Can Scleral Lenses Help Treat Sjogren's Syndrome?
Individuals with Sjogren's Syndrome experience acute dry eye symptoms. Scleral lenses can help relieve these symptoms by creating a moisture-rich environment on the eye.
What is Sjogren's Syndrome?
Sjogren's Syndrome is a chronic autoimmune disorder in which the body's immune system mistakenly attacks its own moisture-producing glands. This primarily affects the salivary and lacrimal glands, which produce saliva and tears. As a result, people with Sjogren's Syndrome often experience dryness in various parts of the body, including the eyes, mouth, and other mucous membranes.
Ocular Symptoms of Sjogren's Syndrome and Dry Eye
The ocular symptoms of Sjogren's Syndrome can be particularly bothersome for patients. Dry eye is a common feature of the condition. The lack of sufficient tear production can lead to discomfort, irritation, redness, and even blurred vision. Conventional contact lenses may exacerbate these symptoms or become uncomfortable to wear due to the decreased tear film.
How Do Scleral Lenses Help?
- Scleral lenses are larger, gas-permeable contact lenses.
- They vault over the cornea and rest on the sclera (the white part of the eye).
- Scleral lenses create a fluid-filled chamber between the lens and the cornea.
- This fluid-filled chamber acts as a reservoir for tears.
- The reservoir provides constant lubrication and hydration to the ocular surface.
- Scleral lenses help alleviate dryness by maintaining a moisture-rich environment on the eye.
The unique design of scleral lenses makes them particularly suitable for individuals with Sjogren's Syndrome. By maintaining a moisture-rich environment on the eye, these lenses can help alleviate dry eye symptoms and improve overall comfort.
Moreover, scleral lenses provide a smooth and regular optical surface, which can enhance visual acuity for individuals with corneal irregularities caused by dryness or other complications of Sjogren's Syndrome.