Cleaning & Caring for Scleral Contact Lenses
Scleral lenses offer an effective contact lens solution for those with various ocular conditions, such as dry eye syndrome, keratoconus, keratoglobus, pellucid marginal degeneration, post-LASIK ectasia, post corneal transplant, and irregular astigmatism.
Their unique design provides unparalleled comfort and visual acuity. Custom-fit to the contour of your eyes, these large lenses comfortably vault over the cornea and gently rest on the sclera. A fluid reservoir between the lens and the cornea optically neutralizes any corneal irregularities and hydrates the ocular surface, providing a moist and comfortable environment between the eye and the lens.
However, to benefit from the lens’s unique features, you need to follow basic hygiene guidelines explained below.
How To Clean and Care for Your Scleral Lenses
First and foremost, never ever use tap water in any area of lens care, whether to rinse or fill your lens case. Tap water contains acanthamoeba, a microorganism that can cause a severe, painful and sight-threatening infection. Make sure that your hands are fully dry using a lint-free towel prior to handling your lenses.
Remove Your Scleral Lenses Before Going to Sleep
Most people can comfortably wear scleral contact lenses for up to 12 to 14 hours at a time. The best time to remove the lenses is approximately an hour before going to sleep. If your lenses fog up in the middle of the day, it’s best to remove them at that time.
The fogginess might be due to a poor fit. If the lens is poorly aligned with the eye it causes fogginess, which, in turn, causes mucus to form and get trapped in the saline layer of the lens, leading to blurred vision. At Northwestern Eye Associates Scleral Lens and Keratoconus Center, we ensure the best fit for our patients, thanks to our professionally custom-designed lenses fit each eye. This prevents misalignment and fogging. If you experience any fogginess, please get in touch with our optometric team.
Remove Debris Using Multi-Purpose Lens Solution
Once you’ve thoroughly washed your hands and dried them, remove your lenses and rub them for 1-2 minutes in the contact lens case filled with saline solution to remove any debris. Doing so effectively removes any deposits and microorganisms, and lowers the risk of infection. Though scleral lenses are strong, too much force or incorrect technique can cause them to break. After rubbing, thoroughly rinse the lenses using the solution for 5-10 seconds, and place them in the case once you fill it with fresh solution. Leave it there to disinfect for at least 4 hours.
Use a Peroxide Cleaner
This solution sterilizes your lenses by immersing them in 3% hydrogen peroxide. Over a period of 6 hours, the catalyst in the case transforms the hydrogen peroxide into water and oxygen gas. This deeply cleans your lenses and removes the need to rub them, thus decreasing the risk of accidental breakage. Make sure not to use the lenses before the 6 hours are up, as the un-[neutralized] peroxide will painfully sting your eyes. Leave the lens case to dry when not in use.
Use a Filling Solution That Is Preservative-Free
Use unpreserved sterile saline solution when inserting scleral lenses by filling the bowl of the lens upon insertion. Don’t use tap water or a preserved solution as these can lead to an eye infection.
Routinely Clean and Replace Your Lens Case
Using a case without regularly cleaning and replacing it can cause ocular infection due to bacterial contamination. We advise you to clean the storage case on a daily basis and to replace it monthly or as advised by your [eye doctor].
At Northwestern Eye Associates Scleral Lens and Keratoconus Center, you will receive the first-rate eye care you deserve. No matter your questions or concerns, Dr. Heather Shear O.D. will be happy to explain how to best care for your lenses to ensure the highest level of comfort and vision acuity.
Cleaning your scleral contact lenses is vital for your eye health, and so are follow-up appointments with your [eye doctor], who will provide you with specific lens cleaning instructions and ensure that your vision remains clear, safe & secure.Our practice serves patients from Mt. Dennis, Toronto, York, and Rockcliffe Smythe, ON and surrounding communities.