Can Bigger Contact Lenses Relieve Dry Eyes?
Some estimates suggest that tens of millions of people in the U.S. suffer from dry eyes.
The condition isn’t just annoying. In fact, it can lead to symptoms such as scratchy, irritated eyes; burning or stinging sensations; occasional blurred vision; chronic eye fatigue and more.
Contacts for Dry Eyes. How Can They Help?
Causes can range from allergies to autoimmune diseases, pregnancy, menopause and hormone imbalance, along with side effects from medication.
Although dry eye disease is more common in older generations, and women are more likely to suffer from it than men, it can happen to anyone at any age.
If you suffer from dry eyes, you know that it can have a tremendously negative impact on quality- of-life.
Fortunately, there is some relief “in sight,” and it comes from a certain type of contact lenses that have been available on the market for many years: scleral contacts.
What are scleral contacts?
The average size of a regular hard contact lens is about 9 mm and it is designed to fit just over the cornea, or the colored part of the eye.
The scleral contact lens, on the other hand, ranges in size from 15 to 22 mm, covers the entire cornea of the eye and sits on the sclera or the white portion of the eye.
The scleral lens, made of hard plastic, leaves a tiny amount of space between the cornea and the lens where a small amount of saline solution is held. This saline solution keeps the eye moist and that means instant relief for dry eye sufferers.
For people accustomed to reaching for eye drops repeatedly throughout the course of the day, these contact lenses can provide immediate, welcome relief from uncomfortable symptoms and for serious cases can be the best contacts for dry eye conditions.
The use of scleral contact lenses for treatment of chronic dry eyes has caused the lenses to once again become popular choices for contact lens wearers.
Contacts for dry eyes and the quality of the lenses has been vastly improved over the past few years, and the new brands are gas permeable, which means that they allow a certain amount of oxygen to flow through the lens.
Each pair is custom-fitted for the wearer. And although they are a bit more expensive than other types of contact lenses and take some getting use to initially, the additional cost may be well worth it if you suffer from dry eyes.
To find the best contact lenses for dry eyes, check with your optometrist or ophthalmologist to see if you’re a good candidate to try scleral contact lenses.
And don’t forget to consult with your insurance company to see if they will cover part or all of the costs since the lenses are intended to correct a medical condition.
As a solution for dry eyes, scleral lenses can certainly help.
This week’s guest post is by Mark Masters, who writes on a range of eye health topics for Broberg Eye Care, Opthalmologists in Austin, Texas.