Scleral Lenses – Five FAQ


Do Scleral lenses hurt?

·         Not at all, in fact many people wear a Scleral lens in only one eye for various reasons, and there is no perceptible difference between the eye with the lens and the eye without.

·         They keep the eyes moist as a layer of tears is trapped between the lens & the eye  so as the day progresses where most contact lenses will start to feel scratchy, especially with smoke or strong air conditioning, the Sclerals will remain comfortable.  The typical wearing schedule of a Scleral lens is from awakening to bedtime.

How are Scleral Lenses fitted?

·         Notwithstanding their phenomenal success in terms of chair time, comfort & retention compared to the old hard or RGP lenses; Sclerals remain the most difficult lenses to fit.

·         For this reason, the fitting process can take a few appointments over a period of a few months, yet the patient can enjoy clear comfortable vision at the beginning of the fitting, they will not need to wait until the end for this. 

·         We may need to order up to three lenses before the fit is finalised, but the first of these three are normally close enough in terms of vision & comfort to be worn all day.

Are Scleral Lenses indicated for corneal scarring?

·         Yes, the scleral will both help to improve the visual acuity directly or indirectly as well as provide a protective tear layer over the scarred area which will minimise discomfort and dry eye symptoms.

What are the alternatives to Scleral Lenses?

·         That depends if the cornea is compromised or not.  If it is like in cases of Keratoconus, corneal injury or scarring, corneal grafts etc.; the options are the smaller hard lenses sometimes called RGP or even GP lenses.

·         For those people who have healthy corneas but choose Sclerals for lifestyle reasons, then all the options including spectacles & soft contact lenses apply.

How long do Sclerals last?

·         In most countries that use the same product that I do, the recall is one year.  I allow my patients to keep them for two years.

The Difference Between a Hard and Soft Contact Lens



There are many different types of contact lenses, but the TWO MAIN CATEGORIES are Hard (also called Rigid), and Soft.

Soft Contact Lenses are by far the most popular of the two, they are mass produced in a limited set of powers and are generally one-size-fits-all.  Softs are either monthly disposable or daily disposable.  The monthlies need a solution to keep them clean & disinfected, whereas the dailies do not as they are discarded at the end of each day.

Hard Contact lenses are mainly, but not always, prescribed in cases where patients cannot wear Soft Contact Lenses.  Some examples of ideal Hard Contact Lens patients are those with Keratoconus, corneal transplant cases and high astigmatism where Soft Contacts are not available in high powers.  Hard contact lenses are custom designed and manufactured for each individual eye.  They generally last 2 years.


·         Quickly & readily available due to their off-the-rack nature.

·         Ideal for sports as they do not easily come out.

·         Generally, very comfortable.

·         Easy maintenance.

·         Most powers catered for.


·       Can dry out.

·     Not available in all powers.

·        Not suitable for cases with compromised corneas like Keratoconus or corneal transplants (that is where the hard lenses come in).

·         Non-compliance can lead to corneal ulcers.


·         Ideal for compromised corneas as mentioned above.

·         Are custom made for each individual eye.

·         They are generally more hygienic than softs, less likely to get ulcers *.

·         Better quality of vision than softs, but this dependant on some factors.

·         No limit in astigmatism powers that they can correct.


 ·         They take a while to get used to in the beginning.

·         A dry eye will make them very uncomfortable and can even make them intolerant to wear.

·         They can pop out easily so are generally not recommended for contact sports.

·         There is a lot of chair time at the Optometrist’s office before the fit is perfected.

·         They can break.

·         *Although possible, corneal ulcers are extremely rare in cases where the patient is compliant (follows a few basic rules), and the optometrist is visited regularly.


·         Scleral Contact Lenses fall under the category of hard or rigid contact lenses, with some                     major differences.

·         They are as comfortable and, in many cases, more comfortable than softs. 

·         The do not fall out so they have an application in active sports.

·         They do not dry out over the course of the day or even under harsh conditions like aircon or cigarette smoke.

·         With Sclerals you get all the advantages of Soft contact lenses – with all the advantages of Hard contact lenses.

·         Please visit the Scleral Lenses section for more information or contact us.