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My Scleral Fitting Experience (UK)

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  • My Scleral Fitting Experience (UK)

    I went for a scleral fitting with Ken Pullum and I wanted to write it up as I think that whatever my final outcome I can only recommend people trying these lenses and perhaps knowing about the UK experience may be useful for some. I'm not advertising anyone's services, the optician I chose was my only option for traveling to and also picked on the stories I had heard myself. I just pass on this info in the hope someone thinking of going to see about sclerals may gain some thoughts.

    Firstly, I was nervous about going, I have high myopia and dry eyes that’s been explained as blepharitis linked. I have burning, tearing etc (both eyes) and eyelid sensitivity (moreso and quite badly on one eyelid) and I have high light sensitivity. My symptoms go between mild and medium – highly randomly from what I can tell. My immediate problems – other than pain - are that sunglasses are out of the option given that I can not tolerate soft contacts for long and the clip on sunglasses are problematic, with my prescription clip-on sunglasses are hand-made and usually hard to put on the glasses and quite hard to see though! So failure with sclerals puts me back to square one – hence the nerves.

    Of course lenses are a cosmetic plus, not being able to tolerate regular lenses for long is a problem but 3 years into having dry eye I have somewhat given up on that requirement and for me sclerals are about being able to wear sunglasses and not have to walk around with my eyes barely open and to have some pain relief on bad days.

    One thing I will add here is that like Ken pointed out to me, everyone’s symptoms are part of what makes a success with sclerals. For example, the patient that has to clean them every 20 minutes because of clouding, but has no successful vision without the lenses, will do this cleaning and it will be a success for them in some way. Those that wear heavy glasses and yet can see out of them but can’t tolerate a scleral for whatever reason, have another outcome.

    Mr Pullum is quite a legend, he’s extremely well respected in Hertford. I spent two days in his waiting room and the locals know him, wait for him as he scurries around tending to everyone – it becomes obvious he’s very well known. He takes regular patients for eye exams as well as those of us with scleral requests. I saw a lady successfully try a scleral in a painful eye that has been affected by cancer treatment and how wonderful that she walked away with a solution! He’s a fascinating person, I could have talked to him for hours. He is probably the most hard-working person you could meet as well. He’s been known to stay in the office with patients until late at night. I’m not sure how he packs everything into his schedule but his wonderful office staff certainly help.

    The fitting starts with a fitting set, then some tries with a second set of lenses to see how you feel. You can then determine if you feel it’s worth continuing. The lenses are not super comfortable to start with, and for some more uncomfortable than others. I was told there was only about a 25% fitting success rate. For me, it was worth it to still try. You get to a point with pain/problems that you can weigh up the things you have to give up for a while to pay for something that may bring a change to your life.

    The lenses are (normally) quickly made on site so you can stay a day in town and wait for them or return. I would recommend spending some time there. It’s not for hasty decisions. It’s for some thought and time.

    Unfortunately I had some initial clouding problems, I’m trying with different drops instead of saline in them at the moment, we will see if I can build a solution and be able to wear them. The vision correction is quite amazing. I’ve tried a few lens types before and these make me feel like this must be as close to what being able to see without glasses must be like. It’s quite remarkable. For me I can feel them in my eye but the feeling is not altogether unpleasant. It becomes more unpleasant after some hours.
    We will see....

    hope this helps someone decide one day.
    just keep swimming...

  • #2
    Great writeup, Stanza! I'm sure this will help others. Lucy
    Don't trust any refractive surgeon with YOUR eyes.

    The Dry Eye Queen


    • #3
      Yes, thanks for posting all the details!
      Yet another post-Lasik (2005)...
      Anyone have a time machine so I can go back and undo this mess?


      • #4
        thanks, guys.
        just keep swimming...


        • #5
          Thanks for posting the details!


          • #6
            Hey Stanza,
            thanks for the report. I hope these lenses will help you.


            • #7
              Hello Stanza,

              Good luck with your new scleral lenses!

              When I began wearing RGPs (much smaller diameter than sclerals), I had "foreign object" sensation and excessive tearing. It took me nearly 8 weeks to fully accommodate to the lenses. Like you, I got amazing vision from the hard lenses so I was motivated to keep wearing them.

              I found getting good cleaning solutions and establishing a cleaning regimen is critical - dirty lenses are much less comfortable. I also had to try several different eye drops to use with the lenses.



              • #8
                Hi Lynne, sorry for the delay, it's good to hear your comment that it takes a long time, I am going to start trying them again soon. I also think you're right on the good cleaning regimen, it seems vital to avoid dry spots on the lenses.

                So far I've found some drops that allow me more wear time, (vismed, vislube, and clinitas soothe). I think I have to find out how long I can wear them before they do me 'harm' as it seems ok for 4 hours but after that I think I'm getting the rebound effect the next day of more pain. I will see again in my next round of 'trials'!
                just keep swimming...


                • #9
                  Hi there

                  Can I ask what sclerals are exactly and what makes a person a good candidate for them? Thanks


                  • #10
                    Hi, there's quite a few posts on this site, which you can search for, then look on the internet for photos of what they look like, they are quite large!
                    just keep swimming...


                    • #11
                      Hi there,
                      my sclerals from Ken Pullum are produced. I got a email today!! I can fetch them on Wednesday. I'm quite excited! I'll post in this forum when I have them:-)
                      Please don't hesitate to correct my English - I'm still learning


                      • #12
                        Hello there!
                        I have my sclerals!! And I'm very happy with them. My eyes are feeling great. I feel the lenses a litte bit when I move my eyes but I think this will go away after some time.
                        I wear them 4 hours a day because I was told to increase the wearing times slowly.
                        But one thing is bothersome: they fog after ca. 1 h a little bit. I use common salt solution as filling fluid. Perhaps I should try another fluid to fill them.
                        Stanza how you doing with your sclerals? Is it getting better? I hope you get the same relief as me!!
                        Please don't hesitate to correct my English - I'm still learning


                        • #13
                          I'm still on 4 hours. Think I'm going to try to get to 5 hours this week if I can instead.

                          I fog with saline after 30-60 mins. Celluvisc same. Trying others....
                          just keep swimming...


                          • #14
                            I solved the fogging problem: I clean the lenses very accurate with miraflow and store them in saline, using these lens boxes:
                            Before (when I had the fogging problem)I stored them dry in a box which a got from my scleral fitter.
                            It's also important to clean the lenses before you put them into your eyes. If you need several trials before you can put them into your eyes you have to clean them after each trial.
                            This works good for me.
                            I hope you can solve the fogging problem, too!!!:-)
                            Yesterday a wore the lenses for 5 hours without any discomfort. But when I tried to put them out they were adhered. I needed three trials to put them out of my eyes. I had to use a contact lense sucker. I was not able to put them out without the sucker. And after putting them out my eyes were blood-red and very irritated.
                            Thats bad, because I didn't feel any discomfort when I wore the lenses.
                            Perhaps I sould decrease the wearing time? Or are my eyes still to dry for the lenses so that they adhere? That would be sad...:-(
                            Please don't hesitate to correct my English - I'm still learning


                            • #15
                              Hi susie, I'm going to try the case. I do clean very carefully but good advice, I have also been storing dry.

                              Yesterday a wore the lenses for 5 hours without any discomfort. But when I tried to put them out they were adhered. I needed three trials to put them out of my eyes. I had to use a contact lense sucker. I was not able to put them out without the sucker. And after putting them out my eyes were blood-red and very irritated.
                              This happens to me!! I have to use the sucker thing, can't do the technique Ken showed me, my eyes feel ok for a bit but then bloodshot - more red than when I don't do the sclerals and a bit more painful too. I'm curious if anyone knows why too...
                              Last edited by Stanza; 22-Nov-2009, 10:55.
                              just keep swimming...