5 Benefits of Scleral Lenses for Corneal Transplants
Scleral contact lenses are special large-diameter lenses designed to rest on the sclera (white part) of the eye rather than on the cornea. The sclera contains far fewer nerve endings than the cornea, making scleral lenses very comfortable, even compared to traditional soft contact lenses.
While any patient can wear scleral lenses, they are most beneficial for patients with specific conditions, such as keratoconus. These lenses are also helpful for patients who have had a corneal transplant—here’s why.
- Scleral lenses are comfortable
While your post-surgery discomfort will be gone before you are fitted for contact lenses, you may still find traditional lenses uncomfortable. Scleral lenses are much more comfortable for several reasons. First, they do not make contact with the cornea: instead, they rest on the sclera and form a dome over the cornea. Second, this dome acts as a reservoir for tears and saline solution, helping your eyes to stay hydrated and comfortable throughout the day.
- Scleral lenses are custom-designed
Contact lens fitting is an essential part of the rehabilitation process following a corneal transplant. One problem is that patients may have varying degrees of corneal irregularity after this procedure, as well as significant astigmatism, both of which can make fitting difficult. As a result, traditional contact lenses may not fit as well as they would have before the procedure. In these cases, scleral lenses can be particularly helpful. They are custom-designed for each patient, each eye, and neutralize the corneal irregularities by vaulting over it.
- Scleral lenses help prevent and treat dry eye after surgery
Patients who have had a corneal transplant often notice that their eyes feel very dry. Dry eye is more than just uncomfortable: it can lead to long-term vision problems. Patients with dry eyes are likely to notice daily burning or irritation, visual fluctuations or redness, reducing their overall quality of life. Scleral lenses can help to solve this problem because they do not touch the cornea. The space between the lens and the cornea is filled with a saline solution which keeping the eye comfortably lubricated. Preservative-free artificial tears can also be added in the bowl of the lens to help lubricate the ocular surface.
Related Resource: 6 Reasons Why Scleral Lenses Can Solve Your Dry Eye Syndrome
- Scleral lenses offer superior visual acuity
Post corneal transplant patients may struggle with blurry vision. Thanks to their unique design, scleral lenses can provide better visual acuity for these patients than other lenses. In fact, many patients who cannot achieve clear vision with other lenses find that scleral lenses work well for them. These lenses are created based on the shape of an individual eye. In addition to being completely custom, their unique shape allows for extremely stable vision and prevents visual fluctuations.
- Scleral lenses are well-loved by many patients
Often, individuals who try scleral lenses end up loving them. Patients with irregular corneas who wear scleral lenses report more comfort, better vision, longer wearing time, and a reduction in dry eye symptoms. Scleral lenses are not just ideal for patients who have had corneal surgery—they are also suitable for patients with very high prescriptions, corneal scarring, keratoconus, pellucid marginal degeneration, and many other conditions. These lenses offer a unique design and personalized fit that allow a wide variety of patients to wear them daily.
Related Resource: Treating patients with scleral lenses
Scleral lenses are increasing in popularity thanks to their effectiveness, safety, affordability, and other benefits. If you have had a corneal transplant and would like more information about whether scleral lenses may be right for you, contact us today.
A patient who wears scleral lenses after a corneal transplant
How to apply your scleral lenses