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Scleral lenses and Your Insurance Provider

When vision starts to become blurry, the immediate solution is to see an eye doctor and purchase a new pair of eyeglasses or contact lenses. In some cases, a person may elect for LASIK surgery, which comes at a much higher price tag.

On rare occasions, a patient may not benefit from wearing standard eyeglasses or contact lenses and is not a candidate for LASIK. These “hard-to-fit’ patients require a more advanced form of treatment like scleral lenses in order to restore their vision to normal. When patients discover they require more advanced vision correction, they have to face new challenges like adjusting to their new eyewear and, more pressing, the additional costs. We’ve put together some brief tips below to help our scleral lens patients take advantage of their insurances to reduce the burden and achieve visual success.

Medical Insurances & Scleral Lenses in Ft. Worth, Texas

While our vision is vital for daily activities, many medical insurances are very restrictive in how they cover any service related to eyewear. Although medical insurances are used for specific eye care services, purchasing eyewear is often not covered — not even partially. Our practice can review with you the specific details regarding your medical insurance, and whether or not you can expect coverage for a pair of scleral lenses. In general, medical insurances are best used towards the eye exams and diagnostic measurements.

Vision Insurances and Scleral Lenses in Ft. Worth, Texas

Contrary to medical insurance, vision insurance plans are meant to reduce the costs for eyewear purchases. For some of our patients who have vision insurance with a contact lens plan, such as through EyeMed or VSP, a large portion of their scleral lenses will be covered. Please keep in mind that vision insurance policies differ. How much vision insurance will cover a specialty contact lens like scleral lenses is never concrete. Also, the experience of one patient may be totally different from the outcome of another patient’s experience.

This is why we recommend patients to schedule a consultation at our practice. We’ve seen many patients benefit a lot from their vision insurance plans, and we’ve guided numerous patients on how to maximize their coverage. Ultimately, we want our patients to enjoy the best possible vision for their eyes, and scleral lenses are often the solution.

One of the major reasons keratoconus patients and others with corneal irregularities come to our practice is precisely for our knowledge, experience, and expertise. Each specialty contact lens consultation will assess what are your visual needs and budget to develop the perfect pair of contacts. If you’re looking for scleral lenses and want to learn how your insurances can provide you coverage, call us today or schedule a consult online.

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Where Do Scleral Lenses Fit In Your Dry Eye Treatment Protocol?

DES It is among the top drivers that lead patients to seek help from eye care professionals trained in treating dry eyes.

Dry Eye Syndrome (DES) is a highly common condition that occurs when your tear glands don’t produce enough tears or when your tears evaporate too quickly. This condition can be temporary or chronic and is characterized by dry, itchy, stinging and irritated eyes.

Curiously, a recent survey revealed that out of the more than 30 million Americans who have symptoms of Dry Eye, only half of those are diagnosed, and an even smaller number receives the medical attention they need. These numbers are a concern since there are millions of people needlessly suffering from a treatable condition.

If you’re suffering from dry eye, contact EYEWORKS Scleral Contact Lenses Center today. We offer effective and lasting treatments that are sure to improve your quality of life.

Signs and Symptoms of Dry Eye Disease

Dry Eye can be caused by several factors, such as aging, medication, environmental changes, hormonal changes, allergies, among others. The most common signs and symptoms include:

  • Crusty eyelids
  • Dryness
  • Grittiness
  • Itchy eyes
  • Redness
  • Stinging
  • Tearing
  • Blurred vision
  • Burning
  • Intense eye pain
  • Photophobia (sensitivity to light)
  • Sensation of something stuck in the eye

How Can Scleral Lenses Help With Dry Eye?

Scleral lenses are customized rigid lenses that tackle three factors simultaneously: they provide vision correction, they protect the eye, and they serve a therapeutic purpose by lubricating the eye.

Due to their large shape, unique features, and customized fitting, scleral lenses offer an excellent solution for dry eyes. They decrease pain, discomfort, eye redness, and itchiness in those with dry eyes.

While scleral lenses can provide relief to patients suffering from DES, the question is deciding on the right time to incorporate scleral lenses into a dry eye treatment plan.

Scleral lenses should not be the primary treatment method

Despite their countless benefits, scleral lenses should not be the primary therapy or treatment method for patients with mild to moderate dry eye syndrome. Eye practitioners often advise to try out prior treatment options first.

Additional Dry Eye treatment methods include:

  • Environment modifications
  • Improved eyelid hygiene
  • Nighttime goggles
  • Nighttime lubrication
  • Prescription dry eye medications
  • Preservative-free eyedrops

Scleral lenses as a tertiary therapy

Scleral lenses should only serve as tertiary therapy after overnight treatment options and prescription medications such as moisture goggles or ointment have been exhausted. That said, scleral lenses should be incorporated before the long-term use of steroids, surgical punctual occlusion, and amniotic membrane grafts.

Some of the other tertiary therapies that can be recommended alongside scleral lenses include:

  • Autologous/allogeneic serum eye drops
  • Oral secretagogues
  • Soft bandage contact lenses

Like scleral lenses, these treatment procedures are highly effective, but should only be used if the primary and secondary therapies fail to improve the patient’s Dry Eye condition.

If you experience any eye pain or discomfort, book your appointment with EYEWORKS Scleral Contact Lenses Center today.

EYEWORKS Scleral Contact Lenses Center serves patients from Ft. Worth, Southlake, River Oaks, Benbrook, and throughout Texas.

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Scleral Lenses for Keratoconus

Keratoconus (keh-rah-toe-cone-us) is a non-inflammatory eye disorder in which the round dome-shaped cornea progressively thins causing a cone-like bulge to develop.

Hence the name keratoconus, from the Greek word ‘kerato’ (cornea) and ‘conus’ (cone-shaped).

Because those with keratoconus have irregular, cone-shaped corneas, glasses cannot conform to the shape of the eyes and thus cannot adequately correct the patients’ vision. The best solution, therefore, is scleral contact lenses, since they sit on the sclera without touching the cornea and deliver maximal clarity while being perfectly comfortable in most cases.

What are Scleral Lenses?

what are scleral lensesCustom designed scleral lenses help patients with corneal irregularities achieve dramatic improvements in visual acuity and comfort. Scleral lenses vault over the cornea and rest on the sclera while avoiding the diseased cornea. This creates a new optical surface instead of the damaged cornea and prevents discomfort by resting on the sclera of the eye. Moreover, the reservoir of pure saline solution between the back surface of the lens and the front of the cornea ensures that the eye is always in a liquid environment – making it optimal for healing.

Both rigid gas permeable (GP) lenses and scleral lenses provide the eyes with sufficient oxygen. However, scleral lenses provide more comfort and stable vision than traditional GP lenses. In most cases, scleral contact lenses are the optimal choice of treatment for patients with keratoconus and irregularly-shaped corneas.

If you have Keratoconus and are interested in scleral lenses, Dr. Robert Chu at EYEWORKS Scleral Contact Lenses Center can help. We serve patients from all over Ft. Worth, Southlake, River Oaks and Benbrook, Texas, and provides the highest level of care.

Two Major Benefits of Scleral Lenses for Keratoconus

1) Scleral Lenses Provide More Comfort

Our patients report comfort as the most prominent feature of the scleral lens. Throughout the fitting process, we survey our patients on how the lenses feel, and not surprisingly, the usual response we get is “fine” or “I can’t feel them at all”.

The size of a scleral lens is one of the reasons it is more comfortable than a traditional gas permeable contact lens. A traditional contact lens is much smaller, typically 9 -10 mm in diameter. With each blink, this contact lens moves a bit over the cornea and the lid tends to roll over the edge of the lens as well. Many patients report being unable to wear them for more than a few hours at a time due to discomfort.

The scleral lens, on the other hand, is larger in diameter and spreads its weight over a much greater, less sensitive area so that when you blink, the eyelid doesn’t catch the edge of the lens. Moreover, because the lens vaults over the bulging cornea, it protects the cornea from any abrasion caused by blinking or external irritants. Furthermore, the scleral lens is made up of highly oxygen permeable materials and provides a soothing bath of artificial tears that refresh the ocular surface.

2) Scleral Lenses Offer Improved Vision

Patients with keratoconus have a clearer vision with scleral lenses than with glasses. With glasses, patients usually see 20/200, whereas with scleral lenses their vision typically improves to 20/30 or even 20/20. Furthermore, because the lenses sit firmly on the eye, they offer more stable vision than traditional lenses. The scleral lens not only offers comfort but also improves vision acuity.

What Changes Will I Notice with Scleral Lenses?

Once you have been properly fitted for scleral lenses, you can expect to gradually see improvements in clarity, color and detailed contrast between multiple images and objects within your visual field. The comfort you’ll experience will enable you to wear your custom-made scleral lenses all day long so that you can keep doing all the things you enjoy – but with better vision.

Should I See An Eye Doctor Specialized in Fitting Keratoconus Patients with Scleral Lenses?

improved vision with scleral lensesIf you are interested in seeing whether scleral lenses are right for you, make sure that the eye doctor you visit has the knowledge and experience required to correctly fit the lenses on patients with keratoconus. Scleral lenses require precise customization, and every patient’s case of keratoconus varies in degrees of severity and corneal measurements.

To check if you are a good candidate for scleral lenses, contact us at The EYEWORKS Scleral Contact Lenses Center. Our staff has the expertise in fitting specialty contact lenses, and serve patients from Ft. Worth, Southlake, River Oaks, Benbrook and throughout Texas.

Call or Book Online and Regain Your Quality of Life.

“I loved my visit from start to finish. The EYEWORKS Scleral Contact Lenses Center staff is friendly, caring, and knowledgeable. The eye exam that I had for keratoconus was incredibly thorough and Dr. Robert Chu explained all the results very clearly. He fitted me for scleral lenses, and now my eyes feel so comfortable that I frequently forget that I’m wearing contact lenses.“

REFERENCES:

Ariela Gordon‐Shaag, Michel Millodot, Igor Kaiserman, Tzahi Sela, Guy Barnett Itzhaki, Yaffa Zerbib, Efrat Matityahu, Shira Shkedi, Svetlana Miroshnichenko and Einat Shneor, Risk factors for keratoconus in Israel: a case–control study, Ophthalmic and Physiological Optics, 35, 6, (673-681), (2015).

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Scleral Lenses For Post LASIK, Post PRK, And Post RK Surgery

Scleral Lenses For Post-LASIK, Post-PRK, And Post-RK Surgery

LASIK, PRK and RK are common refractive vision surgeries that correct myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness) and astigmatism by altering the shape of the cornea using a laser. While these surgeries have a high success rate, eye complications can occur, such as Post-LASIK, Post-PRK, and Post-RK ectasia, a corneal distortion or irregularity that causes the cornea to weaken and bulge.

Those with surgery complications develop vision problems that cannot be fully corrected using glasses or soft contact lenses, as their newly shaped cornea often causes the lenses to easily dislodge. For those people, scleral lenses are the ideal option for clear and comfortable vision.

Have you experienced complications following your laser eye surgery? Speak with Dr. Robert Chu at EYEWORKS Scleral Contact Lenses Center to find out how scleral lenses can help you see clearly and comfortably again.

Why Wear Specialty Contact Lenses For Post-Surgery Complications?

Post-LASIK, Post-PRK, and Post-RK patients with eye complications tend to experience poor, distorted vision, resulting in an inability to wear standard contact lenses due to their sensitive cornea. In fact, attempting to wear soft contact lenses can be extremely painful and can further damage the cornea.

Scleral lenses provide clear vision and all-day comfort to those with corneal aberrations, whether due to existing eye conditions or following corneal surgery. These customized hard lenses are larger in diameter than standard contact lenses and because the lenses vault over the cornea, they spread their weight over a much greater, less sensitive area. These specialty contacts are made of highly oxygen permeable materials and provide a soothing bath of artificial tears that hydrate the ocular surface all day long.

Getting Fitted For Scleral Lenses

Once you have been properly fitted for scleral lenses, you can expect to see significant improvements in clarity, color and contrast between multiple images and objects within your visual field. The comfort you’ll experience allows you to wear your custom-made scleral lenses all day long so that you can keep doing all the things you love.

Does Collagen Cross-Linking Correct Post-LASIK Ectasia?

Patients with corneal ectasia resulting from LASIK surgery complications may be advised to undergo collagen cross-linking — a new method in treating advanced cases of keratoconus and diseased corneas.

Note that many patients who undergo collagen cross-linking may still require specialty contact lenses to achieve clear vision. Speak with your eye doctor to learn more.

Can a Second LASIK Surgery Repair My Ectasia?

Certain LASIK surgeons may recommend a follow-up enhancement procedure to improve your vision. This may lead you to undergo several corrective LASIK surgeries, potentially leaving you with scarred corneas and even poorer vision.

The safest and best option is to wear scleral lenses, as they correct astigmatism, farsightedness, and hyperopia, and are perfectly safe on corneas. Our patients who got fitted for custom-designed scleral lenses report feeling thrilled with how sharp and comfortable their vision has become.

For more information or to book a consultation, contact EYEWORKS Scleral Contact Lenses Center today.

EYEWORKS Scleral Contact Lenses Center serves patients from Ft. Worth, Southlake, River Oaks, Benbrook, and throughout Texas.

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Scleral Lenses For Post Corneal Graft v2

Scleral Lenses For Post Corneal Graft

Patients may be concerned that achieving a clear and comfortable vision will be nearly impossible following corneal transplant surgery. Although corneal transplants have a high success rate, they do not entirely cure the eye of disease. Patients will certainly notice dramatic improvements, but their vision will still need to be corrected.

It can take more than a year for the eye to recover from a corneal transplant, as it needs time to adapt to the new cornea. Because this adjustment is unpredictable, nearsightedness or astigmatism may develop. Even after complete recovery, prescription glasses or lenses may still be required. For this and other reasons (explained below), scleral lenses are the optimal choice for vision correction.

Here at EYEWORKS Scleral Contact Lenses Center, we aim to provide the best possible vision for our patients who’ve had a corneal transplant. If you’ve undergone this procedure, speak with Dr. Robert Chu to determine whether scleral contact lenses are the best choice for you.

Understanding Corneal Transplants

There are two common types of corneal transplants:

Penetrating keratoplasty, also called “full-thickness corneal transplant”, is when the full thickness of the cornea (the clear front surface of the eye) is replaced with healthy donor tissue.

Endothelial keratoplasty replaces only the diseased corneal tissue, leaving healthy tissue behind.

woried old manWhy Would Someone Need a Corneal Transplant?

A corneal transplant is generally recommended in the following cases:

  • For those with vision problems caused by the thinning of the cornea (generally due to keratoconus) and only after less invasive treatments have been proven ineffective
  • Scarred cornea caused by severe injuries or infections
  • Vision loss caused by cloudiness of the cornea, typically due to Fuchs dystrophy

Scleral Lenses & Post-Corneal Transplant Surgery

Corneal transplants don’t cure irregular corneas, as the transplant doesn’t fully adapt to the eye. Some eye doctors may recommend rigid gas permeable lenses (RGP’s), hybrid contact lenses, or scleral lenses for clear and comfortable vision.

Of all the options, scleral lenses are the optimal choice. The fully customized contact lens vaults entirely over the cornea without adding any pressure to it, while allowing the cornea to remain hydrated for ultimate healing and comfort. Furthermore, because they are larger in size than any other contact lens, they are less likely to shift and move around on the eyes, thus reducing the risk of irritation or abrasion.

We Fit Scleral Lenses and Other Specialty Contact Lenses

Getting fitted for scleral lenses after a corneal graft can be life-changing. It can allow you to comfortably and safely drive at night or resume playing a sport that you thought you’d have to give up.

If you’ve had a corneal transplant or plan to do so in the near future, know that clear and comfortable vision after the surgery is possible. Don’t miss out on incredible life experiences because of poor vision — call EYEWORKS Scleral Contact Lenses Center today.

EYEWORKS Scleral Contact Lenses Center serves patients from Ft. Worth, Southlake, River Oaks, Benbrook, and throughout Texas.

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how Fits Specialty Contact Lenses

Who Fits Specialty Contact Lenses?

If you have been told that contact lenses are not an option, speak with an optometrist trained in fitting specialty contact lenses. Dr. Robert Chu at EYEWORKS Scleral Contact Lenses Center can offer several alternative high-quality options for rare or severe eye conditions.

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How Is an Optometrist Trained in Fitting Specialty Contact Lenses Unique?

Every optometrist can fit conventional contact lenses. However, specialty contacts are another story, and few optometrists have undergone the necessary training in fitting specialty lenses, such as scleral lenses, hybrid lenses, or custom rigid gas permeable lenses.

Scleral lenses are custom-fit to each patient’s individual cornea. This requires the optometrist to acquire more in-depth knowledge in areas traditionally belonging in the field of a corneal specialist.

Moreover, special equipment is needed to fit specialty lenses. The optometrist uses different devices to assess whether a particular specialty lens is a good fit and to precisely measure a cornea’s unique shape.

When Should You See an Eye Doctor for Specialty Lenses?

Many of our patients have experienced discomfort or complications when using traditional soft contact lenses. In these cases, wearing scleral lenses offer more comfort yet provide the same visual acuity or better.

If you have an eye condition that prevents you from wearing regular contact lenses, such as corneal irregularities (i.e. keratoconus), post corneal transplant, severe dry-eye, or an unusually high refractive error, scleral contact lenses may be a good fit.

Special lenses may also help patients cope with complications following surgery or improve remaining refractive errors. Dr. Robert Chu can help you evaluate your alternatives.

young man thinkingConditions Special Lenses Can Treat

  • Keratoconus
  • Astigmatism
  • Dry Eye
  • Post-Refractive Surgery (LASIK, RK, PRK)
  • Corneal Dystrophy and Other Chronic Eye Diseases
  • High Refractive Errors

Fitting Specialty Lenses

Specialty lenses require specific diagnostic equipment. Only a precise image of the cornea’s surface can ensure optimal fitting of the individual lens for perfect vision.

At EYEWORKS Scleral Contact Lenses Center, we use an advanced digital topographer to measure your cornea during your initial eye exam. This digital device produces high-resolution corneal imagery and provides the parameters to design your customized lenses. Your specifications are then sent to a contact lens lab, which produces a set of lenses designed specifically for your eyes.

After ensuring the lenses are a perfect fit, Dr. Robert Chu will instruct you on how to insert, remove and take care of specialty contact lenses, since handling them calls for a little more precision and caution than traditional lenses.

Interested in Specialty Contact Lenses?

At EYEWORKS Scleral Contact Lenses Center, we can provide accurate and current information about specialty contact lenses as well as a broad scope of general contact lens products. We have the equipment needed to assess suitability and fit every type of lens.

Optometrists, such as Dr. Robert Chu, are experienced in fitting specialty contact lenses for rare eye conditions. For us, these are not exceptions, but our every-day profession.

Contact us today to find out which contact lens alternatives are most suitable for your specific condition. EYEWORKS Scleral Contact Lenses Center will make sure you receive individual consultation and care.

We treat patients in Ft. Worth, Southlake, River Oaks,Benbrook, and throughout Texas.

Resources:

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Scleral Lenses Can Let Anyone wear Contact Lenses!

Scleral lenses are a specialized contact lenses that make contact lens use possible for many people for the first time – and they have advantages for normal contact lens wearers as well.

A scleral lens is a larger lens that rests on the sclera or white of the eye, rather than the colored portion (or iris). The lens has many advantages which can make contact lens wear an option for those who have previously been told otherwise.

The lens, which covers a larger area than a normal contact lens, creates a pocket filled with artificial tears, fitting securely around the eye. Due to their size, scleral lenses provide sharper vision, greater durability, easier handling and a lower risk for complications.

We have a unique library of scleral contact lens solutions for you.

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Are you one of the 5 patient types that would likely benefit from a scleral lens?

Candidates Include Patients with:

  1. Allergies
  2. High or complicated prescriptions that have been told they can’t wear contact lenses.
  3. Unsuccessful history with other lenses either due to poor comfort or poor vision.
  4. Keratoconus or any type of corneal degeneration or dystrophy, transplants, scarring or trauma or post-LASIK complications.
  5. Dry eyes or high sensitivity to light or Steve Johnson Syndrome.

What are the 5 main benefits of a scleral lens vs. a regular lens?

  1. Easier to insert and remove.
  2. Improved, consistent quality of vision all day long.
  3. Better comfort. Other lenses may dry out and get uncomfortable.
  4. Longer lasting. With proper maintenance, they can last over a year.

What are three key differences in the scleral lens technology?

  1. The lens doesn’t touch the cornea but rests on the sclera or the white part of the eye to increase comfort.
  2. Microscopic adjustments to the lenses can be made with new advanced manufacturing technology to customize the fit of each lens to each patient’s unique needs.
  3. Can add highly customized, unique prescriptions onto each lens to provide even better vision.

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Special Instances That Can Benefit from Scleral Lenses

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Legal Blindness:
It is not uncommon for someone who is legally blind from a corneal irregularity to regain great vision. This lens design provides a protective cushion of saline that can reduce pain and photosensitivity caused by other lens designs.
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Sports:
Scleral lenses are great for athletes who require excellent acuity and a stable lens fit while they are physically active.

They are also useful in situations where other contact lens types are not effective or appropriate, including dusty environments and contact sports.

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Protective & Therapeutic:
Scleral lenses can provide hydration to the cornea in severe cases of dry eye and ocular pemphigoid.
They can also help in keeping the eye hydrated in conditions where the eyelids do not close properly such as facial nerve palsy, trauma, or ptosis.

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Custom Fit
We customize the lenses to the exact specifications of each individual wearer.

The entire process may take several visits in order to optimize the design and ensure the process of application and removal is comfortable and efficient. For these reasons professional fees associated with fitting sclera lenses and lens replacement costs are higher than other contact lenses. We are happy to discuss your specific costs based on your individual needs.

If you are more interested in Disposable Contacts, we have those as well!

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