The best approach to managing dry eye is based upon its etiology and severity. Dry eye syndrome can be difficult to manage in severe cases. In patients who are unsuccessful with traditional treatment, alternative treatments may be considered for dry eye syndrome, including scleral lenses.
What is a Scleral Lens?
A scleral lens, also known as a scleral contact lens and ocular surface prostheses is a large contact lens that rests on the sclera and creates a tear-filled vault over the cornea. Scleral lenses are designed to treat a variety of eye conditions, many of which do not respond to other forms of treatment.
I have dry eyes. If I wear scleral lenses, will I be able to stop using eye drops and/or other medication for my dry eyes?
Scleral lenses are a useful addition to your current therapy, but are not likely to completely replace other things that you’re doing to manage your condition. While scleral lenses protect the cornea, the back of your eyelid will still need to move over the front surface of the lens. Lubricant drops can help to reduce irritation caused by this interaction.
If you are using any medications prescribed to manage corneal infection or inflammation, you should continue to do so when wearing scleral lenses unless your eye care provider specifically instructs you to discontinue the medication. Furthermore, you should plan to remove scleral lenses before using prescription eye drops, and reapply the lenses after instilling the drops.
Can I wear scleral lenses continuously?
In general, most eye care providers recommend that you remove scleral lenses before sleeping. Stagnation of the tear layer behind the lens could lead to a higher-risk of eye infection. Since most of the people who need scleral lenses have already had some trouble with their eyes, further challenge to the surface of the eye would not be advisable.
How long will a scleral lens last?
Depending upon your tear film’s tendency to coat the lenses and your care habits, scleral lenses should last approximately as long as other rigid lenses (1-3 years).
Ask your eye care provider if the Scleral Lens is right for you. For more information visit our website at www.capefeareye.com.