How to Insert a Sclera Lens

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Putting sclera lenses into your eyes requires more stretching than regular contacts.
Putting sclera lenses into your eyes requires more stretching than regular contacts. (Image: Ryan McVay/Digital Vision/Getty Images)

At the movies when the alien or undead creatures glare out from the screen at you with solid black, white or unusually colored and striped eyes, the actors are actually wearing sclera lenses. A specialty contact lens, sclera lenses cover not just the iris and pupil, but most of the white of the eye as well. In the United States, you need to visit an optometrist to be fitted for scleral lenses and they must be obtained through a specialty optometrist office.

Things You'll Need

  • Soap and water
  • Contact solution
  • Sclera lens

Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water. Proper hygiene is important when inserting any type of contact lens into your eye.

Rinse the sclera lens with contact lens solution to moisten the surface and remove any debris (hair, eyelashes, etc.) that may be on your hand or the lens surface itself.

Pull your upper eyelid up with the fingers of the hand not holding the sclera lens while looking down.

Rest the upper edge of the sclera lens on the sclera (the white) of your eye that is exposed under your upper lid and push it up until you can fit the bottom edge under your lower lid. Once you have the edges of the lens under your lids, you can slide it gently into place with your finger.

Tips & Warnings

  • Sclera lenses are typically soft lenses, so removal is simply the reverse of the process of insertion with an added pinch in the middle to grasp the lens.
  • Don't wear sclera lenses longer than four hours at a time to prevent potential infections.

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