contact lenses for dry eyes

Woman inserting a contact lens in her eye.
Woman inserting a contact lens in her eye.

Dry eyes are a common problem that can make wearing contact lenses uncomfortable. Approximately 50% of contact lens wearers experience dry eye symptoms like irritation, redness, blurry vision, and light sensitivity. Fortunately, there are several types of contact lenses made specifically for dry eyes that can help.

The main cause of dry eyes is a lack of sufficient tear production. Tears help lubricate and nourish the eyes. When tear production is inadequate, the eyes become irritated. Contact lenses can worsen dry eyes by interfering with tear film and causing more rapid tear evaporation.

When shopping for contact lenses for dry eyes, look for models made from high water content materials. These lenses retain moisture better than lower water content lenses. Some good options include frequent replacement and daily disposable soft lenses. Brands like Acuvue Moist, Biofinity, and DAILIES AquaComfort Plus are designed to keep eyes hydrated.

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Another type to consider is silicone hydrogel lenses like Air Optix and Biofinity. The silicone material is highly permeable to oxygen, which reduces irritation and discomfort. Silicone hydrogel lenses tend to be more expensive than traditional hydrogels but are often worth it for dry eye relief.

Lubricating eye drops specially formulated for contacts are also recommended. Use them before inserting lenses and throughout the day as needed. Preservative-free drops like Refresh Contacts and Blink Contacts work well. They moisturize without interfering with lens wear.

When inserting contacts, be sure to apply enough solution so they can move freely on the eyes. Re-wetting drops can provide added moisture if lenses begin to feel dry during wear. Avoid overusing rewetting drops, as this can impact lens fit.

Proper contact lens hygiene is vital for dry, sensitive eyes. Disinfect and store lenses as directed, replace them regularly, and wash hands thoroughly before handling. Give eyes a rest by wearing glasses occasionally if dryness persists.

See an eye doctor immediately if you experience severe pain, light sensitivity, discharge, or reduced vision with contacts. These could indicate an infection or other complication requiring treatment. Be sure to discuss dry eye issues with your optometrist so they can recommend the most suitable lenses and care regimen.

With the right contact lenses and care, dry eyes don’t have to be an obstacle to comfortable vision correction. Try some moisturizing lens types to find the best match for your eyes. Use lubricating drops as needed, follow good hygiene practices, and see your eye doctor regularly to manage dryness and keep your eyes healthy while wearing contacts.

Meta description: Dry eyes are common with contact lens wear but special lenses for dryness can help. Read about contact lens options for dry eyes and get tips for relieving irritation and discomfort.