Dry eye is a not uncommon problem experienced by people who wear contact lenses on a regular basis, so it’s important to understand the condition and what to do should it arise.
Complaints about dry eyes is a relatively common one with patients who wear contact lenses on a regular basis. While dry eyes is a problem experienced by people who don’t wear contact lenses as well, the symptoms can be more noticeable, more severe, and more irritating for one who wears contacts.Typical symptoms include itching, red eyes, and eye fatigue.
The cornea, the front part of your eye, is unique in that it receives its oxygen directly from the air. Since contact lenses can partially block oxygen from reaching the eye, your eyes can get a dry, itchy feeling. Most modern contact lenses are designed to let as much oxygen through as possible, but this can still be an issue, especially after wearing the lenses for prolonged periods.
Contact lenses can also cause eye dryness by absorbing tears meant to keep the eye moist.
In either case, the condition is known as contact lens induced dry-eye.
Those who already have issues with dry eyes are most likely to have this problem with contact lenses, and it will likely be more of a nuisance for them. If lenses are not fitted properly, or worn for too long, this problem can be further exacerbated.
Symptoms of contact lens-induced dry eye can range in severity but at least tend to start off mild. Symptoms include:
Fortunately, you have several options readily available when it comes to dealing with contact lens-induced dry eye.
Our eye doctor can provide you with other recommendations for relieving dry eyes caused by your contact lenses.
It is always better to avoid the problem before it becomes an issue. Fortunately, with contact lens-induced dry eye, there are several steps you can take.
If dry eyes are a problem for you, try to avoid wearing your contact lenses for extended periods of time unless absolutely necessary.
Have our eye doctor perform a dry eye exam to determine the underlying cause of your dry eye symptoms. Common causes include a blockage in the glands at the corner of your eye MGD, mites in your lashes, blepharitis, poor blinking habits especially when using a computer, medication, and lifestyle/age/gender. If you are predisposed to dry eye, then it is the underlying condition, not the lens type or maintenance, that needs to be addressed.
Contact lens-induced dry eye is a not all that uncommon problem for people wearing contact lenses. However, you can take steps to prevent and treat it effectively. If you have any additional questions, contact us and our doctors will be happy to help.