For years, I struggled as a softball player who wears glasses, unable to play my best without their vision correction but frustrated by how often they’d be knocked off or damaged in a game.
Then I discovered scleral lenses. My optometrist mentioned them to me during a routine eye exam. She knew I’d struggled for years to switch to conventional lenses, but they’d always irritated my sensitive eyes. I couldn’t seem to wear any contacts comfortably.
I also worried that they’d be dislodged while on the softball diamond, which is a real concern for athletes, especially ones who play high impact sports.
Scleral lenses, it turns out, solve both problems for me. You can barely feel them, so they’re extremely comfortable even if your eyes are sensitive. They’re oversized and sit firmly on the unique contours of your eye, and they can address a variety of concerns, from astigmatism to keratoconus to dry eye symptoms.
Why scleral lenses work for athletes
Scleral lenses have a larger diameter than conventional contacts, stretching beyond the iris onto the whites of your eyes. This gives them a lot of stability so they stay in place better, even while playing sports. Their large coverage area also helps protect your eyes from dust and allergens, so they can be beneficial for people with sensitive eyes.
They do feel a bit more rigid than other contact lenses but because they are highly customizable, most users find them extremely comfortable. They can accommodate any type of prescription, including multifocals, and are even available in a hybrid option that combines rigid centres with a soft outer edge. These kinds of options make it easy to find lenses that meet your unique needs.
The process of getting fitted for scleral lenses was easy. I booked an appointment with my optometrist who’s trained in EyePrint Pro. This means she was able to start with a custom mold of my eye, then use it to 3D print my lenses.
Because they’re so customized, scleral lenses offer clearer, better vision. They’re also great for corneal irregularities because the EyePrint Pro maps an exact image of your eyes. Although it’s not available everywhere, Dr. Sam Dhaliwal and Associates is conveniently located in Edmonton and is able to take you through the entire process right in their clinic.
Upping my game
Of course, just changing my eyewear hasn’t transformed me into an Olympic athlete, but having lenses I can wear on the field has made me a better player because I can now see clearly and more comfortably. I’m no longer distracted by glasses that slide down my nose or get knocked off. And even though I’ve always known contacts were a better option, conventional ones didn’t work for me because of my sensitive eyes.
In the end, scleral lenses are so comfortable that they’re easy to wear all the time. They have a small gap between my eye and the lens that gets filled with tears, keeping my sensitive eyes moisturized. Their large diameter also keeps the dust out so allergic symptoms are reduced.
Find out if they’re right for you
Recent innovations and improvements in scleral lenses have made them more accessible for a wider variety of vision issues. It’s important to see an optometrist who can identify if they’re the right option for you and then ensure a professionally customized fit.
If you’re looking for an alternative to glasses or conventional lenses, or searching for a solution for dry eyes or post-surgery concerns, find out if scleral lenses are right for you by booking an appointment. These wide diameter lenses turn out to have widespread appeal, and they might be the perfect solution for you, too.