Posted by & filed under Contact Lenses, Scleral Lenses.

Scleral lens insertion and removal can be daunting. I hope the options below give you hope that you too can figure out how to get these lenses in and out with ease. My hope is that 6 months from now after effortlessly inserting or removing your lenses, that you smile at how far you’ve come since you first learned this new skill.

There are many ways to put a lens in or take it out. The way I find it easiest to insert may not work for you, so we’ve compiled a bunch of options below to help you find a way that works for you. There are many more ways to insert a scleral lens than to remove them.

Inserting plunger

inserting plunger with hole

The inserting plunger should have a hole in the bottom so it doesn’t create suction. You can cut the bottom of yours if it didn’t come that way. SyngerEyes is the only company I know that sells them with a hole.

inserter plunger
inserter with scleral

Removal plunger placement

correct removal placement
Good plunger placement: near the edge
correct removal plunger placement

Placement of these little plungers is critical to comfortable removal of scleral lenses. If you center the plunger it can be painful.

All you want to do is break the seal with your eye and it will come right out. Place it near the edge of the lens and lift up like a bottle opener.(above and left pictures)

poor placement
Poor plunger placement for removal
poor placement
Don’t place the plunger like this, it feels like you’re pulling your eye out!

Scleral Lens Tips

  1. Remember to always start with clean hands and something to catch the lens if you drop it, they bounce! (a solid colored hand towel works great.)
  2. Have everything you’re going to need before starting; my go-to items are vials of saline, inserting plunger, and removing plunger next to your contact lens case. Cleaner might be needed depending on your cleaning solution.
  3. Always over-fill the bowl; it will keep you from getting bubbles under the lens. Can’t tell if you’re filling it up all the way, use a background with glare to help light catch the edge of the fluid. (see below)
  4. If you use plungers to insert or remove your lenses, keep a set on you with a vial of saline so you can take it out anywhere if needed.
  5. The dot usually goes on the top. A single dot means right eye and 2 dots means left eye.
  6. If you travel regularly, keep a spare set of items in your travel bag. Saline might be available but plungers and cleaners usually aren’t at local stores like CVS or Wal-Mart and most eye doctors don’t have these for purchase.
  7. It take everyone a while to figure it out; you’ll be a pro in no time if you practice, just like anything else.
filled scleral lens
Easier to see the top of the fluid bubble with a reflection like a window
filled scleral lens white background
With a uniform background, its harder to see if the lens if full or not

Scleral Insertion options

There are probably a dozen ways to insert scleral lenses but the most common I see is using a plunger with a hole in the bottom or using 3 fingers to balance the lens.

Tripod method – Using 3 fingers to insert a lens, allows you to put your lenses on without any special tools. This is easier for people whose middle and index finger are similar length.

Stable Arm Method – This way works better for people who have a much shorter index finger than their middle finger but still want to put the scleral lens in without special tools.

Plunger Method – Remember it should have hole in the bottom, so it doesn’t want to suction onto the stand rather than your eye.

Scleral Stand Method – This can be done with the larger plunger by itself or with the stand. The stand can be used with or without a light in the plunger.

Orthodontic Ring method

EZi Scleral lens Applicator Ring – This plastic ring sits on your finger for added stability.

Scleral Removal Options

Plunger Method – This is the most common way to remove scleral lenses. If it doesn’t seem like it’s coming out or making a good seal on the lens, sometimes wetting it with solution helps. If it doesn’t suction well regularly, you should probably replace it. Google scleral removal plunger to purchase more or call our office.

Pop Out Method – this way is much more challenging to master, but doesn’t require you to take a plunger with you everywhere you go in case you need to remove your lens.

Need more help with scleral lens insertion or removal? Our skilled team can help you see more clearly and help you navigate all the details of using and wearing scleral lens! Call or Text us 816-524-8900 or schedule your eye exam online today.

Posted June 2021 by Laura Nennig, OD; she specializes in contact lens fittings, with advanced training with scleral lenses.