Dry eye is a condition that occurs when the tears do not provide proper lubrication for the eyes. The condition results from the instability of the tear film. Dry eye symptoms cause irritation and inflammation; if not treated, they will damage the eyes.
There are several ways to treat a dry eye condition. Some treatments are ideal for contact lens wearers. There are contact lenses designed to treat dry eyes. It is necessary to find out how scleral lenses can help with dry eyes.
The tear film moisturizes and protects the eyes, which comprises three layers: oil, mucin, and aqueous fluid. If any of the layers gets impaired, the eyes will suffer from decreased tear production and poor quality of tears—dry eyes.
Tear production usually reduces with age, but medical conditions and some medications can affect it. Poor quality of tears is often due to increased evaporation or meibomian gland dysfunction. It can lead to complications that affect the quality of life.
Dry eye symptoms include a burning or stinging sensation, red eyes, light sensitivity, watery eyes, eye fatigue, and blurred vision. Other symptoms are difficulty wearing contacts and problems with night driving.
People with dry eyes find it hard to wear soft contacts. The lenses irritate the dry and inflamed eyes. Symptoms vary in individuals, and they tend to worsen over time. It is essential to get early treatment for dry eye.
Scleral contact lenses help provide relief for dry eye patients. The contacts cover the entire corneal surface, unlike regular lenses. They rest on the white of the eye (sclera), offering several benefits over regular contacts. They are more durable, easier to handle, provide sharper vision, and using the lense, an irregular cornea can transform into a smooth surface.
There are several cases when optometrists recommend scleral lenses. The contacts are ideal for people who suffer from dry eye, keratoconus, astigmatism, corneal irregularities, Sjogren’s syndrome, and other diseases.
By vaulting over the cornea, scleral lenses create space between the cornea and the lens. It creates a fluid reservoir to soothe dry eye symptoms. Specialists examine the patients to determine if they qualify for the special lenses.
Optometrists usually recommend scleral contacts after other dry eye treatments fail to provide relief. These lenses:
Scleral contacts are not a one-size-fits-all option for dry eyes. However, they can be effective in providing moisture and relief. It is necessary to talk to your optometrist to learn if you are a candidate for the lenses. The optometrist will custom-fit the lenses to ensure comfort and improved vision.
For more on how scleral lenses can help with dry eye, call Brandon Eyes at our office in Middleton or Madison, Wisconsin at (608) 833-7256 or (608) 833-0301.