Specialty Contact Lenses for Keratoconus and Other Corneal Disorders

specialty contacts

Many patients who suffer from keratoconus or other corneal disorders have often been told that they are not candidates for contact lenses. If your eye doctor has given you this information, it is time to call TMS Eyecare to get a second opinion! While it may have been true that many patients with an irregular eye shape could not wear contacts, advances in the optical world can now allow many patients to wear special contact lenses designed for these situations.

Scleral Contact Lenses

Scleral contact lenses are gas-permeable lenses that are larger in diameter than typical contact lenses. Gas-permeable lenses refer to a broad range of contacts that are also called rigid, or hard contact lenses. These lenses are specifically designed to rest on the whites of the eye while vaulting over the corneal surface. In essence, these contact lenses replace the irregularly shaped cornea with a smooth lens that corrects the vision issues caused by keratoconus and other corneal disorders.

In addition to correcting the vision problems, these large diameter contacts also help to act as a reservoir of fluid for patients that typically suffer from dry eyes.

Types of Scleral Contact Lenses

Of course, a contact lens that markets itself to be used by people who have irregularly shaped eyes must have a variety of different patients that will benefit from it. For this reason, there are a few different types of Scleral contact lenses. Because scleral contacts must vault across the corneal surface, they have to be larger than a standard contact lens.

This means that these lenses can be used for patients who have a need for contacts between 14.5 and 24 mm in size. The average human scleral is 11.8 mm, so the contacts will work for almost any patient. For comparison, the standard gas permeable lens is about 9.0 to 9.5 mm in diameter, so the smallest scleral contacts are still considerably larger than standard lenses.

Using Contacts with Keratoconus

For many patients in the early stages of keratoconus, they may be able to wear a standard gas permeable lens. However, if the lens slips around your eye when you blink or cause general discomfort, you may know that it is time to move to a scleral contact lens. In part, because the lenses are designed to vault above a large portion of the eye, many patients find that wearing scleral lenses are more comfortable than standard rigid contacts.

Other Uses for Scleral Contacts

Scleral contacts do not have to be used just by patients with keratoconus. Eye doctors have found success when prescribing these lenses for patients who suffer from other conditions like corneal transplants, dry eyes, and Stevens-Johnson syndrome.

Continual advances in the design of scleral contacts are always increasing the uses for these patients, so it is important to use a provider who keeps abreast of the latest technologies in scleral lenses. If you have been diagnosed with the condition that has proven difficult to wear standard contact lenses, contact TMS Eyecare. Our professional staff wants to make sure that we can offer you the best in proven technology to help with your vision issues.

New scleral contacts now offer bifocal technology, so they can help for individuals who also have presbyopia.


While not all insurance companies cover the full cost of scleral contact lenses, more providers recognize the significant advantages that these lenses offer their patients. Contact TMS Eyecare today to schedule your consultation. Our staff can see if you are a candidate for scleral contact lenses and work with you to identify the range of your benefits. We want to bring your world into focus today!

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