As convenient and natural-looking as contact lenses can be, your eyes have to remain fairly lubricated for contacts to feel comfortable. And while using artificial tears offers a temporary solution, this remedy can cause side effects when used too often.
Fortunately, advances in optical technology have created specialty lenses for many eye conditions, including dry eyes. Read on as a Hackensack, NJ optometrist discusses scleral contact lenses, one of the newer developments in lens technology that offers relief for dry eye sufferers.
The tears produced by your eyes are supposed to keep them lubricated. When dry eyes develop, either your eyes aren’t making enough tears or your tears evaporate too quickly.
The aging process often plays a role in reducing the amount of tears your eyes produce. In cases where tears evaporate too quickly, the composition of your tears may be lacking in oily lipids, which prolong their moisturizing effects.
Dry eye is not something you want to take lightly, since the condition can cause lasting damage to the surface of your cornea and declining vision when left untreated.
Standard soft contact lenses are designed to sit directly on top of the cornea. While this position allows the lens to refocus incoming light and correct vision problems, it can still interfere with your eye’s ability to maintain a consistent tear film. Scleral contact lenses solve this problem and also offer added benefits for dry eyes sufferers.
Gas permeable scleral lenses have a much larger diameter, so the lens rests on the sclera or white part of the eye instead of on the cornea. The white part of your eye has fewer nerve endings than the cornea, so it’s less sensitive to the feel of a contact lens. This makes for a more comfortable fit.
Since scleral contacts sit on the white part of the eye, they naturally create a fluid-filled reservoir between your cornea and the lens. This reservoir not only helps eliminate dry eyes but also creates a perfectly rounded surface across your cornea. This means any existing corneal irregularities are smoothed out, which can greatly improve your vision.
Just about anyone can wear scleral contact lenses, but people who have dry eyes, corneal irregularities, or corneal scarring stand to benefit the most from wearing these specialty lenses.
If you have more questions about scleral contact lenses or wish to schedule a consultation, feel free to call our Hackensack, NJ optometry office today!