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If you wear scleral lenses or are considering being fitted for them, the following information will help make wearing and caring for your lenses a breeze. Although it may take some getting used to, caring for your lenses and inserting/removing them will eventually become second nature.

Please let us know if you have any other questions regarding your scleral lenses. We’d be happy to help.

Our practice serves patients from Conroe, The Woodlands, Spring, and Cleveland, Texas and surrounding communities.
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What You Should Know About Corneal Disease

The cornea, the eye’s transparent cover, refracts light, which enables the eye to see clearly. A healthy cornea is vital to good eyesight, so damage to the cornea can cause pain, sensitivity to light, blurriness, inflammation, headaches and vision loss.

Conditions and diseases harmful to the cornea include:

  • Injuries and trauma
  • Keratitis, an inflammation of the cornea resulting from an injury, bacteria, viruses, fungi, or parasites. (One form, neurotrophic keratitis, is a rare degenerative disease characterized by corneal numbness, thinning, ulceration and perforation.)
  • Dry eye, resulting from the eyes not producing enough tears or tears of subpar quality
  • Shingles, herpes and other viruses
  • Iridocorneal endothelial syndrome, causing corneal swelling, glaucoma and changes in the iris
  • Pterygium, a growth of tissue on the cornea
  • Stevens-Johnson syndrome (erythema multiforme major), a serious skin disorder that also causes conjunctivitis, corneal blisters and erosions, holes in the cornea and painful blisters on the eyelids
  • Corneal dystrophies (such as keratoconus, lattice corneal dystrophy, map-dot-fingerprint dystrophy and Fuchs’ dystrophy), which cause parts of the cornea to become cloudy starting in childhood
  • Allergies and minor scratches

Lowering Risks to the Cornea

According to the National Institutes of Health’s National Eye Institute, you can lower the risk of corneal injuries by wearing protective eyewear while playing sports, doing yard work, working on home repairs, using machines and handling chemicals. You can prevent keratitis and other corneal infections by properly cleaning, disinfecting and storing your contact lenses.

Diagnosing Corneal Damage When It Does Occur

If you suspect you have sustained corneal damage of any kind, contact Scleral Lens Experts, Dr. Boeckman & Dr. O'Rear to examine for corneal abrasions and corneal diseases. This is important because many eye diseases have no early symptoms or warning signs. Indeed, having a dilated eye exam is important even if your eyes seem healthy.

Treating Corneal Diseases

Treatment options depend on the medical condition. They include:

  • Eye drops and ointments
  • Cenegermin, a medication for treating neurotrophic keratitis
  • Oral antiviral medications
  • Laser surgery to treat corneal erosions and dystrophies by reshaping and restoring the cornea
  • Partial corneal transplant, in which one or two layers of the cornea are removed or are replaced by a layer from a donor
  • Corneal transplant for some patients with keratoconus, severe corneal scarring, certain corneal dystrophies, edema after cataract surgery and any failure of the cornea after eye surgery
  • Artificial cornea for those who cannot undergo a corneal transplant

One of the most common ways to treat corneal problems is with scleral contact lenses, which vault over the cornea and rest upon the sclera, the eye’s white surface. These customized lenses can help patients with corneal abrasions, diseases and injuries by protecting the cornea’s surface and keeping the cornea hydrated. Scleral lenses also allow the cornea to recover from a corneal transplant, and are the preferred treatment for keratoconus, severe dry eye and other conditions.

Our practice serves patients from Conroe, The Woodlands, Spring, and Cleveland, Texas and surrounding communities.

References:

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Frequently Asked Question

How Much Do Scleral Contacts Cost?

Unlike regular contact lenses, scleral lenses are custom fit to the eye. This requires significantly more training on the part of the optometrist, expensive equipment and multiple visits to achieve the optimal fit. In addition to the fitting process, the patient must also be trained on how to properly care, insert and remove scleral lenses. This is why professional fees associated with fitting scleral lenses are higher than traditional contact lenses.

Our optometric team at Eyeland's Scleral Lens and Keratoconus Center will be happy to discuss your specific costs and payment options based on your individual needs.

Does Insurance Cover The Costs Of Scleral Lenses?

Scleral lenses are not automatically covered by vision or medical insurance. Though most insurances will reimburse the costs for scleral lenses when medically necessary, the rates and restrictions tend to vary greatly from one vision insurance provider to the next.

We will be happy to provide assistance in helping you apply insurance benefits to your scleral lenses. However, given that insurance policies vary widely, we cannot guarantee how much coverage you will receive from your provider.

It’s important to note that scleral lenses, which are hard lenses, last far longer than soft contact lenses. While their costs may be higher, their many benefits and lifespan make it a worthwhile investment.

What Happens During a Scleral Lens Fitting?

  • Consultation and testing (Digital Imaging)
  • Measurement and fitting
  • Dispensing of the lens
  • Training on how to care, insert and remove the lenses.
  • Follow up(s) for micro-adjustments

Are Scleral Lenses Custom Fit?

Designed by Scleral Lens Experts, Dr. Boeckman & Dr. O'Rear, all scleral lenses are custom-made to match the exact contours of your eyes. A topographer digitally maps out the exact dimensions and shape of your eyes resulting in custom-designed scleral lenses that ensure maximum comfort and acuity. Thanks to our latest technology, we can provide microscopic precision when developing each scleral lens.

Our patients experience enormous relief when they see that they can manage their keratoconus and other corneal conditions successfully without surgery.

Our practice serves patients from Conroe, The Woodlands, Spring, and Cleveland, Texas and surrounding communities.
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Call Us 936-218-2341
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What are Scleral Lenses?

Custom-fit scleral lenses help patients with corneal distortions and irregularities achieve dramatic improvements in visual acuity and comfort. Scleral lenses vault over the cornea and prevent discomfort by resting on the sclera so as not to place any pressure on the cornea. This creates a new optical surface to replace the distorted cornea. Moreover, the reservoir of pure saline solution between the back surface of the lens and the front of the cornea ensures that the eye is always in a liquid environment – making it optimal for healing.

Due to their size, scleral lenses are more stable on the eye than conventional GP lenses and are therefore less likely to accidentally dislodge from the eye. This stability makes them more comfortable, especially for sensitive eyes or irregularly shaped corneas. Moreover, all scleral lenses are made with highly breathable gas permeable material so that plenty of oxygen reaches the front of the eye, keeping it healthy and comfortable.

Types of Scleral Lenses

These three categories are based on the lenses’ size and primary contact with the surface of the eye.

  • Corneo-scleral lenses and semi-scleral lenses are significantly larger than traditional GP lenses and rest near the junction between the cornea and the sclera.
  • Mini-scleral lenses vault over the whole corneal surface and rest on the anterior sclera.
  • Full scleral lenses are the largest in size and provide the most clearance between the back surface of the lens and the cornea.

If you are interested, contact Eyeland's Scleral Lens and Keratoconus Center to find out if scleral lenses are right for you. Our staff helps patients from all over Conroe and The Woodlands, Texas , and Scleral Lens Experts, Dr. Boeckman & Dr. O'Rear will provide a comprehensive evaluation and the highest level of care.

Scleral Lenses Provide More Comfort and Improved Vision

Our patients report comfort as the most prominent feature of the scleral lens. Throughout the fitting process, we survey our patients on how the lenses feel, and not surprisingly, the usual feedback we get is “fine” or “I can’t feel them at all”.

Traditional contact lenses are much smaller, typically 9 -10 mm in diameter. With each blink, the contact lens moves a bit over the cornea and the lid tends to roll over the edge of the lens as well. Many patients report being unable to wear them for more than a few hours at a time due to the discomfort.

The scleral lens, on the other hand, is larger in diameter and spreads its weight over a much greater, less sensitive area so that when you blink the eyelid doesn’t catch the edge of the lens. Because the lens sits firmly on the eye, it offers more stable vision than traditional lenses. Moreover, having the lens vault over the cornea protects it from any abrasion caused by blinking or external irritants. It is made up of highly oxygen permeable materials and provides a soothing bath of artificial tears that refresh the ocular surface. Scleral lenses not only improve comfort but make for more stable vision.

Who is a Good Candidate for Scleral Lenses?

Anyone seeking to achieve the best vision with contact lenses is a great candidate for scleral lenses. That said, these lenses are particularly useful in managing the following conditions:

Hard-to-fit eyes: Those with an irregularly shaped cornea, whether due to natural causes, an eye condition (i.e. keratoconus), or complications following surgery, tend to develop vision problems which cannot be fully corrected using soft contact lenses, as the shape of their eye cause the lenses to easily dislodge. For those people, scleral lenses provide a more comfortable, secure fit and improved vision, which may be even better than glasses.

Any of the following conditions can make wearing traditional contact lenses more challenging:

  • Keratoconus
  • Astigmatism
  • Dry Eyes
  • Giant papillary conjunctivitis (GPC)
  • Post-refractive surgery (i.e. LASIK, PRK)
  • Presbyopia

Dry Eyes: Those with dry eyes may find traditional contact lenses difficult to wear. Scleral lenses provide a tear reservoir between the back surface of full scleral lenses and the cornea, keeping the front of your eye moist and comfortable.

Cute Happy Children Hugging 1280×853Can Children Wear Scleral Lenses?

Young children (over 6 months of age) with an ocular surface disease or severe dry eyes can benefit from wearing full scleral lenses, as they need to protect as much of the eye as possible.

Mini-scleral lenses, typically ranging from 15.0mm to 18.0mm in size, and are a great choice for young children with normal corneas and high refractive errors or for those who have irregular corneas such as keratoconus. Mini-scleral are also great for kids who are intolerant to corneal GP lenses and want the comfort of a soft contact lens.

What happens during scleral lens fitting?

We carefully map the patient’s cornea using the latest corneal topography equipment. This generates a detailed diagram of your cornea, which is used to make customized scleral contact lenses.

How difficult is it to insert and care for scleral lenses?

Initially, inserting scleral lenses can be challenging. But after a short period, and thorough training by the optometrist, inserting and removing contact lenses becomes habitual. Scleral lenses are very durable, easy to handle and are easy to care for once the patient is well trained.

What Changes Will I Notice with Scleral Lenses?

Once you have been properly fitted for scleral lenses, you can expect to gradually see improvements in clarity, color and detailed contrast between multiple images and objects within your visual field. The comfort you’ll experience will enable you to wear your custom-made scleral lenses all day long so that you can keep doing all the things you love – but with better vision.

Watch this video to learn how easy and comfortable they are to insert, remove, and wear all day.

When Should I See An Eye Doctor Specializing in Scleral Lenses?

If you are interested in seeing whether scleral lenses are right for you, make sure that the eye doctor you visit has the knowledge and experience required to correctly fit you for the lenses. Scleral lenses require precise customization, and every patient’s case varies in degrees of severity and corneal measurements.

Experts in scleral lenses, Scleral Lens Experts, Dr. Boeckman & Dr. O'Rear and the attentive staff at Eyeland's Scleral Lens and Keratoconus Center will ensure that you receive top-notch eye care for all your vision needs.

Does Insurance Cover Scleral Lenses?

When it comes to scleral lenses, every insurance company is different. Some cover the examination and custom fitting, but not the actual lenses. Others may cover a portion of the cost or 100% of the cost, but only if other treatment methods have been exhausted. To understand the coverage and fees you can contact us or check with your specific insurance provider to understand the particulars.

Our practice serves patients from Conroe, The Woodlands, Spring, and Cleveland, Texas and surrounding communities.
Book An Appointment
Call Us 936-218-2341
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Who Wears Scleral Lenses?

Eyeland's Scleral Lens and Keratoconus Center, Providing Scleral Lenses for Patients From Conroe, Texas

Scleral lenses are traditionally used for patients with keratoconus and vision correction after eye surgery, but today, eye doctors utilize modern scleral lenses to treat many other eye conditions and disorders. Many of Scleral Lens Experts, Dr. Boeckman & Dr. O'Rear‘s patients who were previously unable to wear contact lenses or struggled with prescription eyeglasses can now experience comfortable, superior vision through scleral lenses.

What Are Scleral Lenses?

Close up of hazel eyeScleral lenses are specially-designed contact lenses, which are used to manage various eye diseases and visual conditions. These lenses hold artificial tears in a small area of the lens, like a tiny pool. The cornea coated with artificial tears remains moisturized for longer stretches of time than basic contact lenses.

Scleral lenses have a larger diameter than traditional lenses. This allows them to easily sit over a larger area of the eye without touching the cornea, ultimately increasing the patient’s comfort level. This can be especially helpful for patients who have had a corneal transplant since the cornea takes time to heal – up to one year – and is particularly sensitive during recovery time.

Because each patient’s vision, prescription needs, and corneal shape are different, scleral lenses are tailor-made for your specific case. Our scleral lens patients enjoy improved visual clarity and sharper focus.

Benefits Of Wearing Scleral Lenses

Scleral lenses from Eyeland's Scleral Lens and Keratoconus Center have many advantages over traditional lenses. Our patients enjoy wearing them for their:

  • Comfort: Scleral lenses’ larger size and high-quality materials offer a greater level of comfort. The rigid materials allow for a round, smooth shape that gently sits over the eye and stay put, even with a lot of movement. Most patients can wear them comfortably for up to 14 hours.
  • Consistency: Patients with irregular or misshapen corneas may find it difficult to wear soft contact lenses since they sit directly on the cornea. Sclerals reach over to the sclera (white part of the eye), avoiding the cornea completely.
  • Cost-Effectiveness: Although scleral lenses usually cost more than basic soft lenses, they provide longer-term financial value. If your vision insurance plan includes contact lenses, the cost will be significantly reduced. Unlike traditional soft lenses, there is no need to continuously purchase lens solution and replacement lenses every few months. In the long run, it’s better value for your money.
  • Durability: Scleral lenses’ rigid materials are breathable for proper air flow and long-lasting wear. Soft contact lenses, on the other hand, when overused, can lead to eye infections or worse!
  • Sharper Vision: The smooth ocular surface functions as a replacement for the cornea, resulting in sharper, clearer vision. Like a camera focuses on the fine details of an image, sclerals give you improved visual acuity and sharp focus.
  • Tailor-Made for YOU: No two patients are alike, and neither are the shapes of their eyes. Each person’s cornea has unique curves and contours. Those with corneal irregularities require a more specialized, custom-fitting to ensure the best fit for visual clarity. To do so, Scleral Lens Experts, Dr. Boeckman & Dr. O'Rear will create a digital map of your cornea through a process called “corneal topography”. The doctor uses a computerized system to take exact measurements of the cornea. This process ensures that the scleral lenses will allow the right amount of light in, giving you superior vision.

Scleral Lenses For Eye Disorders And Diseases

Scleral lenses are often used to treat eye diseases and conditions including:

  • High levels of refractive error, a condition where the eyes can’t focus clearly on images or objects. The most common types of refractive errors are myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness), and astigmatism.

  • Keratoconus, a condition caused by an irregular-shaped cornea, resulting in blurriness, cloudy vision, and light sensitivity.

  • Dry Eye Disease caused by Meibomian Gland Dysfunction

  • Corneal Ectasia, a condition that can develop after vision correction procedures like LASIK. When this happens, the cornea thins out and bulges, negatively impacting your vision.

  • Corneal Dystrophy, a rare genetic eye disorder that causes material buildup in the cornea.

  • Ocular Surface Diseases

  • Post-Radial Keratology (RK), a surgical procedure used to treat myopia

  • Post Cataract Surgery

  • Corneal trauma, such as abrasions or scratches to the eye

  • Pellucid marginal corneal degeneration, a rare, degenerative eye condition, which makes the cornea gradually thin out, resulting in a slow decline of visual functions

  • Sjogren’s Syndrome, an autoimmune disorder affecting the glands of the eyes and mouth that normally secrete moisture, resulting in severe dryness

  • Stevens-Johnson Syndrome (SJS), a rare, but serious condition usually caused by a reaction to infection or medication, causing blisters externally and internally, including red, watery, and sore eyes

If you suffer from any of these diseases or their symptoms, speak with our helpful staff at Eyeland's Scleral Lens and Keratoconus Center. Let us help you live a higher quality of life with better, more comfortable vision.

Girl closing eyes, smelling flowerScleral Lenses For Eye Allergies

Do you have allergic reactions to pollen, dust particles, smoke, or pet dander? If you have persistent red, itchy, watery, and sore eyes, scleral lenses may help. Because they cover a large area of the eye, they can ease some of your allergy symptoms. That’s because the outer layer of the lens protects the eye surface, so dust and pollen can’t reach it. While not a complete barrier against airborne allergens, scleral lenses can minimize the reactions to these allergens, giving you more relief.

Are Regular Contact Lenses Not Working For You?

Maybe your regular lenses are uncomfortable, maybe your eyes are dry and itchy, or maybe your vision isn’t as clear as you’d like it to be. If you’ve tried standard soft contact lenses and you still experience blurry or distorted vision, it may be time to try something else.

Even if you’ve been told that your cornea isn’t suitable for contacts, don’t give up – you may be a great candidate for scleral lenses. Talk to Scleral Lens Experts, Dr. Boeckman & Dr. O'Rear about a consultation for sclerals. A detailed eye exam and medical history may be done in order to determine the best course of action for you.

Contact Us

Ready to get fitted for scleral lenses or need more information? Schedule a consultation with Scleral Lens Experts, Dr. Boeckman & Dr. O'Rear and we’ll help find the best solution to treat your condition. Contact Eyeland's Scleral Lens and Keratoconus Center today and let us help you get the proper care and visual clarity you deserve.

Our practice serves patients from Conroe, The Woodlands, Spring, and Cleveland, Texas and surrounding communities.

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Call Us 936-218-2341
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Scleral Lenses for Keratoconus

Keratoconus (keh-rah-toe-cone-us) is a non-inflammatory eye disorder in which the round dome-shaped cornea progressively thins causing a cone-like bulge to develop.

Hence the name keratoconus, from the Greek word ‘kerato’ (cornea) and ‘conus’ (cone-shaped).

Because those with keratoconus have irregular, cone-shaped corneas, glasses cannot conform to the shape of the eyes and thus cannot adequately correct the patients’ vision. The best solution, therefore, is scleral contact lenses, since they sit on the sclera without touching the cornea and deliver maximal clarity while being perfectly comfortable in most cases.

What are Scleral Lenses?

what are scleral lensesCustom-designed scleral lenses help patients with corneal irregularities achieve dramatic improvements in visual acuity and comfort. Scleral lenses vault over the cornea and rest on the sclera while avoiding the diseased cornea. This creates a new optical surface instead of the damaged cornea and prevents discomfort by resting on the sclera of the eye. Moreover, the reservoir of pure saline solution between the back surface of the lens and the front of the cornea ensures that the eye is always in a liquid environment – making it optimal for healing.

Both rigid gas permeable (GP) lenses and scleral lenses provide the eyes with sufficient oxygen. However, scleral lenses provide more comfort and stable vision than traditional GP lenses. In most cases, scleral contact lenses are the optimal choice of treatment for patients with keratoconus and irregularly-shaped corneas.

If you have Keratoconus and are interested in scleral lenses, Scleral Lens Experts, Dr. Boeckman & Dr. O'Rear at Eyeland's Scleral Lens and Keratoconus Center can help. We serve patients from all over Conroe, The Woodlands, Spring and Cleveland, Texas and provides the highest level of care.

Two Major Benefits of Scleral Lenses for Keratoconus

1) Scleral Lenses Provide More Comfort

Our patients report comfort as the most prominent feature of the scleral lens. Throughout the fitting process, we survey our patients on how the lenses feel, and not surprisingly, the usual response we get is “fine” or “I can’t feel them at all”.

The size of a scleral lens is one of the reasons it is more comfortable than a traditional gas permeable contact lens. A traditional contact lens is much smaller, typically 9 -10 mm in diameter. With each blink, this contact lens moves a bit over the cornea and the lid tends to roll over the edge of the lens as well. Many patients report being unable to wear them for more than a few hours at a time due to discomfort.

The scleral lens, on the other hand, is larger in diameter and spreads its weight over a much greater, less sensitive area so that when you blink, the eyelid doesn’t catch the edge of the lens. Moreover, because the lens vaults over the bulging cornea, it protects the cornea from any abrasion caused by blinking or external irritants. Furthermore, the scleral lens is made up of highly oxygen permeable materials and provides a soothing bath of artificial tears that refresh the ocular surface.

2) Scleral Lenses Offer Improved Vision

Patients with keratoconus have a clearer vision with scleral lenses than with glasses. With glasses, patients usually see 20/200, whereas with scleral lenses their vision typically improves to 20/30 or even 20/20. Furthermore, because the lenses sit firmly on the eye, they offer more stable vision than traditional lenses. The scleral lens not only offers comfort but also improves vision acuity.

What Changes Will I Notice with Scleral Lenses?

Once you have been properly fitted for scleral lenses, you can expect to gradually see improvements in clarity, color and detailed contrast between multiple images and objects within your visual field. The comfort you’ll experience will enable you to wear your custom-made scleral lenses all day long so that you can keep doing all the things you enjoy – but with better vision.

Should I See An Eye Doctor Experienced in Fitting Keratoconus Patients with Scleral Lenses?

improved vision with scleral lensesIf you are interested in seeing whether scleral lenses are right for you, make sure that the eye doctor you visit has the knowledge and experience required to correctly fit the lenses on patients with keratoconus. Scleral lenses require precise customization, and every patient’s case of keratoconus varies in degrees of severity and corneal measurements.

To check if you are a good candidate for scleral lenses, contact us at The Eyeland's Scleral Lens and Keratoconus Center. Our staff has the expertise in fitting specialty contact lenses. Call or book online and regain your quality of life.

Our practice serves patients from Conroe, The Woodlands, Spring, and Cleveland, Texas and surrounding communities.

“I loved my visit from start to finish. The Eyeland's Scleral Lens and Keratoconus Center staff is friendly, caring and knowledgeable. The eye exam that I had for keratoconus was incredibly thorough and Scleral Lens Experts, Dr. Boeckman & Dr. O'Rear explained all the results very clearly. He fitted me for scleral lenses, and now my eyes feel so comfortable that I frequently forget that I’m wearing contact lenses.“

REFERENCES:

Ariela Gordon‐Shaag, Michel Millodot, Igor Kaiserman, Tzahi Sela, Guy Barnett Itzhaki, Yaffa Zerbib, Efrat Matityahu, Shira Shkedi, Svetlana Miroshnichenko and Einat Shneor, Risk factors for keratoconus in Israel: a case–control study, Ophthalmic and Physiological Optics, 35, 6, (673-681), (2015).


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