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Scleral lens safety check-up (4/2023)Updated 10 months ago

Dates: April 19-29, 2023

Participants: 551

(For questions which were not applicable to all participants, the number of responses is indicated.)


PART 1: Application and removal

I can consistently apply my scleral(s) successfully and without bubbles.



I can consistently remove my scleral(s) and the suction breaks readily.


My eyes seem to look and feel okay immediately after removal.



I am prepared to remove my scleral(s) in an emergency.


PART 2: Filling solutions

I fill my scleral(s) only with preservative-free solutions approved by my optometrist.


I follow instructions for when to discard preservative-free solutions/drops after opening.



I maintain adequate back-up supplies for solutions that cannot be purchased locally.


PART 3: Disinfection

I disinfect my scleral(s) after use, using either a hydrogen peroxide system or a multi-purpose solution approved by my optometrist.


I follow the manufacturer’s instructions for a complete disinfection cycle.

(For example, Clear Care requires 6 hours; Unique pH requires 4 hours; Boston Simplus requires 4 hours; Tangible Clean requires 6 hours. Each manufacturer has steps to follow prior to soaking.)




PART 4: Storage

If I remove my sclerals temporarily during the day (e.g. for napping or swimming), I place them in a case with multi-purpose solution.

342 responses 


I follow my optometrist’s instructions regarding dry or wet longer term storage for spare or duplicate sclerals.

324 responses


I disinfect stored sclerals before returning them to use.

355 responses


PART 5: Water Safety

I wash and dry my hands before handling my sclerals.


I rinse my sclerals with saline or multi-purpose solutions (rather than water)


I remove sclerals before showering (or wait till after I've showered to put them in).


I remove sclerals before swimming.

273 responses


PART 6: General

My provider gave me written instructions to follow for the care and use of my sclerals.


I stay within my provider's recommendation for daily wear time.

318 responses (233 participants stated that they were not given wear time limits)


If I experience issues or have questions, I contact my lens provider.


COMMENTS

Rebecca's note:  Just got back from my trip and haven't had time to add my notes to the comments yet - I will by the end of the week. and will put a new link in Sunday's newsletter. Always feel free to call or email with questions, though!

Comments about application and removal

  • I have to have someone else insert and remove lenses. Can you give me advice
  • For RK scleral wearers, I would ask about spectacle blur upon removal. Both the amount and duration. For me, it’s at leas 3D of non correctable blur that lasts for 45min.
  • After about six months I am finally getting to the point where I can put my sclerals in and take them out with no problems. The putting in process takes about 15 minutes. I am 81 years old and use a stand.
  • The question re: apply successfully & w/o bubbles is a bit confusing. I am able to apply w/o bubbles every single time I wish to wear them -- but it may take several attempts because I blink at the wrong time, etc. Only rarely do I get a bubble. If I do, I simply remove the lens & re-insert...and thus, am successful. Never has there been a time I wanted to wear them but gave up because of insertion difficulties. LIkewise, only rarely has there been a time that I was able to insert both on the first attempt. (I use a SeeGreen stand -- a total game changer. If I didn't have it I don't know that I would have ever been successful because I need both hands to hold my lids wide enough for insertion.)
  • My wife inserts and removes my lenses so she has answered these questions. I am 80+ years and lack of co-ordination in one arm prevents me from doing it.

Comments about solutions

  • I always discard Sclerafil or only use for rinsing after 24 hours (it is usually used up for rinsing before 24 hours). I do recap my Celluvisc, but it is almost always used up in one day.
  • I use Nutrifill 10ml vials to rinse and fill sclaras in morning I rinse and then put 10 drops in each lens. It will last me about 3 days. I put the vial in a clean medicine bottle with a lid and nothing touches the opening. I have done this for 1 1/2 years. No issue. 

Comments about disinfection

  • Regarding keeping back up supplies --that has been dependent on availability, especially Clear Care and Clear Care Plus. 
  • This is a little different so wanted to add: My doctor (@UC Health, hospital Colorado) recommended I don't rub my lenses to clean them because it can remove the Hydra-peg coating. As directed, I rinse them well with Tangible clean and store them. I then use Clear Care 2-3x a week. I haven't had any problems! Thanks! Love seeing all the survey results.
  • I don’t use clear care or hydrogen peroxide as I have been instructed by my optometrist that doing so with my scleral could damage it. I was specifically instructed by my optometrist to use Boston advanced conditioning solution for soaking my scleral for at least 6 hours over night. I also only use puri lense for filling, taking out my scleral, rinsing my scleral and lense case after I take it out from my scleral soaking in Boston advanced conditioning solution. I have been instructed to rub one drop of the Boston advanced cleaner only one or twice a month on each side of my scleral for 20 seconds before putting it my Boston advanced multipurpose solution. Originally it was once per week for thr Boston advanced cleaner but my eye with my scleral had some redness and my optometrist changed it to once or twice a month because my scleral lense eye may be sensitive to Boston advanced. My understanding there was another cleaning solution for sclerals lobob? that may have went out of business. I wash my hands every day before and after handling my scleral with Palmolive clear as I can’t find the soft soap antimicrobial at the store that my optometrist uses as most use some sort of fragrance.
  • I've been having a great deal of redness in the eyes after getting new(replacement) scleras. My provider does not like clear care and believes using it is the problem. He suggests only using preservative free saline to clean, store and insert the lenses. That has altered my care for my lenses. I am concerned that it sets me up for eye infections but am respecting my provider.
  • Just needing to have a recommendation for the best cleaning system. We find it hard to find the clear care consistently. If there is an alternative, we'd love to know about it. Also, there seems to be a build up that we can't get off... is there a method to getting that off? the overnight cleaning isn't cutting it. *Our 20 year old daughter has autism and we insert, remove, and clean for her.

Comments about water safety

  • My first eye doctor did not give me good instructions on my scalaro lenses and I used to rinse them with water. My second eye doctor was much better and corrected my cleaning habits , like rinsing my lenses with water.
  • Swim with goggles on
  • Those with limited vision without lenses really can't safety shower, swim etc. without lenses.
  • Thank you for collecting and sharing folks' experiences! This is so valuable. Given the questions you asked, I'd like to know more about concerns (if any?) around showering without removing sclerals (what a joy for people like me who are severely short-sighted and enjoy the occasional shower where I can see properly). The same goes for swimming. I swim with sclerals in, because otherwise I couldn't! I obviously wear googles and don't get my eyes wet. What should I be worried about?
  • Wear goggles when swimming
  • My Doctor has okayed swimming and showering with them in.
  • I was never told to remove sclera lenses before swimming or showering. Should I?
  • When you take a survey like this you almost feel guilty for not doing what you are supposed to (like I can’t shave my legs without my contacts in, in the shower)!
  • I wear my lenses in the shower if I am not washing my hair (and I wear a shower cap), because I will not get water in my eyes. If I am likely to get water in my eyes while showering, I remove the lenses.
  • I don't "swim" but I wear my sclerals in the pool because I exercise in such a way that water doesn't get in my eyes, water walking, etc. It's a private community pool and I choose a lane where splashing from other pool users is not an issue. Same with showering: if my lenses are in, I use a handheld shower sprayer that allows me to avoid water in the face or pouring over my head. If washing hair, sclerals are OUT.

Comments about storage

  • I am somewhat foggy about long-term storage
  • I was taught by scleral lens provider (Prose Lenses) to store lenses Dry- not in solution. In 14 years I have had Zero problems with this method of storage. I make sure that I disinfect them before wearing them again if it has been more than several hours. After swimming and only a couple of hours of not wearing them and they have been in a case without any solution....I just rinse well and pop them back in with my favorite solution.

Comments about instructions

  • I am very happy with my optometrist and have worn scleral's prescribed by them for many years, but have never been given written instructions and have had to ask questions to get answers to many of the issues mentioned above.
  • I would love to have written instructions on use and care
  • I received my scleral lens with very little instruction regarding their usage. Most of the information that I have received has come from this site!
  • My optometrist sounded well-trained in sclerals when giving me use and care instructions, but after ruining a pair of lenses in less than a month, I found out they'd given inaccurate care instructions. Directly looking up the manufacturer's instructions and finding info on the Dry Eye Shop's website helped me out immensely. I'm now 1.5 years into wearing my current pair.
  • I have worn scelerals for over 10 years - I was never given instructions on how to care for by Dr. - I had to ask or look up. Trial and error. I rinsed with tap water for many years until a Dr a few years ago watched me do in her office and said I shouldn’t do that?!
  • good use and care instructions are hard to find.

Comments about contacting provider with issues

  • That last question was odd. I try to find the answer to my question online. If I can’t I call the clinic.
  • I experience a lot of sticky times when I have to remove and rewet my lenses. What do you have to enhance lubrication?
  • I wish the cleaning solutions were easier to find!!! I order a month ahead of time to make sure I can get them but sometimes it is difficult anyway.
  • I refer to FB page in addition to provider for issues . Film / protein deposits are a major ongoing issue on both original and second lens . Third lens on order .
  • I have had good luck with my devices which i got over 10 years ago from Boston Sight. THey saved my vision! A total miracle. IF i have ANY questions about them, the solutions etc, I always check with Boston SIght and am pretty well prepared for anything that arises. I see people asking technical questions / for advise on the Facebook group and I always try to suggest they contact their provider of Boston Sight. There is no reason to take risks!
  • And the reason why I don't contact my provider when i have an issue is they have left the practice and have not been replaced and they were the only one to do Prose lens on Long Island - it's an issue!

Comments about wearing scleral lenses in general

  • I hate wearing them and I also hate not wearing them
  • My scelera lens have changed my life! I count on them everyday for my eyes to be comfortable!!
  • I really hate my scleral lenses- but better than being blind. I have to have two pair of glasses to see anything closer than three feet, when I take them out I cannot see at all and the longer I wear them during the day the most distorted my vision becomes. I have small eyes and that could contribute, my corneas are very unstable w 18 incisions which may contribute. I WOULD GIVE ANYTHING TO JUST WEAR GLASSES. I have a perfect fit and my provider is the smartest, most particular and caring doctor I have, so it’s just my eyes. Waaaaa!
  • Scerals best product for me. I have extreme dry eye bc of Sjogrens
  • I have been wearing Prose lenses daily for 8 years. I follow all instructions carefully. I am a clean freak and wash my hands and use hand sanitizer before I touch anything having to do with installing or removing my lenses. I don’t put them in or remove them anywhere near a bathroom or other unsanitary area. I have a system down to eliminate the possibility of contamination of any kind. 8 years and no infections breakage or major issues!! 🤞🤞🤞🤞 you must be vigilant in all your practices. 30 years in health and safety has taught me this. Do not deviate from procedures ever!! Not worth the risk!!

General feedback / survey feedback 

  • I appreciate your site. I use advice from the Dry Eye Shop before trying new products and find it the most reliable source along with my eye doctor.
  • This site has been very helpful to me as I learned about the various lens care products and how to use them--my doctor didn't give me that information (especially the information concerning the danger of water as related to cleaning and wearing scleral lenes). I have also come to understand that all eye health questions should be asked of my eye care doctors rather than relying upon the advise offered on this site. Thank you for the support of all who participate on this site!
  • Is a low cost scleral without inner lens (no extra refraction) available? That would serve as my spare. I would like emergency protection. Perhaps by internet order.
  • you have to find Dr that knows how to fit them
  • Thank you for all of the great work you do for the 'dry-eye' community. You provide great information, resources and products. It is a comfort to know that I can reach out to experts and others in similar situations.
  • You need to ask a question or two about whether the scleral lens wearer inserts solution directly into the eye while wearing the lens throughtout the day for: a) alleviating symptoms of "mid-day fog", including removal, cleaning and re-insertion; b) to alleviate dry-eye discomfort from a tight-fitting scleral lens.
  • It would be good to ask if we have had an eye infection related to care of schlemiel lenses. I have not using my procedures.
  • Wearing since 2016 and love them, I hate it when I removed them, but rejoice when inserting back.
  • Only YouTube videos got me going in the initial phase of having sclerals, as I had almost no guidance from the optometrist's office. Thank you all for your ongoing efforts to educate and inform. I can now find help through the Dry Eye Shop's tutorials and surveys!
  • Survey answered on behalf of sceral wearer in my household
  • I thought I was going to get a safety score! LOL it's okay.
  • Have different protocol for it per provider .
  • Great survey gives me things to consider doing better
  • The Facebook group you run is vital! So thankful for that!
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