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Sometimes, people who have trouble wearing contact lenses are prescribed scleral lenses. These are a specialized form of gas permeable contacts that can help people with cornea irregularities that make it hard for them to wear conventional lenses. At Mills Eye Care, our optometrist here in Mooresville can help you determine whether you are a good candidate for scleral lenses.
While anyone can elect to wear scleral lenses, the majority of them are prescribed for people with certain conditions:
People who otherwise like their gas permeable (GP) lenses but who have trouble with them popping out may also elect to wear scleral lenses. Because scleral lenses are larger in diameter than conventional GP lenses, they tend to stay in the eye better during activities such as sports. Some stunt performers wear scleral lenses during their work because of the sharp vision they provide and their tendency to stay put.
Scleral lenses are large-diameter gas permeable lenses that rest on the sclera, which is the white part of the eye. Most people are familiar with soft contact lenses, but conventional GP lenses used in optometry are smaller and rest on the outer portion of the cornea. This can make them less comfortable and less effective at treating certain conditions. Like all GP lenses and unlike soft contacts, scleral lenses retain their shape within the eye.
Because the lens is large and does not conform to the shape of the eye, scleral lenses are able to vault over the corneas of people with conditions such as keratoconus. The large space behind the lens also holds a large amount of tears, which can make them a good option for people with severe dry eye. People who have had cornea transplants or other eye surgery may temporarily or permanently wear scleral lenses to avoid allowing anything to press on the cornea.
Scleral lenses come in a variety of sizes for use in optometry depending on the condition they are intended to treat. The smallest lenses rest on the edges of the cornea and sclera, while the largest rest significantly outside of the cornea.
If you have an eye condition that requires the use of scleral lenses, our optometrist in Mooresville can fit you for them. Even if you have been told that you cannot wear contacts, we may be able to find a type of lenses that will work for you. To schedule an appointment with our eye doctor, call Mills Eye Care at (704) 664-9121.