The Tatum Eyecare Scleral Lens Clinic specializes in the fitting of Scleral Lenses, Hybrid Contacts, and Corneal Refractive Therapy (CRT). These lenses require more time, expertise, and special equipment to fit correctly. However, when fit properly, they can offer amazing visual and therapeutic results.

Scleral Lenses

Scleral lenses are custom designed highly oxygen permeable contact lenses that rest on the sclera (white part of the eye). These lenses are typically about twice the size of a standard rigid gas permeable (RGP) lens and slightly larger than a soft contact. Because these larger lenses rest directly on the sclera they are much more comfortable than the traditional smaller RGP lenses that lie directly against the highly sensitive cornea.

Scleral lenses are often used when a patient has a diseased or distorted cornea. The cornea serves as an important optical surface for the eye. When the cornea is damaged, glasses or soft contacts will be unable to produce a clear image for the patient. Scleral lenses can correct this by creating a new smooth optical surface for light to be refracted through.
Scleral lenses can be very effective in masking the corneal irregularities and increasing the visual acuity in the following conditions:
  • Corneal trauma
  • Keratoconus
  • Pellucid Marginal Degeneration
  • Keratoglobus
  • Corneal deformities from previous refractive surgery or corneal transplant
  • Corneal irregularities from scars, dystrophies or ocular surface disease
Because the scleral lens vaults the cornea it creates a fluid reservoir. This gives the scleral lens the unique ability to keep the cornea bathed in tears. This liquid bandage can help treat extremely dry and damaged eyes.
Scleral lenses may be used to treat the following conditions:
  • Extremely dry eye
  • Sjogren’s Syndrome
  • Stevens-Johnson Syndrome
  • Graft Versus Host Disease
  • Keratoconjunctivitis Sicca
  • Neurotophic Keratitis
  • Recurrent Corneal Erosions
Hybrid Contacts
Hybrid contacts are a combination of rigid lens and soft lens technology. Rigid gas permeable (RGP) lenses offer superior optics in comparison to soft lenses especially in the cases of distorted corneas or high astigmatism. However, many patients are intolerant to the rigid lens rubbing against the lids and sensitive cornea. Soft contacts are extremely comfortable but they lack in their ability to correct corneal problems. Hybrid contacts address this by combining a RGP lens with a soft contact lens skirt. The patient receives the best of both worlds.
Corneal Refractive Therapy (CRT)
CRT is a technique that allows a patient to correct their vision without glasses or contacts during waking hours. CRT lenses are custom fit to match each patient’s unique corneal shape and prescription. These lenses are worn at night and reshape the soft cornea while the patient sleeps. The lenses are removed in the morning. This new shape allows the eye to see clearly throughout the day. However, this effect is only temporary. The CRT lenses must be worn each night to maintain the new corneal shape.
What Is The Fitting Process?

We begin with a comprehensive eye exam. This is the same eye exam you get on a yearly basis to determine your refractive error and overall eye health. This will give us enough information to determine if specialty contact lenses are right for you. We will then schedule a separate contact lens fitting session. During this exam, we map out the curvature of your corneas to determine the proper size and shape of your new specialty lenses. Often we will have diagnostic lenses in the office that will be used to further evaluate the fit and vision. Special instrumentation called an OCT will measure the clearance between the contact lens and the cornea. A custom lens with your specifications will then be ordered from the lab. It usually takes about a week for the lab to get the lenses back to us. You will return to the clinic to have the fit and visual acuity of your new lenses evaluated. If changes need to be made, the doctor will reorder lenses from the lab. A technician will instruct you on insertion and removal of the contacts and discuss the proper care. Generally there will be at least one more follow up to evaluate how the new contacts are performing. All follow ups are included in the fitting fee.

Can I Use My Insurance?
Yes, vision insurance benefits for contact lenses can be applied to specialty lenses. However, these specialty contacts are custom made and incur a higher cost than your traditional mass produced soft lenses. Many insurances offer increased benefits to help reduce a patient’s cost for medically necessary contacts. These benefits vary between insurance companies. We will help determine if your insurance will cover medically necessary contacts and what out of pocket expenses you can expect.
Would You Like To Get Started? Do You Have Questions?

Dr. Ryan Felten runs our specialty lens clinic. If you are interested in being fit with a specialty contact lens, please call our office and make an appointment with Dr. Felten for your initial comprehensive exam. If you would like more information on specialty lenses or our clinic, please fill out the contact form below and we will get back to you.

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