3 Ways That Scleral Lenses Treat Dry Eyes
Millions of people over the age of 50 struggle with dry eye syndrome (DES). Symptoms include dry, itchy and irritated eyes. For long-term chronic sufferers, symptoms are more intensely painful and often include the feeling that something is stuck or scratching the eyes. While eye drops and artificial tears can deliver temporary relief, it’s not a long term solution for chronic dry eye.
If you’re struggling with ongoing dry eye symptoms, scleral lenses can provide long-term relief along with exceptional comfort and visual clarity.
Though scleral lenses are typically used to treat corneal irregularities and refractive errors, they have other advantages that can be beneficial to chronic sufferers of DES.
Below are 3 ways in which scleral lenses provide dry eye relief:
- Unlike traditional contact lenses, scleral lenses minimize eye irritation: If you suffer from dry eyes, wearing traditional contact lenses can prove to be virtually unbearable, as they sit directly on the cornea, which can exacerbate already irritable eyes. Furthermore, traditional contact lenses tend to soak up the moisture on the surface of the eye — which is the last thing a dry eye patient needs. Scleral lenses, however, vault over the irritated cornea and sit on the sclera (the white part of the eye), offering comfort and clear vision.
- Scleral lenses provide ongoing hydration to the eyes: The space between the lens and the cornea contains a liquid reservoir that provides a protective cushion which reduces pain and irritation in those with dry eyes. This reservoir acts as a constant source of hydration for the eye, offering relief to dry eye patients. Furthermore, artificial tears and antibiotics can be administered into the lens prior to insertion to promote advanced healing.
- Scleral lenses protect the cornea: Dry eye syndrome renders the eyes more sensitive, and inflamed corneas are more vulnerable to injury. Even something as simple as blinking can irritate the eye or even injure the cornea due to the mechanical friction of the eyelids on the cornea. Scleral lenses can act as a shield between a patient’s eyes and their eyelids/the outside environment, protecting the eyes from further irritation or damage.
For these reasons, scleral lenses can significantly enhance the quality of life for a chronic dry eye sufferer. Scleral lenses provide vision correction, shield the eyes from external irritants and offer constant hydration to the eye. They also reduce pain, itchiness and the need to routinely apply eyedrops, all the while offering comfortable, sharp and clear vision all day long.
If you struggle with dry eye syndrome and have been looking for a more effective treatment method than just eye drops and artificial tears, and ask Dr. Heather Shear O.D. about scleral lenses. Call the Northwestern Eye Associates Scleral Lens and Keratoconus Center to schedule your consultation and learn more ways these lenses can improve the quality of your life.Our practice serves patients from Mt. Dennis, Toronto, York, and Rockcliffe Smythe, ON and surrounding communities.