With a dual focus on both refractive surgery and medical care, Cornea surgeons are uniquely positioned to provide patient-specific vision solutions to each and every patient. While optometrists are successfully meeting the needs of most patient populations, many continue to under-deliver for those patients in need of irregular corneas and several other special ocular problems.
Not a day goes by without patients in India tried and failed or never even pursued contact lenses because they thought they were a poor candidate. They list any number of perceived complications such as dry eye, irregularities in cornea, too much astigmatism, a too high or too low prescription, to name a few. These patients represent a remarkable opportunity to contemplate the contact lens fitting sets in eye clinics to find a personalized and highly satisfying vision solution: gas permeable (GP) and other special lenses like scleral lenses.
Some people find wearing RGP lenses difficult because of their inherent nature and will need to switch over to scleral/Hybrid lenses. Let’s take a look at the latest innovations of scleral contact lenses and Hybrid lenses.
Scleral contact lenses:
Those who've been told in the past that they cannot wear contact lenses because of an irregular cornea or other problems, they should get a second opinion and ask their eye doctor about scleral contact lenses. It is one of the most active areas for contact lens innovation over the last five years.
Scleral contacts are large-diameter, rigid, gas permeable contact lenses supported by the “white" of the eye (sclera) rather than the cornea i.e., specially designed to vault over the entire corneal surface and rest on the sclera. In this regard, scleral lenses functionally restore the irregular cornea with a completely smooth optical surface to correct vision problems caused by special corneal irregularities and keratoconus. They are very comfortable to wear since they do not touch the sensitive portion of the eye called Cornea.
Moreover, the space between the back surface of a scleral lens and the cornea acts as a fluid reservoir to present comfort for people with severe dry eyes, who otherwise could not tolerate contact lens. It is a method for dry eye treatment.
Types of Scleral Contact Lenses
Scleral Lenses were once notorious as the most uncomfortable lens one can possibly buy. They were large and made of unbreathable materials but advancements in technology have enabled Scleral Lenses to be made of lighter and breathable materials that make them just as comfortable as regular contact lenses.
Scleral contacts are obviously larger than standard gas permeable (GP) contacts and have a diameter equal to or greater than that of soft contact lenses. The largest sclerals can be up to 24 mm and smallest sclerals are approximately 14.5 mm in diameter. In general, lenses that are 18 mm or smaller are subcategorized as mini-sclerals. The average diameter of human cornea is approximately 11.8 millimeters, so even the smallest scleral contacts are considered to cover the entire corneal surface.
Corneo-scleral lenses are another category of gas permeable lenses that bridges the size gap between conventional GP lenses and mini-sclerals. They are approximately 13 to 15 mm in diameter.
The lens size is often determined by the degree of complexity of the condition. Irregular astigmatism from corneal grafts and refractive surgery, as well as milder forms of keratoconus, are often are easily managed with scleral lenses at the smaller end of the spectrum. More complex conditions, including severe ocular surface diseases, pathologically dry eyes or advanced keratoconus, often are fitted with larger scleral lenses, as they have more capacity to hold fluid or bridge large changes in corneal curvature.
Hybrid contact lenses:
For those who are uncomfortable wearing rigid gas-permeable contact lenses, Hybrids combine the best of both worlds: the visual acuity of a high-oxygen rigid gas permeable (RGP) contact lens with the all-day convenience and comfort of a soft lens. A hybrid contact lens combines a Gas Permeable (GP) (or “hard” lens) centre with a soft outer skirt made of a soft lens material.
Hybrid contact lenses are a better choice over soft contact lenses for patients who have Astigmatism, Irregular Cornea, corneal trauma or done a corneal transplant and suffer from corneal distortion or Keratoconus. They can be customized for the perfect fit for each individual. Patients who wear hybrid lenses have stated that their vision is much sharper than when corrected with a soft lens. Sometimes, it happens when a person has lenticular astigmatism instead of corneal astigmatism, then hybrid lens will not work. Your doctor will conduct several tests to determine if a hybrid lens suits your needs.
Hybrid contact lenses disinfect and clean easily, are easier to handle, don’t dehydrate and last longer than soft lenses. They don’t contain water as soft lenses do and they stand firm against deposits and are not as likely as soft contacts to harbor bacteria.
Neera Eye Center is a comprehensive eye health facility located at Darya Ganj, New Delhi. It is one of the leading eye centers in the country, offering state-of-the-art diagnostic, remedial and rehabilitative services of the highest quality in ophthalmology. Neera Eye Center offers comprehensive patient care, sight enhancement, Contact lenses in New Delhi, rehabilitation services and it is the best laser eye centre New Delhi. The center has all the latest diagnostics meeting International Standards, which makes it a preferred destination for scleral contact lenses in India.
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