Ideal Scleral Lens Replacement Frequency Remains Elusive

Research cannot identify an ideal scleral lens replacement frequency, but estimates average replacement frequency to be approximately every 2 years.

Investigators were unable to establish an ideal scleral lens replacement frequency, but estimated that these lenses are replaced approximately every 2 years on average, according to a study published in Eye & Contact Lens.

Researchers analyzed the scleral lens replacement frequency of 251 patients (average age, 57.1 years; women, 131) who were treated at a tertiary care center during 2019. The team retrospectively reviewed electronic health records, obtained participants’ demographic information, and examined associations between lens replacement frequency and age, sex, clinical diagnosis, lens brand, and other variables.   

Currently, the impact of scleral lens age on ocular health and vision has not been established.

The average scleral lens replacement frequency among the cohort was 23.9 months, according to the report. Scleral lens wearing experience affected the duration of wear, and every 1 year of wearing experience was associated with a replacement frequency increase of 30.7 days (95% CI, 15.1-46.5; P =.001). The investigation revealed no significant differences between the average scleral lens replacement time and sex (P =.860), clinical diagnosis (P =.311), prior outside scleral lens treatment (P =.125), lens brand (P =.806), or lens diameter P ≥.277).

After stratifying study participants according to age, the report shows that individuals aged older than 80 years demonstrated a significantly shorter scleral lens replacement frequency (approximately 203 days less) compared with individuals aged 51 to 70 years (95% CI, −367.5 to −38.2; P =.016).

“Currently, the impact of scleral lens age on ocular health and vision has not been established,” according to the study authors. “Certainly, proper scleral lens training and education are essential to ensure optimal lens condition and treatment outcomes.

Study limitations include an inability to determine a reason for lens reorder, an inability to evaluate objective ocular surface and vision measurements or subjective patient comfort, and an inability to consider the effects of insurance coverage on ordering lenses.


Pritikin E, Rodman J, Chiu GB. Average scleral lens replacement period at a tertiary care hospital. Eye Contact Lens. Published online July 27, 2023. doi:10.1097/ICL.0000000000001019