The Benefits of Scleral Contact Lenses for Astigmatism

Astigmatism is a common eye condition that causes blurred or distorted vision. It occurs when the cornea or the lens is not evenly curved. Instead of being a perfect sphere, like a basketball, the surface may have more of a football shape. This irregular shape prevents light from focusing properly on the retina, leading to vision problems.

Traditional Solutions for Astigmatism

Traditional solutions for astigmatism have involved the use of glasses or regular contact lenses. Glasses, in particular, have been the most common method of correcting astigmatism for many years. They work by compensating for the irregular shape of your cornea, helping to focus light in the right way onto your retina.

However, while glasses are an effective method of treating astigmatism, they are not without their downsides. Glasses can be inconvenient, especially for those who lead active lifestyles. They can fog up in cold weather, fall off during physical activity, and even inhibit peripheral vision.

On the other hand, regular contact lenses have also been used to correct astigmatism. Toric lenses, which are specially designed for astigmatism, have different powers in different meridians of the lens to correct the uneven curvature of the eye.

What are Scleral Contact Lenses?

Scleral contact lenses are large-diameter gas permeable contact lenses specifically designed to vault over the entire corneal surface and rest on the 'white' part of the eye, known as the sclera.

Scleral lenses are significantly larger than regular contact lenses. Their design allows them to sit comfortably on the eye, leading to a more secure fit and greater wearing comfort. They are also less likely to dislodge from the eye compared to conventional contact lenses, making them an excellent choice for individuals who live active lifestyles or play sports.

Additionally, the space between the cornea and the scleral lens acts as a fluid reservoir that provides comfort for people with severe dry eyes who otherwise could not tolerate contact lens wear.

How Scleral Contact Lenses Address Astigmatism

Scleral contact lenses tackle astigmatism differently from traditional methods. They replace the irregularly shaped cornea with a perfectly smooth, artificial refracting surface to correct vision problems caused by astigmatism, thereby improving the clarity of one's sight.

The larger design of the scleral lenses ensures they remain stable on the eye, unlike regular contact lenses that can move and rotate, leading to unstable or fluctuating vision. This stability offers consistent, reliable vision correction.

The unique design of scleral lenses allows them to mask irregularities on the cornea providing sharper vision than what could be achieved with glasses or regular contact lenses.

The Benefits of Scleral Contact Lenses for Astigmatism

When it comes to managing astigmatism, scleral contact lenses offer several benefits. Firstly, they provide superior visual acuity. The hard, gas-permeable material and large optic zone of scleral lenses can correct higher degrees of astigmatism, offering crisp, clear vision.

Secondly, they offer greater comfort. The large size of scleral lenses and their unique design means they don't touch the cornea, reducing the risk of discomfort or irritation. This can be particularly beneficial for those with sensitive eyes or those who have found traditional contact lenses uncomfortable.

Lastly, scleral lenses are highly customizable. They can be tailored to fit each individual's unique eye shape, ensuring a secure and comfortable fit. This customization can also help to improve the quality of vision correction, making them a great choice for people with irregular astigmatism.

Are Scleral Contact Lenses Right for You?

While astigmatism can be a challenging condition to live with, advancements in eye care technology have brought about innovative solutions such as scleral contact lenses. These lenses offer a unique approach to correcting astigmatism, providing numerous benefits including superior visual clarity, comfort, and customization. It's crucial to consult with an eye care professional to discuss your options and determine the best solution for your specific needs and lifestyle.

To learn more on the benefits of scleral contact lenses for astigmatism or to determine if they are the right solution for your eye care needs, schedule an eye exam with our optometrist at Ocean Park Optometry in our Santa Monica, California, office. Call (310) 452-1039 to book an appointment today.

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