Scleral lenses are larger diameter rigid (>14.8mm) contact lenses commonly used in advanced corneal irregularity, irregular astigmatism and dry eye disease.
Their larger size means they rest on the white of the eye which is called the sclera – hence the name. You may also hear them referred to as ‘mini-scleral’ as they cover part of the sclera and not the entire sclera. The scleral is much less sensitive than the cornea which makes these lenses more comfortable than conventional rigid corneal lenses that sit directly on the cornea. They also seal off which means there is no movement on blinks which adds to their comfort. These lenses are inserting with a particular type of unpreserved saline underneath. This film of saline neutralises the irregular gaps of the corneal surface to provide clear vision. It also makes them incredibly comfortable because the lens vaults over the sensitive part of the eye and bathes it in fluid, reducing the sensation of dryness that can be common with contact lens wear.
Scleral lenses are complex and difficult to design and manufacture. We are fortunate to have a wide range of technologies including anterior OCT, corneal topography and a scleral topographer to custom design these lenses as accurately as possible to improve comfort, eye physiology and vision.