4 Things You Need to Know About Scleral Lenses and Eye Protection
Scleral lenses are an effective therapeutic tool used in optometry to improve vision and comfort for patients with corneal irregularities and other ocular conditions. Scleral lenses also deliver advanced protection to patients who wear corrective lenses and simply prefer the superior level of comfort and improved visual acuity these lenses provide compared to other contact lenses. Here are four things to know when considering the benefits of scleral lens protection:
1. Many ocular surface diseases are successfully managed and treated by the protection offered by scleral lenses. These lenses play an important role alongside traditional modalities or as an alternative when conventional treatment methods fail. The unique design of these lenses causes them to vault over the cornea and rest entirely on the conjunctiva overlying the sclera or the white part of the eye. In the space created between the lens and the ocular surface is a sterile, saline-filled fluid reservoir that serves to hydrate the cornea and act as a cushion to protect it and facilitate the healing process. The larger diameter of this type of lens creates a shield between the ocular surface and the environment, offering further protection.
2. Thanks to their innovative design, scleral lenses protect the eye’s ocular surface in a way that other contact lenses cannot. These lenses are customized to fit each individual’s eye shape with total precision, which means they do not ever dislodge during normal wear like some other lenses may. Because scleral lenses never touch the cornea’s surface, they protect the eye from corneal abrasions often sustained by routine contact lens wear.
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3. A study conducted by The Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO) concluded that scleral lenses shield eyes from ultraviolet radiation. This study found that certain materials commonly used in making scleral lenses (known as hexafocon A & B) transform these lenses into “viable UVR protective ocular devices” that filter out 99% of UVB and over 87% of UVA.
As seen in a rare, documented case study of a 61-year-old male patient, the case report provides an account of how the patient’s scleral lens protected his eye from a severe injury that could have been caused by blunt trauma. The patient had been working outside digging a ditch with a pickaxe when a shard of stone shot up directly into his eye with distinctive force. The patient felt the impact and discovered that the fragment had damaged his contact lens. When he met with his eye care practitioner to replace the lens and undergo an examination to ensure no further injury was caused by the incident, his physician also inspected the damaged lens and concluded that beyond minor, superficial corneal scratching the patient had sustained, the lens had protected the patient against serious eye injury. This safeguard was due to the mechanical properties of the scleral lenses. These lenses are made from thicker material in comparison to other lenses. Their built-in cushioning function and how they completely cover the cornea and parts of the sclera allow them to absorb shocks and foreign objects better while avoiding severe injury. While the type of activity the patient was involved in calls for the use of safety goggles – a lesson the patient learned that day, the patient was lucky to have been wearing scleral lenses.
4. The exceptional design of scleral lenses helps facilitate the healing process in patients who suffer from various ocular conditions and corneal irregularities. Scleral lenses protect eyes in several ways while also ensuring they stay lubricated. Scleral lenses also protect from the sun’s harmful rays. In addition, dust and other particles never contact the eye’s surface because the lens’s large diameter shields the eye from these environmental irritants. Scleral lenses provide enhanced vision correction and eye protection simultaneously, providing a dramatic improvement in the quality of life for patients overall.
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Are you interested in learning if scleral contact lenses are the right choice for you? Miami Contact Lens Institute specializes in scleral lenses and other effective therapeutic solutions customized to address every patient’s needs. Our goal is to help patients enjoy crisp, clear vision and the superior comfort that scleral lenses provide. Book your eye exam at our Miami location and consult with one of our skilled optometrists today.
Testimonial from Rachelle, Satisfied Scleral Lens Patient
I went for a scleral lens fitting. The place is small but neat and nice. Great aesthetic. Staff is friendly some more than others. They all try and work with you to make your experience as a whole very good. Will be returning despite the cost of the lens here. Doctor Kramer is knowledgeable, informative and to the point