Types Of Scleral Contact Lenses For Keratoconus And Other Vision Problems

Posted by markhindsoptometrists on January 22nd, 2015

For people unable to wear contact lenses because of an irregular cornea or other vision problems have a prospect to take second opinion and suggestion from their eye doctor about scleral contact lenses. These are large-diameter gas permeable contact lenses especially made to vault over the entire corneal surface and rest on the "white" of the eye area known as sclera. While using the scleral lenses it is possible for the wearer to functionally replace the irregular cornea with a perfectly smooth optical surface to correct vision problems that are caused due to keratoconus and other corneal and vision irregularities.

There are different types of sclera lenses and they are noticeably larger than standard gas permeable (GP) contacts. With a diameter equal to or greater than that of soft contact lenses the large-diameter scleral and semi-scleral GP lenses sit on the sclera and vault over the distorted cornea in keratoconus. Depending on the complexity of the eye condition the size of lens used is often determined. For milder forms of keratoconus and irregular astigmatism from corneal grafts and refractive surgery experts often recommend scleral lenses at the smaller end of the spectrum.

Keratoconus contact lenses are recommended by many optometrists and ophthalmologists as scleral contact lenses come in a variety of hard-to-fit eyes, including eyes with keratoconus. When patients suffering from early keratoconus, a standard GP lens used is not effective and does not center properly on the eye or moves excessively with blinks and causes discomfort, experts advice on switching to a large-diameter scleral contact lens as it may solve the problem.

There are three categories of scleral lenses, differentiated according to their size. There are corneo-scleral lenses and semi-scleral lenses that are much larger than conventional GP lenses and rest near the junction between the cornea and the sclera. Then there are mini-scleral lenses which vault over the entire corneal surface and rest on the anterior sclera. For greatest amount of clearance between the back surface of the lens and cornea full scleral lenses are used.

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