It was a normal busy clinic day seeing numerous patients with myriad conditions, including numerous scleral lenses. Mid-morning, I see a patient for a scleral lens examination and once again hear the words "scleral lenses have changed my life." After pausing for a moment, I asked for details. How did they change your life? The patient had a history of keratoconus and had corneal transplants in both eyes. He mentioned that corneal gas permeable lenses were uncomfortable and frequently fell off his eyes, especially when bike riding in windy or dusty conditions. Scleral lenses provide good vision along with excellent comfort. They enabled him to live a "normal" life, as he called it, without thinking about his eyes. My goal for all patients is to live a life of independence without focusing on their eyes.
This instance reminded me of how grateful I am for this amazing scleral lens technology, the laboratories that work endlessly to develop new designs and techniques, and the companies that manufacture the materials we use to change the lives of our patients and the scleral lens consultants that support us to refine our fits. Undoubtedly the aforementioned story is one of many. We are so fortunate to have the opportunity to improve the lives of our patients with scleral lens technology.
Another one of my favorite hobbies is sharing the joy of scleral lenses with others. I am honored to be able to teach doctors at workshops, in their offices and via lectures. The best part is that I always learn from these interactions. The highlight is when doctors tell me after months or years how scleral lenses have grown their practices and referrals and have improved the lives of their patients. This is absolutely amazing.
New this month is an excellent resource for scleral lens education. The Clinical Guide for Scleral Lens Success by Melissa Barnett and Daddi Fadel is a hands-on practical resource to use daily in clinical practice.1 This guide covers everything from staff training, communication, scleral lens indications, fitting scleral lenses, patient education, wearing schedule, aftercare and scleral lens care. Scleral Lens Success is the result of a collaborative effort between the Scleral Lens Education Society (SLS) and the Accademia Italiana Lenti Sclerali (AILeS) and is available and published by Contamac. Scleral Lens Success can be downloaded at www.scleralsuccess.com.
Dr. Barnett is a principal optometrist at the University of California Davis Eye Center in Sacramento, specializing in anterior segment disease and specialty contact lenses. She is the past president of the Scleral Lens Education Society. She is an advisor to and/or has received honoraria or travel expenses from AccuLens, Alcon, Alden Optical, Allergan, Bausch + Lomb, Bruder, Contamac, CooperVision, EveryDay Contacts, Johnson & Johnson Vision, Ocusoft, Paragon Bioteck, RaayonNova, ScienceBased Health, Shire, SynergEyes, and Visioneering Technologies.