Contact lenses provide clear vision without the need for bulky glasses, allowing us to engage in sports, activities and simply enjoy life without any obstructions. However, along with the benefits, there's a common issue that many contact lens wearers encounter - dry eyes.
Dry eyes caused by contact lenses are a prevalent concern. It's a condition where your eyes do not produce enough tears or the tears evaporate too quickly. This can lead to discomfort, blurred vision, and if not managed correctly, could potentially harm your vision.
Contact lenses can contribute to dry eyes in various ways. First, they can absorb the moisture from the surface of your eyes, causing them to feel dry and uncomfortable. This is especially true for soft contact lenses, which are designed to retain water. While this feature makes them comfortable to wear, it can also lead to dryness.
Second, wearing contact lenses can disrupt the natural tear film of your eyes. Tear film is a thin layer of tears covering the surface of your eyes, keeping them moist and healthy. Contact lenses can interfere with this layer, leading to a dry eye condition.
Lastly, over-wearing your contact lenses or not cleaning them properly can cause dry eyes. Wearing your contact lenses for longer than recommended can cause your eyes to become dry and irritated, and failing to clean your lenses properly can lead to a buildup of proteins and lipids, which can further exacerbate dryness.
Certain factors make some individuals more susceptible to dry eye caused by contact lenses. Age is one factor; as we grow older, our eyes naturally produce fewer tears, making us more prone to dryness.
People with certain medical conditions like diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, and thyroid disorders are also more likely to experience dry eyes. These conditions can affect the body's ability to produce tears or the quality of the tears produced.
Lastly, environmental factors like dry air, wind, and high temperatures can exacerbate the dryness caused by contact lenses. Those who work long hours on computer screens are also at risk due to reduced blinking, which can cause tears to evaporate faster.
Managing dry eye caused by contact lenses involves several strategies. First, ensure that your lenses are clean and well-maintained. Regular cleaning removes any accumulated proteins and lipids that can cause dryness.
Second, consider using lubricating eye drops or artificial tears. These products can supplement your natural tears and keep your eyes moist. However, it's crucial to consult with an eye care professional before using these products to ensure they are safe to use with your lenses.
Lastly, consider taking breaks from your lenses, especially if you have been wearing them for extended periods. Giving your eyes a rest can allow your natural tear film to recover and reduce the risk of dryness.
While dry eyes can often be managed at home, it's essential to seek professional help if your symptoms persist or worsen. Persistent dryness, redness, irritation, or blurred vision are signs that you should consult with an eye care professional.
An eye doctor can examine your eyes, assess your symptoms, and recommend the best course of treatment. This could involve changing your lens type, adjusting your lens care routine, or prescribing medication to manage your dry eyes.
Living comfortably with contact lenses is possible, even if you experience dry eyes. Understanding the causes and knowing how to manage and prevent dryness can help ensure that your contact lens experience is a positive one.
It's crucial to take good care of your lenses and your eyes. If you experience persistent dry eye caused by contact lenses, don't hesitate to seek professional help.
For more information on how contact lenses cause dry eye and management options, contact Optical Masters at our offices in Denver, Colorado. Call (720) 807-7300 or (720) 807-7600 to discuss any questions with our team of experts or to schedule an appointment today.