Scleral Lenses vs. Other Contact Lens Options

Contact lenses help deliver optimal clarity for people with refractive errors. The lenses rest on the cornea, providing a wide visual field for enhanced depth and peripheral perception. Unlike eyeglasses, they do not fog up, fall off, or alter the patient’s appearance. Contact lenses are available in various options.


Scleral Contacts vs. Regular Contacts

Scleral lenses are larger than conventional lenses, providing a larger visual field. They do not rest directly on the cornea but lie on the sclera. This is the white, less sensitive part of the eye. The design creates a space between the lens and the cornea to hold a solution.

It helps keep the eye surface protected and hydrated. The lenses are gas-permeable, allowing more oxygen to reach the eyes. The design caters to individuals with hard-to-fit eyes, including those with corneal irregularities or scarring.


Customized Contact Lenses 

Eye specialists customize scleral lenses to provide maximum clarity, which you cannot find in regular contact lenses. The feature is ideal for patients who find it difficult to wear conventional lenses due to unique corneal issues. Those with conditions such as high astigmatism, keratoconus, and complications from eye surgery can get the lenses. The lenses can correct vision while also treating ocular conditions.


Comfortable Contact Lenses 

Scleral lenses rest on the eye's sclera, making them more comfortable than other lens options. The sclera is less sensitive than the cornea. Most patients adjust faster to scleral lenses than to standard corneal rigid gas-permeable lenses. Their large diameter helps reduce light sensitivity and glare, making the lenses more stable.

Once inserted, the lenses do not move around, making them ideal for active individuals or those who play sports. The built-in tear reservoir helps ensure the eyes remain hydrated for enhanced comfort. They help reduce eye dryness.


Benefits of Scleral Lenses

Scleral lenses are a good option for people who cannot wear regular lenses for various reasons. They can help people with nearsightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism, and presbyopia.

  • The gas-permeable material allows oxygen to reach the cornea

  • The large lenses rest on the less sensitive sclera, making them more comfortable

  • Scleral lenses are ideal for people with abnormally shaped corneas

  • They are comfortable for people with dry eye conditions


The Downside of Scleral Lenses

Scleral lenses are not for everyone. The lenses are not as accessible as regular contact lenses. Their fitting requires special training. They are costlier than other lens options but usually last longer than soft lenses. Scleral lenses often require more cleaning as they tend to collect debris.

Sometimes, the lenses slip from their position, affecting vision. Some patients find the lenses hard to get used to. Scleral lenses help enhance the quality of life for people with visual issues. They are more comfortable and stable than regular contacts. They correct the vision and protect the eyes while allowing the individual to enjoy an active lifestyle.

Individuals who cannot wear conventional contact lenses can benefit from scleral lenses. Patients can wear the lenses for longer periods. Ensure you use the recommended lens solutions for cleaning and storage.

For more on scleral vs. other contact lens options, visit Eye and Health at our New York, New York office. Call (212) 228-0950 to schedule an appointment today.