Scleral Contact Lenses
Scleral contacts are large-diameter gas permeable contact lenses specially designed to vault over the entire corneal surface and rest on the “white” of the eye (sclera). In doing so, scleral lenses functionally replace the irregular cornea with a perfectly smooth optical surface to correct vision problems caused by keratoconus and other corneal irregularities.
What are scleral lenses for?
Until now, patients with keratoconus had to rely on standard methods of vision correction: eyeglasses, soft contact lenses or RGP (rigid gas permeable) contact lenses. In many cases, these standard methods are woefully inadequate to correcting the vision in these uniquely shaped eyes. Scleral lenses can be life changing for patients with irregular corneas.
Other Eye Problems
In addition to keratoconus, scleral contact lenses can be used for eyes that have undergone a cornea transplant, and for people with severe dry eyes caused by conditions such as Sjogren’s syndrome, graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) and Stevens-Johnson syndrome.
Advances in lens design technology are allowing manufacturers to design scleral lenses that can correct more conditions than ever before, including bifocal sclerals for the correction of presbyopia.
Hybrid Contact Lenses
Hybrid contact lenses combine the crisp vision of rigid (GP) lenses with the comfort and stability of a soft lens. The rigid (GP) center of the lens provides optimal clarity and crispness of vision, while the soft silicone hydrogel material that surrounds the GP center of the lens provides longer-lasting comfort for irregular cornea and keratoconus patients.
The new lens materials and design provide enhanced tear exchange and the highest oxygen transmission available in a hybrid contact lens
What is the difference between hybrid contacts and sclerals?
Hybrid contact lenses offer clear and stable vision from a gas permeable (GP) center and comfort from a soft lens material called a skirt. The soft skirt makes the lens comfortable and helps pump tears and deliver oxygen throughout the day.
Scleral contact lenses are much bigger than a hybrid or a gas permeable (GP) lens. Similar to a hybrid, the scleral vaults over the cornea; however, the whole scleral lens is made of a gas permeable material even the portion of the scleral lens that lands on the white part of the eye (sclera). Tear circulation is minimized.