Dry Eyes and Contact Lenses: Tips for Comfortable Wear

Tips for Managing Dry Eyes With Contact Lenses

Dry eyes can cause significant irritation and make doing daily activities challenging. Wearing contact lenses can also worsen your dry eye symptoms from time to time. The eye doctors at Eye and Contact Lens Center in Kirkland, WA, provide customized solutions that allow comfortable, all-day contact lens wear even if you suffer from dry eyes. We will discuss dry eye and offer tips for managing symptoms while wearing contact lenses.

What Is Dry Eye?

Dry eyes result from an insufficient tear layer coating the eyes’ surface. Causes for insufficient tears range from innate production issues to external factors like weather, pollution, and extended screen time without blinking.

Dry eye symptoms can include blurry vision, eye fatigue, eye redness, light sensitivity, irritation, watery eyes, and a burning or stinging sensation in the eyes. Symptoms typically worsen when natural tears cannot offset irritants or re-wet lenses consistently, causing inflammation as cells dry out. Contact lenses can also worsen dry eye symptoms due to the lenses disrupting the tear film, making tears evaporate more quickly. They can also block oxygen from getting to your eyes, causing irritation and dryness.

Ways to Manage Dry Eye Symptoms

Our optometrist advises addressing the root causes of your dry eyes where possible. Managing dry eye symptoms may include adjusting your computer monitor to facilitate blinking, incorporating breaks to blink and gaze distantly, staying hydrated to maintain fluid balance, and using indoor humidifiers to defend against seasonal indoor air-parching effects. Additionally, we often recommend consistent application of over-the-counter preservative-free drops and gels while wearing contact lenses to supplement moisture.

Your eye doctor may prescribe anti-inflammatory drops to treat underlying eyelid conditions causing dryness for moderate to advanced cases of dry eye. They can also expertly fit specialty scleral lenses for the most severe dry eye cases. These lenses sit on damaged corneas, creating a smooth “liquid bandage” that holds lubrication against the eye. Scleral lenses provide constant relief from friction and irritation that otherwise disrupt lens endurance. Patients report significant improvement in their ability to comfortably wear contacts with these protective lenses while dealing with dry eye symptoms.

Contact Your Optometrist Near You in Kirkland, WA, for Dry Eye Treatment

Dry eye symptoms can make working or enjoying your hobbies unpleasant, so contact Eye and Contact Lens Center in Kirkland, WA, to get the eye care you need to live your life comfortably again. We tailor eye care treatment plans to your visual needs and lifestyle for healthy eyes and lasting vision. Call us and schedule an appointment today at (425) 822-8204.

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