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8 Benefits of Wearing Scleral Lenses

8 Benefits of Wearing Scleral Lenses 640×350Scleral contact lenses have an extra-wide diameter and are rigid gas permeable. Unlike standard contact lenses, they vault over the sensitive cornea and rest on the whites of the eyes.

Our eye doctors at Temecula Valley Optometry are experts at fitting scleral lenses. We offer expert vision correction for a variety of difficult-to-fit eye conditions, including keratoconus and irregular corneas. When other forms of contacts don’t perform well for astigmatism, we prescribe scleral lenses.

Here are 8 reasons why scleral contact lenses may be beneficial for you:

1. Keratoconus causes blurred vision

Keratoconus causes the cornea to thin and bulge, leading to significant vision problems and, eventually, the inability to wear standard lenses. Scleral lenses correct the visual distortions caused by keratoconus while ensuring a smooth and comfortable wearing experience.

2. Scleral Lenses for Astigmatism

In addition to prescribing scleral lenses for keratoconus, we also propose cutting-edge scleral lenses for astigmatism, especially for extreme astigmatism that other contacts aren’t able to correct.

3. Comfortable for Dry Eyes

Scleral lenses form a pocket that fills with artificial tears as they vault over your cornea. This lubricating cushion provides an extremely comfortable wearing experience as well as improved eye health. Additionally, because sclerals don’t touch your corneal surface, they lower the risk of corneal abrasions.

4. Stable Vision

Even if your cornea is exceedingly irregular, scleral lenses will provide you with continuously clear vision. Their extra-large diameter keeps them centered and steady on your eye. Even if you play sports or have an extremely busy lifestyle, their size prevents sclerals from easily popping out.

5. Wide Visual Field and Reduced Glare

Scleral contact lenses have extra-wide optic zones that provide wider, more precise peripheral vision. They also reduce glare and light sensitivity.

6. Sclerals are Safe

Scleral contact lenses have an excellent safety record.

7. Long-Lasting Lenses

These rigid gas permeable contacts, which are made of high-quality, long-lasting materials, last about a year in most cases. Refer to your eye doctor for guidance and when it’s time to replace your lenses.

8. Cost-effective

Scleral lenses are custom-fit, which necessitates additional professional training for your eye doctor as well as several appointments to achieve the ideal fit. For these reasons, sclerals cost more than conventional contacts. However, their life span is greater, and because they are a medical necessity, your insurance plan may cover the cost.

Ready to Try Sclerals? Come in For a Fitting!

Our eye doctors are well trained and experienced in the fitting of scleral lenses. To find out if you’re a good candidate for these specialty lenses, schedule an appointment with one of our Manhattan Beach or Redondo Beach optometrists. We take exact measurements of your cornea to fit scleral lenses that are tailored to each patient’s eyes and specific ocular condition.

Temecula Valley Optometry Scleral Lens and Keratoconus Center provides scleral lenses to patients from Temecula, Murrieta, Elsinore, and Menifee, California and surrounding communities.

6 Things To Know About Keratoconus

6 Things To Know About Keratoconus 640×350Keratoconus is an eye disease that causes the cornea, the clear dome-shaped front surface of the eye, to become misshapen and bulge. This progressive disease usually occurs in both eyes and affects approximately 50-200 in every 100,000 individuals.

People who have keratoconus often experience problems like blurred vision, distorted vision, night blindness and sensitivity to light. Clear vision correction for keratoconus can be challenging to achieve because the irregular corneal shape makes it difficult or impossible for standard eyeglasses or contact lenses to provide you with sharp vision.

Thankfully, there are ways for people with keratoconus to achieve clear and comfortable vision, something we explore below, along with several other key points about keratoconus.

1. Everyone has different risk factors for developing keratoconus

Some risk factors for developing keratoconus include:

  • Hereditary predisposition
  • Eye rubbing
  • Other medical conditions like Down syndrome, allergic dermatitis and connective tissue disorders
  • Eye inflammation

2. Keratoconus can develop at any age

Although most cases of keratoconus are first diagnosed in adolescence or young adulthood, it can appear during any stage of life. That’s why regular eye exams are crucial, even if your vision seems clear and your eyes appear to be healthy.

3. Early diagnosis is key

This rings true for almost every eye disease, especially keratoconus. Catching it early in its tracks can allow the eye doctor to implement various treatments to slow down its progression during the initial stages, when this condition tends to worsen more rapidly.

4. Keratoconus progresses at different rates throughout life

Keratoconus progression varies from person to person, and one person can experience varying degrees of progression in each eye. Some patients live with mild keratoconus their entire lives, while other patients develop severe keratoconus early on.

Often, optometrists will recommend that patients undergo certain procedures to strengthen the cornea and prevent or slow down further progression.

5. Keratoconus can be treated with surgery or scleral contact lenses

Corneal cross-linking surgery is an effective option to provide enhanced strength to the cornea and is the only FDA approved method of stopping or slowing keratoconus progression. However, if the condition develops into severe keratoconus, a corneal transplant may be the best option for treating the condition and restoring clear vision.

Scleral contact lenses offer another option to surgery. They are ideal for patients with early or moderate levels of keratoconus because they safely and effectively correct vision without irritating the misshapen cornea. In fact, studies have shown that patients with keratoconus who wear scleral contact lenses greatly reduce their risk of needing keratoplasty (corneal transplant surgery).

The large diameter of scleral contact lenses allows them to vault over the sensitive corneal tissue and then also coat the cornea in a nourishing reservoir of fluid for optimal comfort and visual clarity. Because eye rubbing and corneal irritation are significant risk factors for the progression of keratoconus, the protective qualities of scleral lenses can help to minimize keratoconus progression.

6. You can live a normal life with keratoconus

With the proper care and treatment from your optometrist, keratoconus shouldn’t stop you from living your life to the fullest. Although it can be discouraging to experience vision problems that can’t be resolved with standard lenses or glasses, know that there are other options available.

At Temecula Valley Optometry Scleral Lens and Keratoconus Center, we help patients with keratoconus and other corneal abnormalities achieve crisp and comfortable vision using scleral contact lenses and other specialty lenses.

If you or a loved one have been diagnosed with keratoconus, call Temecula Valley Optometry Scleral Lens and Keratoconus Center in Temecula to schedule a consultation today!

Temecula Valley Optometry Scleral Lens and Keratoconus Center provides scleral lenses to patients from Temecula, Murrieta, Elsinore, and Menifee, California and surrounding communities.

Frequently Asked Questions with Dr. Winkelstein

Q: Who else can benefit from wearing scleral contact lenses?

  • A: Scleral contact lenses are ideal for patients with any of the following conditions: corneal abnormalities, severe dry eye syndrome, post-LASIK or corneal transplant, eye allergies, high refractive error or corneal trauma. Speak with your optometrist to find out if scleral lenses are right for you.

Q: Do all optometrists fit specialty contact lenses like sclerals?

  • A: No. If you are interested in scleral contact lenses, be sure to choose an optometric practice that has years of experience fitting specialty lenses. At Temecula Valley Optometry Scleral Lens and Keratoconus Center, we have the knowledge, skill and experience necessary to provide you with the best lenses for your eyes. Call us to learn more or schedule your scleral lens fitting.

6 Tips For Adjusting To Wearing Scleral Lenses

6 Tips For Adjusting To Wearing Scleral Lenses 640×350Congratulations on your new pair of customized scleral contact lenses! As with most new things, there can be a learning curve when getting your scleral contacts to feel and fit just right.

Whether you’ve been prescribed sclerals for keratoconus, dry eye syndrome, corneal abnormalities or other conditions, it can take up to two weeks for you to feel completely comfortable in your new contacts.

Here are some tips to help shorten the adjustment period on your scleral lens journey:

1. Stick to proper hygiene protocol

Even the most perfectly fitted scleral lenses won’t feel right if they aren’t cleaned and cared for properly. Carefully follow the hygiene guidelines prescribed by your optometrist without cutting any corners. Although it may seem tedious at first, your efforts will be well worth the results.

2. Practice makes progress

The only way to make inserting and removing your lenses second nature is to wear them. Don’t be discouraged if it takes a bit more time to insert them than you’d anticipated. Wearing your sclerals daily will give you the opportunity to practice wearing and caring for your lenses.

3. Try out different insertion tools and techniques

At your initial fitting or follow-up consultation, your eye doctor will show you ways to safely and comfortably insert your lenses. Some patients prefer using a large plunger, while others prefer the scleral ring or O-ring. If neither of these recommended techniques are working for you, seek advice from your eye doctor.

4. Overfill the lens

A common problem that many patients encounter when they begin wearing scleral contact lenses is how to get rid of tiny air bubbles that get trapped in the lens’ bowl. Try filling up the lens with the recommended solution until it is almost overflowing. That way, you’ll have enough fluid left in the lens even if some spills out when you bring it up to your eye.

5. Give it time

If your scleral lenses feel slightly uncomfortable upon insertion — don’t worry. It’s recommended to wait 20-30 minutes to allow them to settle on the eye’s surface before attempting to readjust or remove them. Of course, remove them immediately and try again if you feel significant discomfort.

6. Follow up with your optometrist

Even once you leave your optometrist’s office, we encourage you to remain in touch with your eye doctor if something doesn’t feel right or if you have any questions regarding your scleral lenses.

To learn more or to schedule a scleral lens consultation, call Temecula Valley Optometry Scleral Lens and Keratoconus Center today!

Temecula Valley Optometry Scleral Lens and Keratoconus Center provides scleral lenses to patients from Temecula, Murrieta, Elsinore, and Menifee, California and surrounding communities.

Frequently Asked Questions with Dr. Winkelstein

Q: What are scleral contact lenses?

  • A: Scleral contact lenses are rigid gas permeable lenses with a uniquely large diameter. They rest on the sclera (whites of the eyes) instead of the cornea, making them a more comfortable and stable option for people with corneal irregularities or dry eye syndrome. Scleral contacts hold a reservoir of nourishing fluid between the eye’s surface and the inside of the lens, providing the patient with crisp and comfortable vision.

Q: Who is an ideal candidate for wearing sclerals?

  • A: Patients with keratoconus, corneal abnormalities, ocular surface disease (dry eye syndrome) and very high refractive errors can all benefit from scleral lenses. Moreover, those with delicate corneas due to disease or after surgery find scleral lenses to be comfortable and therapeutic, as the lenses don’t place any pressure on the sensitive corneal tissue.