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  • Writer's pictureJantz Chappel

What contact lens Dr. Chappel OD wears and why

Updated: Nov 7, 2023

If you read the website fully you would know I wear a scleral contact lens! You probably also know why, I have a lot of astigmatism. That is not the full story though. My glasses prescription in my right eye is -3.50 -2.75 x 80 and my left eye is -3.75 -2.25 x 104. Those numbers probably don't mean anything to you but the 1st number is how near-sighted or far-sighted I am, minus means near-sighted. The second number is how much astigmatism I have (in optometry it always minus) and the last number is where my astigmatism located in my eye. I have against the rule astigmatism which is the less common form (just where the astigmatism is on the eye). So for a lot of soft lenses, it normally rotates the soft lens in one way or another which causes distortion to my vision. This also causes it to be a little harder fit for a soft lens but also most of the soft lenses I wear have had a stability issue. Newer soft lenses have helped a lot with stability issues but it still not perfect for me. Vision during the day is great in a soft but at night is where my vision gets a little more dicey with a soft lens. That being said it is not terrible with Dailes Total 1 for astigmatism but it is still not perfect, that is what I can get with a scleral contact lens.

The scleral lens is completely customized to my eye the newer ones can get rid of higher-order aberrations (glare issues inherited in the eye) which means I can see better at night with my contact lens than I can with my glasses. Most soft lens astigmatism goes up in powers of -0.50 but starts at -0.75 and only has an axis in 10 degrees increments which can also impede vision by a small margin depending on your prescription but if you are a perfectionist when it comes to your vision then it matters. It doesn't help the material scleral is made of a material called gas permeable (GP) and has better optical quality than any soft lens. It also very comfortable because the contact lens never supposes to touch the cornea which has the most pain innervation per square inch than anywhere else in the body. It only touches the less sensitive area of scleral/conjunctiva. The other benefit to the scleral lens is that only contact lenses FDA approved to treat dryness instead of cause it. It's because your eye is bathed in saline all day! I love this because if I don't sleep well or staring at a computer screen all day my eyes feel the same on those days compared to days I'm relaxing and feeling great. I'm not going lie my lids get itchy from allergies if I forgot to take my allergy drops but that happens no matter if I'm wearing glasses or contacts. Overall vision seems more stable! The lens can last a couple of years which is always nice.

Scleral lens on the eye

There are a couple down sides I would prefer if we could get more oxygen to the eye which is very hard due to the liquid reserve between the cornea and lens not having very much oxygen permeability (dk/t) even though the lens material I use is 180 dk/t. The overall dk/t is closer to a 25 dk/t similar to a hydrogel soft lens than then silicone hydrogel 90-170 dk/t contact lens. Another thing most people including myself need a plunger to get them out and even sometimes to get them in (That being said I can get them out without anything in an emergency and never use anything to get them in). Due to them being 100% customized to your eye, they are a lot harder to fit than a standard soft lens. The last one is you don't want to sleep in this lens your eye will hurt when you wake up. You really shouldn't be sleeping in any contact lens besides the Ortho-K lens. That being said to me the benefits completely outway the downsides because of how great the vision and comfort of the lens are.

scleral contact lens

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