Skip to main content

japanese

Request an Appointment
Request an Appointment

Contacts_ny

Abstract Older Man Eyes 1280×480

Scleral Lenses for Sjogren’s Syndrome

What Is Sjogren’s Syndrome?

Sjogren’s syndrome is an autoimmune disease that causes extreme dryness that affects much of the body, including the eyes. In addition to dryness of the mucous membranes, Sjorgren’s syndrome can cause pain, exhaustion, nerve damage, and blood cancer.

About 4 million Americans have the disease, 90% of them women. An additional 3 million may be living with the disease without knowing it, according to the Sjogren’s Syndrome Foundation. In fact, an estimated 1 in 10 patients with dry eye symptoms have Sjogren’s syndrome.

Why Sjogren’s Syndrome Causes Dry Eyes

Individuals with the syndrome have inflammation of the lacrimal glands, which causes them to produce a lower quantity of tears. Lower tear volume means that irritants that would ordinarily be washed away by tears remain on the ocular surface, leading to inflammation, irritation, and, if left untreated, corneal scarring.

Many individuals with Sjogren’s syndrome also have other autoimmune diseases, such as lupus, celiac disease or rheumatoid arthritis.

Eye Symptoms Related to Sjogren’s Syndrome

In those with Sjogren’s syndrome, having dry eyes is a given.

dizzyOther common symptoms include:

  • Burning eyes
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Blurry vision
  • Eye strain and fatigue
  • Blepharitis – an inflammation of the eyelids
  • Discomfort while wearing regular contact lenses

How Is Sjogren’s Syndrome Diagnosed?

Because the symptoms are varied and develop gradually, it can take several years for those with Sjogren’s syndrome to be diagnosed with the disease.

However, eye doctors are often the first to suspect the condition since dry eyes are a key symptom of the disease.

After taking your medical history and providing a thorough eye exam, your eye doctor may perform the Schirmer’s test to see whether your tear glands are working properly.

During the test, the eye doctor will place special paper inside your lower eyelids while you keep your eyes closed for a few minutes. Once the paper is removed, the doctor will measure the amount of liquid on the paper.

Another test, which uses dye to make your tears more visible, measures how quickly your tears evaporate.

How Scleral Lenses Alleviate Dry Eyes

Individuals with dry eye syndrome, whether caused by Sjorgren’s syndrome or another condition, often complain that traditional contact lenses irritate their eyes. That’s because traditional contacts dry out easily and compensate by drawing moisture away from the eye.

Scleral lenses, which are gas-permeable, do the exact opposite. They form a protective dome over the cornea that conserves saline solution. The solution acts as a liquid buffer between the lens and the cornea’s surface. That, in turn, alleviates the irritation, itchiness, and redness that are the hallmarks of dry eye.

Due to their larger diameter and custom fit, scleral lenses don’t move around as much as conventional lenses. This boosts visual acuity and reduces irritation.

If your eyes feel parched and gritty, contact Dr. Farkas, Dr. Kassalow, and Dr. Resnick for a comprehensive eye exam to determine whether you have dry eye syndrome and to discuss whether your symptoms could be due to Sjorgren’s syndrome.

Call the The Scleral Lens Center at Drs. Farkas, Kassalow, Resnick & Associates today to schedule your consultation. We help patients from the New York City, The East Side, Roslyn, and Nassau County, in the New York area enjoy great vision and comfort with scleral lenses.

References:

https://www.healio.com/ophthalmology/news/print/ocular-surgery-news-europe-asia-edition/%7B1a8b3144-7978-4b38-8968-9e65574acf00%7D/factors-separate-sjgrens-syndrome-from-simple-dry-eye

http://www.ocularsurface.com/graphics/PDFs/FLUORESCEIN_CLEARANCE_TEST_T3001.pdf

https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/conditions-and-diseases/sjogrens-syndrome/sjogrens-syndrome-diagnosis

https://www.contactlenses.org/scleral.htm

 

 

 

 

 



x

REOPENING INFORMATION

We’re open!

All necessary precautions to protect your safety and the safety of our dedicated staff are being taken. All disinfection procedures are being performed frequently and to the strictest standards.

Personal protective measures will be in place. To that end we kindly request your adherence to the following protocols:

  1. Please wear a face covering to your appointment
  2. Do not bring anyone with you into the office (drivers should wait outside or in the car.) Exceptions will be made on a limited basis; please inform us of your needs in advance.
  3. Non-contact thermometers will be used to check temperatures of all who enter.

Please click on the make an appointment tab for your office of choice or call to schedule at your earliest convenience.

We look forward to seeing you soon!