Scleral Lenses for Dry Eye Syndrome

Discover why Scleral Lenses can provide relief from symptoms of dry eye, such as burning, stinging, gritty, and painful eyes. 

Scleral Lenses for Dry Eye Syndrome Optometrist
Specialty Vision

Scleral Contact Lenses

Scleral contact lenses are large-diameter, gas-permeable lenses that rest on the sclera or the white part of the eye, leaving space over the cornea. They can effectively alleviate symptoms of dry eyes through:

  • Improved Moisturization: They're filled with isotonic fluid before insertion, which helps in better moisturizing the eyes. This feature makes them much more comfortable for individuals with dry eyes to wear for extended periods and reduces dependence on eye drops to keep the eyes moist.
  • Vision Correction: These lenses provide a smooth optical surface, which can correct vision problems arising from corneal issues like keratoconus.
Scleral Contact Lenses for Dry Eye Disease

Scleral Contact Lenses for Dry Eye Disease

Scleral contact lenses are often recommended as a treatment option for dry eye syndrome after traditional treatments have been exhausted. They offer several benefits:

  • Consistent Moisturization: While not a cure, they provide relief by consistently moisturizing your eyes.
  • Protection: The lenses cover the entire corneal surface, shielding your eyes from irritants like smoke, wind, dust, and other debris.
  • Comfort: The design of these lenses makes them more comfortable for long-term wear, reducing the need for artificial tears.

Several studies have found scleral lenses to increase comfort, reduce the need for eye drops, and improve visual acuity. They've also been found effective in relieving symptoms in severe or difficult-to-manage dry eye cases.

However, scleral contact lenses aren't a universal solution for dry eye symptoms. Consult with your eye doctor to determine if they are right for you. The lenses will be tailor-fitted for optimal comfort and vision.

Learn about how to insert and remove scleral lenses here.

Dry Eye, and Its Symptoms

Dry Eye, and Its Symptoms

Many people suffer from dry eye syndrome, which is when the tears don’t properly lubricate the eyes, commonly due to instability within the tear film. The tear film is comprised of three layers: oil, aqueous fluid, and mucin, and the right balance within it, along with the right amount of tear film overall, is important for things to operate properly. Commonly, the problem causing dry eye is related to the amount or the quality of tears produced.

Dry eye syndrome can be caused by a wide range of things, and while dry eye might seem like just a mild irritation, the irritation and inflammation to the eyes can cause serious damage if not treated.

Symptoms of dry eye include:

If you are experiencing symptoms of dry eye and are considering scleral lenses for dry eye syndrome, call your eye doctor to schedule a contact lens exam.

Poor Tear Quality and Tear Production

Poor Tear Quality and Tear Production

A leading cause of dry eyes is poor tear quality which leads to quick evaporation. Issues that contribute to this include:

  • Meibum Issues: The oil component of the tear film, known as meibum, prevents rapid tear evaporation. Problems with meibum can result in dry eye.
  • External Factors: Eye allergies, dry air, infrequent blinking, posterior blepharitis, Meibomian Gland Dysfunction (MGD), and vitamin A deficiency can all cause poor tear quality. Learn more about meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD) here.
  • Eyelid Issues: Inflammation due to irritation from contact lenses can cause eyelid problems that lead to dry eye.
  • Medications: Certain medications, such as antihistamines, antidepressants, and decongestants, can reduce tear production.

Tear production generally decreases with age, but can also be impacted by the factors listed above. Scleral contact lenses could be an effective option to mitigate discomfort from poor tear quality and production.

Don’t Let Your Dry Eye Control Your Life

Don't let dry eye syndrome dictate your life. If you're experiencing persistent dry eye symptoms or your current lenses are causing discomfort, contact your eye doctor for an eye exam. Remember, dry eye can be more serious than many realize. Our optometrists can provide a comprehensive dry eye examination and potentially offer treatment options tailored specifically for your condition, which can provide long-term relief.

Scleral Contact Lenses for Dry Eye Disease
Dry Eye, and Its Symptoms

How Can I Find an Eye Doctor Near Me?

If you don’t already have a trusted optometrist, you could start your online search by typing in phrases such as "eye doctor near me," "optometrist near me," or "dry eye specialist near me."