Those with keratoconus or exceptionally sensitive eyes are frequently prescribed scleral, specialised contact lenses. These rigid gas-permeable contacts have a large diameter extending completely over the corneal surface, making them effective and comfortable for individuals with irregular corneas. Unfortunately, many patients with scleral lenses initially find it difficult to insert and remove these contact lenses. However, after brief instruction and practice, caring for your scleral lenses will be simple!
Inserting Scleral Lenses
The first criterion for maintaining healthy eyes while wearing scleral lenses is to cleanse your hands thoroughly with a mild detergent. Next, to prevent small fibres from adhering to your contact lenses, thoroughly cleanse your hands with a cloth that is free of lint.
Before inserting your contact lenses, examine your eyes for inflammation and discharge. If you experience irritation or vision changes while wearing scleral lenses, contact your local healthcare provider to make an appointment. Optometrists will conduct eye examinations to detect any complications.
In their clinic, eye specialists will instruct you on the optimal insertion techniques for scleral lenses. We advise patients to position a flat mirror in front of them on the table. Remove one lens from its case and thoroughly inspect it for debris and shards. Holding your scleral lens up towards the light will allow you to detect any cloudy deposits.
Fill the lens’s bowl with saline. You can insert scleral lenses using your fingertips or a special instrument. If you prefer to use your fingertips, use two or three fingers (tripod method) to maintain the lens secure and flat as you insert it into your eye.
Face the mirror while looking downward. Use one hand to hold your pupils open and the other to insert the lens into your eye. Once you feel the saline against your eyeball, apply gentle pressure and then release it. The scleral lens will be affixed to the eye. Perform the same steps with the second lens.
An air particle may be confined beneath the surface of your scleral lenses, causing discomfort. You may need to remove and reinsert the lens.
Removing Scleral Lenses
There are two fundamental ways to remove scleral contact lenses: using your fingertips or a plunger.
After thoroughly washing your hands, gaze forward. Wet the tip of the plunger with saline and attach it to the lower third of the lens if you are using one. Apply gentle pressure to your eye and gently draw upward and outward.
Place any two fingertips on either side of the lens and gently break the barrier from your eye if using your fingers. In this fashion, the lens will be dislodged. Be prepared to capture it as it emerges! It may sound difficult, but removing scleral lenses will become intuitive and straightforward after a few attempts.
Maintenance of Scleral Lenses
Clean your contact lenses immediately after removal to remove debris and protein deposits. Place one lens on the clean palm of your hand, administer a few droplets of cleaning solution, and rub the lens softly with your index finger. Rinse the cleansing solution off with saline and store your scleral lens overnight in its case with an adequate quantity of the appropriate disinfectant. Always use fresh solutions when storing your contact lenses! The presence of microorganisms in old, used solutions can cause ocular infections. Repeat these steps with the second lens.
Using only the disinfecting solutions recommended by your eye doctor for contact lenses is essential. Not all solutions are suitable for all types of contact lenses, and using the incorrect disinfectant could damage your scleral lenses.
When emptying your contact lens case, sanitise it with disinfectant and dry it with a tissue. Store the case inverted with the covers removed.
Optometrists will recommend the optimal contact lens-wearing schedule. Always adhere to your eye care professional’s instructions to maintain long-term eye health and clear vision!