Preliminary Clinical Exploration of Scleral Lens Performance on Normal Eyes

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Melissa Barnett, OD, FAAO, FSLS, FBCLA
Jonathon Ross, OD, FAAO, MS
Blythe Durbin-Johnson, PhD



Objectives: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the performance (i.e. vision, comfort and fit) of spherical and front-surface toric scleral lenses in subjects with regular, healthy corneas.

MethodsScleral lenses were fit in the eyes (n = 16) of healthy subjects (n = 9) with regular corneas, absent of pathology, and studied using an observational, multi-visit design. Lens fit was objectively evaluated by an experienced practitioner. Following 1 month of successful lens wear, participants completed subjective satisfaction surveys regarding the scleral lens-wearing experience.

Results:  According to participant surveys, scleral lenses were subjectively preferred over soft toric or gas permeable contact lenses in 88% of eyes, including in all eyes fit with a front-surface toric scleral lens (n = 3). Seventy-five percent (75%) of eyes achieved visual acuity of 0.1 logMAR or better, while all eyes with prior spectacle wear achieved visual acuity with a scleral lens within 1 Snellen line of spectacle correction. Seventy-five percent (75%) of eyes achieved good subjective comfort with a scleral lens. No participants reported poor subjective vision and/or comfort.

ConclusionsOur findings suggest that subjects preferred the performance of a scleral lens (spherical or front-surface toric) compared to a soft toric or gas permeable contact lens. Moreover, scleral lenses may provide a viable, alternative contact lens modality option for patients considering discontinuation of traditional soft toric and/or rigid contact lens wear; so long as the factors associated with hypoxia remain minimized.

Key Words:  scleral lens; scleral contact lens; front-surface toric scleral lens; lens performance; normal eyes; healthy eyes


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How to Cite
Barnett M, Ross J, Durbin-Johnson B. Preliminary Clinical Exploration of Scleral Lens Performance on Normal Eyes. JCLRS [Internet]. 2018Nov.22 [cited 2024Jul.23];2(2):e14-e21. Available from:
Original Article


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