FAQs About Specialty Scleral Contact Lenses

Woman with scleral lenses

Written by Somerset Eye Care

March 19, 2019

1. How long can I wear my Scleral contact lenses during the day?

Most patients can obtain 12-14 hours of daily wear from their scleral contact lenses. Some patients may need to remove their lenses periodically during the day and reinsert them with fresh saline in order to maintain the best vision and comfort.

2. Can I go swimming with my Scleral contact lenses?

Generally speaking, you can go swimming with your scleral contact lenses as long as you wear swimming goggles or a swimming mask that is appropriately sealed over your scleral lenses. After swimming with the scleral lenses, it is strongly recommended that the lenses be removed, thoroughly cleaned and reinserted with fresh saline. If you have a specific coating on your scleral lens, it is not recommended that you swim with the lenses since the water and chemicals will strip the coating off the lenses.

3. Can I sleep in my Scleral contact lenses and wear them continuously?

Typically, eye care physicians recommend that you do not sleep in your scleral contact lenses. Sleeping in your scleral lenses can cause the tear layer behind the lens to become stagnant, increasing the risk of eye infections. It is advisable to reduce any risk to the surface of the eye especially since most patients wearing scleral lenses have compromised and complex eyes.

Scleral contact lenses can sometimes be prescribed to protect the ocular surface overnight. In this case, your eye care provider may specifically recommend overnight wear of scleral lenses. If not specifically recommended for overnight wear, plan to remove your scleral contact lenses prior to sleeping.

4. I am a Scleral contact lens wearer and my vision gets blurry after several hours of wearing the lenses. What causes this and can this be resolved?

Blurry or foggy vision after several hours of wear is due to the accumulation of deposits on the front and/or back surface of the lens. In this situation, you will need to remove the lens during the day, clean and recondition the lens, and reinsert it with fresh saline to maintain clarity and good comfort. If your vision still remains blurry or foggy, consult your eye care physician to verify that your scleral lenses are fitting properly.

5. Why do Scleral contact lenses work well for people with Keratoconus?

Scleral contact lenses mask the corneal irregularity caused by Keratoconus without making direct contact with the compromised corneal tissue, thus providing better vision than other forms of correction. There is also a fluid reservoir layer in between the scleral lens and the front surface of the eye that protects and hydrates the corneal surface. Since the edges of the scleral lenses rest underneath the eyelids, the comfort and stability surpasses that of the conventional gas-permeable corneal contact lenses.