If you wear contact lenses, you surely know this problem: dry, irritated eyes, which can make wearing them very uncomfortable. Are you doomed to leave your lenses in the closet or are there solutions to continue wearing them while taking care of your eyes? We dug the subject for you, here we go 🕵️
In this article :
🔎 The causes of dry eye
👀 Dry eyes and lenses: is it possible?
👉 Gestures and tips to relieve dry eyes
Why are my eyes dry?
Dry eye results in a lack of tears, a feeling of irritated eye, stinging, itching, or even burning. It can also happen that your eyes are swollen, red, are more sensitive to light.
Paradoxically, severe eye dryness can even lead to excessive tearing !
The causes of dry eye are diverse and dry eye syndrome can be caused by several factors:
🤧 Allergies, hay fever
🏙 Reaction to the environment: dust, pollution, too dry air, air conditioning...
💊 Certain treatments such as certain antidepressants, antihistamines, painkillers... but also tobacco
🩺 Diseases such as conjunctivitis, keratitis, diabetes
👁 Aftermath of eye surgery
🖥 Prolonged exposure to screens without proper blue light protection
👴🏼 Consequences of aging on eye dryness: after 60 years, the amount of tears decreases and the eyes dry out more frequently.
👁🗨 Wearing contact lenses that are not suitable, of poor quality, or with less respected rules of hygiene and use
Obviously, the persistence over time of dry eye should lead to consulting a professional to find out the precise cause and find a suitable treatment.
Dry eyes and contact lenses
To understand why wearing contact lenses can irritate the eyes, you should know that the lens rests in your eye (until then, we don't teach you anything) on a tear film that protects the cornea. And if the curvature of your lenses, their quality or their correction is not adapted to your eye, this tear film thins or breaks , causing irritation.
Finally, the presence of contact lenses on the tear film constitutes a barrier between the cornea and the outside air: it therefore has more difficulty in capturing the oxygen in the air and will draw it from your tears.
Do not panic ! If you suffer from dry eye syndrome and you wear contact lenses, know that it is not inevitable.
Contact lenses dry eyes: our advice to prevent (and cure!)
Continue to wear contact lenses without damaging your eyes, is it possible? Of course, provided you follow a few simple principles.
🕵️♂️ Pay attention to the composition
We remind you that only a health professional can tell you which lenses are made for your dry eyes! Depending on your eyes, your correction and your needs, he can prescribe the most suitable contact lenses.
👉 Contrary to what you might think, contact lenses with a high water content (or hydrogel lenses) dry the eye more easily! Indeed, in this case, the water evaporates faster, which forces the lens to tap into the tear film to maintain its shape.
Silicone hydrogel lenses , on the other hand, require less hydration (20% less than conventional hydrogel lenses). Wearing them will therefore cause fewer sensations of dry eyes.
We therefore advise you to be vigilant about the composition of your contact lenses and to respect the prescription of your ophthalmologist to use those that suit you best.
🧐 Soft or rigid lenses?
Soft lenses (the most commonly used) are said to be hydrophilic: this means that they will consume more water and dry out the eye more easily.
It is to deal with this problem that silicone hydrogel lenses were designed . Indeed, they allow more oxygen to pass through to the cornea and irritate the eyes less.
Rigid contact lenses are the best for dry eyes, but the downside is that you may take longer to adjust to them. Do not hesitate to inquire to make your choice!
👉 Daily hygiene and maintenance tips
Wearing contact lenses involves respecting certain basic rules to avoid dry eyes or other complications:
📆 Avoid wearing them every day and opt for eyeglasses 2 to 3 days a week to rest your eyes 🤓,
🧼 Think about cleaning your hands before handling your contact lenses,
✅ Renew the maintenance fluid every day and clean/change your lens box regularly,
💤 Don't sleep with your lenses on,
📝 Respect the advice for use, in particular the maximum wearing time not to be exceeded,
👓 Prefer wearing anti-blue light glasses when you're in front of a screen.
💡 To know: if you suffer from eye dryness aggravated by wearing lenses, consider testing daily contact lenses.
Remedies for dry eyes
If despite all this you continue to have dry eyes, you can try artificial tears (eye drops) available in pharmacies or on prescription to improve their hydration and avoid the unpleasant feeling of grain of sand in the eye.
A few simple gestures can also help you relieve your dry eye :
- Blink regularly
- Take breaks away from screens
- Wear sunglasses outside
- Drink herbal teas for irritated eyes
- Practice eye massages for example.
Important info: we're rambling but in any case, the slightest eye discomfort should lead you to make an appointment for a consultation with an ophthalmologist.
💡 To know: anti blue light contact lenses exist! However, we advise you to opt for glasses with good protection to avoid dry eyes.
Dry eye contact lenses: the final word
Contact lens wearers often suffer from dry eyes because they sit on the tear film and can weaken it.
Some contact lenses dry out the eye more because of their composition: soft silicone hydrogel lenses or rigid lenses are preferred.
Screens are a factor in dry eyes. Even if there are blue light blocking contact lenses, we advise you to swap your lenses for effective and suitable blue light blocking glasses for your discovery of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom!
Contact lenses can dry out the eye, but a few simple tips can help you: don't wear your lenses 7 days a week, follow the instructions for use, use eye drops, seek professional advice if needed.