Getting started in scleral lenses

Many practitioners that I speak with are aware of the many benefits of scleral lenses but do not know where to start.  

On more than one occasion I have related an anecdote of my own reluctance in fitting these wonderful devices.  I did so only after the repeated urging of a corneal specialist with whom I enjoyed a close professional relationship.

So where to begin?

Fortunately, there is now a multitude of resources available, many of which are free of charge.  Eef van der Worp’s excellent “ A Guide to Scleral Lens Fitting” is available from the Pacific University website, Bausch and Lomb Specialty Vision Group as well as the Scleral Lens Education Society.   

In addition, labs are often eager to conduct an in-service in your office if several patients are scheduled for evaluation and fitting.  Contact the lab of your choice for their particular guidelines.

The Scleral Lens Education Society regularly holds workshops around the country partnering with different contact lens manufacturers. These are excellent, hands-on opportunities to evaluate different lens designs under the guidance of Fellows of the SLS.  

Techniques of insertion, removal, fitting evaluation and troubleshooting are all covered. Doctors have the opportunity to try the lenses on themselves in order to experience the great comfort these lenses provide.

More resources

The demand from the profession for more information about troubleshooting has prompted almost all major conferences to offer courses specific to evaluation, fitting, lens designs and complications. Check the syllabus of conferences that interest you.

Archived webinars are plentiful on the web.  Among the many resources are the Scleral Lens Education Society, the Gas Permeable Lens Institute and Bausch and Lomb Specialty Vision Products. Virtually all the lens labs have video links on their websites, too.

The time is ripe and the demand is there for you to incorporate this wonderful technology into your practice.  Dive in “feet first”.  I am confident that you will not regret it.

(Disclosure- Dr. Arnold is a speaker for Bausch and Lomb Specialty Vision Products, EyePrint Prosthetics and Blanchard Lab.  He has also spoken on behalf of AccuLens. He is in private practice in Sugar Land, Texas)