Dry eye treatment with scleral contacts very effectively treats the pain and discomfort experienced by patients with moderate to severe dry eye syndrome.1 Most vision plans consider dry eye treatment with scleral lenses as medically necessary.
Why Treat Dry Eye Syndrome With Scleral Contacts?
Many patients with moderate to severe dry eye syndrome find the discomfort and poor vision debilitating. Dry eye symptoms are usually greatest later in the day. Pain and light sensitivity tend to be the most debilitating symptoms. The pain and light sensitivity occur when the corneal surface dries out.
The eye will begin to heal the dried out cornea while you sleep; however, in patients with mild to moderate dry eye syndrome the cornea rarely heals completely overnight. Scleral lenses cover the cornea keeping the cornea from drying out.
Who is a Good Candidate for Dry Eye Treatment with Scleral Lenses?
Patients with moderate to severe dry eye syndrome are the best candidates for dry eye treatment with scleral lenses. If your dry eye symptoms such as blurred vision, pain, and light sensitivity are debilitating or adversely affecting your lifestyle then you will most likely benefit from treating your dry eyes with scleral lenses.2
How Does a Scleral Lens Treat Dry Eye Syndrome?
A scleral lens is used to treat dry eye syndrome by essentially replacing the front surface of the eye with a lens. This lens protects the cornea, preventing the cornea itself from drying out. The scleral lens holds a layer of tears over the cornea thus keeping it hydrated. A special, hydrophilic coating, applied to the lens surface may also improve comfort.
While the scleral lens protects the cornea comfort can be further improved by treating the dry eyes with additional therapies such as punctal plugs, artificial tears, and medication.3,4
Using a PROSE Lens to Treat Dry Eye Syndrome
PROSE stands for Prosthetic Replacement of the Ocular Surface Ecosystem. This is what we are doing when we use a scleral lens to treat dry eye syndrome. We have replaced the front surface of the eye with a contact lens. This improves comfort and vision while also preventing the eye from drying out. A PROSE lens can be a life-changer for patients experiencing pain and discomfort from dry eye syndrome.
How Do I Learn More About Using Scleral Lenses to Treat Dry Eye Syndrome?
At Total Eye Care, we offer complimentary Dry Eye Syndrome treatment consults to help patients decide if they may benefit from scleral contacts. You can schedule your free consultation online with Dr. Driscoll at either our Colleyville or Keller/Southlake location. We can also schedule your appointment by calling 817.416.0333.
About Dr. Richard Driscoll
Dr. Driscoll is a therapeutic optometrist and scleral lens specialist at Total Eye Care in Colleyville, Texas. A 1988 Graduate of the Illinois College of Optometry, Dr. Driscoll has been using medically necessary contact lenses to treat patients with dry eye syndrome for over 30 years.
Following Dr. Driscoll’s graduation from the Illinois College of Optometry, he joined the residency program at the Tuscaloosa VA Medical Center in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Dr. Driscoll likes to write. He wrote An Eye Doctor Answers: Explanations To Hundreds Of The Most Common Questions Patients Wish They Had Asked, available on Amazon.com, and The Patient’s Guide to Keratoconus which you can download here.
1 Bavinger JC, DeLoss K, Mian SI. Scleral lens use in dry eye syndrome. Curr Opin Ophthalmol 2015;26: 319-24. [PubMed]
2Haines L, Scleral lens use in dry eye syndrome. Contact Lens Update. 07/26/2017. [Full Article]
3Harthan JS, Shorter E. Therapeutic uses of scleral contact lenses for ocular surface disease: patient selection and special considerations. Clin Optom (Auckl). 2018; 10: 65–74. Published online 2018 Jul 11. [PubMed]. [Full Article]
4Shorter E, Harthan J, Nau CB, Nau A, Barr JT, Hodge DO, Schornack MM. Scleral Lenses in the Management of Corneal Irregularity and Ocular Surface Disease. Eye Contact Lens. 2018 Nov;44(6):372-378. [PubMed]