Can I Wear Sclerals if I Have Dry Eye Disease?

Exploring Scleral Lenses as a Solution for Dry Eye Patients

In the realm of eye care, particularly at our Tampa-based Dry Eye and Cornea Treatment Center, we often encounter patients with dry eye disease who wonder about the feasibility of wearing scleral lenses. Led by Dr. Steven L. Maskin, a renowned expert in dry eye treatment, we’re here to shed light on this topic, offering insights into how scleral lenses can be a viable option for those suffering from dry eye syndrome.

Understanding Dry Eye Disease

Dry eye disease is a common condition characterized by a lack of adequate lubrication and moisture on the eye’s surface. Symptoms can include persistent dryness, irritation, redness, and sometimes blurred vision. This condition can be particularly challenging for those who rely on contact lenses, as traditional lenses may exacerbate these symptoms.

What are Scleral Lenses?

Scleral lenses are large-diameter gas-permeable contact lenses that vault over the entire corneal surface and rest on the white part of the eye (sclera). Their unique design allows for a tear reservoir to form between the lens and the cornea, providing continuous moisture to the eye, which can be particularly beneficial for dry eye patients.

Scleral Lenses and Dry Eye Disease

For individuals with dry eye syndrome, scleral lenses can offer several advantages:

  • Increased Comfort: Due to their larger size and the way they encase the cornea, scleral lenses can be more comfortable than traditional contact lenses, especially for dry eye sufferers.
  • Moisture Retention: The tear reservoir under the scleral lens can keep the eye’s surface moist, reducing dry eye symptoms throughout the day.
  • Reduced Irritation: By covering the entire corneal surface, scleral lenses protect the eyes from environmental irritants that can exacerbate dry eye symptoms.

Suitability and Customization

Scleral lenses are not a one-size-fits-all solution. Their suitability for a dry eye patient depends on several factors, including the severity of the dry eye condition and the specific needs of the patient’s eyes. At our center, we offer customized scleral lens fittings to ensure maximum comfort and effectiveness.

The Fitting Process

The fitting process for scleral lenses is detailed and personalized. It involves:

  • A comprehensive eye examination to assess the severity of the dry eye condition
  • Precise measurements of the eye’s surface
  • Trial fittings to find the optimal lens size and fit
  • Follow-up appointments to ensure ongoing comfort and eye health

Complementary Dry Eye Treatments

While scleral lenses can provide relief, they are often part of a broader dry eye management strategy, which may include:

  • Artificial tears and lubricating eye drops
  • Warm compresses and eyelid massages
  • Prescription medications for underlying inflammation
  • In-office treatments for conditions like Meibomian Gland Dysfunction

Conclusion: A Hopeful Option

For many with dry eye disease, scleral lenses offer a ray of hope, providing comfort and clearer vision where traditional lenses might fail. At the Dry Eye and Cornea Treatment Center in Tampa, under the guidance of Dr. Maskin, we are committed to exploring all avenues to enhance our patients’ eye health and comfort. If you’re struggling with dry eye disease and considering scleral lenses, we’re here to help you navigate this decision with expert care and personalized attention.

Comprehensive Care Personalized to Your Needs