What Are Scleral Contact Lenses?
Scleral contact lenses are rigid surface medical devices the size of a nickel to a quarter, designed to rest on the tough outer white coat, or sclera, of the human eye. When appropriately prescribed, they not only provide rigid-quality vision, but they usually offer the wearing comfort close to a soft disposable contact lens. Due to their relatively large diameter, they are stable on the eye and do not dislodge nor eject, even in extreme fields of gaze. This makes them ideal for sports and aquatic activities, along with general activities of daily living. Scleral lenses also trap moisture against the sensitive cornea making them an effective treatment for extreme dry eye disease, including Sjögren’s syndrome and graft-versus-host disease (GVHD). Scleral lenses are most commonly prescribed for patients with an irregular cornea, where the surface of the eye is not smooth – whether keratoconus, poor outcomes after radial keratotomy and LASIK, previous corneal infection or trauma, or after corneal transplantation.
Dr. Chou has prescribed scleral contact lenses since 2008 when many eye doctors were aware of these lenses. He is a consultant to several scleral lens manufacturers, trains other doctors on prescribing these lenses, and even helped develop a scleral lens to see underwater. Dr. Chou is the first eye doctor in San Diego County to earn Fellowship in the Scleral Lens Education Society.