6 Scleral Lens Benefits for Patients with Severe Dry Eyes
Millions of people endure the symptoms of severe dry eyes. People with dry eyes often experience itching, irritation, and even daily soreness or pain. Artificial tears and other eye drops can sometimes deliver temporary relief, but it isn’t a solution. Artificial tears that contain preservatives cannot be used often enough to provide ongoing relief, so patients usually end up seeking alternative treatment methods. One such method is scleral contact lenses. Scleral lenses are traditionally used to treat corneal irregularities and refractive errors, but they can also provide relief for people with dry eyes. Here are six ways scleral lenses can help.
- The design of scleral lenses ensures consistent hydration of the eye.
Scleral lenses are designed to leave a space between the surface of the eye and the lens itself. This space is filled with a saline solution, which stays in place and provides a constant hydration source. In some cases, your eye doctor may recommend adding artificial tears or antibiotics to the lens before inserting it to further aid in keeping the eyes hydrated or helping them heal. This design provides unmatched relief for people with dry eyes.
- Scleral lenses won’t irritate the cornea.
The domelike shape of scleral lenses means that they don’t sit directly on the cornea the way regular contact lenses do. Standard soft lenses can soak up the moisture from the surface of the eye, exacerbating the dryness. Scleral lenses, on the other hand, make contact with the white of the eye (the sclera) and vault over the cornea. Because they don’t touch the corneal surface, irritation is significantly reduced.
- Scleral lenses help protect the cornea.
If you have dry eyes, your eyes are more sensitive, and your corneas more susceptible to injury. Even something as seemingly innocuous as blinking can cause irritation or injury in someone with dry eyes because of the eyelids’ friction on the surface of the eye itself. Scleral lenses provide a shield between the eyes and everything else that they might come into contact with, protecting them from potential irritation or damage.
- You can continue using eye drops with scleral lenses.
If eye drops or artificial tears provide relief for you, you don’t have to stop using them when you start wearing scleral lenses. Do make sure to talk with your eye doctor about the drops you’re using – they should be preservative-free and authorized by your eyecare practitioner. That said, it’s also possible that you won’t need them as much once you start using scleral lenses because of how effective they are at soothing dry eyes.
- Scleral lenses can help improve the appearance of your eyes.
When you have dry eyes, you may notice that your eyes appear bloodshot, red, or otherwise unhealthy. That’s partly because of the condition itself and partly because your eyes are continually being irritated or injured by insufficient lubrication. Adding a constant source of hydration and protective shield allows the eyes to get and stay healthier – and look it.
- Scleral lenses can improve your quality of life.
The discomfort, pain, eye fatigue, and eye redness associated with dry eyes can harm your overall quality of life. Scleral lenses can help improve your quality of life in a few different ways: by providing vision correction, by protecting your eyes from further irritation, and by keeping your eyes hydrated and comfortable. These factors can drastically reduce your physical and mental discomfort and help you get back to enjoying your life without the constant distraction of dry eyes.