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.
What happens after scleral lenses are prescribed?
Many scleral lens wearers have underlying medical eye conditions such as keratoconus, ocular surface disease, or corneal transplants. Progress visits are paramount to long-term ocular health and scleral lens success. Improper wear schedules or wearing inappropriate scleral lenses can have harmful consequences that may threaten sight. Ongoing care schedules vary at the practitioner’s discretion, as each individual case is unique.
What is included in a scleral contact lens prescription?
Scleral lens prescriptions are customized by specifications determined over the course of the prescribing process. The parameters can include diameter, vault, power, material, lens color, thickness, peripheral recesses, limbal clearance, landing zone configurations, and other proprietary specifications. Final scleral lenses are dispensed to the patient via the scleral lens practitioner so the prescription functions more like a receipt of the final scleral lenses. This may be useful to a new scleral lens practitioner in the event of a transfer of care.
Why is my scleral contact lens prescription fulfilled through my prescriber’s practice?
The only safe way to fill your scleral lens prescription is through a prescriber to get exactly what was intended. By doing so, you also enjoy warranted lens exchanges at no further cost within the prescribing period. In other words, unlike pre-made soft disposable contacts which are inventoried in a warehouse awaiting distribution, scleral lenses are made to order by your prescriber’s laboratory one at a time. Scleral lens laboratories will not sell scleral lenses directly to patients. Furthermore, although there are multiple scleral lens laboratories, each laboratory has its own unique designs, often requiring specific lathing equipment for their proprietary designs. One laboratory cannot duplicate another laboratory’s scleral lens design due to equipment differences and protections against infringing on intellectual property.
The two scleral lenses shown here have the exact same power, diameter, and base curve. Yet they are dramatically different because complex proprietary specifications can only be assured if you get the lens through your prescriber. If you find an enterprising laboratory to directly fill your scleral lens prescription, beware of incurring far greater expenses to get the correct lens and the risk of jeopardizing your eye health.