Scleral contact lenses can be a positive, life-changing experience for our patients.
For example, envision a young man with keratoconus who would like to pursue a career but is unable to see in order to study, or a middle-aged female with Sjogren’s syndrome who is unable to drive or work due to the severity of her ocular discomfort.
Scleral lenses have demonstrated a significant improvement in quality of life for patients who had failed or are intolerant to conventional rigid gas permeable (GP) contact lenses.1
Some practitioners have dabbled in scleral lenses, while others have embraced the technology and have tremendous success and growth of their practices with this technology.
Successful practitioners have embraced the intricacies of scleral lens fitting. Let’s focus on 10 clinical pearls to enhance scleral lens success.
1. Master handling
In order to succeed with scleral lenses, successful scleral lens handling is imperative.
Verify that each patient understands that scleral lenses differ from soft or standard GP lenses and require specific care products and techniques.
Scleral lens dropout rates can be high, ranging from 25 percent to 49 percent.2-4 Handling is the most common reason for scleral lens dropout.
For each patient, it is critical to review specific care, cleaning, and handling procedures. Using detailed written, verbal, and demonstrated care and cleaning procedures will lead to short- and long-term success with scleral lenses. Staff members are key to teaching patients how to apply, remove, and care for scleral lenses. Even with an ideal fit, improper care can negate the entire scleral lens process.
Related: Using toricity with scleral lenses
Some patients may have difficultly seeing or handling the lens for application, including patients with high refractive error, rheumatoid arthritis, tremors and dexterity hand challenges, or missing digits. In these cases or for those who need extra help, additional tools may be used to successfully handle scleral lenses.