Are Your Contact Lenses Causing Dry Eye?

Millions of people in the country wear contact lenses. Most people prefer lenses over eyeglasses because of the convenience. Contacts help correct vision without changing the wearer's appearance. 

For many, wearing contact lenses is comfortable, barely feeling they’re there. But for others, wearing contacts can be uncomfortable and cause dry eyes. It is vital to find out if your contact lenses are causing dry eyes. 

Dry Eye Syndrome 

Dry eye occurs when the eyes fail to produce enough volume or quality of tears to keep the eyes properly lubricated. Dry eye can be attributed to tear gland damage and damage to the skin surrounding the eyes. 

The condition can also result from health conditions, medications, hormone changes, and allergies. Wearing contact lenses also results in dry eyes. People who wear contacts for prolonged periods may find themselves with dry eyes. The gritty feeling, burning, and pain make wearing contacts uncomfortable. 

Treating Dry Eye Condition

If you have dry eyes, you do not have to give up contact lenses altogether. Treating the condition can allow you to use the lenses without difficulty. You may need to change your lenses. There are special lenses that can help people who have dry eyes. Treating the condition will depend on the cause of the dry eye. 

The eye doctor may recommend treatment options that include eye drops, switching medications, or treating underlying health conditions. A procedure to plug the eye’s drain system can also help retain moisture in the eyes. 

The Contact Lens Material

Contact lenses are available in different materials. You can find soft contact lenses made from flexible plastic, allowing oxygen to get to the eye. There are also rigid gas-permeable lenses made from harder materials. 

You can wear daily disposable contacts that prevent the deposit of proteins that cause dryness. Silicon-based hydrogel lenses prevent quick evaporation of moisture, reducing dry eyes. The doctor can recommend lenses suitable for your condition.

Contact Lens Size

Contact lenses come in different sizes, with most just covering the iris or the colored area of the eye. At about nine millimeters in diameter, they lie on the sensitive part of the eye. People with dry eyes may find it difficult to wear these lenses. 

If you have dry eyes, you will find scleral lenses are better. These lenses are larger than regular lenses, measuring between 15 and 22 millimeters in diameter. The lenses vault over the cornea and are gas-permeable, meaning that they allow oxygen to reach the eye surface. 

Caring for Contact Lenses

In some cases, discomfort when wearing contacts may be due to improper care. Failing to care for the lenses can cause infection and worsen dry eye. It is important to wet the lenses before wearing them and wear them for the prescribed amount of time. 

Make sure you use the right lens cleaning solution. Sometimes, changing the lens solution is all it takes to solve the dry eye problem. The eye doctor can recommend the right brand for you. If you experience dry eye, consult an eye doctor. The doctor can determine if your condition results from wearing contact lenses and recommend the best treatment. 

To discover if contact lenses are causing your dry eye, visit Urban Optics at our office in College Station, Texas. You can call (979) 690-0888 today to schedule an appointment. 

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