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Inserting and Removing Scleral Lenses

When you handle scleral lenses incorrectly, poor hygiene and improper cleaning can increase your risk of getting an eye infection. For this reason, it’s crucial to follow your eye doctor advice on how to properly care for your contact lenses.

Before Handing Scleral Lenses

Make sure to do the following before inserting or removing scleral lenses:

  • Always wash your hands thoroughly with antibacterial pump soap or non-oily soap and dry them with a clean paper towel or lint-free towel.
  • To insert and remove your lenses, sit at a table or desk with a lint-free cloth. Bathrooms frequently have more germs than other areas in the house, so avoid them when handling scleral lenses.
  • Examine your lenses for chips or cracks, as well as protein deposits on the surface. If you see any flaws or are unclear whether your lenses are broken, have your eye doctor inspect them before wearing them.

Inserting Scleral Lenses

  1. Remove your scleral lenses from their storage case and rinse them with saline. If you’re using a hydrogen peroxide solution, wait at least 6 hours for the solution to neutralize after you place the lenses in the storage case. Before placing the lens on the eye, always clean it with saline.
  2. Secure the scleral lens to a suction instrument (plunger) provided by your optometrist, or insert it between your middle finger, forefingers and thumb (the tripod method).
  3. To prevent air bubbles from accumulating between your eye and the lens, fill half the bowl of the lens with preservative-free saline solution. In a facedown position, place the lens directly on the middle of your eye.
  4. With a tissue, wipe and dry your lens case, then leave the cover off to air dry.

Removal of Scleral Lenses

Scleral contact lenses can be removed in two ways: with your fingers or with the help of a plunger. To remove your lenses, press firmly on your bottom eyelid just below the edge of the lens with your finger, then push upward.

Suction Tool

  1. Hold your bottom lid open while looking in the mirror in front of you. Attach the suction tool to the bottom of the lens after wetting the tip for greater adhesion.
  2. Remove the lens with the suction tool by tilting it up and out of the eye.

Manual Removal

  1. To loosen the lens, use a drop of preservative-free saline solution or artificial tears.
  2. Look down at a level surface (a towel or mirror can be placed there).
  3. Use your middle finger to open your eyelid wider than the lens diameter.
  4. Push down on the eyelid and apply pressure to the middle of the lid, as close to the lashes as possible, to move your eyelid beneath the lens and pull it off the eye.

Caring for Your Scleral Lenses

Always follow your optometrist’s advice when it comes to contact lens care.

Never use tap water at any stage of lens maintenance, including rinsing and filling your lens case. Tap water contains a variety of harmful microbes, including acanthamoeba, which can cause a severe, painful and sometimes sight-threatening infection. Before handling your lenses, make sure your hands are clean and completely dry after using a lint-free towel.

Use a Filling Solution That Is Preservative-Free

Before inserting your scleral lenses, fill the bowl of the lens with unpreserved sterile saline solution. Using preserved saline solution raises the risk of infection.

Use a Peroxide Cleaner

Soaking your scleral lenses in 3% hydrogen peroxide solution sterilizes them. The catalyst in the case converts hydrogen peroxide into oxygen gas and water over the course of 6 hours. This deep cleans your lenses and eliminates the need to rub them, lowering the danger of accidentally breaking them. If you use the lenses before they’ve been immersed for 6 hours, the un-[neutralized] peroxide will irritate your eyes. When not in use, let the lens case dry.

Remove Before Going to Sleep

Most people can wear scleral contact lenses for up to 12-14 hours at a time without any discomfort. The optimal time to remove the lenses is around an hour before going to bed. If your lenses fog up in the middle of the day, remove them and clean them before reinserting them.

Remove Debris Using Multi-Purpose Lens Solution

Remove your scleral lenses and rub them for 2 minutes in a contact lens case filled with saline solution after properly washing and drying your hands. Microorganisms and sediments are effectively removed, minimizing your risk of infection. While scleral lenses are durable, they can be broken if used or handled incorrectly.

After massaging your lenses, rinse them well for 5-10 seconds with the solution. Then place them in a case filled with new solution for at least 4 hours to disinfect.

Routinely Clean and Replace Your Lens Case

To avoid infection from bacterial contamination, clean and replace your lens case on a regular basis.

Cleaning the storage case on a daily basis is recommended, as is replacing it monthly or as directed by your eye doctor.

Your optometrist will let you know when it’s time for a new pair of scleral lenses and when you should book a follow-up appointment. Failure to show up for scheduled appointments can [jeopardize] your lenses’ effectiveness.

At Eye Q Optometrist, we can recommend the optimum wearing schedule for your contact lenses to provide the highest level of comfort and visual acuity. Always follow the advice given to you by your eye doctor. Call today to make an appointment for an eye exam and scleral lens fitting.

Schedule Appointment
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Cleaning & Caring for Scleral Contact Lenses

Scleral lenses offer an effective contact lens solution for those with various ocular conditions, such as dry eye syndrome, keratoconus, keratoglobus, pellucid marginal degeneration, post-LASIK ectasia, post corneal transplant, and irregular astigmatism.

Their unique design provides unparalleled comfort and visual acuity. Custom-fit to the contour of your eyes, these large lenses comfortably vault over the cornea and gently rest on the sclera. A fluid reservoir between the lens and the cornea optically neutralizes any corneal irregularities and hydrates the ocular surface, providing a moist and comfortable environment between the eye and the lens.

However, to benefit from the lens’s unique features, you need to follow basic hygiene guidelines explained below.

How To Clean and Care for Your Scleral Lenses

First and foremost, never ever use tap water in any area of lens care, whether to rinse or fill your lens case. Tap water contains acanthamoeba, a microorganism that can cause a severe, painful and sight-threatening infection. Make sure that your hands are fully dry using a lint-free towel prior to handling your lenses.

Remove Your Scleral Lenses Before Going to Sleep

Most people can comfortably wear scleral contact lenses for up to 12 to 14 hours at a time. The best time to remove the lenses is approximately an hour before going to sleep. If your lenses fog up in the middle of the day, it’s best to remove them at that time.

The fogginess might be due to a poor fit. If the lens is poorly aligned with the eye it causes fogginess, which, in turn, causes mucus to form and get trapped in the saline layer of the lens, leading to blurred vision. At Eye Q Optometrist, we ensure the best fit for our patients, thanks to our professionally custom-designed lenses fit each eye. This prevents misalignment and fogging. If you experience any fogginess, please get in touch with our optometric team.

Remove Debris Using Multi-Purpose Lens Solution

Once you’ve thoroughly washed your hands and dried them, remove your lenses and rub them for 1-2 minutes in the contact lens case filled with saline solution to remove any debris. Doing so effectively removes any deposits and microorganisms, and lowers the risk of infection. Though scleral lenses are strong, too much force or incorrect technique can cause them to break. After rubbing, thoroughly rinse the lenses using the solution for 5-10 seconds, and place them in the case once you fill it with fresh solution. Leave it there to disinfect for at least 4 hours.

Use a Peroxide Cleaner

This solution sterilizes your lenses by immersing them in 3% hydrogen peroxide. Over a period of 6 hours, the catalyst in the case transforms the hydrogen peroxide into water and oxygen gas. This deeply cleans your lenses and removes the need to rub them, thus decreasing the risk of accidental breakage. Make sure not to use the lenses before the 6 hours are up, as the un-[neutralized] peroxide will painfully sting your eyes. Leave the lens case to dry when not in use.

Use a Filling Solution That Is Preservative-Free

Use unpreserved sterile saline solution when inserting scleral lenses by filling the bowl of the lens upon insertion. Don’t use tap water or a preserved solution as these can lead to an eye infection.

Routinely Clean and Replace Your Lens Case

Using a case without regularly cleaning and replacing it can cause ocular infection due to bacterial contamination. We advise you to clean the storage case on a daily basis and to replace it monthly or as advised by your [eye doctor].

At Eye Q Optometrist, you will receive the first-rate eye care you deserve. No matter your questions or concerns, Dr. Zlatin will be happy to explain how to best care for your lenses to ensure the highest level of comfort and vision acuity.

Cleaning your scleral contact lenses is vital for your eye health, and so are follow-up appointments with your [eye doctor], who will provide you with specific lens cleaning instructions and ensure that your vision remains clear, safe & secure.

Schedule Appointment
Call Our Offices

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