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Can I Use Artificial Tears / Lubricating Drops With Scleral Lenses?

In the realm of eye care, the advent of scleral lenses has brought about transformative solutions for individuals facing complex vision challenges. These specialized lenses, renowned for their ability to address conditions like severe astigmatism, keratoconus, and dry eye syndrome, have become a beacon of hope for many seeking improved visual clarity and comfort. However, as with any innovative technology, questions inevitably arise.


One common query that frequently surfaces is whether it's safe to use artificial tears with scleral lenses. In this blog post, we'll delve into this commonly asked question to provide clarity and guidance for those considering or already using scleral lenses.


Understanding Scleral Lenses

Before delving into the compatibility of artificial tears with scleral lenses, let's first grasp the essence of these remarkable ocular devices. Scleral lenses are distinguished by their large, gas-permeable design, which vaults over the cornea and rests on the sclera—the white part of the eye. Unlike traditional contact lenses, which cover only the cornea, scleral lenses create a reservoir of tears between the lens and the eye's surface. This unique design offers several advantages, including enhanced comfort, improved visual acuity, and prolonged wear time for individuals with diverse eye conditions.


The Concern: Can I Use Artificial Tears With Scleral Lenses?

Artificial tears, also known as lubricating eye drops, serve as a valuable resource for alleviating dryness and maintaining ocular moisture—a common concern for many individuals, particularly those with dry eye syndrome. Given the prevalence of dry eye among scleral lens wearers, it's natural to wonder whether artificial tears can be safely used in conjunction with these specialized lenses.


Here's what you need to know:


1.) Compatibility: In most cases, using artificial tears with scleral lenses is not only safe but also highly recommended. The lubricating properties of artificial tears help moisturize the ocular surface, reducing friction and enhancing overall comfort, especially during extended wear.


2.) Selecting the Right Formula: With a myriad of artificial tear formulations available on the market, choosing the most suitable option can feel daunting. Please choose preservative-free artificial tears whenever possible, as they are less likely to cause irritation or adverse reactions, particularly when used in conjunction with scleral lenses.


Preservative-free artificial tears WITHOUT oils are best. That means no Retaine MGD or Refresh Mega which contain mineral oil and flaxseed oil respectively.


Some good choices are: Refresh Classic, Systane Ultra, iVizia, or BioTrue PF.


Consultation with Your Eye Care Professional: As with any aspect of ocular health and lens care, seeking guidance from your eye care provider is paramount. Your optometrist or ophthalmologist can offer personalized recommendations tailored to your specific eye condition and lens-wearing regimen, ensuring optimal comfort and ocular health.


You may be someone who needs aggressive dry eye treatment in conjunction with scleral lens wear!


Use of artificial tears alongside scleral lenses can significantly enhance the wearing experience for individuals facing dry eye and other ocular challenges. By understanding the compatibility of artificial tears with scleral lenses and adhering to best practices in their application, you can enjoy sustained comfort, clarity, and confidence in your vision journey.


Ready to explore the transformative potential of scleral lenses for your unique eye care needs? Schedule a consultation with Dr. Morrison and Dr. Schweiger today. We're here to provide expert guidance, personalized recommendations, and unwavering support on your path to optimal ocular health and visual wellness.


With the right knowledge and proactive approach, you can embark on a journey of comfort, clarity, and unparalleled vision with scleral lenses and artificial tears by your side.




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