Scleral Lenses: What Are They and Who Needs Them
Vision is an incredibly important aspect of our lives, allowing us to experience and engage with the world around us. However, there are individuals who struggle with various eye conditions that affect their vision and overall quality of life. One such solution that has gained popularity in recent years is the use of scleral lenses. In this article, we will explore what scleral lenses are and who may benefit from wearing them.
What are Scleral Lenses?
Scleral lenses are large and gas-permeable contact lenses that cover the entire cornea and extend onto the white part of the eye, known as the sclera. Unlike traditional contact lenses, which rest on the cornea itself, scleral lenses vault over the cornea, creating a space between the lens and the eye. This space is filled with a saline solution, which serves several purposes.
1. Protection and Moisturization:
The primary function of the saline solution is to provide a protective and moisturizing barrier for the cornea. This can be particularly beneficial for individuals with dry eyes, as the saline solution helps to keep the cornea hydrated throughout the day, reducing discomfort and irritation.
2. Correcting Vision Abnormalities:
Scleral lenses are often prescribed for individuals with irregular corneas, such as those with keratoconus, corneal dystrophies, or corneal scarring. The larger size and unique shape of these lenses form a smooth optical surface, compensating for the irregularities in the cornea and improving vision. Additionally, unlike traditional contact lenses, scleral lenses are less likely to shift or move on the eye, providing more stability and better vision clarity.
Who Needs Scleral Lenses?
1. Individuals with Irregular Corneas:
As mentioned earlier, scleral lenses are particularly beneficial for individuals with irregular corneas, such as those with keratoconus or corneal scarring. These conditions often result in distorted vision and discomfort, which can significantly impact a person’s daily life. Scleral lenses can help these individuals achieve clear vision and alleviate their symptoms.
2. People with Dry Eyes:
Dry eye syndrome is a common condition that affects millions of individuals worldwide. It occurs when the eyes do not produce enough tears or when tears evaporate too quickly. Dry eyes can cause redness, irritation, and blurred vision. Scleral lenses, with their saline-filled space, can provide relief to people with dry eyes by continuously hydrating the cornea while preventing further moisture loss.
3. Post-Corneal Transplant Recipients:
After a corneal transplant surgery, patients often require specialized contact lenses to achieve optimal vision. Scleral lenses are an excellent option in these cases due to their ability to provide stable and comfortable vision for individuals who have undergone corneal transplantation.
Scleral lenses offer a ray of hope for individuals with various eye conditions that affect their vision and ocular comfort. By providing protection, moisture, and optimal vision correction, these lenses can significantly improve the quality of life for those who need them. If you struggle with irregular corneas, dry eyes, or have undergone corneal transplantation, consult with your eye care professional to determine if scleral lenses are right for you. Remember, clear vision is within reach, no matter the challenges you face.