Scleral Contact Lenses – An Alternative Contact Lenses
What is LASIK (Laser Eye Surgery)?
LASIK (laser-assisted in-situ keratomileusis) is a surgery performed by an Opthalmologist on refractive errors of the eye. It is a notably effective form of treatment for these eye conditions and is commonly practiced all over the world.
Which Eye Conditions Can Be Treated With LASIK?
- Nearsightedness (Myopia) – You see nearby objects clearly, but distant objects are blurry
- Farsightedness (Hyperopia) – You can see distant objects clearly, but nearby objects are blurry
- Astigmatism – Difficulty seeing objects near or far (blurry or distorted vision)
Depending on the type of eye condition being treated, LASIK can be a permanent alternative to eyeglasses and contact lenses. LASIK is not an option for everyone- your candidacy must be determined through an eye exam and surgical consultation with our Optometrist.
How Does LASIK Work?
You will be awake during the procedure, having received numbing eye drops. Most patients are unable to feel the device used to keep their eyelids open. You are unlikely to feel any pain during the procedure itself.
A laser is used to create a corneal flap; this will temporarily blur your vision, but only during the procedure. The Ophthalmologist will then expose your cornea by pulling the flap back. An excimer laser is used to reshape your cornea tissue (correcting the eye condition you have).
Special instruments are used to put the flap back in place and the healing process begins immediately. The entire procedure will take less than half an hour.
What Can I Expect After LASIK?
After your LASIK procedure you can expect to experience minor irritation or a burning sensation. Your eye may also water. You will be prescribed antibacterial and steroid eye drops post surgery that you will apply for up to one month.
Improved vision within 24 hours can be expected for most patients
Is LASIK Right for Me?
Our Optometrist will need to consider a number of different factors when it comes to assessing your candidacy for surgery. If you find that your corrective eyewear is still experiencing changes to its prescription, you may not be a viable surgery candidate.
For patients who have certain medical or eye conditions (such as Dry Eyes), or have thin corneas, LASIK may not be an option.
To find out if you would be a good LASIK candidate, book an eye exam with our Optometrist.
If you have trouble wearing conventional contact lenses or have been told that you are not a suitable candidate for them, you should consult our optometrist about trying scleral contact lenses.
What Are Scleral Contact Lenses?
Scleral lenses are large diameter lenses which are also gas permeable. They are referred to as “scleral” because instead of covering a part of the cornea like conventional lenses, they cover the entire corneal surface and rest on the “white” part of the eye, known as the sclera.
What Benefits Do Scleral Contact Lenses Provide?
Scleral lenses offer the same advantages that conventional gas permeable lenses have compared over soft contacts, which include:
- Sharper vision
- Greater durability
- Easier handling
- Less risk of complications
Additionally, scleral lenses are more stable on the eye than the smaller conventional lenses, making them less likely to accidentally dislodge from the eye. Due to their stability, they are also typically more comfortable than conventional lenses.
Scleral lenses are made with highly breathable, rigid and gas permeable lens materials. This ensures that sufficient oxygen reaches the front surface of the eye, keeping it healthy and comfortable.
Different Categories of Scleral Contact Lenses
There are three categories of scleral lenses, each determined by their overall size and where the lenses have their primary contact with the front surface of the eye.
Corneo-scleral Lenses and Semi-scleral Lenses
These lenses are much larger than conventional lenses and rest near the junction between the cornea and the sclera.
Lenses in this category cover the entire corneal surface and rest on the anterior sclera.
The largest scleral lenses, these provide the greatest amount of clearance between the back surface of the lens and the cornea.
Are Scleral Contact Lenses A Good Fit For You?
If you are seeking the best vision possible with contact lenses, you are generally a strong candidate for scleral lenses. However, scleral lenses are especially ideal for patients with the following conditions:
Irregularly Shaped Corneas
In most cases, vision problems resulting from an irregularly shaped cornea cannot be fully corrected with glasses or soft contact lenses. Scleral lenses typically provide sharper vision for these types of eyes compared to other aids.
Irregularly Shaped Eyes
Due to their characteristics, scleral lenses are ideal if your eyes cannot be comfortably fitted with conventional lenses, or the shape of your eye makes lenses prone to dislodging. Scleral lenses are a more comfortable and secure fit.
If you find traditional contact lenses uncomfortable, check out Sclerals!
Chronically Dry Eyes
The proficient gas permeability of scleral lenses is of great benefit those who have eyes that are too dry for conventional lenses. This is helped by the space between the back surface of scleral lenses and the cornea; it acts as a tear reservoir to keep the front of your eye hydrated and comfortable.