Scleral Contact Lenses

Scleral Lens | Leawood Optometrist

At Vision Professionals of Leawood, we take great pride in offering a wide range of optical products to suit your needs—including innovative scleral contact lenses for those who may need specialized contacts for a comfortable fit. Specifically, scleral contact lenses refer to a type of specialty lens offered by our Leawood optometrist that sit on the whites of the eyes rather than on the cornea. Interestingly enough, scleral contact lenses were the first type of contacts developed; and while they may not be as commonly worn today, they remain an ideal choice for patients with certain eye and vision conditions who wish to be able to wear contacts comfortably.

Scleral contact lenses, are oversized lenses that rest on the white of the eye instead of the cornea, they were the first type of contacts ever developed. Today, they're still the perfect choice for certain vision needs -- and they're also surprisingly comfortable when properly fitted. Here at Vision Professionals of Leawood, our optometrist can determine whether you need scleral lenses and provide you with these specialized lenses.


Benefits of Scleral Contact Lenses in Leawood

Specifically, scleral lenses fall into the category of gas permeable lenses, which are designed to vault the cornea and rest on the whites of the eye. This, along with materials that let oxygen pass through the lens itself, allows the lens to create and hold a supply of tears, thus creating a sort of natural cushion in between the lens and the eye itself. For many, this type of fit results in a more comfortable experience.

There are many specific eye and vision conditions that may make a patient a better fit for scleral lenses as opposed to traditional contact lenses, such as:

  • dry eye - for patients who dry eye, wearing traditional contacts can further aggravate the problem and lead to severe discomfort. Scleral contacts may be more comfortable due to the added moisture afforded by the lens design itself.
  • corneal transplants/scarring/LASIK- traditional contact lenses are often not recommended for recent corneal transplant and LASIK patients due to the healing process needed for the corneas. By wearing scleral contact lenses, the corneas can continue to heal as needed since the lenses sit on the whites of the eyes instead of directly on the corneas. This same concept applies to patients with corneal scarring.
  • keratoconus - this condition, where the corneal tissue is weakened, can make wearing traditional contacts uncomfortable or even impossible due to the cone shape of the corneas themselves. Scleral lenses allow the contacts to sit comfortably on either side of the cornea.
  • Graft versus host disease (GVHD) - patients with this autoimmune condition may be better suited for scleral contact lenses due to the deformed corneal shape associated with this condition.

Overall, scleral lenses are a great option for achieving clear vision without halos or glare while keeping the eyes comfortable and moist, even during physical activity. 

Scleral contacts lenses from your Leawood eye doctor can surmount all of these challenges. The fact that they vault clear over the cornea without touching it removes the risk of damage to sensitive post-operative tissue. They also add a perfectly spherical top surface, effectively acting as a "second cornea" to compensate for deformities, scarring or other irregularities in the cornea beneath it. Scleral contact lenses can provide superior vision correction for the complex or severe refractive errors produced by keratoconus and other eye conditions. If you have dry eye, you'll find that scleral contacts provide a natural reservoir for tears to help keep your eyes hydrated.

Are You a Viable Candidate for Scleral Contact Lenses?

If you suffer from any of the above eye or vision conditions, you may be a candidate for scleral contact lenses. However, we recommend that you schedule a contact lens exam with our Leawood optometrists to be sure. With a contact lens exam, we can assess the health of your eyes and vision while determining which type of contact lens is best suited for your specific needs and lifestyle. We can also take the time to explain your contact lens options to you and help you become more comfortable with the process of inserting, removing, and caring for your contact lenses. Ultimately, our goal is to ensure as comfortable a transition as possible to those who are making the switch to contact lenses from traditional eyeglasses. 

We also carry a wide range of contact lens brands and types here in our office, so we can effectively be your one-stop shop for all of your vision care needs. As for scleral lenses, we carry sizes ranging from 14.5-millimeter (mini-sclerals) up to 24 millimeters in diameter.

Request an Appointment With Our Optometrist in Leawood!

To schedule your specialty contact lens exam with our optometrist in Leawood or to find out more about scleral contact lenses, give Vision Professionals of Leawood a call today. You can reach our office at (913) 239-9446 to schedule your appointment; we'd be happy to find a date and time that works with your busy schedule!

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