In principle, regular contact lenses affix to the cornea of the eye. When this is not possible or when problem occur for the user, for example, when the corneal structure is not standard, or has a complex geometry, due to keratoconus or any other eye disease. In these situations, contact lenses that are placed on the cornea create acute dry eye, or are not properly positioned, resulting in severe discomfort. One solution to this situation is use of special contact lenses: scleral contact lenses.
What are scleral contact lenses?
Scleral contact lenses have a particularly large diameter in comparison with regular lenses. This diameter allows the edges of the lens to reach the white of the eye (sclera) without touching the cornea but rather ‘hovering’ over it. The space the forms between the scleral lens and the cornea is used for liquid to be filled by the user, and the result is not only better fit of the lens with the edges of the sclera while bypassing the problematic structure of the cornea but also better protection from dryness and prevention of unwanted side effects.
Scleral contact lenses have been increasingly used over the years. Studies indicate that the solution in the form of scleral contact lenses has become the first or second therapeutic option among healthcare practitioners, particularly with regards to conditions involving corneal irregularities, ocular surface disease and refractive error.
Other studies reveal that patients with keratoconus, a disease that results in a conical structure of the cornea, report greater relief after using scleral contact lenses, and as a solution that they were unable to attain with other types of lenses.
New Generation of Scleral Contact Lenses: Onefit
In the past, scleral contact lenses had distinct disadvantages, particularly with regards to oxygen flow to the eye. Over time, breathable materials were developed that facilitate better use of scleral contact lenses, and this field continues to evolve and improve.
Blanchard contact lens company recently launched a new series of scleral contact lenses, sold under the brand name Onefit. These lenses were created by R&D teams that investigated the problems that arose during adaptation of scleral lenses and during their use.
The result is a scleral contact lens that incorporates several innovative revolutionary elements:
- Achieving particularly strong oxygen flow. One of the reasons is the development of extra thin scleral contact lenses, and the right choice of the ideal lens thickness at various points.
- Particularly user-friendly lenses, due to the diameter that was developed. The achieved comfort, as reported by users, is equal to the comfort in using soft contact lenses.
- Precision fitting. Since scleral contact lenses can resolve a broad array of conditions, from eye diseases, to corneal irregularities to onset of extreme dry eye or inability to tolerate certain lenses – fitting lenses to resolve a specific problem is difficult. Onefit lenses allows precision fitting of the scleral lens to the problem it is designed to resolve, based on the fitting philosophy that was developed.
Onefit’s lens fitting philosophy
Based on the design of the scleral contact lens, Onefit lenses are supported by the conjunctiva and the fluid layer below the lens – instead of the cornea itself.
Onefit lenses are designed to cover the entire corneal area, including the limbus – the borderline between the cornea and the conjunctiva. The exact distance to the cornea varies from the center of the lens to its edges, so allow optimal oxygen flow, particularly in the limbus area, where the cornea stem cells are located. Unlike other scleral contact lens designs, in Onefit lenses, the part of the lens above the limbus is thinner, allowing good oxygen flow at a particularly critical site.
Another advantage of Onefit lenses is the precision lens fitting methodology provided to certified optometrists by the manufacturer Blanchard, which allows an exact determination of the lens shape above various areas of the cornea while customizing the lens to resolve the specific problem.
Summary: Onefit Scleral Contact Lenses Open New Opportunities to You
Scleral contact lenses are ideal for treating an array of conditions, including various stages of ketaroconus disease, particularly in cases when the corneal geometry is complex.
The disadvantages that previously typified use of scleral contact lenses are being resolved over time and with the introduction of use of new breathable materials as well as the development of innovative lens designs. Onefit Scleral Contact Lenses are considered another leap in this field.
At the same time, the solution of scleral contact lenses is not for everyone. Contact lens fitting, particularly in complicated conditions such as keratoconus, is individual and requires patient, precision fitting. This customization takes into account not only the identification of the exact stage of the disease and mapping of the specific corneal structure but the patient’s personality as well.
Do you suffer from a problematic cornea or keratoconus? Unable to become used to regular contact lenses? Come get tested. Scleral contact lenses may be the solution for you.