Corneal Scleral Shells

Almost everyone who lives with a non-sighted eye will experience a range of challenges — especially if the blind eye is smaller and unsightly. The eye’s appearance and others’ reaction is often the biggest concern, but everything from depth perception to a drooping eyelid to discomfort of the inner eyelid can be an issue. 

Fortunately, a corneal scleral shell can dramatically help with the most common problems you or your child might face. Read about the benefits of a corneal scleral shell, what to expect before, during, and after being fitted for one, and then let us schedule a brief, helpful consultation to discuss your situation, best options, and answer whatever questions you have.

How a Corneal Scleral Shell Works

Think about how a contact lens fits over an eyeball. A corneal scleral shell functions a lot like that. It’s a thin, acrylic shell that fits comfortably over a stable blind eye. At Carolina Eye Prosthetics, we custom fit and hand-paint each scleral shell to beautifully match the color and shape of the patient’s other eye. Here’s an example of what one patient’s eye looked like before and after being fitted with a new scleral shell …


Benefits of a Corneal Scleral Shell 

We love to see how surprised and excited our patients and parents are when we begin to help them understand all the benefits and ways it will impact their everyday life. These are some of the things we can discuss in depth during our consultation appointments:

  • A scleral shell provides an attractive, closely matching cover for a blind eye that can correct a drooping eyelid and provide better symmetry to your eyelid opening.
  • You should expect beautiful, more natural movement with your non-sighted eye once it has been fitted. The overall size of your non-sighted eye will appear more symmetrical with your sighted eye. 
  • Most patients report feeling a greater level of comfort with their scleral shell than without it! The smooth surface of the carefully fitted shell will minimize irritation as the lid closes. Also, many people with a low-sighted eye like how the fitting blocks the limited or distracting sensory information in that eye.

I always feel special when I leave here. I know I will look my best when the girls get done. It always feels like family here. I love it.

Monica A. Perry

What to Expect if You Get a Corneal Scleral Shell

There must be many things you’re thinking about or might like to ask as you weigh your options, but here are just a few things that you can expect if you move forward with this process.

Before Being Fitted:

There might be some minor discomfort during the fitting process, including a foreign body sensation, but the most physically painful part of you or your child’s eye trauma is already over at this point! Don’t let the fear of additional pain like what you experienced after an accident, cancer treatment, or surgery deter you from exploring a scleral shell option.  We can work with very sensitive patients.

During a Fitting: 

After an initial impression is taken, the shell is hand sculpted and fitted carefully to each  patient’s individual needs.  

All of our shells are hand-painted right here in our office, and you can watch our work and provide input as we give your new scleral shell the little touches that will make it feel like yours and no one else’s. 

After a Fitting: 

Just as with contact lenses, some patients find it easier to build up to wearing their scleral shell over time as their blind eye and eyelid readjust to the full, natural feeling in that eye socket. However, most people are able to tolerate it fairly well from the onset.

From Our Team at Carolina Eye Prosthetics:
  • We’re a family practice that treats all of our patients with the same warm, personal, loving care and hospitality that you’d offer close friends or family in your home. 
  • Many of our patients live within easy driving distance from our office, but some folks come from farther away because they know they can trust our team to give them exceptional attention. We put our out-of-town patients (traveling over 1.5 hours away) up in a comfortable hotel nearby and spend hours or the entire day with our patients — you won’t ever feel rushed or pressured when you’re here with us. 
  • Is it your child that needs a scleral shell? They will love Anna, and you’ll love the special and professional manner she has with your child. 
  • We take time to really listen to how you or your child is feeling and make sure you have solid answers to all of your questions so you can make the best choices about your health with confidence.

Let’s Find a Time to Talk

We are excited about the ways a custom-fitted and painted corneal scleral shell could make a truly positive impact in you or your little one’s life. If you click the Contact Us button below, Brittney will give you a very quick phone call to find a time that works well for you to have a 20-30 minute free consultation with our team. We can meet in person or you can even schedule a video appointment online now. Take the next step now and reach out so we can make time to hear what’s on your mind, answer your questions, and give you all the information you need about this option.