What is Sjogren's Disease?
Sjogren's Disease is a chronic autoimmune disorder that affects the exocrine glands, including those that produce tears.
As a result, individuals with Sjogren's Disease often suffer from dry eyes, which can lead to a range of uncomfortable symptoms and complications.
While there are several treatment options available for managing dry eyes, scleral lenses have emerged as an effective solution for patients with severe dry eyes.
In this blog post, we will discuss scleral lenses and how they can help Sjogren's patients manage their dry eyes.
What are Scleral Lenses?
Scleral lenses are large-diameter contact lenses that rest on the sclera, or white part of the eye, rather than on the cornea.
They create a liquid reservoir between the cornea and the lens, which can help improve tear film stability and reduce dryness.
How do Scleral Lenses Help Sjogren's Patients?
Scleral lenses can help Sjogren's patients manage their dry eyes in several ways:
Scleral lenses protect the cornea from exposure to air, dust, and other irritants that can exacerbate dryness.
The liquid reservoir created by scleral lenses can help keep the eyes lubricated and reduce friction between the lens and the cornea.
Scleral lenses are designed to fit the unique shape of each patient's eye, providing a comfortable and secure fit.
Scleral lenses can help improve visual acuity in patients with severe dry eyes by creating a smooth and consistent refractive surface.
Scleral lenses are particularly useful for patients with severe dry eyes that do not respond to other treatment options, such as artificial tears, punctal plugs, or prescription medications.
How are Scleral Lenses Fitted?
Scleral lenses are custom-fitted to each patient's eye by an eye care professional. The fitting process involves taking detailed measurements of the eye and creating a mold of the scleral lens. Once the lens is fabricated, the patient is instructed on how to insert, remove, and care for the lens.
How Much Do Scleral Lenses Cost?
The cost of scleral lenses can vary depending on several factors, such as the eye care professional's fees, the type of lens, and any additional services required, such as prescription medications or fittings. On average, scleral lenses can cost anywhere from $1,000 to $3,000 per eye.
Are prescription Scleral lenses available?
If a patient requires a prescription for their scleral lenses, such as for astigmatism or nearsightedness, this can add to the cost.
The prescription may require additional customization of the lens, which can increase the fees charged by the eye care professional.
It is worth noting that some insurance plans may cover some or all of the cost of scleral lenses, depending on the patient's coverage and the reason for the lenses.
Patients should check with their insurance provider to see if scleral lenses are covered under their plan and if there are any restrictions or limitations.
Scleral lenses are an effective solution for managing dry eyes in Sjogren's patients. They provide protection, lubrication, comfort, and improved vision for patients with severe dry eyes.
Overall, while scleral lenses can be more expensive than other treatment options for dry eyes, they can provide significant benefits for patients with severe dry eyes, making them a worthwhile investment for those who need them.
If you have Sjogren's Disease and are struggling with dry eyes, talk to your eye care professional about whether scleral lenses may be a good option for you.
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Rosenthal P, Cotter J. The Boston Scleral Lens in the Management of Severe Ocular Surface Disease. Ophthalmol Clin North Am. 2003 Dec;16(4):463-8.
Romero-Rangel T, Stavrou P, Cotter J, et al. Gas-permeable scleral contact lens therapy in ocular surface disease. Am J Ophthalmol. 2000 Sep;130(3):25