Q. What are scleral contact lenses?
A. Scleral contact lenses are large rigid gas permeable lenses that cover the entire surface of the cornea and rest on the white part of the eye. They vary in size and can be specially made to fit the patient’s eye. They can be used as long as the prescription provides good vision and the lens sits properly on the eye. They do not need to be replaced monthly or daily like soft contact lenses.
Q. Who is a good candidate for scleral lenses?
A. You may be a candidate for scleral contacts if traditional methods of vision correction through glasses and soft contacts do not provide adequate vision and the ocular health of the eye is normal. For example, scleral lenses will not correct your vision if cataracts, glaucoma, macular degeneration is the cause of decreased vision.
Q. What eye health issues do scleral contact lenses treat?
A. Scleral lenses can improve vision in individuals with irregular corneas from conditions such as keratoconus/keratoglobus along with certain cornea scars and corneal transplants. Scleral contact lenses can also be a treatment for severe dry eye.
Q. Are scleral lenses typically covered by medical or vision insurance?
A. Some vision plans have an allowance toward medically necessary contacts and some do not. Medical insurance plans typically do not cover scleral lenses and professional fees associated with fitting the lens but it may be possible to submit a receipt to recover some payments.
Q. What are the benefits of Scleral Lenses over other kinds of Contact Lenses? Are they comfortable?
A. Scleral lenses cover the entire surface of the cornea and do not move, so they are typically more comfortable than traditional smaller rigid gas permeable lenses. Scleral lenses also require special solutions and tools to insert and remove the lens. They can be cleaned and used daily and do not need to be replaced like traditional soft contact lenses. Scleral contact lenses are generally not used as a first line method of vision correction, however, the overall comfort of the lenses are very comfortable.