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Scleral Contact Lenses for Dry Eyes – How Do They Work?

November 15, 2021

Anyone who suffers from dry eyes knows how irritating and uncomfortable this condition can be. And for contact lens wearers, dry eyes only add to the discomfort. If you’re tired of having to wear your glasses for part of the day or use artificial tears all the time, scleral contact lenses may be the solution you’re looking for. Here, a Koreatown, CA optometrist talks about how scleral lenses work and how they help relieve dry eyes symptoms. 


What Are Scleral Lenses?

Scleral lenses are named after the part of the eye they rest on -the sclera or the white part of the eye. Unlike traditional contact lenses, which rest on the clear outer layer that covers your pupils, scleral lenses are larger in diameter. This increase in size allows the lens to rest on the sclera. The sclera has fewer nerve endings than the cornea, making scleral lenses more comfortable to wear. 


A scleral lens also creates a fluid-filled reservoir between the lens and your cornea. This reservoir fills in any corneal irregularities, forming a natural, rounded corneal surface. 


This ability to correct existing irregularities enhances the clarity of your vision. And while glasses and traditional contacts do correct vision problems, they don’t correct irregularities in your cornea, which limits their ability to improve your vision. Scleral lenses correct your vision at the source of the problem. 

 

How Do Scleral Lenses Help Relieve Dry Eyes?

After hours of continuous use, dry eyes and overall discomfort are common complaints from contact lens wearers. Oftentimes, wearers resort to applying artificial tears throughout the day or they switch out their contacts for glasses. For these reasons, scleral lenses can be used to relieve discomfort, and even manage dry eyes symptoms. 


The secret lies in the fluid-filled reservoir. This unique feature in scleral lenses helps keep your cornea hydrated, as it should be. In turn, you experience relief from dry eyes symptoms, including:


Redness

Pain

Light sensitivity

Itchiness 


Am I a Good Candidate for Scleral Lenses?

If you’re affected by one or more of the following conditions, scleral lenses may be the solution you’ve been looking for:



Corneal degeneration

High astigmatism

Complications caused by LASIK surgery

Eyelid abnormalities

Nearsightedness

Corneal traumas, such as scratches or abrasions 

And of course, dry eyes


If you have more questions about scleral lenses or wish to schedule a consultation, contact your Koreatown, CA optometrist office. 

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