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Contact Lenses for Dry Eyes

The outer surface of our eyes is supposed to have a proper layer of moisture. This lubrication comes from tears, but when tears don't develop as they should that person will likely have dry eye syndrome. That means that either the eyes are not making as many tears as they should, or they are not making quality tears. Most people think of itchy red eyes when they think of dry eyes, but people with dry eyes can also experience things like sensitivity to light, the feeling of debris in the eye, watery discharge, or blurry vision. The Arvada Optometric Center offers options for people with dry eyes who want to wear contact lenses.

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Wearing Contact Lenses With Dry Eyes

Many people stop wearing contact lenses once they start to experience dry eyes, and switch over to wearing eyeglasses exclusively. In the past, glasses were the only practical option for many people. However, thanks to various advances, there are new options for people with dry eyes who still want to wear contacts.

Here are some options:

  • Daily disposable lenses with increased water content. Some types of daily lenses have a water gradient design that allows for about a third more water in the core of the lens. 
  • Silicone hydrogel lenses are designed to retain moisture for up to 16 hours
  • High water hydrogel lenses help with mild dry eye symptoms.
  • Scleral lenses are gas permeable and have a large diameter that prevents drying.
  • Ortho-K lenses are worn at night for vision correction during the day. They often help with dry eye symptoms because they are not exposed to the elements.

Other Dry Eye Treatment Options

While it is great that contact lens options exist for dry eyes, it is best to treat the condition. Besides vision correction, dry eye is among the most common reasons why people go to see their eye doctor. Some treatment options are based on using prescription eye drops or over the counter eye drops. Others may involve surgery to fix blocked tear ducts. An Optometrist can also review medications you are taking which can sometimes contribute to dry eyes. We can also recommend supplements, such as fish oil that may help with symptoms. Dry eye symptoms vary from person to person, so it is best to get your regular eye examinations to make certain that your treatment is what is best for you. For more information, or to schedule an eye appointment, contact us at Arvada Optometric Center in Arvada at 303-424-5282.