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Am I a Candidate for Scleral Lenses?

Scleral lenses are specialty contact lenses. They help when other contact lenses do not fit. This is because they are large in diameter. They are also gas permeable, meaning that they allow oxygen to flow to the eye. They sit on the white part of the eye (sclera) and arch over the cornea. This creates a space between the cornea and the back of the sclera. This space encourages a tear film to form, helping hydrate the eyes. 

Thus, scleral lenses are comfortable and suitable for hard-to-fit conditions. These conditions also include refractive errors and healing of the cornea.


The primary conditions that use scleral lenses are ocular surface diseases, severe refractive errors, and corneal irregularity. These conditions are:

  • Severe dry eyes.

  • Keratoconus.

  • Severe astigmatism.

  • Ocular surface diseases.

  • Corneal irregularity.

  • Gas permeable lens fatigue.

Severe Dry Eyes

This is a condition where the eyes do not generate enough tears. Tears help to adequately lubricate the eyes. If the eyes are dry, they will feel uncomfortable and may burn or sting. 

Unlike soft lenses, gas permeable material does not dehydrate the eyes. Scleral lenses arch over the cornea, creating a liquid reservoir of tears. This continuously lubricates the eye, helping patients with dry eyes to manage their condition.


Standard gas permeable lenses usually help treat this condition. However, the lens may not center properly. It may move when you blink or move your eye, causing discomfort. Switching to scleral lenses may help solve the problem. They are more comfortable since they rest on the sclera and do not move, thus more stable.

Severe Astigmatism

Some cases of astigmatism do not fit gas permeable lenses well. Toric lenses help some of these cases. The rest need scleral lenses. Scleral lenses can mask astigmatism and are stable regardless of the stigmatism orientation.

Ocular Surface Disease

Scleral lenses help manage ocular surface disease. They protect the front ocular surface from exposure. Conditions like Sjögren’s syndrome and Stevens-Johnson's syndrome benefit greatly from this.

Corneal Irregularity

Irregularities that result from corneal surgery or trauma can benefit greatly from scleral lenses. Where corneal gas permeable lenses do not fit, scleral lenses will provide stability and protection. This allows the eyes to heal where they need to.

Gas Permeable Lens Fatigue

Sometimes, patients who wear corneal gas permeable contact lenses may complain of them moving. This interrupts the way and time the contact lenses fit. This is extremely problematic if you have an active lifestyle, especially in sports. There may also be complaints of foreign objects and dust getting under the lenses. In these cases, scleral lenses provide a comfortable fit. They also do not let dust or foreign objects under the lens.

The main benefit of scleral lenses is that they fit a range of corneal irregularities. They provide better stability than other contact lenses. Also, the tissue they rest on is less sensitive than the corneal tissue. This makes them very comfortable to wear.

For more on scleral lenses, visit Brandon Eyes at our office in Middleton or Madison, Wisconsin. You can call (608) 833-7256 or (608) 833-0301 today to schedule an appointment.

A30master none 9:00 am – 5:00 pm 9:00 am – 5:00 pm 9:00 am – 5:00 pm 9:00 am – 5:00 pm 9:00 am – 5:00 pm Closed Closed (608) 833-0301 608-833-0302 6122 Mineral Point Road
Madison, WI 53705