How Do You Store Scleral Lenses?
- December 18, 2020
How do you store your previous year’s scleral lenses after you get your new set of scleral lenses? You will not want to throw away your old scleral lenses because they can serve as a valuable back-up. While soft disposable lens wearers have a readily available replacement if they damage or lose a lens, this is not the case with scleral lenses. Scleral lenses are worn by those with keratoconus and others with complex eye conditions.
Store unused scleral lenses dry for the long term
If you intend to store a pair of scleral lenses for a while and not wear them, the most hygienic way to store them is dry inside a contact lens case. If you intend to wear them again, simply clean and soak them, ideally overnight, before wearing them. While you can store scleral lenses in solution such as Boston Simplus, the solution disinfection efficacy decreases with time. Disinfection is the process by which the load of micro-organisms is reduced to minimize the risk of infection. For example, with Boston Simplus, the manufacturer instructions say to throw away the bottle 90 days from opening. It is reasonable to believe that Boston Simplus held by the well of a contact lens case may lose disinfection efficacy much sooner than 90 days due to the smaller volume. With a directed inquiry to Bausch Specialty Vision Products on 12/15/2020, one of their internal consultants explained that there is no extended storage claim for Boston Simplus. In other words, with wet storage, “The disinfection regimen should be repeated every 24 hours.” Obviously, it is not convenient to store lenses wet if a daily disinfection cycle is needed.
Exchanged scleral lenses are not suitable as a back-up
If you are undergoing the scleral lens prescribing process, you probably know that warranted lens exchanges require you to turn in previous lenses to receive the newest lenses. This is for medical device accountability while also saving you from getting charged for another set of scleral lenses. An intermediate lens exchanged during the prescribing period does not serve as an adequate back-up. However, a previously perfected and finalized scleral lens prescription often is an adequate back-up. Always consult your own doctor to confirm what is appropriate for your specific situation.
What about storing scleral lenses with Tangible Hydra-PEG?
Scleral lenses may have Tangible Hydra-PEG, a surface treatment which helps the lens stay wet and repel deposits. For example, all the scleral lenses prescribed at ReVision Optometry, are ordered with Tangible Hydra-PEG by default and no additional cost to patients. In our experience, Tangible Hydra-PEG lasts for up to 6 months when worn for daily and cared for diligently. The best practice to prolong its lifespan is to avoid the following:
- Air drying the lens
- Soaking in tap water
- Using abrasive cleaners, like Boston Advanced
- Using alcohol-based cleaners, like Walgreens Extra Strength Cleaner
Since air drying a lens can damage Tangible Hydra-PEG, you may wonder if you should store these lenses wet. The reality is that if you have worn your scleral lenses regularly for over 6 months, the Tangible Hydra-PEG on them probably has already worn off. So in such a case, it would be fine to store those lenses dry.
However, if you have a brand-new set of back-up scleral lenses with Tangible Hydra-PEG, it would be a good idea to store them wet. If you are using Boston Simplus, the official manufacturer guidance is to change out the solution every 24 hours. However, your eye doctor may give you an off-label recommendation for replacing the solution less frequently for wet storage.
If you wish to schedule an appointment for scleral lens prescribing, request your appointment at ReVision Optometry today.