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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:

  • Astigmatism
  • Dry eye syndrome
  • Presbyopia
  • Keratoconus
  • 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:

  • Basketball
  • Baseball
  • Football
  • Gymnastics
  • Hiking
  • Hockey
  • Rock Climbing
  • Soccer
  • Skiing
  • Tennis

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 Premier Eye Center today.

Book An Appointment
Call Us 717-235-1873

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Treating Ocular Surface Disease with Scleral Lenses

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Treating Ocular Surface Disease with Scleral Lenses

Ocular surface disease (OSD) is not a single disease. It is a group of eye disorders that affect the surface of the eye. It can significantly affect your eyesight and quality of life. Many cases of ocular surface disease are misdiagnosed a simply ‘dry eyes’, so this condition can go undiagnosed and therefore untreated.

Fortunately, scleral lenses, which are custom-fit and lubricate the eye’s surface, can provide the relief and comfort people with OSD seek.

What are the Causes and Symptoms of Ocular Surface Disease?

Your tear film is controlled by various tissues and glands around the surface of your eyes. If there is a problem with those glands or tissues, it can cause your tear film to become unstable, resulting in dry eye syndrome or other types of ocular surface disorders.

A stable tear film keeps eyes moist, protects them against infection and cleans the surface of your cornea.

When your tear film is unstable, symptoms can include:

  • Redness
  • Watery eyes
  • Blurry vision
  • Gritty or scratchy feeling in the eye
  • Itching
  • Pain

Ocular surface disease symptoms are usually worse in the evening. They can also be exacerbated by windy conditions or a dry climate.

Types of Ocular Surface Disease

Some of the most common types of ocular surface disease include:

  • Dry eye syndrome
  • Blepharitis
  • Meibomian gland dysfunction
  • Allergies
  • Keratitis
  • Conjunctivitis
  • Immunological conditions (e.g. Sjogren’s syndrome)
  • Chemical or thermal burns

Treatment With Scleral Lenses

Depending on the type of condition, treatment can range from artificial tears (dry eye) to antihistamines (allergies), but many people continue to experience dry, itchy, irritated eyes. Eventually, many patients with ocular surface disease seek out more durable methods of treatment.

In recent years, scleral lenses have become a preferred treatment option for patients with ocular surface problems.

While they are generally used to treat refractive errors and corneal irregularities, scleral lenses can also provide immense relief to patients with ocular surface disease.

Scleral lenses do three things simultaneously: they protect the eye, they provide vision correction, and they serve a therapeutic purpose by lubricating the eye. Scleral lenses decrease discomfort, pain, itchiness and eye redness while providing sharp, clear vision.

These customized lenses form a dome over the cornea and rest on the sclera (the white part of the eye). The zone between the lens and the cornea provides a continuous moist environment that protects the cornea and provides relief for those with ocular surface disease.

At Premier Eye Center, we regularly diagnose, treat and manage the different types of ocular surface disease to help patients experience clear, healthy vision again. Our Dr. Lawrence A. Filak Jr. has the experience and proven treatment options you need to find relief from OSD.

If you have OSD and are interested in scleral lenses, Premier Eye Center can help. Dr. Lawrence A. Filak Jr. is specialized in fitting scleral lenses for dry eyes and other corneal conditions.

Book An Appointment
Call Us 717-235-1873

Learn More About Scleral Lenses

What are Scleral Lenses Thumbnail 1.jpg

What are Scleral Lenses?

Read Our Latest Posts
Contacts Still life 640x350.jpg

A Guide to Scleral Lenses

happy girl wearing contacts 640.jpg

Tips For Wearing Scleral Lenses

brunette girl smiling 640.jpg

Can I Wear Contacts If I Have Astigmatism?

5 Facts About Scleral Lenses