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Do Scleral Lenses Work for Dry Eye?

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A woman inserting a scleral lens.

Dry eyes are a common condition affecting nearly 4 million Americans. Dry eye symptoms include a burning, gritty sensation in the eyes, redness, blurry vision, and increased sensitivity to light. These symptoms can be uncomfortable and debilitating, making it challenging to do daily tasks, especially those requiring prolonged visual focus, like reading, computer work, or driving.

If you have dry eyes, you may benefit from scleral lenses. Scleral lenses are large, gas-permeable lenses that cover the entire cornea and rest on the sclera (the white part of the eye) and provide effective relief for dry eye symptoms. 

Understanding Scleral Lenses

Scleral lenses are effective for treating dry eyes because of their unique design. Traditional contact lenses rest on the cornea, the clear dome at the front of your eye. But scleral lenses are larger in diameter and vault over the cornea, resting instead on the sclera, the whites of the eye. This vault creates a space between the lens and the cornea that can be filled with a specific saline solution to provide extra hydration to the eye’s surface. 

Compared to traditional lenses, scleral lenses provide improved visual acuity and symptoms of dry eyes and reduce the need for artificial tears and other dry eye medications. They can also provide all-day comfort and clarity, allowing those with dry eyes to go about their days easily.

Scleral lenses are also custom-fit, meaning they fit your eyes precisely and provide a more comfortable and secure fit than traditional contacts. They also protect the eyes from external irritants like dust and wind, preventing further dryness and discomfort. The lens design allows for the continuous flow of oxygen to the cornea, helping maintain healthy tissues and preventing injury.

Benefits of Scleral Lenses

Scleral lenses provide several benefits for those with dry eyes:

  • Improved moisture retention: The fluid reservoir created by the lens provides a moist environment on the eye’s surface, keeping it hydrated.
  • Increased comfort: The lens design protects the cornea from friction and rubbing, decreasing irritation and discomfort.
  • Improved vision: Scleral lenses also correct corneal irregularities, improving visual clarity.

Who Can Benefit from Scleral Lenses?

Scleral lenses are an effective treatment option for a variety of dry eye conditions, including:

Anyone experiencing discomfort or vision disturbances due to dry eyes may benefit from scleral lenses.

A man sitting in an optometrist's office and looking into a machine that tests his vision.

The Scleral Lens Process

Getting scleral lenses typically involves the following steps:

  • A consultation: During this initial appointment, your optometrist will discuss your dry eye symptoms, examine your eyes, and review your medical history or medications that may impact your eye health.
  • A fitting: Because scleral lenses are custom-made to your eyes, your optometrist will measure your eyes and assess the ideal fit for your lenses.
  • Follow-up appointments: After receiving your lenses, you’ll have several follow-up appointments to ensure they fit properly and to monitor your symptoms. Your optometrist may also provide advice on lens care and maintenance.

Working with an experienced eye care professional throughout the process is crucial to ensure they fit well and you’re getting the results you need. Improperly fitted lenses can cause discomfort, irritation, and even damage. 

Relieve Dry Eye Symptoms with Scleral Lenses at Signature Eye Care

Scleral lenses are a highly effective treatment option for dry eyes.

If you have dry eye symptoms and are looking for relief, schedule a consultation with Signature Eye Care to explore your options. Our experienced team of eye care professionals can help find the right solution for you and provide ongoing support throughout the process. Don’t let dry eyes impact your quality of life—take action today.

Written by Dr. Jonathan Knutson

As a Doctor of Optometry, Dr. Knutson’s commitment to patients is his ongoing professional education. He takes pride in staying up-to-date as technology changes to ensure he can provide the latest and greatest care for your eyes. Dr. Knutson enjoys entertaining and is committed to providing a fun and enjoyable experience for his patients. He genuinely cares about his patients, placing utmost importance on the satisfaction of his care and products.
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