Dry eye

The eye is lubricated by tears produced by the lacrimal gland as well as mucous and oily secretions produced by glands in the eye and the lids, but as we get older our eyes lids become less efficient. Dry eye syndrome is when this issue becomes a permanent problem rather than an occasional irritation. 

There are many causes of dry eye. Some medications affect the production of tears and some air-conditioned offices and cars exacerbate the condition. Eyes may burn and lids stick together upon wakening. Various treatments, from drops to massage and hot compresses, are available. Some are prescription-only and others available over the counter.

In severe cases, scleral lenses may be used to protect the cornea from the discomfort of the passage of the lids. Lenses may be inserted with lubricating drops inside to form a soothing cushion, which remains in place throughout the day. This allows the cornea to remain hydrated and free from recurrent erosions and may also improve vision as the cornea heals.

Stevens-Johnson Syndrome is a serious systemic condition in which the principal ocular effect is dry eyes. The symptoms can be alleviated with a sealed scleral lens.

In Sjögren’s Syndrome, the immune system attacks the tear and saliva glands and other fluid-secreting glands in the body. As with Steven-Johnson disease, a sealed scleral contact lens may not only alleviate any discomfort, but prevent damage to the cornea and subsequent vision loss caused by the lack of lubrication.

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