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Scleral lens therapy performed at Silicon Valley Eye Physicians can help improve your quality of life by restoring your vision and ocular comfort, as well as preventing further damage to the ocular surface. The main indications for scleral lenses are corneal irregularities and ocular surface diseases however patients with refractive error (nearsightedness, farsightedness, or astigmatism) who are unable to wear other forms of correction can benefit from scleral lenses as well.
A scleral lens is a large diameter rigid gas permeable lens, ranging from 14mm to 20mm in diameter. The large diameter makes a scleral lens very stable when worn. These lenses are specially designed to rest on the sclera, the “white” of the eye, and vault over the entire corneal surface. The cornea is one of the most sensitive tissues in the body and by vaulting over it and resting on the much less sensitive sclera these lenses can provide a level of comfort unseen in traditional rigid gas permeable lenses.
Scleral lenses functionally replace the irregular or compromised cornea surface with a new imperfection free optical surface. This corrects poor and distorted vision caused by corneal irregularities, disease, and degenerations such as keratoconus, corneal transplants and other corneal and post refractive surgeries, traumatic corneal injuries, corneal lattice dystrophy and many more.
Additionally, the vaulting creates a space between the cornea and the back surface of the scleral lens. This space is filled with fluid and acts as a “tear bandage” which bathes the corneal surface to provide comfort, protection, and healing for people with diseases that affect the ocular surface. Examples include graft versus host disease, Stevens Johnson disease, severe dry eye caused by Sjögren’s syndrome or Rheumatoid arthritis.
For many patients that suffer with corneal disease or diseases that affect the ocular surface, scleral lens treatment can be the ideal treatment capable of restoring vision and dramatically reducing eye pain and light sensitivity. Because of these amazing properties, these lenses have even been referred to as prosthetic and therapeutic devices.