Can I Wear Sclerals if I have Dry Eye Disease?

Dry Eye Disease (DED) is a condition that many people experience at some point in their lives. It happens when your eyes do not produce enough tears or the tears evaporate too quickly. This causes your eyes to feel dry, itchy, and uncomfortable. DED can also lead to more severe symptoms like blurred vision or even damage to the surface of your eyes if left untreated.


Management of Dry Eye Disease involves treatments that help restore or maintain the normal amount of tears in the eyes to minimize dryness and related discomfort. This can range from over-the-counter eye drops to more specialized treatments like punctal plugs or even surgery. However, one effective solution that has gained attention in recent years is the use of scleral lenses.



What are Scleral Lenses?


Scleral lenses are a type of hard contact lens designed to vault over the cornea and rest on the sclera, the white part of your eye. Unlike traditional contact lenses, scleral lenses cover a larger area of the eye, providing a smooth, rounded surface that can correct vision problems caused by irregular corneas.


These lenses are made from a highly oxygen permeable material, which means they allow ample oxygen to reach the cornea. This is important to maintain corneal health. Additionally, the design of scleral lenses creates a reservoir of fluid between the lens and the cornea, which helps keep the eye moist and comfortable throughout the day.


Scleral lenses can be an excellent solution for people with various eye conditions, including keratoconus, post-LASIK complications, and severe dry eye disease. They can provide superior visual clarity and comfort compared to other types of lenses.



What are the Benefits of Scleral Lenses for Dry Eye Disease?


When it comes to managing dry eye disease, scleral lenses offer several advantages. One of the main benefits of scleral lenses for dry eye disease is their ability to provide a constant source of hydration for the cornea. The fluid reservoir between the lens and the eye keeps the ocular surface moist, which can alleviate the discomfort associated with DED.


Additionally, scleral lenses provide a physical barrier between the eye and the outside environment. This can be particularly helpful for people who live in dry climates or spend a lot of time in air-conditioned environments, as it can reduce the evaporation of tears.


Another benefit of scleral lenses for dry eye disease is improved vision. DED can cause blurred or fluctuating vision due to irregular tear film. However, the fluid-filled space between the scleral lens and the cornea creates a smooth optical surface that can significantly improve visual acuity.



Deciding if Scleral Lenses are Right for You


Choosing scleral lenses for dry eye disease is a decision that should be made in consultation with your eye doctor. While scleral lenses offer numerous benefits, they may not be suitable for everyone. The size and design of the lenses can make them more challenging to insert and remove compared to regular contact lenses. Additionally, proper care and maintenance of scleral lenses are essential to prevent complications such as lens deposits or infections.


Your eye doctor will evaluate your eye health and lifestyle requirements to determine if scleral lenses are the right choice for you. If you have severe dry eye disease and other treatments have not provided sufficient relief, scleral lenses could be a viable option.



Consult with Your Doctor to Explore Sclerals as a Potential Solution 


Scleral lenses can be a highly effective solution for managing dry eye disease. They offer numerous benefits including constant hydration for the cornea, protection from environmental conditions, and improved vision. While they may require a period of adjustment, the comfort and relief they provide often make it worthwhile. It's crucial to consult with an eye doctor to determine if they are the right choice for you. 


If you're struggling with dry eye disease, explore scleral lenses as a potential solution by visiting Houston Dry Eye Clinic at our Houston, Texas, office. Our friendly and knowledgeable staff provide quality personal care to all our patients. Call (713) 664-4760 to schedule an appointment today.