Our patients are often surprised at the ease and relatively little time it takes to be fit with a scleral lens.  Dr. Telega and her staff make every effort to ensure their patient's comfort and success.  The team will go over detailed step by step training during the insertion and removal class and will provide hands-on tips and techniques to ensure the process goes smoothly.  2 - 3 visits are typical and sometimes complicated cases may take a few more visits.  Dr. Telega often follows up at 3 to 6 mth intervals to take extra precaution to protect your corneal health and vision.  Our patients will leave with care kits, instructions, and the peace of mind that we are only a phone call away if any questions or concerns should arise. 

Lets talk about Scleral Lenses

Scleral lenses are large diameter contact lenses (meaning, it's a little bit bigger than what you may be used to... but it's not scary!) that are used to overcome different corneal disease and irregularities by completely vaulting (not touching) the cornea at all. This provides superior comfort and vision that may be largely unattainable by conventional gas permeable contact lenses, soft contact lenses, or glasses.  By reducing, or even eliminating, any mechanical involvement with the cornea, a scleral lens is able to reduce corneal scarring and in some cases delay surgical intervention.  Candidates for this type of lens range from those looking for better optics to those with severe corneal issues or even those who have had corneal transplants.  We will discuss a little of that here but please contact the Center if you you have any questions or would like to schedule a consultation.

Laundry list of conditions treated with a scleral lens

am I a candidate?

What can I expect during the fitting process?

Scleral lenses have evolved over the years to being ideal only for those with severely diseased corneas to those with milder conditions who are seeking a better vision and comfort that they were able to obtain with more conventional methods.  By correcting the irregular or diseased corneal surface, we are able to eliminate visual obstacles and provide better vision.  Our most common types of patients that are helped by a scleral lens are those suffering from different types of corneal thinning including kertoconus, keratoglobus, and pellucid marginal degenerations.  Post-refractive surgeries also cause thinning of the cornea that can result in poor uncorrected vision (including LASIK, LASEK, RK, and PRK) and these patients typically do very well with a scleral lens.  Finally, post- corneal transplant (PK), post-trauma, scarred corneas, and those with higher levels of astigmatism can also ideal candidates for this type of lens.

Other conditions that can be treated with a scleral lens include Dry Eye Disease, Sjogren's Syndrome,  Steven's Johnson Syndrome, and exposure due to lid surgeries or abnormalities. Scleral lens bathe the cornea in fluid during wear so they are especially good for protection of the corneal surface.  Cosmetics and sports are two other small subcategories of candidates. 

I think a list is the easiest way to see what the most common conditions treated with a scleral lens:

  • keratoconus
  • keratoglobus
  • pellucid marginal degeneration
  • post-refractive surgeries: LASIK, LASEK, PRK, RK
  • post-corneal transplant: PK
  • post-trauma
  • scarred corneas from trauma, infections, progressive diseases or dystrophies
  • dry eye disease
  • Sjorgren's Syndrome
  • Stephen's Johnson Syndrome
  • post-Herpes Simplex corneal infections
  • corneal dystrophies
  • lid abnormalities including nerve palsies, blepharoplasties and trichiasis
  • cosmetic purposes including aniridia, albinism,
  • sports
  • high amounts of astigmatism
  • anyone requiring  gas permeable lens who cannot adapt or does not like the comfort

scleral lens center of pittsburgh