Contact lenses are medical devices which is why you need a prescription for them. They come in a variety of types, materials, and designs in various wearing modailites to suit the range of needs for individual patients. Dr. Kubota will help you figure out which specific contact lenses will both feel comfortable for you and fulfill your visual needs.
Some types of contact lenses are known as speciality lenses. This is because they are designed specifically to overcome some eye issues which may prevent a patient from wearing the most common types of contact lenses. In fact, speciality contact lenses have transformed the vision options of many patients who would otherwise have only had the choice between wearing glasses or undergoing laser vision correction. There are numerous types of speciality contact lens, including scleral lenses.
Scleral contact lenses are made of rigid gas permeable material, which means that oxygen can pass right through them and reach the surface of the eyes. This is important for comfort, particularly for patients who experience dry eyes. The gap that is created between the underside of the contact lens and the front surface of the eye can help maintain a healthy tear film, acting as a fluid reservoir which will keep the eyes moist and healthy.
Within scleral lenses there are several different sizes to choose between. These are based on where the lenses meet the surface of the eye and are as follows:
Full scleral lenses: the largest type, they provide the greatest amount of clearance between the cornea and lens and rest on the outer sclera.
Mini scleral lenses: the mid-size variety, make contact with the eye on the anterior sclera.
Semi-scleral lenses: although larger than conventional lenses, they are not huge, and the edge of the contact lens rests on the junction between the cornea and the sclera.
Dr. Kubota will be able to make a recommendation as to the correct size for you, which will be based on your individual requirements.
Although technically anyone can wear and benefit from scleral lenses, they are a particularly good option for patients who have eye conditions or irregularities that make regular contacts not suitable. This includes patients with:Irregular corneas. The cornea is the clear dome that covers the front part of the eye and some people have a cornea that is slightly or significantly irregular in surface shape. This causes light to bend irregularly when it enters our eyes, creating distortion and blur. Issues arising from irregularly shaped corneas cannot be completely corrected using glasses or conventional contact lenses. Scleral lenses, which provide a smooth surface shape, give the patient sharper and more accurate vision.
Dye eye syndrome. Contact lenses float on a fine layer of tear film, which keeps them comfortable and in position. Patients with dry eye syndrome either do not have enough natural tear film, or what they do have drains away too quickly. This can make wearing regular contact lenses difficult and uncomfortable. However, the design of scleral lenses keeps moisture on the surface of the eyes, eliminating some of the effects of dry eyes. This makes scleral lenses a great choice for patients with dry eyes.
For more information about scleral lenses, please do not hesitate to ask Dr. Kubota.