Contact lenses are a very popular choice amongst patients who wear contact lenses. They offer greater versatility, enabling patients to see clearly without wearing frames that affect the appearance of their face, and helping the wearer to participate in activities that are impossible or ill-advised when wearing glasses.
Contact lenses are suitable for a wide variety of different patients, making them extremely accessible. Nevertheless, there are some reasons why wearing them might be tricky, with one of the most common being dry eye syndrome. Dry eye syndrome affects the majority of people at some point during their lifetime. For many of these individuals, it will resolve itself fairly quickly with no need for professional intervention. However, a percentage of patients will suffer from chronic dry eye that has a significant impact on their ability to live life day to day. In the past, patients with dry eye syndrome were generally advised against wearing contact lenses. However, the treatments available for dry eyes and the evolving design of contact lenses mean that this is no longer the case and having dry eyes shouldn’t hold you back from choosing the vision solution that suits you best.
To help you embrace clear vision using a convenient correction treatment, here are our top tips for dry eye care for contact lens wearers.
One of the biggest factors in comfortably being able to wear contact lenses with dry eye is choosing the right contact lenses. There are many varieties to select from, and some are more suitable for patients with dry eyes than others. These include:
Soft lenses. Soft lenses have been shown to be better for patients with dry eye since the materials used to create them are made to hold water and enable oxygen to pass through the lens to the eyes.
Lenses with low water content. This may sound conflicting, but it actually works. Lenses with high water content need to consistently draw water out of the eyes to keep them moist. However, low water content lenses don’t need to do this, enabling more moisture to stay on your eyes.
Silicone hydrogels. Some types of contact lens are made from silicone. These allow a large amount of oxygen to pass through to the eyes to keep them healthy. They also need less moisture than other contact lens types.
Depending on the type of contact lens that you choose, you could wear them for a day, week, month or longer as per your individual needs, before you replace them with a fresh, new set of contacts. Research has shown that replacing your contact lenses more regularly helps to keep them comfortable and minimize the effect that dry eyes have on your ability to wear them.
A contact lens fitting should form part of your eye exam and will ensure that your new contacts fit properly to the shape of your eye. A contact lens that doesn’t fit properly will move around more than it should, and this can cause discomfort and dryness. If you feel that your contact lenses don’t fit as well as they should, you must speak to your optometrist.
Unless you are wearing daily disposables, you will need to soak your contact lenses overnight to keep them healthy and in good condition. If you suffer from dry eyes, you should select a solution that has a high moisture content. However, you should speak to your eye doctor to make sure that the solution that you choose is compatible with your contact lenses and won’t cause damage or degradation.
There is nothing wrong with using lubricating eye drops to keep your eyes feeling comfortable while you are wearing contact lenses. These are usually available to buy over the counter and can be applied very easily. Be sure to follow the administration advice provided with your chosen product.
For more dry eye care tips for contact lens wearers, or to schedule an appointment to discuss dry eyes or contact lenses with our expert team, call us today.