Dry eye disease is a common condition, both in those who regularly wear contact lenses and non-lens wearers. Those who rely on contact lenses to correct their vision may notice that the use of their lenses worsens their dryness symptoms. Contact lens induced dryness can affect lens wearers in several different ways. While this dryness might not be sight-threatening, it is certainly frustrating, and occasionally causes people to discontinue wearing their contact lenses.
What are the Symptoms of Contact Lens Dryness?
If contact lenses are worsening your dry eye symptoms, a visit to your optometrist is recommended. Contact lens dryness can present with traditional symptoms of burning or grittiness. You may notice that simple day-to-day visual tasks, like computer work or office activities, have become more difficult. Symptoms may worsen throughout the day, and contact lenses can be dry and difficult to remove in the evening after many hours of wear-time. If you wear contact lenses and notice these bothersome symptoms, address them with your doctor to see what can be done.
Make a Change
Sometimes, improving contact lens dryness only requires a small change. Many people find improved comfort with daily disposable contact lenses, most of which are designed to maintain a high water content all day long. Changing lens material may also be a treatment option; lenses made from silicone hydrogel are designed to maximize lens wear time before symptoms of dryness are noted. Even changing cleaning solutions can help prevent contact lens induced dry eyes by preventing protein buildup on lenses. Your doctor can help you determine if switching contact lens material or cleaning solution is an appropriate treatment for your dry eyes.
Dry Eyes and Contact Lenses: Address the Underlying Cause
Contact lenses can worsen symptoms of dryness without being the underlying cause. If your ocular surface is impacted by ocular allergies, inflammation, or eyelid bacteria, treating the original culprit of dry eyes will make contact lens wear more tolerable. This may require using medicated eye drops prescribed by your optometrist, such as an antibiotic or antihistamine. By taking care of the root cause of dryness, contact lenses will be more comfortable and less likely to become a burden in daily life.
Give Scleral Lenses a Try
Scleral contact lenses are specially designed lenses cover the front surface of the eye with constant lubrication while also providing superior vision. These large firm lenses are filled with liquid and vault over the cornea, allowing a full day of comfortable vision and wear. Scleral lenses are custom designed, created by measurements specifically tailored to the front surface of your eye, so the fitting process may take some patience and adjustment. But for those who are fed up with contact lens dryness, scleral lenses are worth the wait.
Don’t Let Dryness Keep You Out of Contacts
Most importantly, do not let your dry eyes prevent you from wearing contact lenses. Instead of discontinuing lens wear, make an appointment to see your doctor at Lilac Family Eye Care. Our professionals want to keep you seeing and feeling great, and have many solutions to help with contact lens dryness.