What Are Scleral Lenses?

Let us be the first to say contact lenses are awesome! They offer crisp vision without needing to wear eyeglasses all the time. Part-time or full-time contact lens wearers can all experience the benefits. For a long time, certain eye conditions have precluded some people from wearing contacts for a long time, but that time could be passed with scleral lenses.

Scleral lenses are large gas-permeable contact lenses that cover the entire cornea and rest on the white portion of the eye (sclera). Their large size allows them to address irregular corneas caused by keratoconus, severe dry eyes, and other eye conditions.


Scleral lenses can provide a smooth surface over the irregularly shaped cornea. They are larger than traditional contacts, which means they can sit on the eye’s sclera without touching the cornea. And that’s not all! The space between the back of the lens and the front of the eye creates a moisture reservoir, providing a cushion-like effect and potentially improving vision.


While they may look a bit intimidating, especially due to their larger size, scleral lenses offer many benefits for their wearers when compared to soft contact lenses:

  • Crisper vision: Scleral lenses are rigid-gas permeable (RGP) lenses. Their harder surface offers sharper vision for their wearer.

  • Improved comfort & stability: Because scleral lenses are larger than conventional lenses, they tend to be more stable on the eye, which can also translate to more comfort. RGP lenses can take longer to grow accustomed to, but many wearers say scleral lenses can be more comfortable than soft lenses.

  • Additional eye protection: Scleral lenses can form a seal around the edge of the eye, shielding it from environmental irritants such as dust or dirt.

  • Corneal health: Scleral lenses vault the cornea, which can help maintain the tear layer that moisturizes your eyes.

  • Potential alternative to surgery: Scleral lenses can address many eye conditions that may only be treatable with corneal surgery.


So, you’ve been diagnosed with an eye condition after a comprehensive eye exam. Now you’re wondering if you can still wear contact lenses. The good news is scleral lenses might be the answer!

Optometrists can prescribe scleral lenses for various eye health conditions, including:

  • Keratoconus

  • Dry eyes

  • Corneal scarring

  • Astigmatism

  • High levels of myopia or presbyopia

  • Post-eye surgery recovery


Keratoconus affects the cornea, the clear, dome-shaped tissue that covers the front of your eye. Normally, the cornea is curved like a dome, but for people with keratoconus, the cornea bulges out in a cone shape. The cornea is essential for focusing light, so as you can imagine, this change can lead to blurred and distorted vision. While keratoconus can’t be cured yet, you can manage the symptoms.

While experts aren’t sure why keratoconus occurs, it’s believed that genetics play a role. However, excessive eye rubbing could also increase your risk. So resist the urge to scratch if things get itchy!

Regular contact lenses can be uncomfortable or even impossible to use as the cornea bulges. Scleral lenses could be a game-changer as they never have to touch the cornea while providing a smooth surface for clearer vision.


Dry eyes occur when you cannot produce enough natural tears or when the tears evaporate too quickly, resulting in dry, scratchy, and uncomfortable eyes. Aging, hormones, and prolonged screen time are all common factors behind dryness, but whatever the cause, the discomfort is undeniable. That same discomfort can make wearing traditional contact lenses nearly impossible.

Since scleral lenses create a fluid reservoir, they can help keep the eyes moist and comfortable. Additionally, they’re made from gas-permeable materials that allow oxygen to pass through the lens, helping your eyes breathe and enjoy the benefits of fresh air.


Our eyes are one of the body’s most sensitive yet complex organs. And right there at the front is the cornea, facing the world and everything it can throw at us. Unfortunately, accidents, injuries, or eye diseases can cause a corneal scar, which can affect your vision.

When the cornea gets injured, scar tissue can build up on its surface, making fitting contact lenses tough. Once again, scleral lenses’s signature large size can allow them to cover the entire cornea. We can fill these lenses with a sterile saline solution that helps protect and soothe the cornea. 


Fitting a scleral lens requires finding your eye’s unique shape. Every eye is different, and those little differences translate to big problems if your lenses don’t fit just right. Scleral lenses can be a bit tougher to match, but it’s nothing a skilled eye care practitioner can’t handle. Modern optometric tools have offered a way even for those with misshapen corneas.

Your optometrist can use diagnostic technology such as corneal topography to map those irregular ridges and create custom-made lenses to fit your unique eyes.

After that, your optometrists can send these scans to a lab that manufactures individualized scleral lenses based on your requirements. This waiting period can usually take a few days or weeks. Once the scleral lenses arrive, your optometrist can schedule a follow-up appointment to check if they fit correctly and make any necessary adjustments.


You might be tired of reading the word “scleral” repeatedly, but we aren’t tired of talking about them! For people with keratoconus, dry eyes, corneal scarring, astigmatism, and more, scleral lenses can benefit you from contact lenses without discomfort.

Eye Rx is thrilled to offer scleral lenses for a range of eye conditions. We use EyePrintPRO technology to get you custom lenses designed for comfort and clarity. If you want to know if scleral lenses can work for you, book your contact lens fitting today!

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