It's not uncommon for certain contact lens wearers to suffer from eyes that feel dry, red, itchy, uncomfortable, and at times very painful. Eye drops and artificial tears can deliver relief, but they are no more than a temporary solution.
One of the best contact lenses for optimal comfort and hydration are scleral lenses, as they simultaneously provide vision correction, protect the eyes, and lubricate them.
What are Scleral Lenses?
These rigid gas permeable lenses have an extra-wide diameter that vaults over your whole cornea. In contrast to other contact lenses, they rest on the white part of your eyes (sclera) and not the cornea. As a result, scleral lenses consistently rank at the top of the charts when it comes to providing sharp visual acuity, comfort, and healthy eyes.
Common Contact Lens Complaints
Below we'll explore the most common contact lens complaints we hear at our practice and ways scleral lenses can prevent them.
End-of-day tiredness and dry eyes
After just 6 to 8 hours of contact lens wear during the day, many contact lens wearers experience tired and dry eyes. Though standard hydrogel contact lenses allow a high concentration of oxygen to permeate the eye, some people need an alternative.
End-of-day eye discomfort can be resolved with scleral lenses, as these custom-designed lenses have a liquid reservoir between the lens and the cornea that provides a continuous moist environment that soothes tired, dry eyes.
Not only does this cushion of moisture lead to a comfortable wearing experience; it also promotes healthy eyes throughout the day, allowing you to wear these lenses for 12 to 14 hours! It is for this reason that many of our patients turn to scleral lenses for unparalleled comfort and all-day ocular hydration.
Chronic dry eye syndrome
Certain dry eye patients may experience painful, red, and swollen eyes. For them, traditional soft contact lenses can be unbearable because they sit right on the irritated cornea. Moreover, these contact lenses tend to act as sponges, soaking up the moisture from the surface of the eye.
If you struggle with dry eye syndrome and have been looking for a more effective treatment method beyond eyedrops and artificial tears, ask your Blacksburg Eye Associates doctor about scleral lenses.
Feeling the contact lens in the eye
Feeling your contact lenses in your eyes often indicates a poor fitting. Everyone's eyes are different and when it comes to contact lenses, no size fits all. Furthermore, if lenses are insufficiently curved, they can be dislodged with every blink. This isn't just uncomfortable — the wrong size lens can damage your cornea.
Because scleral lenses have a large diameter and are custom-made to your eye shape and size, it is almost impossible for scleral lenses to dislodge during normal wear. And since these lenses do not make contact with the surface of your cornea, there is a decreased risk of corneal abrasions.
Operating in dusty environments
Dry, dusty or dirty conditions can cause contact lenses to not only dry out, but can also lead irritants to attach themselves to the lenses. Scleral lenses offer comfort, even in dusty or dirty environments. This is because the lenses cover a large area of the eye, and since the outer layer of the lens protects the eye surface, dust and tiny particles can’t reach it. While not a complete barrier, scleral lenses can provide you with more relief and all-day comfort than traditional lenses.
If you’ve tried traditional contact lenses and have experienced any of the above, or if you’re simply seeking a more comfortable alternative to wear all day, it’s worth considering scleral lenses.
Contact a knowledgeable and experienced eye care professional, Dr. Colleen Mitchell, who will patiently assess and explain your condition to you. Dr. Colleen Mitchell will perform a specialized scleral lens custom-fitting to ensure that you receive the best fit for optimal visual clarity and comfort.
Call the Blacksburg Eye Associates today to schedule your consultation. We help patients from the Blacksburg, Radford, Christiansburg, and New River Valley, in the Virginia area enjoy great vision and comfort with scleral lenses.