Scleral contact lenses are gas-permeable contact lenses with a large diameter. They cover the entire corneal surface as well as the white of the eye (sclera).
This produces a smooth optical surface that resolves vision difficulties caused by corneal imperfections.
The area between the surface of the lens and the cornea acts as a fluid reservoir in scleral lenses. This enables persons with extremely dry eyes to wear contact lenses comfortably.
People who cannot wear standard contact lenses due to uneven corneas or other issues may be able to use scleral lenses. They are manufactured to order and improve vision just as well as (or better than) eyeglasses or regular contact lenses.
The Benefits and Drawbacks of Scleral Contact Lenses
Scleral lenses have numerous advantages, including:
- These lenses let a lot of air into the cornea. This allows them to be worn for longer lengths of time.
- Scleral lenses are more expensive at first but do not need to be replaced frequently.
- Bacterial infections are less likely. In addition, because scleral lenses do not hold water, there is less chance of bacteria and toxic accumulation on the lens.
- Custom-fitted. Lenses are custom-made to fit a person’s exact vision prescription and cornea, providing the best possible vision correction.
- A broader range of alternatives. People who cannot use conventional lenses can wear scleral lenses because they are custom-made. Furthermore, because scleral lenses do not touch the cornea, persons with corneal tissue damage can use them.
Despite their advantages, scleral lenses are not for everyone. In addition, scleral lenses have the following disadvantages:
- Choosing the proper lens takes time and involves collaboration with a specialist who has received specialised training.
- Scleral lenses are substantially more expensive than regular contacts, costing up to four or five times as much.
- Lenses require upkeep, which can make them inconvenient to wear. There is a possibility of fogging, dirt in the reservoir, and surface scratching. Some folks must remove them in the middle of the day to clean them.
- The adjustment period is lengthy. Because scleral lenses feel so different from soft contacts, getting used to them may take some time if you’ve previously worn soft contacts.
- Lenses tend to fall out of the centre of the eye. This can occur numerous times every day. They normally return to their original position within a few seconds. However, this is still irritating.
- Debris can become lodged between the eye and the lens. This occurs less frequently with scleral lenses than with gas-permeable lenses.
How Much Are Scleral Contacts?
Scleral contacts cost three to four times as much as conventional contact lenses. Therefore, you should expect to pay anywhere from $500 and $4,000 for a single lens.
Because they are custom-fitted, scleral contact lenses are much more expensive than ordinary contacts. A computerised map is used to measure the cornea’s curvature to fit them.
Several trial lenses of various curvatures and sizes are tried during the fitting process.
Extra changes may be required depending on the complexity of someone’s vision difficulties.
What Is the Reason for the High Cost of Black Sclera Contacts?
Black sclera contacts are frequently utilised in Hollywood films as an affordable technique to generate a menacing appearance.
They used to be expensive for a variety of reasons, including:
- It takes time to develop black material that allows the wearer to see.
- The material is of high quality.
- They are created to order.
- The production costs of black sclera contacts have reduced dramatically in recent years, making them less expensive than they were previously.
Is Insurance Covered for Scleral Contacts?
Typically, insurance does not cover the entire cost of scleral lenses. However, some vision insurance plans cover the price of the contact lenses and/or installing scleral lenses.
Different insurance companies provide varying degrees of coverage, so discussing your case with your provider is critical.
Certain eye care experts provide financing solutions for people who would benefit from scleral contacts.
This enables contact lens wearers to choose between scleral and regular contact lenses without regard for cost.