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Dry Eyes and Contact Lenses

Author: Dr. Anthony Spina

Millions of people worldwide rely on contact lenses to provide them with clear vision each and every day.  As the number of people experiencing symptoms of dryness increases, contact lens wear in those suffering from dry eye disease has become increasingly important.  Contact lens dryness can result in lenses being less comfortable, or can decrease the amount of time that contact lenses can be worn. Contact lens dryness can also worsen already existing dry eye symptoms such as burning and irritation.  If you rely on contact lenses and have experienced problems with dryness, discomfort, or decreased wear time, it may be time to address your problem. Read on to learn more about contact lens dryness and what you can do to prevent it.

 

Changing Contact Lenses for Improved Comfort

In some cases, dryness, discomfort, or irritation with contact lenses can be caused by the fit or material of the contact lenses.  It these factors are worsening your symptoms of dryness, then there is an easy solution to improve your comfort. Speaking with your doctor about switching contact lens design, brand, or material may be enough to improve your symptoms.  In particular, many people have found that daily contact lenses improve ocular health and diminish symptoms of dryness and irritation. Even contact lens cleaning solution may play a role in your discomfort. If you are sensitive to the preservatives in your disinfecting solution, symptoms of dryness and irritation will be worsened.  To determine if any of these factors are contributing to your contact lens dryness, visit your optometrist for an evaluation.

 

Dry Eyes and Contact Lenses: Treat the Underlying Cause

In some cases of contact lens dryness, the underlying cause of the dry eye disease needs to be addressed in order to improve comfort.  For example, if ocular allergies, Meibomian gland dysfunction, or an underlying systemic disease are affecting your tear film and worsening your dry eye symptoms, these causes need to be addressed in order to allow for improved contact lens wear.  This may even require temporarily discontinuing contact lens wear as the underlying cause is addressed. If the cause of the dry eye disease is less severe and easily managed, you may consider using preservative free artificial tears. These lubricating eye drops can be used while wearing contact lenses to provide moisture, stabilize the tear film, and prevent discomfort.  A comprehensive eye examination can help identify and address the root cause of your dry eye disease.

 

Contact Lenses Are Still an Option

Symptoms of dry eye disease can be frustrating.  When it affects your ability to wear your contact lenses, it can have a significant impact on your life.  Before you give up on wearing your contact lenses, visit your eye doctor.  We also specialize in scleral contact lenses which can provide you great vision and comfort with contact lenses. Whether it’s making medications to the design of your lenses, tackling the cause of your dryness, or recommended a new type of cleaning solution, your doctor likely has a recommendation that can improve your ability to comfortably wear your contact lenses.  Don’t let dryness and discomfort keep you from clear vision.

 

Dr. Anthony Spina and the staff of Premier Eye Associates are trained in the newest technology for dry eyes and contact lenses.  If you've ever thought about trying contacts, call us  at (334) 539-5391 or schedule an appointment online.  Our office and eye doctor provide the highest quality optometry services in Auburn, AL area.

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