What are Scleral lenses?
Scleral lenses are large rigid-surface contact lenses that are custom designed, and computer lathed for each individual patient. These medical devices require proper evaluation and are prescribed by a licensed and skilled eye care practitioner.
Who can wear scleral lenses?
There are many applications for scleral lenses ranging from managing certain eye diseases and irregular corneas to correcting common causes of blurry vision. To know if you are a candidate for scleral lens wear, ask your eye care practitioner or contact lens specialist!
What is the typical scleral lens prescribing process like?
Prior to scleral lenses prescribing, an ocular health examination is needed to determine if scleral lenses are appropriate. To help design the lenses, measurements of the eye surface are taken, and diagnostic lenses may be applied to determine the initial lens specifications. Lens parameter changes may be made until the optimal prescription is achieved. The final lens is a one-of-a-kind, fully customized lens unique to each patient’s eye.
How long will my lenses last?
If cared for properly, most lenses are expected to last at least one year.
How do I store back-up lenses?
Lenses that are not being used should be disinfected and stored dry in a clean case.
Lenses coated with Tangible Hydrapeg should be stored wet, since storing them dry will damage the coating. Ask your eye doctor if your lenses should be stored wet or dry.
How often do I need to see my eyecare provider?
This is patient dependent. Scleral lenses are often fit on irregular and diseased eyes, so it is important to evaluate the long-term health of the eye while wearing scleral lenses. Please discuss your follow up care with your eye care practitioner.
Lens Cleaning & Handling Questions:
How do I insert & remove my scleral lenses?
Do I need to clean my lenses every night?
Yes! Cleaning the lenses with an approved solution removes deposits from the lens surface and kills microbes that potentially cause eye infections.
Why do I need to use preservative-free solution to fill the lens?
There is minimal tear exchange when the lens is on the eye. Long-term exposure to preservatives can cause a sensitivity or toxicity to the cornea resulting in redness and irritation.
Can I rinse my lenses with tap water?
No. Even tap water can harbor pathogens including Acanthamoeba, the dangerous amoeba that can cause painful, vision threatening eye infections. It is recommended to rinse lenses with non-preserved sterile saline.
Can I use eyedrops with my lenses?
If you require eye drops for conditions such as glaucoma or allergies, it is recommended they be instilled at least 5 minutes prior to application of the lenses or after lenses are removed.
Can I wear makeup or face creams with my lenses?
Yes, but apply lenses prior to using makeup or facial products. If these products come in contact with the lens surface, it can disrupt the quality of vision.
How long should my applicators & removers last?
Plungers should be replaced every 3 months, or sooner as needed.
Scleral Lens Wear Questions:
How many hours per day is it safe to wear scleral lenses?
After an initial adaptation period when you are gradually building up your wear time, the lenses can be worn for the full day. Keep in mind that every person is different, and no lens should be worn if it becomes uncomfortable, painful, or if the eye becomes red and irritated. Ultimately, your wear time should be determined by you and your eye doctor.
How do I know if there is air bubble under the lens?
If you apply the lens and notice that your vision is blurry or the lens feels uncomfortable, you may have an air bubble trapped underneath. Sometimes you can see the bubble if you look in the mirror, but other times you cannot. If you think there is a bubble, remove the lens and reapply it.
What if my vision is foggy or cloudy?
Foggy or cloudy vision is often attributed to two causes. First, there may be mucous, or debris trapped between the lens and the cornea. This can occur when the lens does not align properly to the eye.
Second, the front surface of the lens may not be wetting well. There are multiple reasons for this including poor tear film chemistry, improper cleaning, or lens surface breakdown. On rare occasions, foggy vision can also occur when the cornea becomes edematous (swollen). If your vision is still foggy after removing the lens, please inform your eye care practitioner. It is strongly recommended that any foggy or cloudy vision be addressed with your eye care practitioner.
Is it safe for me to sleep in my scleral lenses?
No. Sleeping in lenses reduces oxygen transmission to the eye. This can cause swelling of the cornea and the abnormal growth of blood vessels into the cornea.
Lens Removal Questions:
What if I cannot remove my scleral lens?
First, try not to panic. We understand it is stressful not being able to get a lens out of your eye, but if you remain calm and are careful with your placement of the plunger you will almost always be able to remove the lens. Be sure that you are placing the plunger peripherally on the lens, remembering that you should not have to pull very hard on the plunger once it has established suction. If you have trouble establishing suction with the lens, try wetting the end of the plunger.
If you still cannot get the lens off using this method, use your finger to push on the white part of your eye, just adjacent to the lens edge. This will usually create an air pocket in the lens and should make it much easier to remove with the plunger.
A third method that you can try is to slide the edge of the plunger underneath the peripheral lens edge and use it as a lever to dislocate the lens. If you resort to this third method, the lens may flip out of the eye and fall, so be sure to have a good method of catching the lens (soft, clean towel on counter).
If you have tried these removal techniques and still cannot remove the lens, call our office to get in for professional assistance. If it is after hours, call 720-384-5915.
I can see a ring on my eye after removing the lens. Is this normal?
Yes, it is normal. We call it an impression ring. Like when you remove a watch or a pair of socks, there is often an impression in the tissue due to the placement of a device. This is not a problem and should disappear within about 5 minutes. If, however, you experience a significant amount of redness in this area after removing the lenses, especially if it persists after a few minutes, talk to your eye doctor, as this may indicate that the lens is fitting too tightly.