Why You May Prefer Wearing Scleral Lenses Instead of RGP Lenses
Many people with visual impairments such as myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness), or astigmatism have experience wearing conventional, soft contact lenses. Optometrists prescribe traditional soft lenses for patients with mild to moderate visual impairments as they provide clear vision. This type of corrective lens wear is an effective and affordable option. However, those with corneal irregularities or severe astigmatism often find that traditional soft lenses don’t provide enough comfort, stability, or visual acuity. Doctors often recommend corneal rigid gas permeable (RGP) contact or scleral lenses for these patients. Both lenses offer a more customized fit and are suited to treat more complex ocular conditions effectively. How can you determine which lenses are right for you?
What are corneal RGP lenses?
Corneal RGP lenses are rigid contact lenses that are made of hard plastic materials. These lenses are considered permeable as their design allows oxygen to permeate through the lens to the cornea. This design supports a healthier cornea environment compared to hard lenses made of other materials. RGP lenses offer a custom fit and provide sharper vision than soft contact lenses or eyeglasses.
The rigid composition of this type of contact lens allows it to maintain its shape on the eye, supporting clear and stable vision correction. In addition, RGP lenses are more durable and don’t tear easily. They are more hygienic than conventional soft lenses and don’t absorb water from the eye as soft lenses sometimes do. In addition, these lenses are smaller in diameter than traditional soft lenses, which means they cover less of the ocular surface.
There is an adjustment period for patients when they first start wearing RGP lenses. Still, most patients find the superior lens durability and visual acuity they offer worth the effort.
What are Scleral Lenses?
Scleral lenses provide an excellent solution to patients with sensitive eyes, corneal irregularities, severe astigmatism, or other ocular conditions that make wearing traditional contact lenses and corneal RGP lenses uncomfortable. However, even patients with mild visual impairments often prefer the crisp, clear vision correction and the best level of comfort and stability that scleral lenses provide to other contact lenses. Wearing scleral lenses offers several advantages:
- Those wearing scleral lenses will instantly experience crisp, clear vision. These lenses are larger in diameter, ensuring they remain stable and centered on the eye’s surface. Their size also prevents them from popping out. These lenses are perfect for athletes and patients who live active lifestyles.
- Scleral lenses are also made from rigid gas permeable materials. They last long and provide maximum value.
- People wearing scleral lenses will have improvement of dry eyes. The design of the scleral lens is revolutionary. These lenses vault over the cornea and rest solely on the sclera, or the white part of the eye’s surface. A saline fluid-filled reservoir, or pocket, rests on the cornea in that vaulted space. This reservoir constantly hydrates the cornea and protects it from abrasions.
- Wearing scleral lenses provide patients with a wide optic zone and more precise peripheral vision.
- Those wearing scleral lenses will experience reduced sensitivity to glare and light.
- Because the scleral lens rests solely on the sclera, which is less sensitive than the cornea, the scleral lens provides superior comfort compared to other contact lenses.
Scleral Lenses for the Win
In terms of comfort, visual clarity, and stability, scleral contact lenses are superior to corneal RGP lenses. For those who suffer from corneal irregularities, sensitivity, or severe astigmatism, or those who prefer the superior visual acuity that scleral lenses offer compared to other contact lenses, there is no substitute for the scleral lens.
Talk to your optometrist at Weston Contact Lens Institute about whether scleral lenses are right for you. The eye care professionals at WCLI are trained and experienced in fitting specialty contact lenses of all types. They specialize in scleral lenses, regardless of how complex the patient’s ocular condition may be. Contact Weston Contact Lens Institute today and regain your quality of life with crystal clear vision for years to come. See the world wearing scleral lenses.