Are Your Contacts Causing Your Dry Eyes?

by Jun 7, 2021

Dry eye is a condition in which the eyes feel gritty, itchy, and can appear red. It can cause extreme discomfort for individuals and unfortunately interrupt comfortable performance of daily tasks.

There are a variety of different causes for dry eye disease, ranging from systemic conditions and medications to environmental factors. This article focuses on one of the causes, contact lens wear.


Causes of Dry Eyes

There are a variety of reasons that contact lenses can be the culprit for dry eye symptoms. For starters, having a contact lens on the eye disrupts the tear film that covers the front surface of the eye.

There is a constant layer of tears at the front of the eye for protection and maintenance of hydration. This tear layer includes not only water but also a lipid or fatty material to prevent evaporation.

When the tears are disrupted, it prevents them from being able to be equally distributed on the front surface as well as encourages evaporation.

Another common cause for discomfort is the contact lens solution used for care of the lenses. This can include saline solution or overnight hydrogen peroxide.

Some individuals have higher sensitivity to specific brands of contact lens solutions, causing them to have red eyes.

The same can also be said for specific contact lens brands and the material used for that line of lenses. Some may find that they are intolerant of certain lens materials and may need to find an alternative lens brand or line.

It is also important to note that there are a variety of other causes and contact lenses may simply be exacerbating the issue. Make sure to visit one of our optometrists to rule out other major causes for your discomfort.


Solutions for Dry Eyes

If you have dry eyes, you might already use artificial tears to relieve some of your symptoms. This is the most common first step for helping to ease dry eyes.

If you do this and you wear contact lenses, you should ensure that the artificial tear you are using is compatible with contact lenses. Most lubricants have preservatives in them that can cause further irritation to the eye if they are used with contact lenses, so a preservative free option should be chosen.

In some cases, a simple switch of the contact lens solution can solve the issue of discomfort or redness. Switching the brand and ensuring that it is being used as per the instructions is key.

Additionally, switching the brand or line of contact lenses can be another option. Ask our optometrist to see what other options you have for your contact lenses.

Dryness can also be improved by switching from a monthly lens to a daily disposable lens. A fresh new lens everyday can get rid of the need for contact lens solutions, decrease attachment of debris and allergens to the lens, improving comfort overall.

Lastly, as previously mentioned, contact lenses may only be a small reason for dry eye symptoms. Discuss with one of our optometrists about your systemic health and daily lifestyle to see if there may be a bigger culprit at hand that can be tackled to get your symptoms under control.

Our eye doctors at EyeDocs Family Eye Care in Brookville, OH excel in prescription of glasses, contact lenses and the diagnosis of a variety of eye disease. Call our optometrists at 937-770-1265 or schedule an eye exam appointment online if you would like to be evaluated for dry eye. Our eye doctors, Dr. Kyle Maxam and Dr. Cara Wampler, provide the highest quality optometry services and eye exams in Brookville, Ohio.

You can schedule your next appointment with us online!

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430 Arlington Rd. Suite B | Brookville, OH 45309937-770-1265

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