Strategies to Prevent Dry Eyes
According to a study published in the journal of Ophthalmic Epidemiology, approximately 680,000 people between 15 and 64 years wear contact lenses in Australia. It is known that a significant percentage of contact lens wearers suffer from complications associated with dry eyes. This may come as little surprise to anyone who wears contact lenses, which are named as one of the chief culprits causing dry eye.
Contact lenses cover the iris, thus occasionally preventing the proper amount of tears from reaching that area of the eye, and thus, subsequently causing dry eyes. This is characterized by redness, an excess of blinking, and sometimes foggy contacts and blurred vision.
What causes dry eye?
Disposable soft contact lenses are particularly prone to create dry eyes when worn past the recommended time line. Most modern contact lenses are made up of water in great percentage. When the lenses have been worn for an extended period of time, they begin to lose some of the water within the plastic lens. When this happens, the lens will automatically try to absorb water from the tears naturally produced by an individual’s eye. Certain activities can worsen this effect, including exposure to heat, cigarette smoke, and wind.
Preventing dry eye
In order to prevent dry eyes, there are several steps you can take to ensure your contact lenses are as comfortable as possible.
- Consider contact lens brands designed specifically with dry eye in mind. CooperVision and American Hydron are two popular manufacturers who have created contact lenses to address the issues of dry eyes.
- Do not wear your contact lenses past the recommended expiration point.
- Clean your contact lenses regularly.
- Avoid exposure to irritants known to cause dry eyes.
- Consider purchasing contact lens rewetting drops. These formulations are specifically developed for contact lenses; these drops can be applied as a temporary solution whenever you feel your eyes need a little extra lubrication. If you have sensitive eyes, purchase eye drops that are preservative-free.
- Soak your contacts in solution regularly. If you develop dry eye symptoms only after wearing your contacts for a few hours, you can soak your contacts in your solution for 5 – 10 minutes. This will refresh your contacts and make them more comfortable to wear for the rest of the day.
Although dry eye can be common with contact lenses, you can easily take measures to make contacts completely comfortable to wear.