• Dr. Daniel Helin

Scleral Contact Lenses FAQs

When it comes to scleral lenses, common questions arise from most patients.


In this article, I answer some of the most frequently asked questions I receive from patients interested in wearing scleral contact lenses.

What are scleral contact lenses?

A scleral contact lens is a specific type of hard contact lens that corrects corneal irregularities in certain patients.


These lenses act as a “second cornea”, vaulting the patient’s own cornea and providing a new smooth refractive surface for the eye.


These are usually used for patients whose vision is not fully correctable to 20/20 in glasses or soft contact lenses.


What diseases and conditions indicate a scleral contact lens?

Scleral contact lenses can be used to correct for irregularities caused by hereditary corneal dystrophies such as keratoconus, or in patients with a history of corneal infection with scarring, or even a large amount of corneal astigmatism that has been present since a young age.


They can also be used to improve symptoms of patients with advanced dry eye disease by bathing the cornea in saline solution.


Are scleral lenses comfortable?

Due to the large diameter of these lenses, patients experience excellent comfort.


The lens is filled with a non-preserved saline solution before insertion, providing a constant saline bath for the cornea throughout the full day of wear time.


Together, this provides a very positive experience for the patient.


How long does it take to get used to scleral contact lenses?

This depends on the patient. On average, most patients adapt to wearing scleral contact lenses in 7-10 days or less.


How long can scleral contact lenses be worn?

As long as a patient is comfortable doing so in a single day. Many people their lenses for 12-14 hours per day.


Why do scleral contact lenses get foggy?

The most common reasons scleral contact lens fogging occurs are a poor fit or a build up of debris in the tear film.


Can you sleep with scleral contact lenses?

No. I do not advise patients to sleep in scleral contact lenses.


Are scleral contact lenses dangerous?

No. Scleral contact lenses are not dangerous when fit and prescribed by an eye care professional.


What is the lifespan of a scleral contact lens?

This depends on how you care for the lenses. Like other rigid gas permeable contact lenses, you can anticipate your scleral lenses to last approximately 1 to 3 years.


Can scleral contact lenses be used to manage the symptoms of dry eye disease?

Absolutely! Patients with chronic dry eye who do not experience relief from artificial tears are great candidates for scleral lenses.


Final thoughts on scleral contact lens FAQs

The world of scleral contact lenses has become more accessible with new materials and optics introduced into the lenses. They serve a wide variety of people and are an incredible option for those with irregular corneas or dry eye disease.


Interested in learning if you're a candidate for scleral contact lenses? Schedule an eye exam with me or one of our team doctors of optometry today! Give us a call or simply schedule online: Northlake Mall | Concord Mills | Biltmore Park | Asheville Mall


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