Understanding the 4 Conditions That Scleral Lenses Can Treat
Scleral lenses are a life-changing development for countless people. The facts of scleral lenses and their development is amazing. The name of these lenses comes from the fact that they vault over the cornea and land on the white part of the eye, called the sclera.
While these lenses can offer a comfortable alternative to standard contact lenses, they can also benefit patients with specific ocular conditions. In addition to the comfort that scleral lenses provide, many of these conditions can be treated fully or partially with this type of lens. Here are some examples conditions that scleral lenses can treat:
One condition that scleral contact lenses can treat is keratoconus. This condition changes the structure and shape of a patient’s cornea. The human eye has a specific design, however, the cornea of a person with keratoconus bulges outward. Keratoconus can be very serious and, according to recent studies, impacts approximately 1 in every 1,000 people.
Standard contact lenses often irritate the eyes of those with the condition, as they cannot fit properly on the eye’s surface. They also may not correct the vision adequately since the cornea can be very irregular in moderate to advanced cases. However, scleral lenses vault above the cornea, making them effective in countering the issue. To ensure that the eye remains properly lubricated, the space between the front of cornea surface and the back of the lens is filled with a non-preserved sterile saline solution which helps reduce irritation all the while neutralizing irregular astigmatism and providing superior vision.
2. Dry Eye Syndrome
Dry eye syndrome is another example of a condition that scleral lenses can treat. This condition is something that can cause frustrating visual fluctuations and moderate to severe discomfort. This condition is defined as the eye either losing too much natural lubrication to excessive evaporation or not producing enough. This condition affects millions of people worldwide and can even affect young people. Dry eye syndrome can occur for a number of different reasons. For instance, dry eye syndrome can develop as part of the natural aging process or spending too much time focusing on a digital device but there are several conditions and medications which can exacerbate and even cause dry eye.
Custom-made dry eye scleral lenses provide a layer of fluid over the eye, keeping it well-hydrated and addressing dryness. Although there are several dry eye treatments, scleral lenses have proven to be one of the most effective.
3. Stevens-Johnson Syndrome
Stevens-Johnson Syndrome causes patients to develop numerous rashes and blisters following flu-like symptoms and is usually caused as a hypersensitivity reaction to a product or substance. Another symptom can be pain, burning eyes, as your mucus membranes are also affected by this condition. The effect of Stevens-Johnson Syndrome on the ocular surface can be extremely severe and cause scarring if left untreated.
Scleral lenses can help hydrate the eyes following this loss of mucus, as your eyes will likely be very sensitive if they do not have any lubrication. Scleral lenses are much wider than standard lenses, so they do a much better job of protecting the eye. They also form a reservoir around the eye that fills with fluid, helping maintain hydration. This can be beneficial for anyone with dry eyes, especially those suffering from a condition such as Stevens-Johnson Syndrome. These lenses can also help heal the eye from any scarring due to the disease.
4. Burn Injuries
Similar to any other part of your body, when the eye is burned it can suffer severe damage. Burn injuries can significantly impact your eyes and vision, whether due to chemicals or heat. While many people may not consider the possibility of their eyes burning, it happens quite often and can be very harmful in the long run.
Some burn injuries may impact the ability of a patient to produce tears. Scleral contact lenses can help burn injuries by creating an oasis for the eye and providing constant hydration through its tear film reservoir.
Other Conditions That Scleral Lenses Can Treat
Scleral lenses can also treat the following:
- Sjogren’s Syndrome: Sjogren’s Syndrome is an autoimmune disease that prevents the eyes and mouth from naturally lubricating themselves properly.
- Eyelid abnormalities. This can cause exposure of the ocular surface and prevent the normal, natural blink of the eye. Scleral lenses help address exposure with the fluid reservoir they provide and prevent complications related to exposure.
- Corneal degenerations or eye disorders passed down genetically gradually deteriorate the cornea’s tissue. These can occur with age and significantly impact eyesight. Scleral lenses can help address irregular astigmatism caused by these degenerations.
Scleral lenses have been a revolution for the world of contacts, and withs good reason. These custom lenses allow those who have struggled with traditional contact lenses to improve their eyesight comfortably. Do you have more questions about scleral lenses? If you’re interested in learning more about scleral lenses and how they can benefit you, we encourage you to get in touch with us today and schedule an appointment.
Testimonial from Neka, Satisfied Scleral Lens Patient
I’ve been going to Dr. Kramer for about 8 months, and it’s been a very good experience. She’s patient and has been very good with seeing me in a timely manner upon arrival to the office. The staff is very nice and helpful as well. I highly recommend this office.