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Scleral Contact Lenses

Scleral lenses are rigid contact lenses for hard-to-fit patients and are ideal for people with a vision prescription that exceeds the standard parameters of soft contacts.

With offices in Poughkeepsie and Red Hook, Dutchess Optometry LLP has been serving New York’s central and north Dutchess County areas since 1892 and is one of the oldest optometric practices in the United States!

What Are Scleral Lenses?

These hard-to-fit contacts are rigid gas permeable lenses that have an extra-large diameter. They vault completely over your cornea, coming to rest on the whites of your eye (called the sclera). Scleral lenses thereby cover the irregular corneal surface with a rounded optical surface, helping you to achieve clear vision – even if you have keratoconus.

As the shape of scleral lenses creates a bridge over the eye, it leaves a gap that fills with tears. This pocket of tears enhances comfortable vision for people with dry eyes, which makes scleral lenses a great option for people with severe dry eye syndrome.

Eye doctor, african american woman smiling in Winter Park, Florida

How Safe Are Scleral Lenses?

Although this may be the first time you have heard of scleral lenses, they aren’t a new invention. In fact, they are the oldest type of contact lenses, invented in the early 16th century by Leonardo da Vinci.

However, the first prototypes that were manufactured in Europe were not very permeable to oxygen. As a result, they caused many negative side effects, such as corneal swelling.

Nowadays, modern scleral lenses are designed and crafted with precise technology, new materials, and computer-driven lathes.

This leads to a higher level of safety and comfort. Contemporary sclerals have a high oxygen permeability, which reduces the risk of eye complications. Patients with keratoconus can have crystal-clear vision along with protection of the sensitive corneal surface.

Optometrist, woman at an eye exam for contact lenses in Winter Park, FL

Scleral Lens Fitting

The eye doctor will map your cornea using advanced corneal topography equipment. This generates a detailed diagram of your cornea, which is used to make customized scleral contact lenses.

We equip our office with the newest technologies in order to ensure an efficient eye care experience and lenses that fit you perfectly.

Is it difficult to insert and care for scleral lenses?

Scleral lenses are very durable and easy to handle. In the beginning, it can be tricky to insert scleral contacts. Our optometrists provide complete instruction and training. After a short practice period of inserting and removing your lenses, you’ll have no trouble at all!

You must care for scleral lenses in the same way as standard contacts. Right after you remove them, clean and store them with the recommended disinfectant.

When Are Scleral Lenses An Effective Option?

Typically, our eye care professionals prescribe scleral lenses typically for patients with keratoconus, corneal dystrophies and degenerations, and in the case of corneal scarring.

In addition, they are helpful for people with extreme dry eye syndrome, chronic inflammatory conditions, Sjorgen’s disease, and other specific conditions. Many of our patients who try scleral lenses report that they are pleased to finally enjoy sharp and comfortable vision!

Scleral lenses can also be the ideal treatment for people with a vision prescription that exceeds the standard parameters of soft contacts.

Contact our Dutchess Optometry optometrists to schedule a consultation at our optometry practice. We offer expert fittings for scleral lenses and a premium selection of these specialty contacts for hard-to-fit vision conditions.

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