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Scleral Lenses Q&A by Dr. Priya Patel

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Q: What are scleral lenses?

Scleral lenses are large, rigid lenses which rest on the white part of the eye (the sclera), and vault the cornea over the tear layer. They correct virtually all prescriptions in high and low ranges, including astigmatism. They are also available in multifocal designs. They provide excellent all-day comfort as they do not move with the blink and foreign particles cannot be trapped under the lens.

Q: Who is a good candidate for scleral lenses?

Previous hard lens (gas-permeable) lens wearers who are looking for improved comfort and stability of vision make excellent candidates for scleral lenses. Other candidates include those who are dry eye sufferers, as well as those patients who are intolerant of other lenses or cannot achieve good vision through their current contact lenses. Many patients with corneal dystrophies or degenerations will achieve their best possible vision only with scleral lenses.

Q: What eye health issues do scleral lenses treat?

Patients who often benefit most from scleral lenses have irregular corneas – those who have keratoconus, pellucid marginal degeneration, had corneal transplant surgeries, or post-LASIK or post-RK ectasia. They provide superior vision and compared to glasses or other types of contact lenses. Scleral lenses are also indicated for patients with higher amounts of corneal astigmatism, irregular astigmatism, and ocular surface disease, including dry eyes.