Which Contacts are the Best for Dry Eyes?

Dry eye is a common condition that affects millions of people worldwide. It occurs when the eyes do not produce enough tears or when the tears evaporate too quickly. This can lead to various symptoms, including eye irritation, redness, blurred vision, and discomfort. For those who wear contact lenses, dry eye can be particularly challenging, as the lenses can exacerbate the symptoms and make wearing them uncomfortable or even painful.


Symptoms of Dry Eye with Contact Lenses

If you suffer from dry eye and wear contact lenses, you may have experienced some of these symptoms:

  • Eye fatigue or strain
  • Burning or stinging sensation
  • Excessive tearing or watery eyes
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Blurred vision
  • Difficulty wearing contacts for extended periods

These symptoms can significantly impact your daily activities and overall quality of life. Fortunately, there are various types of contact lenses designed specifically for people with dry eyes, which can help alleviate these symptoms and provide more comfortable wear.


The Challenges of Wearing Contact Lenses with Dry Eyes

Wearing contact lenses can be a challenge for those with dry eyes because the lenses can disrupt the natural tear film on the eye's surface. The tear film is essential for maintaining a smooth and lubricated surface for the lenses to move freely and provide clear vision. When the tear film is compromised, it can lead to several issues:

  • Lens Dehydration: Contact lenses can absorb moisture from the tear film, leading to dehydration and discomfort.
  • Increased Friction: Dry eyes can cause increased friction between the lenses and the eye's surface, resulting in irritation and potential damage to the cornea.
  • Protein and Lipid Deposits: Dry eyes can cause an accumulation of protein and lipid deposits on the lenses, leading to reduced oxygen permeability and potential eye infections.
  • Reduced Wearing Time: Many people with dry eyes find they can only wear their contact lenses for a limited time before experiencing discomfort or blurred vision.

To address these challenges, it's essential to choose the right type of contact lenses and follow proper lens care and hygiene practices.


Types of Contact Lenses for Dry Eye

Several types of contact lenses are designed specifically for people with dry eyes. Here are some of the most common options:

  • Silicone Hydrogel Lenses: These lenses are made from a highly permeable material that allows more oxygen to reach the eye, reducing the risk of dehydration and discomfort.
  • Daily Disposable Lenses: These lenses are designed for single-use and are discarded after each wear, reducing the risk of protein and lipid buildup.
  • Scleral Lenses: These large, rigid gas-permeable lenses vault over the cornea and rest on the sclera (white part of the eye). They create a reservoir of tears between the lens and the cornea, providing constant hydration and lubrication.
  • Hybrid Lenses: These lenses combine a rigid gas-permeable center with a soft, hydrogel skirt. They provide the benefits of both lens types, including high oxygen permeability and comfort.


The Importance of a Consultation with an Optometrist

While there are various contact lens options for dry eyes, it's crucial to consult with an optometrist to determine the most suitable solution for your specific condition. An optometrist can evaluate the severity of your dry eye, identify any underlying causes, and recommend the appropriate treatment and lens options.

During your consultation, your optometrist may perform the following tests:

  • Tear Film Evaluation: This test assesses the quantity and quality of your tear film, including the tear break-up time (TBUT) and the Schirmer test.
  • Slit Lamp Examination: Your optometrist will use a specialized microscope to examine the surface of your eyes, including the cornea, conjunctiva, and eyelids.
  • Corneal Staining: A dye is applied to your eyes to highlight any areas of corneal damage or irregularities caused by dry eye.
  • Meibomian Gland Evaluation: Your optometrist may assess the function of your meibomian glands, which produce the lipid layer of the tear film.

Based on the results of these tests and your individual needs, your optometrist can recommend the most suitable contact lens type, as well as any additional treatments or management strategies, such as eye drops, warm compresses, or lifestyle changes.


Schedule Your Consultation with DeNovo Eye Today

If you suffer from dry eye and wear contact lenses, it's essential to find the right lens type to alleviate your symptoms and ensure comfortable wear. While there are various options available, the best choice will depend on your specific condition and needs.

If you're experiencing discomfort or difficulty wearing contact lenses due to dry eye, schedule an appointment with our experienced optometrists. We specialize in diagnosing and treating dry eye conditions, and we'll work with you to find the most suitable contact lens solution for your needs. Visit DeNovo Eye at our office in McKinney, Texas, or call (469) 317-2020 to book an appointment today.

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