Did you know that wearing contact lenses can actually help dry eyes?
While it’s true that wearing contact lenses can impede the distribution of lubrication across the surface of your eye, they can also help.
Over 45 Million people in the United States wear contact lenses, and over 16 million Americans suffer from dry eyes, so it’s safe to say that both of these are commonplace. And while many different conditions can cause dry eyes, most of them are treatable, and you don’t necessarily need to stop wearing contact lenses as a result.
Different Contact Lens Materials
When you suffer from dry eyes, switching your contact lenses out for a different type can help immensely. Here’s a list of some different kinds of contact lenses that can help with your symptoms.
Soft lenses are made out of hydrogel. You can select the disposable kind or the extended wear kind that can be thrown away after 30 days of use.
Soft contact lenses with lower water or higher water content are options. Some people experience better results with lower water content and are actually more comfortable.
Silicon-based hydrogel lenses do an even better job of reducing dry eye than regular hydrogel lenses, as they don’t allow water to evaporate as quickly.
Proclear lenses, which are FDA approved and contain phosphorylcholine, attract water and keep your eyes moist.
Different Lens Size
Most contact lenses cover just the iris of your eye. Scleral lenses cover some of the sclera or whites of your eyes and are gas-permeable, meaning that oxygen can reach the eye. Many people find this size and type of contact lens reduces their dry eye symptoms.
Change your solution
In many cases, your contact lens solution might be the issue. To find out if this is the case, you should talk to your doctor about the contact lens solution you are currently using, see if you are using the correct solution for your eyes, and the contact lenses you are currently using.
Using contact lenses as a “bandage”
If you have certain conditions, diseases, or injuries, certain contact lenses can be used as a ‘bandage’ to protect the affected tissue until it can heal properly. In these circumstances, contact lenses can literally be used to help heal or correct the underlying conditions that are causing your dry eyes!
If you are wondering if your contact lenses may be causing your dry eye symptoms, or have any questions about your contact lenses, solutions, or other eye-related problems, schedule an appointment today!