Scleral Lenses for Keratoconus
Keratoconus is a non-inflammatory eye disorder in which the round dome-shaped cornea progressively thins causing a cone-like bulge to develop.
Since those with keratoconus have irregular-shaped corneas, glasses cannot conform to the shape of the eyes and thus cannot adequately correct the patients’ vision. The best solution is specialty contact lenses.
What are Scleral Lenses?
Custom designed scleral lenses help patients with corneal irregularities achieve improvements in visual acuity and comfort. Scleral lenses vault over the cornea and rest on the “white” part of the eye, (sclera) while avoiding the diseased cornea. This creates a new optical surface and prevents discomfort by resting on the sclera of the eye. Moreover, the reservoir of preservative free saline solution between the back surface of the lens and the front of the cornea ensures that the eye is always in a liquid environment – making it optimal for healing and comfort.
Both rigid gas permeable (RGP) lenses and scleral lenses provide the eyes with sufficient oxygen. However, scleral lenses provide more comfort and stable vision than traditional RGP lenses. In most cases, scleral contact lenses are the optimal choice of treatment for patients with keratoconus and irregularly-shaped corneas.
If you have Keratoconus and are interested in scleral lenses, Dr. Ben Giddens, Dr. Andrea Kozma and Dr. Brandon Pham at Giddens Optometry can help. We serve patients from all over Georgetown, Limehouse, Acton and Halton Hills, Ontario, and provide the highest level of care.
Two Major Benefits of Scleral Lenses for Keratoconus
1) Scleral Lenses Provide More Comfort
Our patients report comfort as the most prominent feature of the scleral lens. Throughout the fitting process, we survey our patients on how the lenses feel, and not surprisingly, the usual response we get is “great” or “I can’t feel them at all”.
The size of a scleral lens is one of the reasons it is more comfortable than a traditional gas permeable contact lens. A traditional rigid gas permeable contact lens is much smaller, typically 9 -10 mm in diameter.
The scleral lens, on the other hand, is larger in diameter and spreads its weight over a much greater, less sensitive area. Moreover, because the lens vaults over the bulging cornea, it protects the cornea from any abrasion caused by blinking or external irritants. Furthermore, the scleral lens is made up of highly oxygen permeable materials and provides a fluid reservoir for the ocular surface.
2) Scleral Lenses Offer Improved Vision
Patients with keratoconus have a clearer vision with scleral lenses than with glasses. With glasses, patients usually see 20/200, whereas with scleral lenses their vision typically improves to 20/30 or even 20/20. Furthermore, because the lenses sit firmly on the eye, they offer more stable vision than traditional lenses. The scleral lens not only offers comfort, but also improves vision acuity.
What Changes Will I Notice with Scleral Lenses?
Once you have been properly fitted for scleral lenses, you can expect to gradually see improvements in clarity, color and detailed contrast between multiple images and objects within your visual field. The comfort you’ll experience will enable you to wear your custom-made scleral lenses all day long so that you can keep doing all the things you enjoy – but with better vision.
Should I See An Eye Doctor Specialized in Fitting Keratoconus Patients with Scleral Lenses?
If you are interested in seeing whether scleral lenses are right for you, make sure that the eye doctor you visit has the knowledge and experience required to correctly fit the lenses on patients with keratoconus. Scleral lenses require precise customization, and every patient’s case of keratoconus varies in degrees of severity and corneal measurements.
To check if you are a good candidate for scleral lenses, contact us at Giddens Optometry. Our staff has the expertise in fitting specialty contact lenses, and serves patients from Georgetown, Limehouse, Acton, Halton Hills and throughout Ontario.
Call or Book Online and Regain Your Quality of Life.
“I loved my visit from start to finish. Giddens Optometry staff is friendly, caring, and knowledgeable. The eye exam that I had for keratoconus was incredibly thorough and Dr. Ben Giddens, Dr. Andrea Kozma and Dr. Brandon Pham explained all the results very clearly. He fitted me for scleral lenses, and now my eyes feel so comfortable that I frequently forget that I’m wearing contact lenses.“
Ariela Gordon‐Shaag, Michel Millodot, Igor Kaiserman, Tzahi Sela, Guy Barnett Itzhaki, Yaffa Zerbib, Efrat Matityahu, Shira Shkedi, Svetlana Miroshnichenko and Einat Shneor, Risk factors for keratoconus in Israel: a case–control study, Ophthalmic and Physiological Optics, 35, 6, (673-681), (2015).