Scleral lenses are specialized contact lenses that are often prescribed for patients with keratoconus or extremely sensitive eyes. These rigid gas permeable contacts have a very wide diameter that extends completely over the corneal surface, which makes them comfortable and effective for people with irregular corneas. At the beginning, many of our patients with scleral lenses in find these contact lenses tricky to insert and remove. However, after a short training and practice in caring for your scleral lenses, you’ll find it easy!
Applying Scleral Lenses
- The first rule for healthy eyes with scleral lenses is to wash your hands well with a mild soap. To prevent small fibers from sticking to your contact lenses, dry your hands well with a lint-free towel.
- Before inserting your lenses, inspect your eyes for any redness or secretions. If you notice any irritation or changes in your vision while wearing scleral lenses, call our office to schedule an appointment. Our optometrist will perform an eye exam to check for any complications.
- Our eye doctor will instruct you on the best insertion methods for scleral lenses in our clinic. We advise patients to first place a mirror flat on the table in front of them. Remove one lens from its case and check it carefully for any debris or chips. If you hold your scleral lens against light, you’ll be able to spot any cloudy deposits.
- Fill the bowl of the lens with saline. Scleral lenses can be inserted using your fingers or a special inserter tool. If you prefer using your fingers, it is ideal to use two or three fingers (tripod method) to keep the lens stable and flat as you place it in your eye.
- Look downwards towards the mirror. Use one hand to hold your eyelids open, and place the lens in your eye with the other hand. As soon as you feel the saline against your eyeball, press gently and let go. The scleral lens will attach to your eye. Repeat this process with the second lens.
- If your scleral lenses feel uncomfortable, it may be due to an air bubble trapped beneath the lens surface. You may need to remove the lens and insert again.
Removal of Scleral Lenses
There are two basic methods of removing scleral contact lenses: with your fingers, or with the aid of a plunger.
After you wash your hands well, look straight ahead. If you’re using a plunger, wet the tip with saline and attach it to the lower third of the lens. Press gently on your eye, and pull up and out.
If you’re using your fingers, then place two fingertips on either side of the lens and gently break the seal from your eye. In this way, you’ll dislodge the lens. Be ready to catch it as it pops out! Although it sounds challenging, don’t worry - after a few times practicing scleral lens removal, it will become natural and simple.
Proper Care of Scleral Lenses
As soon as you remove your contact lenses, clean them with proper contact lens cleaning solution using a q-tip to remove debris and protein deposits. Rinse the cleaning solution off with saline and store your scleral lens overnight in its case, covered by a sufficient amount of the appropriate disinfectant. Be sure to use fresh solution each time you store your lenses! Old, used solution is swimming with bacteria and can lead to eye infections. Repeat this process with the other lens.
It’s important to only use the disinfecting solutions that our eye doctor recommends for contact lenses in. Not every solution is suitable for every type of lens, and the wrong disinfectant may harm your scleral lenses.
When your contact lens case is empty, rinse it with disinfecting solution and wipe it out with a clean, dry tissue. Store the case upside-down with the caps off.
Our optometrist will recommend the best wearing schedule for your contact lenses. To ensure your lasting eye health and crisp vision, always follow the instructions provided by your eye care professional! We are experienced with fitting scleral lenses and all types of contact lenses in. Call today to schedule an eye exam.