Chronic dry eye syndrome is a common problem for millions of people around the world, and its symptoms can be much worse for contact lens wearers.
A multitude of factors can cause chronic dry eyes such as damage to the tear glands, certain diseases, and even some medications.
Consult your eye care professional
If you wear contact lenses and have chronic dry eyes, it’s important that you consult with your eye care professional first. They can pinpoint the cause of your dry eyes and prescribe you with the best possible type of contact lenses for your dry eyes.
The popular belief is that people who suffer from chronic dry eye syndrome should wear contact lenses with high moisture content. Higher water content in contact lenses does not mean it will prevent dry eyes. In fact, it may have the opposite effect.
Low moisture versus high moisture
Low-moisture contact lenses actually preserve moisture within the lens, while high-moisture contact lenses use the moisture to pass oxygen to the corneas. The moisture content of the contact lens is then replenished by your tears. This process ends up drying your eyes even further.
Contact lens material matters
Soft contact lenses made of silicone hydrogel can help improve the symptoms of chronic dry eyes since this material is designed to prevent the water within the lens from drying out too quickly.
If your problem with dry eyes is exacerbated by wearing contact lenses, ask your professional about silicone hydrogel contact lenses.
Many eye care professionals will recommend daily disposable contact lenses to people who suffer from chronic dry eye syndrome. Wearing brand new contact lenses each day prevents protein buildup, which is a condition that can irritate your eyes. With daily disposable contacts, you can ensure that your eyes stay refreshed and maintain their natural moisture.
You can ask your eye care professional about these daily disposable contact lenses:
There are also several one to two-week disposable contact lenses that can help keep your eyes moist.
Ask your eye care professional about the following one to two-week disposable contact lenses:
Contact lens solutions
You should also consider the solution that you are using with your current contacts. Not all contact lens solutions are created equal.
Silicone hydrogel contact lenses require the use of specific types of contact lens solutions. If you are planning to switch contact lenses, make sure you also talk to your eye care professional about the appropriate solution to use.
Contact lens care and safety
Wearing the right contact lenses isn’t enough to eliminate chronic dry eyes. You also need to practice proper contact lens care and safety.
To optimize your lenses and reduce the dryness of your eyes, follow these procedures:
- Clean and store your contact lenses only according to your eye care professional’s instructions. Do not attempt to make any unnecessary deviations.
- Wear contact lenses according to their replacement schedule. Don’t wear weekly contact lenses for two weeks.
- Apply rewetting drops to your eyes before putting in your contact lenses.
- Use comfort eye drops or artificial tears to relieve symptoms of dry eyes (itching or burning sensation).