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Scleral cosmetic lenses dilemma

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  • Scleral cosmetic lenses dilemma

    I'm new to this forum and have been suffering from dry eyes for the past 8 years since the prolonged use of Accutane. The redness in my eyes has reached an extreme level and has become very bothersome and after having undergone all dry eye treatments available according to two separate optomitrests (one being a dry eye specialist), I have been referred to a scleral cosmetic lense specialist who will supposedly be able to "hide the red." Does anyone know anything about this being an option for those with the redness being their foremost concern with the dry eyes? I've been told that it will be relatively obvious up close that they are contacts, yet I've also been told that they don't by any means hurt the appearance of the eyes (in terms of "beauty" so to speak)...apart from looking artificial only under certain lights and from certain distances, etc. I would just like to know if anyone had any opinions regarding me taking this course of action or any information based on their own experiences regarding whether or not I'm going nowhere fast with the scleral cosmetic lenses. Your responses would be greatly appreciated and helpful,

  • #2
    Hi Christopher,

    I had cosmetic scleral lenses made. They were 22 mm large with a clear center. They were soft lenses--not sure what type. I could not tolerate them for more than 30 minutes. Once they went in, they were fine, but then my eyes would get extremely irritated and I would have to remove them. While they were in, they looked pretty good---white sclera! If you turned your eye to the far side, you could see the edge of the contact against your eye, but I think it would have been a reasonable trade off. I never had wore contacts before and wonder if a silicon hydrogel lens would be the most comfortable type. Of course, I don't know if they make the sclerals in this type. The cost was about $1200. I'm dissapointed that they didn't work out for me. Maybe, you'll have more luck. Out of curiousity who referred you to get the cosmetic lenses? I pursued it on my own.


    • #3
      Hi Chatham,
      I was really pleased to see your response to my post as it can get pretty intimidating going through this process not knowing of anyone who has done the same. First of all, to answer your question, I was referred to a cosmetic scleral lense specialist by my optimistrist who is also a dry eye specialist located here in Toronto. It'd be great if you could help me out in understanding better what these lenses will be like as I have not yet had them made. I would just like to know, are your eyes really dry and you believe that's why the lenses were so uncomfortable? My eyes are dry but I wouldn't consider them to be severely dry (just unfortunately terribly red). Also the pain....was it excruciating pain that couldn't be tolerated by anyone no matter how high the pain threshold or do you think that I'd have a chance at being able to tolerate the level of pain it'd give me? Of course I say this hoping they're now availabe in silicone hydrogel as you mentioned. Lastly and most importantly from my perpestive, you said they looked "pretty good" when they were in. Such an ambiguous description as you could imagine for a young guy who's hoping he won't be asked all day, "why are you wearing those wierd contact lenses?" Essentially, I suppose to put my question out there as blatantly as possible, do they make your eyes even more attractive than perfectly normal sclera (assuming I didn't have chronic red eyes) when put in or do they look odd and at least somewhat unattractive? Thanks so much for your time and I hope to see another post from you regarding this sometime soon
      Last edited by Christopher; 12-Dec-2008, 13:32.


      • #4

        The sclerals were opaque white. They looked perfectly white when they were in. There is an option to have them painted with a few faint blood vessels so that they would look more "normal". I didn't pursue that option at first because I wanted to see if I could tolerate them first and hand painting the sclerals adds more cost. When they were in, they really looked good I think. My baseline sclera is described by my opthamologist as "muddy-looking" not super white, but grayish with red vessels. My sclerals were made by another optometrist in NYC who does work for the film industry. He told me that I would probably be able to tolerate them for 4 hours at a time. They sclerals were quite large and covered essentially the entire visible part of the sclera when looking straight ahead. When I would look to the far side, the edge of the white scleral lens was visible against my "muddy looking sclera". You could see the distinct line of demarcation from the lens against my eye. This did not look "normal" ( you could see where the lens started and where my eye was) , but had they worked for me, I would have made some excuse as to wearing the lenses if asked. Also, I would have had the painting done to make them look more natural. I had my eyes to a comfortable level prior to trying the lenses. When in, the lenses felt irritating, not painful, just constant irritation that was relieved only when they were removed. My eyes were more red after I would remove them. If they weren't so expensive, I would be tempted to try them again, because I feel that this is one of the few options for people with chronically red "benign" eyes. One opthamologist I spoke with told me he had made some for a MD who had sickle cell anemia and yellow sclera and wanted to look "healthier". He told me that the MD liked them in fact he made him 2 pairs. I never spoke with the MD (patient) himself. Let me know how you make out. Also what is the name of the CL maker, type of lens and cost?

        Good luck!


        • #5

          I don't have sclerals but I did try several on in Louisville-I had no luck.. Of course I never had them custom fitted for my eyes but even the initial fittings were horrible. I would suggest you make an appointment and have the doctor try on several pairs for you... You have nothing to lose.. I know from my initial 'fitting' there is no use in getting them made-I tried the best fit possible and had them in for 15 minutes-I just couldn't tolerate them. I was used to wearing soft contacts and these were hard and I could feel them.. Plus my eyes still got dry with them in-there was no moisture..

          good luck... I would definitely go and try some on never know..some people love them...they could work for you


          • #6
            Hi Christopher
            Can u mention this dry eye specialist name ;I have been looking for such a Dr in the toronto area.



            • #7
              Please check DATES before replying to threads like this... this one is almost three years old. Better to start a new thread or PM the user, or at least look at their profile to see if they are still active on the board.
              Rebecca Petris
              The Dry Eye Foundation