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Scleral

This Contact Lens Can Actually Treat Dry Eye Syndrome!

something in my eyeWearing traditional contact lenses can be a convenient method of correcting vision — unless you are suffering from dry eye. Dry eye symptoms, such as red, itchy eyes, or a feeling of having something in your eye, tend to worsen when wearing traditional contact lenses.

There is, however, one type of lens that isn’t only comfortable to wear, but also improves vision and reduces symptoms — it’s called a scleral lens. This lens differs from a conventional contact lens in several ways, most notably in size. Scleral lenses are large custom-fit contact lenses that offer multiple benefits for people with dry eyes and a variety of other eye conditions.

If you are experiencing dry eye symptoms, speak with Dr. Levine to see whether wearing scleral lenses is the best course of action for your condition.

Dry Eye Symptoms

First things first, what does dry eye mean? If you’ve been experiencing any of these symptoms for some time, you may be suffering from dry eye syndrome:

  • Red eyes
  • Itchy eyes
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Mucus in or around your eyes
  • A feeling of dust or sand in your eyes
  • Difficulty wearing contact lenses
  • Watery eyes
  • Blurred vision or eye fatigue

Why Do the Symptoms Occur?

Your eyes are usually covered with a thin film of tears to keep them lubricated and protected. If the lubrication is inadequate, that is, if the quality or quantity of the tears is out of balance, one of the above symptoms may occur.

Dry eye can have many causes, such as certain medical conditions, medications, environmental influences, hormones, and extensive exposure to blue light from digital devices. Long-time contact lens usage may also impact tear quality. Dry eye mostly affects women, particularly upon reaching menopause.

What Are Scleral Lenses?

This gas permeable contact lens is considerably larger than any other contact lens, and due to its size, a scleral lens rests on the sclera—the white part of the eye— without touching the cornea.

As mentioned earlier, when you have dry eye, the cornea is more sensitive than usual, rendering it uncomfortable when a traditional contact lens comes into contact with it. Scleral lenses, on the other hand, cause no friction to the cornea as they do not directly touch it, but rather vault right over it.

Scleral lenses were initially developed for patients who could not wear traditional contact lenses, such as those with high astigmatism, keratoconus, and other corneal irregularities. Over the years, study after study has shown that scleral lenses can improve and even treat dry eye syndrome.

How Does a Scleral Lens Treat Dry Eye?

Standard soft contact lenses absorb moisture from the eye, whereas scleral lenses provide moisture. Furthermore, when inserting a scleral lens into your eye, you first apply a saline solution, which fills the gap between the cornea and the lens. This provides moisture for the irritated eye and promotes healing.

By ensuring consistent hydration of the eye and shielding the cornea from external irritants, scleral lenses provide the eye with the conditions needed to heal. As you can see, scleral lenses can play a therapeutic role in the healing process of dry eye syndrome.

What You Need to Know About Wearing Scleral Lenses With Dry Eye

Most people find that scleral lenses are very comfortable to wear. They do not move around on the eye, and dust particles are less likely to get caught underneath. Caring for, inserting and removing a larger lens, however, involves some practice and calls for a little more caution.

One of the few side effects of dry eye is a higher production of mucus, which can accumulate underneath the lens. As a result, you may have to clean your lenses more frequently to ensure clear vision.

Eye Drops and Scleral Lenses

Artificial tears are a common treatment for dry eye, and you can use them in combination with scleral lenses. However, make sure to consult Dr. Levine regarding which drops to use for your specific case.

To further reduce symptoms and improve the quality of your tears, consider using lid scrubs regularly. Also, warm compresses can provide relief and contribute to improving the tear film.

Where Can You Get Scleral Lenses?

Scleral lenses are custom-made for each patient. At Vision Care Specialists Scleral Contact Lens Center, we have made scleral lens fitting one of our primary objectives, which is why our practice is equipped with the latest technology and contact lens modalities. This has enabled us to achieve positive results for our dry eye patients.

This Contact Lens Can Actually Treat Dry Eye Syndrome from EyeCarePro on Vimeo.

Contact Dr. Levine at Vision Care Specialists Scleral Contact Lens Center for a personal consultation and find out whether scleral lenses are a suitable option for your dry eye syndrome.

We serve dry eye patients from Southborough, Worcester County, Boston, Providence, and throughout Massachusetts .

What Is the Shape of a Healthy Eye and How Does It Affect Vision?

eyes eye care 640x350The human eye is a biological piece of functional art, capable of producing colorful moving three-dimensional images with high precision. At the same time, one can marvel at the aesthetic beauty of the human eye and its shape.

The Shape of a Healthy Eye

In a healthy and perfectly shaped eye, light passes through the cornea and crystalline lens, and is accurately focused onto the retina, located at the back of the gel-filled eyeball. This process enables an image to be passed onto the optic nerve and then the visual cortex of the brain. Accurate focus and convergence depend on the proper shape of each part of the eye. However, eyeballs can be either shortened (hyperopia) or elongated (myopia).

Unhealthy Eye Shapes That Impact Vision

The Myopic Eye

In an elongated myopic eyeball, the distance between the lens and retina is too long, leading the image to come into focus before reaching the retina. As a result, the photosensitive cells of the retina pick up a blurry image.

The Hyperopic Eye

In hyperopia or farsightedness, the opposite is the case. The eyeball is too short, as is the distance that light travels from lens to retina. Therefore, the image comes into focus behind the retina, causing distant objects to appear clear, whereas close ones do not come into proper focus.

The Cornea

While the crystalline lens is flexible and auto-adjusts its shape for proper focus, the cornea is static. A healthy cornea maintains its smooth dome shape. However, if the cornea is weak, the structure of the cornea cannot hold this round shape, causing the cornea to bulge outward and downward like a cone. Perfect curvature of the cornea ensures the correct bending of incoming light onto the lens, whereas inadequate curvature results in a refractive error.

An uneven or irregularly shaped cornea also distorts the image that forms at the retina. Common corneal irregularities include astigmatism and keratoconus.

Keratocoonus Labelled

Scleral Lenses for a Smooth Eye Shape

Scleral lenses are large contact lenses that rest on the sclera — the white part of the eye. The lenses span over the cornea, making them ideal for a deformed cornea as they even out the irregularity to create a perfectly shaped eye.

Contact Dr. Levine at Vision Care Specialists Scleral Contact Lens Center to learn more about how your eye shape affects your vision. We’ll be happy to discuss the different correction methods available that offer you sharp, comfortable and clear vision all day, every day.

We receive clients from Southborough, Worcester County, Boston, Providence, and throughout Massachusetts .

 

Resources:

https://www.lasikmd.com/blog/eye-shapes-affect-vision

https://www.everydayhealth.com/vision-center/the-healthy-eye/how-the-eye-works.aspx

https://www.nvisioncenters.com/eye-shapes/

https://www.nei.nih.gov/learn-about-eye-health/eye-conditions-and-diseases/refractive-errors

Ever Wonder How People See Following a Corneal Transplant?

Dry Eye Senior Woman 640×350For patients with a damaged cornea, corneal transplant surgery (also called keratoplasty) can help restore clear vision by replacing the original cornea with healthy corneal tissue from an organ donor.

Corneal damage can be caused by:

  • Corneal scarring from infection or injury
  • Keratoconus – an eye disease that causes the cornea to bulge
  • Corneal ulcers
  • Eye diseases, such as Fuch’s dystrophy
  • Clouding or swelling of the cornea
  • Complications following eye surgery

During surgery, either a portion of the cornea or the entire cornea is replaced with healthy tissue. Depending on the type of surgery, stitches may be needed. In all cases, however, a patch will be required to shield the recovering eye for 1-4 days after the procedure. Your doctor will instruct you on which medications to take and how to care for your eye in the days and weeks following the surgery.

If you require a corneal transplant or have already undergone the procedure, speak with Dr. Levine or one of the knowledgeable staff members at Vision Care Specialists Scleral Contact Lens Center about how to safely regain clear vision after surgery.

How Is Vision Impacted After a Corneal Transplant?

Full recovery from the surgery may take up to a year, and sometimes longer. In the first few months after the procedure, your vision may even get worse before it gets better. As the eye adjusts to the new cornea, you may experience blurred or unstable vision, which will improve with time.

There is also a high chance of developing post-surgery refractive error— such as myopia or astigmatism — as the new cornea may have a different curvature than your original cornea. These refractive errors are generally corrected with either glasses, rigid gas-permeable (RGP) lenses, or scleral lenses. In many cases, scleral lenses are the better choice for post-keratoplasty, and for several reasons (explained below).

Why Are Scleral Lenses the Better Choice After Corneal Transplants?

Scleral lenses have a larger diameter than standard soft or gas-permeable lenses, making them more comfortable to wear while providing clear and stable vision. If there is a high variance in corneal curvature or even a slight elevation at the site of the transplant, RGP lenses may decenter, causing irritation and inflammation. Scleral contact lenses prevent this problem as they don’t sit directly on the cornea, but rather vault over it.

Furthermore, scleral lenses support the eye’s natural healing process due to the reservoir of fluid that sits between the cornea and the back of the lens. This keeps the eye in a constant state of hydration for optimal recovery.

Ever Wonder How People See Following a Corneal Transplant? from EyeCarePro on Vimeo.

Call Vision Care Specialists Scleral Contact Lens Center to find out more about scleral lenses and to determine whether they are right for you.

Dr. Levine serves patients in Southborough, Worcester County, Boston, Providence, and throughout Massachusetts .

REFERENCES

https://www.allaboutvision.com/conditions/cornea-transplant.htm

https://www.reviewofcontactlenses.com/article/postkeratoplasty-consider-sclerals

https://www.webmd.com/eye-health/cornea-transplant-surgery#1

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