Edwin Y. Endo, OD Optometrists, Eye Doctors Of Honolulu

Leading Provider in Professional Optometry Eye Care and highly regarded establishment offering state of the art Practice & progressive Vision eye exams with Excellence. The Art of Caring.

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Care of Scleral Lenses

How to Insert & Care for Scleral Lenses

Expert Training for Scleral Lenses

Scleral Premium contact lenses are specialized larger ridgid gas permeable lenses that are often prescribed for patients with keratoconus, dry eyes, corneal irregularity, high myopia or astigmatism,  or extremely sensitive eyes. These rigid gas permeable contacts have a very wide diameter that extends completely over the corneal surface and extending over the conjunctivia, which makes them comfortable and effective for people with irregular corneas. At the beginning, many of our patients with scleral lenses find these contact lenses tricky to insert and remove. However, after a short training and practice in caring for your scleral lenses, you’ll find it easy but proper care, hygiene and solutions are important for continued good corneal and eye health.

Applying Scleral Lenses

  1. The first rule for healthy eyes with scleral lenses is to wash your hands well with a mild soap. To prevent any foreign particles  from sticking to your contact lenses, dry your hands well with a lint-free towel.
  2. Before inserting your lenses, inspect your eyes for any redness or secretions. If you notice any continued irritation or changes in your vision while wearing scleral lenses, remove your lenses promptly and call our office to schedule an appointment to check for any complications.
  3. Our eye doctor will instruct you on the best insertion methods for scleral lenses in our clinic. We advise patients to first place a mirror flat on the table in front of them. Remove one lens from its case and check it carefully for any debris or chips. If you hold your scleral lens against light, you’ll be able to spot any cloudy deposits.
  4. Fill the bowl of the lens with unpreserved saline. Scleral lenses can be inserted using your fingers or a special rubber inserter tool. If you prefer using your fingers, it is ideal to use two or three fingers (tripod method) to keep the lens stable and flat as you place it in your eye.
  5. Look downwards towards the mirror. Use one hand to hold your eyelids open, and place the lens in your eye with the ot0her hand. As soon as you feel the saline against your eyeball, press gently and let go. The scleral lens will attach to your eye. Repeat this process with the second lens.
  6. If your scleral lenses feel uncomfortable, it may be due to an air bubble trapped beneath the lens surface. You may need to remove the lens and insert again.

Removal of Scleral Lenses

There are two basic methods of removing scleral contact lenses: with your fingers, or with the aid of a plunger. It is beneficial to learn how to remove with your fingers eventually, in case you ever are without your plunger.

After you wash your hands well, look straight ahead. If you’re using a plunger, wet the tip with saline and attach it to the lower third of the lens. Press gently on your eye, and pull up and out.

If you’re using your fingers, then place two fingertips on either side of the lens and gently break the seal from your eye. In this way you’ll dislodge the lens. The lens may pop out so be sure to have the area covered with a larger clean towel or away from any hard surfaces and close your drain.It will be challenging at first, but  don’t worry – after a few times practicing scleral lens removal, it will become natural and simple.

Proper Care of Scleral Lenses

As soon as you remove your contact lenses, clean them with your surfactant cleaner to remove debris and protein deposits. Place one lens in the palm of your hand, apply a few drops of cleaning solution and gently rub the lens with your fingertip. Rinse the cleaning solution off with saline and store your scleral lens overnight in its case, covered by a sufficient amount of the appropriate disinfectant. Be sure to use fresh solution each time you store your lenses! Old, used solution is swimming with bacteria and can lead to eye infections. Repeat this process with the other lens.

It’s important to only use the disinfecting solutions that our eye doctor recommends for contact lenses in. Not every solution is suitable for every type of lens, and the wrong disinfectant may harm your scleral lenses.

When your contact lens case is empty, rinse it with disinfecting solution and wipe it out with a clean, dry tissue. Store the case upside-down with the caps off.

Our optometrist will recommend the best wearing schedule for your contact lenses. To ensure your lasting eye health and crisp vision, always follow the instructions provided by your eye care professional! We are experienced with fitting scleral lenses and all types of contact lenses in. Call today to schedule an eye exam.


  • It is always recommended to use unpreserved saline upon application when filling the lens.
  • For storing, you can use Disinfecting Solution for Soft contact lenses including Puremoist, Optifree Biotrue, Revitalens, Clear Care, or gas permeable storing solutions such as Boston Solutions.
  • If you ran out of unpreserved saline, you may use preserved  soft lens solutions but only for emergency use.
  • If using Clear Care, be careful to rinse well especially if you experience burning sensation upon applications.
  • Scleral lenses should be replaced yearly. 
  • How long can you keep in sclera lenses? You can wear your sclera lenses for 4 to 6 hours at a time, as they are made for occasional and not daily wearing.
  • Can you swim with scleral lenses? Generally speaking, you can go swimming with your scleral contact lenses as long as you wear swimming goggles or a swimming mask that is appropriately sealed over your scleral lenses. ... Sleeping in your scleral lenses can cause the tear layer behind the lens to become stagnant, increasing the risk of eye infections. 
  • Can you take a nap with scleral lenses? Can I sleep while wearing my scleral lenses?In general, most eye care providers recommend that you remove scleral lenses before sleeping. Stagnation of the tear layer behind the lens could lead to a higher risk of eye infection. ... In some cases, scleral lenses may serve to protect the surface of the eye overnight.
  • Is Keratoconus genetic? In most cases, keratoconus is not inherited and occurs in individuals with no family history of the disorder. The condition can also occur in families. In some cases, keratoconus is inherited in an autosomal dominant pattern, which means one copy of the altered gene in each cell is sufficient to cause the disorder. 
  • Are you born with keratoconus? Keratoconus is a disorder of the cornea that can make its first appearance at the age of ten, fifteen, sixteen or eighteen depending on our genetic make-up. ... In other words, we are not born with keratoconus, but our genes play an important part in its development. It frequently comes about because of eye rubbing. 
  • 7 Tips To Strengthen Your Cornea And Eyes
    1. Eat Colourful Veggies. The more colourful they are, the better they are at strengthening and protecting your vision. ...
    2. Look For Leafy Green Veggies. ...
    3. Keep an Eye Out for Brightly Colored Fruit. ...
    4. Take Breaks. ...
    5. Don't Forget To Blink. ..
    • Can keratoconus be cured permanently?  Currently there is no cure for keratoconus. It is a lifelong eye disease. Thankfully, however, most cases of keratoconus can be successfully managed. For mild to moderate keratoconus, scleral contact lenses made of advanced rigid gas permeable lens materials typically are the treatment of choice.