Best Contacts for Dry Eyes
The Best Contacts for Dry Eyes
If you experience the pain and irritation of itching, burning, or stinging eyes, then you may wonder whether or not contact lenses are right for you. Dealing with dry eyes is never fun and wearing contacts could make the problem worse. Read on to find out which contact lenses are best for those with dry eyes, and what else you can do to lessen the symptoms.
Dry Eye Contact Types
Contact lenses come in two main formats: soft and rigid. If possible (depending on what your eye doctor recommends), opt for soft lenses to keep your dry eye at bay. These lenses are made of a pliable plastic material consisting of special polymers that allow your contacts to hold water. The result is that your eyes stay moisturized throughout the day, reducing the nagging symptoms of dry eyes. Soft contacts are also permeable, which means that they allow oxygen to pass through to the cornea so your eyes can breathe. Your cornea needs oxygen since it does not have blood vessels, so choosing soft contact lenses is a much better choice than rigid lenses. However, you may need to wear rigid lenses if your condition requires them specifically.
Water Content and Contacts
Most contact brands should list the water content of the product on the packaging and in the product description. This number can vary from as little as 38-percent water to as much as 70-percent or even higher in some cases. Talk to your eye doctor and make sure that you're getting the right water content in your contact lenses. Soft contacts with a higher water level are comfortable, but they can actually make your dry eye worse. Anything with a water content of around 65-percent will wick moisture away from your eyes, which could cause your dry eye to be exacerbated. Ideally, the water content of your contact lenses should be closer to the 38 to the 50-percent range to keep your eyes comfortable and allow them to breathe without wicking too much of their natural moisture away.
Silicone Hydrogel Contacts for Dry Eyes
A material called silicone hydrogel was first introduced for use in contact lenses in the 1990s. This material allows as much oxygen as possible to pass through to the cornea, and most have lower water content, too. This unique plastic material needs less moisture to stay permeable, so you can also wear the lenses for longer periods of time without having to clean them or change them. In fact, many silicone hydrogel lenses are 30-day continuous lens, which means you can keep them in every day and night for up to a full month.
Finding the right pair of contacts should help you see clearly without the pain of dry eye. If you're still having symptoms, use a high-quality eye drop product to get some relief. Eye drops can add moisture back to your eyes and reduce the pain and irritation associated with dry eye. Just make sure that you choose a product compatible with your contact lenses. With the perfect pair of contacts, you can enjoy convenience, clearer vision, and comfortable wear without the discomfort associated with dry eyes.