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Am I crazy for thinking about contacts?

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  • Am I crazy for thinking about contacts?

    I have dry eye "due to inflammation" that I have been treating for the past two months with Restasis twice a day and Refresh Optive Advanced eye drops four times a day. Before starting the treatment I could no longer read and had serious problems even keeping my eyes open. I have seen drastic improvement over the past two months, to the point where I can now read again comfortably for decent periods of time and the problem no longer seems to interfere with my day to day life.

    I'm in a situation now (due to another condition, bilateral Adie's pupils) where it would be of great financial relief for me if I could use contacts. I did not use contacts for multiple years leading up to my diagnosis with dry eye, but I have worn them for many years in my teens and did not like them. My eyes would always be extremely tired by the end of the day and I couldn't wait to get them out. I have heard that contacts have gotten better over the years though, so I'm curious if they would be an option for me, because like I said it would really make sense financially. I have briefly read about scleral lenses, but I don't think I would be a good candidate because my dry eye does not appear to be severe anymore, and besides it seems like the process would be much more expensive.

    Does anyone with moderate dry eye have any positive experiences with normal contacts? Is every set of contacts just doomed to make your eyes much more dry than wearing glasses, even with proper upkeep (using drops throughout the day)? Am I crazy for even considering trying them again?

  • #2
    Hi Tyler. Likely regular contacts that lay on your cornea would not be ideal given you already have dry eyes, and studies are starting to show long term regular contact use can cause dry eyes and other eye issues.

    Have you ever considered scleral lenses? These are increasingly being used to help dry eyes, as well as starting to be more mainstream to just correct vision for regular patients because of those potential issues down the road of regular contacts. Sclerals are nickel-sized done-shaped rigid gas permeable lenses that vault over the cornea to bathe them in saline, the lens edges sit on the sclera/white part of your eye. It also corrects vision. I wear mines 12+ hours a day. If you can wear them (not everyone can), they can be comfortable...I usually forget I have them on.

    Below is some general info on sclerals (the write up by Boston PROSE gives a good summary). I wear PROSE and have been very happy with my practitioner and the lenses, however there are several different brands.


    • #3
      Hi again, Tyler. Sorry, when I responded earlier I was walking outside and reading/typing at same time...didn't see that you said you had briefly read about sclerals!

      A few reasons you might want to consider sclerals:

      -To avoid potential future damage to the eyes from long term use of regular contact lenses laying on your corneas. You still have some degree of dry eyes, so going back to regular contacts might exasperate it again.

      -Sclerals might be more comfortable than regular contacts if you still have some dry eye, since the sclerals nurture your eyes all day with saline versus regular contacts directly on your cornea.

      -Sclerals can help promote healing of the surface of your eyes. For example, I no longer need to use artificial tears anymore, because the surface of my eyes are no longer dry like sandpaper.

      -Sclerals could be close to the same costs as regular contacts, if covered by medical insurance. My insurance covered almost the entire cost. Plus there are kits that have several sets of lenses being rolled out now so even local optometrists can fit patients versus a specialist, to maximize efficiency and reduce fitting costs.

      -Sclerals are becoming more mainstream for regular patients without dry eye problems.

      Just wanted to give you some perspective, given I no longer have severe dry eyes either.