Scleral contact lenses are a specialized type of contact lens used for managing a variety of eye conditions. They are twice the size of a standard gas permeable contact lens and larger than a typical soft contact lens, with a diameter between 16-20mm.
Scleral contact lenses are custom made for each eye.
They are designed so the lens rests on the less sensitive white sclera and vaults over the cornea. The lenses are fit to allow no movement. These characteristics allow the lens to be immediately comfortable.
A unique property of the scleral lens is that the vaulted section is filled with a fluid reservoir which acts as a liquid bandage to help treat extremely dry or diseased corneas. Patients who suffer from dry eye, Sjogren’s syndrome, Graft Versus Host Disease (GVHD), neurotrophic keratitis, and Stevens-Johnson syndrome can be helped with the use of scleral contact lenses. The fluid reservoir also masks irregularities of the cornea which can dramatically improve the vision in a patient who has diseased or traumatized eyes, such as patients who have keratoconus or have had a corneal transplant. It is not uncommon for someone who is legally blind from corneal irregularity to regain near perfect vision from wearing scleral lenses.
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View a video of scleral lens insertion below.
View a video of scleral lens removal below.
Frequently Asked Questions
Who is a candidate for scleral lenses?
Scleral lenses are generally for patients who have visual disability from corneal irregularity secondary to keratoconus, trauma, or corneal transplant. Scleral lenses can also be used to manage patients with compromised corneas secondary to severe dry eye, Stevens-Johnson syndrome, Sjogren’s syndrome, Graft Versus Host Disease, and neurotrophic keratitis.
What is involved in the fitting process?
The initial visit consists of a medical eye exam, computerized corneal maps, sMap3D corneo-scleral topography, photography, and scleral fitting. After lens parameter measurements, the lab can start production of the contact lenses immediately. Production typically takes about 10-14 days, and we schedule a dispense appointment to ensure the lenses fit properly.
How are scleral lenses custom designed for my eye?
Dr. DeNaeyer uses a modern scleral lens design and fitting technique that streamlines the fitting process. sMap3D corneo-scleral topography is used to to fit custom scleral lenses to fit each individual eye. This process is a very efficient way to produce custom scleral lenses that are less costly.
Will my insurance cover scleral contact lenses?
If you are being fit with scleral lenses out of medical necessity, we will inquire if your insurance policy covers specialty contact lens fitting and materials. We do offer financing options through CareCredit.
How can I schedule an appointment with Dr. DeNaeyer for scleral contact lens fitting?
Please call the office at 614.228.4700 (Shae) for an appointment!