Dry Eye and the Scleral Lens
There are millions of people throughout North America who suffer from chronic dry eyes. Many of these people are suffering from
dry eyes due to ocular surface disease. Others have dry eyes due to the medications that they are taking. Dry eyes are also a symptom of systemic diseases such as lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, rosacea or Sjorgren’s Syndrome ( a triad of dry eyes, dry mouth and rheumatoid artritis).
Millions of post-refractive surgical patients who underwent ocular surgeries such as LASIK and Radial Keratotomy are suffering from dry eyes. One of the reasons for this surge in dry eyes in this particular population is the irregular compromised ocular surface caused by these surgical procedures. Many of these patients still have open corneal wounds which never healed completely. Needless to say, many of these patients have suffered significant pain which resulted in severe depression and the many ramifications of severe depression. These include loss of work, inability to study, family strife and so on. In addition, the vision in this population is not stable even with eyeglasses or contact lenses. Conventional contact lenses may provide clear vision for a very short period of time but significant discomfort and pain will set in after a very short period of time.
Over the years our specialty practice has treated thousands of patients who have suffered for years with chronic dry eyes caused by a host of diseases, dystrophies, medications and ocular surgeries. Almost all of these patients are now functioning on a much higher level because of GVR Scleral lenses. This particular scleral lens design protects the ocular surface from the environment and the blinking action of the eyelids. These lenses do not touch the compromised, dry ocular surface. Instead, the lenses vault over the front surface of the eye (the cornea) and come to rest on the white portion of the eye (the sclera). A liquid reservoir exists between the back surface of the lens and the front surface of the eye. In other words, the ocular surface is always in
a moist environment. Many of the compromised corneas that we have seen have undergone a healing effect after having worn these unique lenses. Dry irritated ocular tissues often have a more robust appearance when viewed under our ocular microscope. Of course, the comfort with the GVR Scleral lenses is excellent. Most patients will have virtually no sensation or awareness of a lens on the eye.
In addition to the therapeutic benefits of the GVR Scleral lens, the vision provided by this unique technology is almost always excellent. The compromised irregular cornea is replaced as an optical surface by this lens. In addition to clear vision, the improved vision will not fluctuate but will be stable. Almost all patients wearing GVR Scleral lenses are able to wear their lenses for of their waking hours. Because of these lenses, thousands of patients over the years have avoided undergoing corneal transplant surgery.
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