or high sensitivity to light or Steve Johnson Syndrome.
How safe are scleral lenses?
Is it difficult to care for sclerals?
When are scleral lenses an effective option?
Although this may be the first time you have heard of scleral contact lenses, they aren’t a new invention. In fact, they are the oldest type of contact lenses, invented in the early 16th century by Leonardo da Vinci. However, the first prototypes that were manufactured in Europe were not very permeable to oxygen. As a result, they caused many negative side effects, such as corneal swelling.
Nowadays, modern scleral lenses are designed and crafted with precise technology, new materials and computer-driven lathes. This leads to a higher level of safety and comfort. Contemporary sclerals have a high oxygen permeability, which reduces the risk of eye complications. Patients with keratoconus can have crystal-clear vision along with protection of the sensitive corneal surface.
At the very beginning, it can be tricky to insert scleral contacts. Yet, our Seattle optometrist provides complete instruction and training. After a short practice period of inserting and removing your lenses, you’ll have no trouble at all! Scleral lenses are very durable and easy to handle.
You must care for scleral lenses in the same way as standard contacts. Right after you remove them, clean and store them with the recommended disinfectant. It is important to use the solution recommended by our eye doctor when using Scleral Lenses.
Typically, our eye care professionals prescribe scleral lenses typically for patients with keratoconus, corneal dystrophies and degenerations, and in the case of corneal scarring. In addition, they are helpful for people with extreme dry eye syndrome, chronic inflammatory conditions, Sjorgen’s disease and other specific conditions. Many of our patients who try scleral lenses report that they are pleased to finally enjoy sharp and comfortable vision!
Scleral lenses can also be the ideal treatment for people with a vision prescription that exceeds the standard parameters of soft contacts.
Contact our optometrists to schedule a consultation at our optometry practice. We offer expert fittings for scleral lenses and a premium selection of these specialty contacts for hard-to-fit vision conditions.
SCHEDULE A SCLERAL LENS FITTING IN THE SEATTLE WA AREA