Scleral lenses provide relief for dry eyes
10 April 2012
Wide-diameter scleral lenses help relieve symptoms of dry eyes, according to the director of the contact lens service of Loyola University Health System, in Illinois.
Peter Russo uses scleral lenses, which range from 15 to 22 mm in diameter. This is much larger than the 9 mm of ordinary hard contact lenses. The lens rests on the sclera rather than the cornea. Underneath the dome-shaped lens, a reservoir of saline solution bathes the eye.
“It's amazing to see the effect scleral lenses can make,” Russo said. “When patients first come into the office, they have extremely irritated eyes, and have to use eye drops every 30 to 60 minutes. Their vision is blurry and they are very dissatisfied with their quality of life. But once we put in the scleral lenses, they feel instant relief.”
Improvement in materials has meant scleral lenses can be used for this purpose. They are gas permeable and ensure oxygen is provided to the eye. They can also be custom-made, providing additional comfort.