Dry Eyes and Contact Lenses – Tips and Advice

You’ve got dry eyes and wear contact lenses? For many of us it’s an impossible combination. But it’s not hopeless. Here are some tips that can help alleviate your waterless eye symptoms without getting rid of your contacts.

At the age of 15, I had my first acquaintance with contact lenses. Initially I loved it, but when I started wearing contacts the whole day long, my eyes became itchy and dry. Since then, I have been researching this topic quite thoroughly. I learned that many people who wore soft contacts and suffered from dry eyes, probably had some mild form of dry eyes previously but did not notice the issue until they started wearing lenses.

This led to the conclusion that waterless eyes are caused by a lack of tear volume or rapid tear evaporation. Wearing contact lenses may disrupt the production of tears that creates a protective film over the eye. If this happens to you, switching from soft contacts to hard lenses is an option you could consider, but be aware that hard contacts can create other problems.

Luckily, there are a few ways to give your eyes some relief.

•Use rewetting drops. These are a temporary solution for periodic dryness. If your eyes are extremely sensitive, choose a preservative-free solution.
•Prescription eye drops. For more serious cases of dry eyes, a prescription drop may be necessary. Consult your eye doctor.
•Soak lenses throughout the day as needed. Sometimes removing your contacts for just a few minutes every few hours and allowing them to soak momentarily can make wearing the lenses all day more comfortable.
•Blink frequently. Contact lenses rely on frequent blinking to continually rewet them. It is usually during periods of high concentration (such as in front of computer) when a person blinks less and then begins to complain of dry eyes. I know, it’s hard to remember to blink, but contact lens wearers have to do just that.
•Take good care of your contacts. Clean your contacts regularly and replace them as often as it is necessary to maintain comfort.
•Try using a different brand of contact lens. There are certain brands of contact lenses that are specifically designed for people with dry eyes. I have included names of these brands on my website.

Conclusion: just because you have dry eyes, doesn’t automatically mean that you have to forego your contact lenses. Hopefully one of these tips work well for you!

Guzel de Jong, who has been having myopia all her life, is the owner of Myopia-Solutions. Learn more about dry eyes.