Scleral Lenses for Athletes
Clear and comfortable vision is vital in sports—it can make a huge difference to optimizing your game-time performance. Fortunately, scleral lenses offer a way for athletes who need corrective eyewear to achieve their goals, even in contact sports like basketball, football and hockey.
Scleral lenses are custom-fit contact lenses for people with corneal irregularities, hard-to-fit eyes and severe dry eye syndrome, among other conditions. They provide comfort and offer sharp vision on and off the playing field.
Scleral lenses are extremely stable on the eye, as they vault over the cornea and rest on the sclera. Moreover, the reservoir of saline solution between the back surface of the lens and the front of the cornea ensures that the eye remains moist all day long. Furthermore, the lenses’ highly breathable gas permeable material ensures that plenty of oxygen reaches the front of the eye.
What Kind Of Athletes Wear Scleral Lenses?
Scleral lenses benefit athletes who find wearing traditional contact lenses challenging or impossible, and/or who have any of the following eye conditions:
- Dry eye syndrome
- Post-refractive surgery (i.e. LASIK, PRK)
- Giant papillary conjunctivitis (GPC)
Scleral Lenses for Athletes with Keratoconus
Keratoconus is an eye condition in which the cornea thins and weakens over time. This causes a cone-like bulge to develop and an irregular-shaped cornea. Keratoconus can result in increased sensitivity to light, distorted vision, slightly blurred vision and even significant vision loss. Professional athletes diagnosed with keratoconus often worry that the condition could end their career.
Scleral lenses are a long-term solution that helps athletes with keratoconus to continue to perform at their peak with amazing vision. Just ask professional athletes Brandon Williams from the Baltimore Ravens, Steph Curry from the Golden State Warriors, or Diamond DeShields from the Chicago Sky. These star athletes all wear scleral contact lenses and can now show off their true sporting prowess due to their sharp vision.
Do Scleral Lenses Work For All Sports?
When fitted correctly, the edges of these customized lenses fit comfortably under the eyelids, which prevents them from easily falling out. Moreover, because of their stability and extreme comfort, they offer an added advantage for athletes who engage in contact or extreme sports or those with rapid movements, such as in:
- Rock Climbing
However, scleral lenses are not advised for wrestling, karate, or boxing, other martial arts or any sports where facial injuries are common.
How Can Scleral Lenses Improve An Athlete’s Vision?
Athletes are often exposed to challenging environmental conditions, such as dust, chalk, sand and wind, all of which can lead to discomfort with soft contact lenses. As scleral lenses provide a seal over the eye’s surface, their eyes are much more protected from the elements. Because athletes have demanding visual needs, stable, clear, crisp vision is essential for optimal athletic performance.
To learn more, contact Northwestern Eye Associates Scleral Lens and Keratoconus Center today.Our practice serves patients from Mt. Dennis, Toronto, York, and Rockcliffe Smythe, ON and surrounding communities.
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