Can Scleral Lenses for Athletes Help Me?

Scleral Lenses for Athletes

Competitive athletes constantly challenge themselves both mentally and physically which often leads them to conquer extreme environments such as deserts and snowy mountains. For these athletes pushing boundaries and chasing peak performance, clear vision is essential.

Unfortunately, traditional soft contact lenses or corneal gas permeable lenses force the wearer to compromise on both comfort and clarity in challenging conditions. Dust, wind, rain, and direct sunlight can have a significant impact on performance, causing ocular discomfort and reducing visibility.

The solution to this widespread problem is the highly advanced contacts known as scleral lenses. This is one of the main reasons why scleral lenses for athletes have become so popular. These incredible lenses provide crystal clear vision, all day comfort, and environmental protection in harsh conditions.


What are Scleral Lenses?

Scleral lenses are custom made lenses that are different from soft lenses in two main ways. Firstly, a scleral lens is rigid and made using a gas-permeable polymer. Secondly, these lenses don’t rest on the cornea, the part of the front of the eye that has most of the nerves, instead they rest on the sclera (the white of the eye) and create a small dome over the cornea.

Fitting scleral lenses requires specialized training and the adaptation period may be longer for some patients than with soft lenses. However, once the correct fit and prescription is found and patients become used to their new lenses, they are extremely comfortable and beneficial in multiple ways.


What are the Benefits of Scleral Lenses for Athletes?

Athletes rely on their vision for hand-eye coordination, quick focus changes, and perfect depth perception which all play key roles in making decisions in the moment. Scleral lenses for athletes offer a comfortable option for stable and clear vision for athletes with any type of refractive error, even if they have corneal irregularities.

  • Environmental protection: Scleral lenses function as a barrier against dust, wind, and debris which protects the delicate cornea. This is particularly useful for athletes taking part in outdoor sports like running, cycling, and skiing.
  • Superior vision correction: Scleral lenses are a highly stable form of vision correction. They are the ideal option for patients with complex vision issues such as Keratoconus and corneal damage. Their larger size also prevents them from moving around and dislodging during intense physical activity.
  • Comfort: Despite being larger and rigid, scleral lenses are extremely comfortable when fitted correctly. conjunctival tissue , overlying the sclera, is much less sensitive than corneal tissue and when fit properly, there is no discomfort. There is also a fluid reservoir behind the lens which keeps the cornea hydrate to alleviate dryness and acts as a cushion to protect the cornea.
  • Reduced glare: Scleral lenses stay in place all day and do not shift like traditional lenses. The stability of scleral lenses reduces distortion and halos around lights. This is particularly useful for athletes who compete outdoors due to harsh sunlight or at night which can cause irritating glare. Glare is not only uncomfortable, is can also be dangerous when it interferes with vision.


How Do Athletes Care for Scleral Lenses?

Never clean your lenses with water. Using water can lead to severe eye infections, so always use an approved lens solution. Gently rub the solution on the lenses before and after wearing to remove any buildup or debris. You can then rinse them with a saline solution to remove leftover lens cleaner.

  • Replace your lens case often. Using the same case for too long can cause bacterial buildup which can lead to serious infections. You should also ensure your case is clean and completely dry every time you store your lenses.
  • Always follow your eye care practitioner’s instructions. Your doctor will give you thorough advice for wearing and caring for your new lenses such as avoiding sleeping with your lenses in. Diligently following the guidance of your doctor will ensure that you minimize the potential for irritation and infection.

While scleral lenses are an excellent option for many athletes, we recommend in caution in certain contact sports. Karate, wrestling, and Jiu-jitsu are among the sports that can lead to ocular injury if the scleral lenses are damaged.


Peak Performance, Uncompromised Vision

Scleral lenses for athletes are a game changing medical advancement that can help thousands of people with irregular and complex eyes. Scleral lenses can be the difference needed to help athletes perform at their peak and push their own boundaries without compromising on unobstructed vision.

While scleral lenses do require specialized design and fitting, they can help athletes enjoy optimal vision and effectively navigate challenging environments. Their unique design offers protection and comfort, allowing professional athletes to focus on the challenges they set for themselves. Do you think that scleral lenses can help to improve your game? Get in touch with the team at Miami Contact Lens Institute today!

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