Scleral Contact Lenses- Your questions answered
What are scleral contact lenses?
Scleral contact lenses are large rigid contact lenses (or hard contact lenses).
Scleral lenses sit over the coloured part of the eye (or cornea). They form a bridge over your eye.
The lenses cover the eye from one side of the white (sclera) of the eye to the other.
A normal human cornea is about 11.8mm in diameter.
Scleral contact lenses cover this area from around 14mm up to 25mm. This helps to protect your eye.
How do scleral lenses compare with RGP lenses?
Rigid contact lenses (or hard contact lenses) are typically around 9.5mm in diameter. These are made to sit on the cornea of the eye.
At your contact lens appointment, your Optometrist at Ezekiel Eyes will discuss the right size of contact lenses for you.
Scleral lenses smooth out any imperfections in the shape of the eye from keratoconus, scarring or eye surgery.
You may see better with scleral lenses than glasses.
Scleral lenses have a reservoir of fluid between the lens and your eye.
This helps bathe the front of your eyes with moisture. If you have significant dry eyes, these lenses can offer a lot of comfort and protection.
Watch this video below as Damon Ezekiel, Optometrist, explains more about Scleral Contact Lenses:
Or continue reading under this video.
How comfortable are scleral contact lenses?
Scleral lenses are comfortable to wear. These contact lenses cover the cornea completely and tuck in smoothly under the eyelids.
After a short period of adjustment, you should barely feel the lenses in your eyes.
Scleral lenses help to protect your eyes. You may find that they are more comfortable especially if you have significant dry or irritated eyes.
Who are scleral lenses for?
Ideal candidates include any patient with an irregular corneal surface or dry eyes.
This includes patients with:
- High glasses prescriptions
- Pellucid Marginal Degeneration
- Post-penetrating keratoplasty (post-PKP)
- Scars due to disease or eye injury
- Following unsuccessful laser eye surgery (e.g. Lasik or PRK)
- Stevens Johnsons Syndrome
- Graft versus Host Disease
- Irregularities following refractive surgery
- Sjogrens Syndrome
- Ocular surface disorders (e.g. Significant Dry Eyes)
Scleral contact lenses maintain a smooth, moist, and protected corneal surface.
If you have an irregular eye surface due to keratoconus or eye surgery, scleral contact lenses can delay the need for further surgery.
Benefits of scleral lenses
- Better contrast and sharpness (visual acuity)
- Protection from debris or dust
- Improved Dry Eyes
- Delayed surgical intervention
Can scleral lenses worn by babies too?
The Perth Children’s Hospital regularly refers babies and children to Ezekiel Eyes.
Damon helps children who have had a congenital cataract removed, high spectacle prescriptions and irregular shaped corneas.
Scleral lenses help babies and children to see again after cataract surgery.
We have been successful in treating babies as young as three weeks old with scleral lenses for over 50 years.
If you’re a parent, you’ll be surprised how well your son or daughter can function with these contact lenses.
Tap here to watch a video by Damon Ezekiel about scleral lenses for babies.
Are scleral lenses new?
Did you know that Gas Permeable Scleral lenses were first invented by Damon Ezekiel’s father?
Don Ezekiel came up with the idea of Scleral Lenses before 1983.
In 1983, Don Ezekiel published the first case history of gas permeable scleral lenses.
Scleral lenses have grown in popularity due to their comfort, sharpness, and breathable materials.
Damon is a current fellow of the Scleral Lens Education Society.
What to expect with scleral lenses?
You may notice a period of adjustment to your lenses. This is normal. You may notice some blurriness straight after you put the lenses in. This settles within minutes.
Occasionally, fogging can occur with the lenses during the day. This is easily helped by removing your lenses, rinsing with saline, and then putting them back in.
At Ezekiel Eyes we will can suggest more tips if needed.
Who are scleral lenses not for?
- If your eyes are too narrow (you may have difficulty inserting your lenses)
- If you are unable to care for your contact lenses
How much do scleral contact lenses cost?
Scleral contact lenses are made individually for you. This means that it takes more skill than standard contact lenses.
At Ezekiel Eyes we use a specialized computer mapping tool to tailor the scleral lens for you.
Fine alterations can be made to the lenses so that we can improve the lens fit and this may increase the complexity of the lenses.
For these reasons, scleral contact lenses are more of an investment than standard contact lenses.
Scleral contact lenses range between $1250 to $4250 each.
If you have private health insurance in Australia, you may be able to claim your optical rebate towards these lenses.
How long do scleral contact lenses last?
Scleral contact lenses tend to last up to two years with good care.
Over time, the material can subtly change shape and the pores within the lens material will become less porous.
This can affect the comfort and or vision of the lenses.
Will you need a spare set of lenses?
Scleral lenses manufacture normally takes around 10-14 days.
If you love your scleral lenses, think about how you would go if a lens broke and you had to rely on glasses (or wearing a single lens) for this time.
For some people, it’s worth it to have a backup set of scleral lenses.
How do I put scleral lenses in and take them out?
Watch as Dr Joseph Allen from the YouTube Channel ‘Doctor Eye Health’ describes inserting and removing Scleral Lenses under this article.
How do I book an appointment?
Call +618 93863620 or 08 9386 3620 to ask a question or book an appointment for scleral lenses.
Or tap here to request an appointment
Scleral Insertion video for child
Scleral Removal video for child