Are Your Contact Lenses Causing Dry Eye?

“My contacts are causing my eyes to feel dry” is one of the major complaints eye doctors receive from contact-wearing patients. Dry eye syndrome is a relatively common condition that affects all people. However, it can become worse if you wear contact lenses. The usual dry eye syndrome symptoms include itchiness, redness, and irritation.

The most sensible way to deal with contact lens-induced dry eyes is to visit your optometrist. The eye doctor will help determine the cause of your dry eyes and possible remedies.

Contact Lens-Induced Dry Eye

The front of your eye, the cornea, receives oxygen directly from the air. You might develop dry eyes from contact lenses because the lens blocks oxygen from entering the eye. However, most lenses allow oxygen to permeate to counter this problem. Despite this, contact lens wearers still complain of dry eyes, especially towards the end of the day.

Contact lenses in a healthy eye swim comfortably in the tear film above the cornea. When the eye fails to produce a healthy tear film, gaps are created in the film. The contact lens can irritate the surface of the eye through these gaps. This irritation can lead to itchiness in the eye, redness, or even pain.

These effects can be worse if the lenses do not fit properly or are of poor quality. Poor quality lenses can absorb the moisture in the eye, causing the eye to lose important tear film. This is also the case when you wear soft lenses for long periods.

Relief Options for Contact Lens-induced Dry Eye:

Eye Vitamins 

You can take vitamins orally to increase your eye's nutrients. These nutrients improve eye health and play a big part in increasing contact lens comfort.

Eye Drops

You can get eye drops that you can apply to your eyes while using contact lenses. These eye drops are artificial tears that refresh the eye and reduce discomfort from contact lenses. You can get your optometrist to prescribe a good brand for you.

Low Water Content Contact Lenses

You might think that the higher the water content, the more comfortable a lens is, but this can be the inverse for people suffering from dry eye syndrome. High water content lenses provide more oxygen that flows through them to the eye. When these lenses lose liquid, they absorb the fluid in the tear film. This exacerbates dry eye symptoms for the wearer.

Silicone Hydrogel Contact Lenses

The silicone hydrogel material is the most innovative in the market for lenses. They allow up to five times the amount of oxygen that traditional contacts allow. This makes them ideal for long-time wear, and they are comfortable.

Daily Disposable Contact Lenses

You wear these lenses daily, and then you dispose of them. They do not allow protein deposits that gather on lenses to irritate the eyes. They are a good option for people suffering from dry eye syndrome.

For more on contact lenses causing dry eye, visit Blue Hills Eye Associates at our office in Braintree, Massachusetts. You can also call (781) 794-2200 to book an appointment today.

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